Agenda item


The report detailed the performance of the key performance measures reported through the corporate performance framework for 2020/21. Latest performance outturns and targets for the quarter 3 period were reported alongside trend and benchmarking information, where available.



(1)          That the Council’s performance for the quarter 3 period be noted.

(2)          That action to improve performance where required be taken


Katrina Wood, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, introduced the report which detailed the performance of the key performance measures reported through the Corporate Performance Framework for 2020/21. Latest performance outturns and targets for the quarter 3 period were reported alongside trend and benchmarking information, where available.


Within the performance report, outturns that were performing at or better than target were classified as Green, those which were within 5% of the target were Amber and those that were more than 5% of the target were Red. At the end of Quarter 3, 68 indicators had outturns reported with a Red, Amber or Green (RAG) status. Of these, 45 were Green (66%), 7 were Amber (10%) and 20 (24%) were Red.  This was an improvement on Quarter 2 where 37 indicators (59%) had been Green and 20 indicators (32%) were Red.


Cabinet were informed that the majority of the red performance indicators had been impacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Cabinet Members then provided comprehensive explanations for the performance marked as red where performance was more than 5% off the target for each of their portfolio’s, these were as follows:

·                    Unemployment Claimant Rate There were 9,570 more claimants in Buckinghamshire in November than at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.  Improvement actions being undertaken included the Bucks Skills Hub (a LEP, Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF), Buckinghamshire Council and Careers and Enterprise Company partnership) having set up a Redundancy Taskforce.  Early retraining initiatives being undertaken within Bucks including - retraining hospitality staff to take on care roles and aviation professionals taking on roles in the film industry.

·                     Proportion of who have control over their daily life - This was an indicator from the annual service user survey, which took place between January and March 2020, where 1,293 long-term service users in Buckinghamshire were invited to take part, of which, 401 responded (31%).  This indicator measures how much control service users said they had over their daily life.  74.8% of service users felt that they either had as much control over their daily life as they would want, or that they had adequate control over their daily life, which was below the 80.0% target.  A further 15.7% felt that they had some control, and 9.5% felt that they had no control over their daily life.  Improvement actions being undertaken included continuing to support service users to have as much control over their daily life as possible, through the Better Lives independence model, which ensured that people’s strengths and views were central to their assessment of care needs.  Further information would be published on the Bucks Online Directory relating to the care and support available in people’s local communities, which would support people to make informed decisions on their care choices.

·                     % of assessments completed in 45 working days – The number of assessments that commenced during September 2020 had increased by 25% (in comparison with September 2019), which increased the time it took for these assessments to be completed during October to December 2020.  As a result, the proportion of children’s assessments completed within 45 working days reduced to 72% during Q3 (October to December 2020), which was the first quarter that performance had been below the 84% target since Q1 of 2019/20. Of the 1,265 assessments completed in this period, 95% were finished within 60 days, and 99% were finished within 80 days. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, there has also been an increase in the number of safeguarding contacts relating to mental health during Q3.  Improvement actions being undertaken included deploying resources from other parts of the service to increase capacity in the Assessment Teams, ensuring that assessments were effectively allocated to social workers, and by tracking the timeliness of assessment on a weekly basis with Team Managers.

·                     % of 19-21 year olds who have left care that are in education, employment or training – At the end of Q3 (December 2020), 50% of care leavers aged 19 to 21 were in education, employment and/or training, which was below the 60% target. Improvement action being undertaken included establishing the “Care Attain” project to support care leavers in the next year, by working with partners including Transition UK, the Clare Foundation and the Department for Work and Pensions.  A Senior Personal Advisor (appointed in Q3) will continue to track performance every week and train Personal Advisors in best practice.

·                     % children waiting less than 14 months between entering care and moving In with their adoptive family - Performance was below the 60% target, but had increased to 51% reported for Q3.  Improvement action being undertaken included continuing to explore avenues to recruit adopters for children who were difficult to place or had complex needs.

·                     % of children starting to be looked after that are placed in internal placements (from 1 April 2020) –  the number of internal placements had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which had impacted on the availability of internal foster carers and internal placements. Improvement actions being undertaken included ensuring that care leavers who were ready to live independently could move into their own accommodation, by continuing to work with the housing teams to ensure that enough move on places were available.

·                     Number of library information enquiries (signposting and referral) – the number of enquiries for Q3 had been below the target and had been impacted due to further lockdown measures, limited opening times, and social distancing restrictions.  Performance was expected to improve when restrictions are eased. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was unlikely that performance would improve significantly this year.

·                     Permanent Exclusion Rate – Primary – information had previously been reported to Cabinet in December 2020, no further update was due until 2021/22.  The indicator was reported in arrears due to national data collection and publication dates.

·                     Missed Bin Collections –had stabilised since Q2 and was showing a continued week-on-week improvement since the beginning of October.  Previous issues impacting on performance included a high number of vehicle breakdowns within the Veolia contract (Wycombe and Chiltern) leading to late starts and incomplete rounds. New vehicles were brought in at the beginning of the quarter, which had led to this rapid and sustained recovery in performance.

·                     Number of applicants with/expecting children who have been in non-self-contained B&B accommodation for longer than 6 weeks -  Due to Covid-19 and the increase in demandfor temporary accommodation, coupled with reduced availability of socially rented properties,three applicants had currently been placed into Bed & Breakfast (B&B) accommodation for longer than 6 weeks. Improvement measures included continuing to carefully monitor applicants in temporary accommodation and utilising all avenues to move them to permanent accommodation in a timely manner, including the use of privately rented accommodation.

·                     % eligible clients who are provided with transport before the required start date, or no later than 15 working days from referral – the Q3 performance was significantly lower than target and also lower than the previous quarter.  This was a new indicator and further work was being done to understand natural fluctuations in demand as well as operational challenges that may have led to this reduction in performance.

·                     % of building control applications checked within 21 days – the percentage of plans checked within 21 days in Q3 was 85.25%, which was below target (90%); better than Q2 (81.81%), but worse than Q1 (97.25%). This was attributed to a combination of resourcing challenges and work deferred from earlier quarters that couldn’t be undertaken properly during lockdown conditions.  Improvement measures being undertaken included agency surveyors having been temporarily on-boarded to assist with the increase in workloads.

·                     % of enforcement appeals allowed – Q1 and Q2 had been 0%; in Q3 this had risen to 50%, which related to 1 appeal out of 2.  The appeal had been allowed and the notice quashed due to a technical issue in the notice. Planning permission had still not been granted at the appeal and the team were pursuing next steps to seek a remedy.

·                     Gross income from property  - while income for Q3 had increased from Q2, it was still lower than target due to pressures as a result of Covid-19. The Buckinghamshire Council team was continuing to agree payment plans with tenants to mitigate the impact of voids. The Property Team also continued to progress a number of significant income opportunities.

·                     % of interventions completed against the total due in the annual inspection plan of food premises (A-D rated premises) Buckinghamshire -  On 20 March 2020 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) wrote to Local Authorities instructing them to defer all planned food hygiene and food standards interventions, in effect suspending the programme. This instructionwas initially until mid-April but extended until 25 June 2020 and then again until the end of June 2021.  Local Authorities had been directed to commence interventions in limited circumstances, i.e. high risk premises only.  The team would continue to work within the FSA guidelines and to carry out inspections in high risk premises as directed. Given the ongoing restrictions and the backlog it was unlikely that the teams would achieve the 90% interventions target they had consistently met in past years. It was noted that enforcement officers had been heavily involved in Covid-19 compliance.

·                     % of Business Rates collected - Performance for Q3 was 74.8% against a target of 83.5%.  This was due to COVID-19, lockdown 1 and the delay in recovery action. Alternative payment arrangements were being made where possible that support the business as well as meeting our requirements to collect business rates.


The list of improvement actions taken to mitigate the performance of the above measures were not an exhaustive list and further improvement actions were set out in the report.


Following a detailed review of the performance indicators, it was –




(1)               That the Council’s performance for the quarter 3 period be noted.

(2)               That action to improve performance where required be taken.

Supporting documents: