Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder presented an update report on the progress with the Council Plan for Quarter 3 of 2019/20. The report monitored success of the Council Plan, informed of improvements and ensured that the Council services addressed the needs of residents in an open and transparent way. The Council was committed to delivering high quality, cost effective services that met the needs of residents and improved quality of life. The performance management process helped the Council to demonstrate how well it was doing
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder referred to the Climate Emergency and informed Members that the Action Plan had been refreshed based on the outcome of consultation throughout the District. This dynamic Action Plan would be made available to the public. He further referred to the fact that officers were working hard on measures to increase Biodiversity. The Council continued apace to meet the target for affordable homes to rent, and this year would see the delivery of the 500th home. It was hoped that the target of 1,000 affordable homes to rent would not only be met by 2025 but exceeded. Work was being carried out on reducing the number of long-term empty homes. The economy continued to be prosperous, with low unemployment, incomes rising and an increase in the number of jobs created.
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, however, drew attention to a number of areas of concern, for example, increases in the number of people presenting themselves as homeless, in the number of people attending food banks and in people in poverty, all following national trends.
The report also included the Council’s Strategic Risk Register and the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder pointed out that these risks were all being carefully monitored and managed and did not pose concern. He referred, however, to the risk relating to the impact of welfare reform on the community and in particular of Universal Credit on rent arrears. He emphasised the need for the Council to try to help those suffering from the mental stress being caused as a result of the impact.
A lengthy discussion ensued during which Portfolio Holders presented information in relation to their areas of remit and responded to queries raised. The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder acknowledged that a number of houses remained empty as a result of the death of the owner and of those to whom the property had passed not being in a position to move forward for either financial or emotional reasons. He felt that there could be more that the Council could do in this regard. The Principal Specialist People suggested the potential to look into the reasons behind long-term empty homes and undertook to provide more information. It was further suggested that vendors of such homes should be encouraged to seek more realistic prices for the properties. The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder suggested that this area could be covered within the Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder’s next executive report to Council. In response to a suggestion for a need for the Council to drive down the figure in relation to the level of reported crime and, in particular, domestic abuse, the Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder explained that the rise in figures relating to reported crime meant that more incidents were being reported. The rate of conviction was 88% which made people more confident in reporting incidents. It was suggested that clarity could be provided on whether the estimated new jobs figures were net or gross, i.e. did they represent additional jobs? The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder undertook to ask officers to provide a written response.
The report had also been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 17 January 2020.
RESOLVED – That the following be approved:-
(1) the summary of Performance, as detailed within the report; and
(2) the detailed risks information contained within Appendix 1 to the report.
Reasons for Decision
The report links directly to the Council Plan commitment to ensure that the Council is equipped to provide the best, most cost-effective services. Details regarding performance monitoring are published in line with the Council’s Performance Management Framework.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None – the purpose of the report is to provide an update on performance. The Council must note success, monitor progress and take action where appropriate.
Report author: John Davies
Publication date: 07/02/2020
Date of decision: 05/02/2020
Decided at meeting: 05/02/2020 - Cabinet
Effective from: 17/02/2020