The Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager presented the report containing information on the corporate performance monitoring undertaken during Q2 2018/2019, which relates to the period up to 30 September 2018.
Members were reminded that Performance indicators for 2018/2019 had been agreed by Portfolio Holders and Executive Directors as the key performance measures for the year which covered all Directorates. The monitoring report highlighted specific performance issues; where indicators had not met agreed targets they were drawn out into an Action report, which provided additional detail on what actions were being taken to correct performance that had a variance to target.
The Q2 2018/19 monitoring report showed that 54% of targets had been met, and performance had improved against target for 17 indicators.
In response to questions on:
· EP3c - % of decisions on applications for major development that had been overturned at appeal, measured against total number of major applications determined and
· EP3d - % of decisions on applications for non-major development that have been overturned at appeal, measured against total number of non-major applications
And the reasons as to why there was a significant gap, the Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager explained that the decision had been taken to use the national target as a benchmark to just how the planning department were performing. It was suggested that the Council could set itself an alternative target and the Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager undertook to liaise with the Planning Department regarding the reason why the Government target was used. Councillor Moriarty commented that he felt the Government targets were not useful and that it would be helpful to know the total amount of appeals and the number of those that were lost. It was noted that performance indicators EP6, Ep7 and EP8 had recently been added to the suit of indicators to assist with the provision of this information. Councillor Moriarty suggested than an indicator monitoring the number of appeals were costs were awarded against the Council might be a useful benchmark.
The Chairman, Councillor Humphrey referred to the following indicators:
· EP7 - % of refused applications then appealed/lodged and
· EP8 - % of appeals allowed
and asked why they were marked “to monitor only”. The Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager agreed that a note to explain this would be included in the Q3 report.
The Leader explained that the indicators provided overall policy direction, reminding Members that the Regeneration and Development Panel monitored planning indicators and suggested that the Corporate Performance Panel ask the Regeneration and Development Panel to look at those specific targets and include an item on their future work programme. The Leader informed those present that the Council was not negligent in costs being awarded against the authority. Councillor Moriarty commented that the Planning Committee should look at each application on its own merits before determining a decision. The Chairman, Councillor Humphrey commented that it would be useful to know of any lessons learned as to why appeals were allowed. Councillor Morrison stated that the Planning Committee has recently received training on planning appeals and that very few damages were awarded against the Borough Council.
Following questions from Councillor Kunes on FS4 - % of Business Rates collected against target, the Chief Executive explained that the Q2 collection rate had been affected by a new entry to the rating list with a large rateable value, this had therefore negatively impacted the figures. Although this was first included in July 2018 payment was not received until October 2018. It was explained that from Q3 collection rates should return to target levels.
In response to questions on CE4 – number of new affordable housing completions, the Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager undertook to investigate the possibility of including the number of completions since the beginning of the 2018/2019 year in the next report.
Reference was made to CE6 - % of freedom of information requests given final response within deadline. Councillor Moriarty commented that it would be useful to know the number of FOI requests received and in relation to which service area of the council. Councillor Moriarty explained that he had been informed that a written FOI request to the planning department had been made but to date no response had been received. In response, the Chief Executive provided an overview of the FOI process and commented that if the request was not labelled as an FOI, then a response would take longer. If an FOI was received then it was recorded and responded to within the 20 day legal requirement.
The Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager commented that the Panel could invite an officer to give a presentation on the FOI process.
RESOLVED: The Panel reviewed the performance monitoring report and agreed the actions outlined in the Action Report.