Councillor Huelin introduced
the report and stated that it highlighted the impact that COVID-19
had had on services, many of which had been shut, had changed
working practices, or experienced high levels of sickness or COVID
isolation amongst staff. She stated that in quarter 3, 66% of key
performance indicators (KPIs) had met target, and this was similar
to quarter 1, which had occurred during the first lockdown. She
mentioned that during quarter two, when restrictions had been
eased, 75% of KPIs had met their target. She felt that all services
were working hard, and introducing new ways of remote working, for
example the number of apprenticeships being undertaken by the
Council had decreased, but the team were introducing new virtual
processes to improve the KPI. She mentioned that the report had
gone to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny, who had understood that
the report reflected the impact of COVID, rather than service
performance. She summarised and thanked officers and external
organisations for their hard work.
Councillor Watkins highlighted the KPI regarding the rate of recycling, which had been affected by COVID and had dropped to 25.9% in December. He thanked waste collection crews for their hard work throughout the pandemic, and thanked residents for their patience with the service. He stated that the team were doing lots of work to improve recycling rates, including with a new ‘back to basics’ programme and a ‘Getting Thurrock Recycling’ programme that would highlight the positives of recycling. He stated that feedback from the communal recycling programme had been positive, and this feedback would be included in the new campaigns. He added that the team were also working hard to understand why residents were not recycling, and how the Council could improve the recycling figure. He added that garden waste collection had been re-introduced this week, as the weather warmed and people began working on their gardens, and again thanked residents for their patience as the service got back on track.
Councillor Watkins added that this would be his last meeting on Cabinet, and thanked the Director, officers, and other Portfolio Holders for their hard work, and felt success had been proven with the continually improving KBT scores.
The Leader thanked Councillor Watkins for his hard work as a Portfolio Holder, particularly with his success on the Clean It, Cut It, Fill It scheme. He felt the team had gone from strength to strength under his leadership, and thanked him for his service.
Councillor Halden felt pleased to see that the amber measure had been removed, and now KPIs either met or did not meet their targets, which made it easier for residents to understand. He thanked Councillor Watkins for his hard work and stated that he would be missed as a Cabinet Member. Councillor Hebb added that the removal of the amber KPI measure also made the report more transparent. He thanked officers across the Council for their hard work on all the KPIs, particularly during such a difficult year, and thanked Councillor Watkins for his work as a Portfolio Holder.
The Leader highlighted page 210 of the agenda and the KPI relating to payment of fixed penalty notices, which had not met its target. He stated that this was because officers were being more lenient during COVID and offering payment extensions. He stated that those who refused to pay would still be taken to court, but the courts were experiencing delays due to COVID, and this could take some time. He commented that this KPI showed the Council were being adaptive and reflective during the pandemic, and were trying to help people who had received a fixed penalty notice. He reflected on Councillor Huelin’s comments and felt that although the KPI had not met its target, it showed the Council were being sympathetic to residents during this difficult time.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
1. Noted and commented upon the performance of the key corporate performance indicators, in particular those areas which are off target and the impact of COVID-19.
2. Identified any areas which required additional consideration.