The Strategy Manager introduced
the report and stated that it covered the first quarter of the
2021-22 municipal year. She explained that each Key Performance
Indicator was either red or green, and those that were currently
red included detail commentary as well as a ‘route to
green’. She stated that COVID restrictions had only been
stepped down in July 2021, so this quarter had still been effected
by COVID regulations, and this had been outlined in the report
Councillor Kent highlighted point 3.8 on page 54 of the agenda and the Key Performance Indicator relating to the average full time wage in Thurrock. He queried whether this was the wage for Thurrock residents or for Thurrock jobs. He also highlighted the Key Performance Indicator relating to the business rate base, and questioned why this would fall by £6million. He also outlined the number of homes permitted through planning, which only equalled 195, and queried if this year’s target of 950 homes permitted through planning was achievable. He also drew the Committee’s attention to the Key Performance Indicator relating to families presenting at risk of homelessness. He stated that 1836 families had presented themselves to the Council as being at risk of homelessness, but only 211 had been accepted, which equated to 11.5% of those presenting. He sought clarification that the families not accepted as being at risk of homelessness had been helped in other ways, for example had been able to keep their homes.
The Strategy Manager explained that she would need to seek clarification on the more detailed Key Performance Indicator questions. She added that the number of homes permitted through planning last year was correct at 195. Councillor Hebb stated that the Key Performance Indicator relating to business rate base currently included some post-COVID assumptions, such as in the hospitality and retail sectors, as some markets had not yet been re-established. He explained that the most recent Cabinet report showed the funding gap had been closed by £2million, but the Council did not yet know how the end of the furlough scheme would impact upon residents and businesses. He stated that the Council would continue to monitor employment levels across the borough, and had already seen some positive improvement over the past three months. He summarised and stated that only £1million of council tax had not been collected, compared to £70million of council tax that had been collected post-COVID.
The Chair queried how Key Performance Indicators were measured, and asked if queries made over the phone and online were cross-referenced. The Director of Strategy, Engagement and Growth replied that all resident queries were logged as part of the Key Performance Indicator. She explained that if a Member or MP logged a query, this would be cross-referenced to ensure it had not already been reported by a resident. She stated that this would ensure queries were not double counted as part of the KPI. The Chair also questioned how online system maintenance occurred, as she had received some resident concerns regarding maintenance during the day. The Director of Strategy, Engagement and Growth replied that maintenance during the day was limited to essential maintenance only, and tried to avoid peak hours. She explained that where possible advance notice was given to residents of maintenance, through digital channels, and the contact centre were also made aware.
RESOLVED: That the Committee:
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.
3. Commented on the areas of focus for 2021/22 that will support delivery of the overall vision and priorities.