To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance that required the Committee to undertake a quarterly review of the Thematic Strategies performance, as assurance that performance was being managed effectively to achieve the corporate outcomes as set out in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2019 – 2023. Appendix 1 to the report provided an overview of performance as at the end of Quarter 4 (Q4) (January - March 2021).
The Chairman introduced the report and deferred to the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance to present the detail. He took the committee through the end of year performance report that covered the outcomes prior to the Corporate Plan refresh. He noted that this was a year like no other, delivering against a background of a pandemic and two national lockdowns. However, this was a positive report showing good progress in general over the past year.
Section 3.3 of the report was a broad outcome update for each of the thematic strategies in the Corporate Plan. Section 3.4 highlighted the specific indicators ‘at risk’ which meant that delivery had not achieved what was set out. These had been highlighted in earlier reporting, in wider member communications and in the main had been impacted by the pandemic. Conversely some areas had achieved a positive outcome but not as originally anticipated, for example community engagement and support for shielding groups had contributed to reducing social isolation but that was never part of the delivery design and channel shift was outlined as supporting those who came into the offices to go online. The offices have been closed but the shift to online has happened and more people have embraced online technology during Covid.
Appendix 1 provided the detailed list of indicators and updates that informed the high level assessment. Work was nearing completion on the Corporate Plan refresh outcomes measurements as recently highlighted in the Member Seminar and Members’ feedback from that session would be incorporated into the design and build of the framework for the coming year.
The Chairman moved the recommendations in the report and these were seconded by Councillor Jarvis.
In response to questions from the Committee, Officers responded as follows:-
- That management plans, particularly in respect of Promenade Park, needed to be as wide ranging as possible covering all aspects of its management, maintenance and care and that this will be coming to Council for approval later this year.
- That progress on the air quality survey on Market Hill had been impeded by COVID. Essex County Council will undertake this once traffic levels return to normal ensuring a constructive exercise. The Air Quality Action Plan update will be submitted to Council in due course.
- That the outcomes for Air Quality would now be combined into one in the performance report given that delivery on the Action Plan had been agreed.
- That the Superfast Essex Steering Group provided the statistics for the district and were currently reporting ahead of schedule on delivery.
- That delivery of an Enterprise Centre had originally been part of the Central Area Master Plan (CAMP) but was now under review in the performance report. This was due to the current economic landscape and the need to review the original evidence base to determine if it is still appropriate to progress.
There being no further questions the Chairman put the recommendations to the Committee and they were agreed by assent.
(i) That Members reviewed the information as set out in this report and Appendix 1 with priority focus given to the Strategic Outcome level performance.
(ii) That Members confirmed they were assured through this review that corporate performance was being managed effectively.