This report is a summary of the performance at quarter 1 2018/19 for the programmes and measures which fall within the remit of this Committee.
Members considered a report which summarised the performance at quarter 1 2018/19 for the programmes and measures which fell within the remit of this Committee.
The summaries of the discussions which took place at the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee were set out in a supplementary agenda.
The following issues were discussed:
Number of private sector properties improved as a result of the Council’s intervention – a Member asked how many landlords had been prosecuted where properties had not been improved as a result of intervention, for details of the costs and works involved where improvements had been made, how many tenants had been made homeless after reporting complaints about their landlord and for details about the challenging blocks of accommodation referred to in the report. Members were advised that officers were not aware of any prosecutions in the last year but the Council could potentially take a more robust line when seeking improvements. Details of improvement works and the costs involved were not collected. The numbers of people made homeless would be sought. Enforcement action had been taken in respect of the challenging blocks of accommodation.
Digital take up – noting there was no target, a Member asked if other similar unitary councils had set a target. The Assistant Director – Transformation commented that a conscious decision had been made not to set a target given Medway was one of the first to pursue this agenda. Digital take up had been very positive and officers were considering possible targets.
Percentage of adults with learning difficulties in settled accommodation – as only the percentage figure was given a Member asked how many people this involved. Officers agreed to provide this information and also include this in the Quarter 2 report.
Number of Child Protection Plans – a Member asked for the reasons behind this increase. Officers agreed to provide this information and also include this in the Quarter 2 report.
Medway’s economy as a whole – a Member noted the methodology for this measure was soon to be agreed and asked what this would look like. In addition, the recent announcement that Debenhams was to close 50 stores was a particular concern for Chatham High Street. The Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive responded that he was working on measures for the economy and commented on the changing nature and face of high streets which were no longer solely retail sites. The Council was in contact with Debenhams and was looking to see what wider actions could be taken in mitigation.
Numbers of households living in temporary accommodation - in response to a request for a breakdown showing the number of children, Members were advised this would be included in future reports. A Member also asked how many of this group had been homeless for 6 months or longer and was advised this information would be provided.
Affordable housing – a Member asked over what period the 430 units of affordable housing referred to would be delivered and was advised this would be over a 3 year period. Another Member queried how much of this would be genuinely affordable. The Head of Strategic Housing advised the units would either be social rent or capped at Local Housing Allowance level, so therefore should be affordable.
Thinking Place Project - a Member referred to the new place making boards in Chatham which, it was argued, did not sufficiently capture the spirit of Medway and the imagery did not represent people as much as it could. The Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive agreed to take on board the comment about the imagery but assured Members the people of Medway had been at the forefront of the project and a lot of positive feedback had been received.
A Member commented that the length of the Council Plan monitoring report made it difficult to decide where Members should focus attention. It was suggested that a balanced scorecard approach or similar would be better as that would make it easier to understand the top level measures and where improvements were being made. The Chief Finance Officer commented that he accepted the narrative in the report needed to be more succinct and focus more on areas where targets were not being me, although it was also important to report positive outcomes. In terms of using a different model for reporting performance, this could be looked at next year.
The Committee agreed to note the quarter 4 and end of year 2017/18
Performance of the measures of success used to monitor progress against the Council’s priorities.