To monitor progress against the measures of success as detailed within the Council Plan 2014-2019 and to consider any recommendations to be made to Cabinet.
The Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder presented the fourth quarter Council Plan Performance Monitoring report. The reported highlighted areas of significantly good or poor performance relating to the measures of success set out in the current Council Plan. The report also included the latest Strategic Risk Register. She reported that the South Lakes Housing development at Dowkers Lane, Kendal, had been completed. She described this as a fantastic development which not only contributed to the Council’s affordable housing target but also improved the area in which the new housing was built.
The Council’s work in increasing recycling of household waste was welcomed, particularly in comparison to national recycling figures, and it was clear that this had been a high priority for the Council for many years. It was also felt that the Council had successfully communicated the importance of recycling to communities which had been an important step in ensuring the success of the project.
In response to a query, the Director People and Places explained that the residual household waste figures which were reported to Government included household grey bin waste, as well as litter bins and street sweepings. The Performance and Risk Officer undertook to speak to the relevant officers with a view to potentially providing more information regarding the proportion of residual household waste collected by street sweeping and from litter bins.
The Director People and Places explained that increased EU targets for recycling had been adopted by Defra, meaning that the Council needed to continue to improve the recycling rate of the District even further.
More information was provided on the reasons behind the increase in carbon emissions. The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder suggested that this measure of performance should be revised, as the reported figure did not take into account the overall reduction in carbon emissions through reuse, recycling and composting the District’s waste. Officers agreed to consider this further following the meeting.
It was highlighted that the number of long-term empty homes had shown a big increase in 2017, and it was queried whether this was correct. Officers were asked to look into this and to provide an update at the next meeting. It was also suggested that a breakdown of those wards where the properties were located would be useful for Members.
The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder reported that following the despatch of the agenda, the number of affordable houses to rent made available since January 2014 had reached 400.
Information was requested regarding the measures that had been taken by the Council against those companies who banked land rather than beginning development. He also asked for more information about the circumstances of those living in temporary accommodation and any actions currently being taken. The Director People and Places undertook to provide written responses.
It was queried whether there was any identifiable cause behind the finding of the 2011 Census that the greatest proportion of residents in South Lakeland reporting their health was “bad” or “very bad” lived in the Ulverston Central and Ulverston Town wards. The Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder explained that no causation was available from this external dataset.
Information was sought on the measures in place to ensure that those strategic risks below the level of tolerance which were only reviewed annually did not become an undetected critical risk in the ensuing twelve months. The Assistant Director Performance and Innovation explained that although the risk position of those risks below tolerance was formally reviewed annually, they each remained under regular review throughout the year by officers.
The work carried out to safeguard the Council’s communications system was welcomed. It was queried whether simulated training had been carried out to provide officers with a familiarity of the system. The Assistant Director Performance and Innovation explained that much of the work in ensuring business continuity had been completed with the only remaining risk in relation to telephony. However, the Council’s telephony no longer used its own separate system, and was instead delivered through the corporate network. This system had been used during the recent heavy snowfall which had enabled around 150 staff from South Lakeland and Eden District Councils to work remotely using this technology. Previously this would not have been possible, creating potentially large business continuity issues. The Assistant Director explained the logistics behind the Council’s data centre and reassured Members that risks were being managed. In addition, the Council’s Backup and Data Recovery Contract included requirements for regular testing, and regular auditing of this took place.
In response to a question, the Assistant Director Performance and Innovation confirmed that there had been no delay in the “People” element of the Customer Connect Programme referred to within Strategic Risk 15.
The Chief Executive, responding to a query, confirmed that the strategic partnership arrangements referred to in Strategic Risk 9 were reviewed quarterly, and that this was based upon the relationships that the Council had with other authorities, businesses and voluntary sector organisations and sought to ensure that the ambitions of those partnerships were being met.
RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-
(1) the Summary of Performance as detailed within the report; and
(2) the detailed risks information contained within Appendix 1 to the report.