Agenda item

Corporate Performance Update – Quarter Three 2019-20 (October - December)

To present the Members of Community & Leisure Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Three 2019-20 (October to December 2019).


Members were presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Three 2019-20 (October to December 2019).


The Assistant Director (Communities) explained that a report will be submitted to the Committee at the end of each quarter showcasing the performance figures for each policy commitment that relates to the Community & Leisure portfolio. The new reporting style was adopted as part of the new Corporate Plan and included a lot more contextual information against each policy commitment.


The officers went through the report page by page in order for Members to be able to comment on each policy commitments performance:


1.    Create stronger neighbourhoods:


The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that the figures in the report related to the reporting of crime offences and incidents of anti-social behaviour; a fuller report with greater detail will be reported to the next Crime & Disorder Committee on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.


The January Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee  received an update from the Kent Police Chief Inspector in respect of the positive impact that the additional Police resources deployed in Gravesend are having during the day and his desire to have an additional police presence in the Town during the evening. The day time Town Centre ‘beat’ officers had made a great impact in the Town by tackling criminal behaviour and the level of incidents had decreased.


2.    Actively enforce environmental standards: 


The Assistant Director (Communities) explained that the policy commitment related to a narrow definition of environmental enforcement and the fixed penalty notices issued for littering and fly-tipping, etc. Two additional Safer Place Officers have now been employed enabling the team to expand the areas covered in Gravesham; they issued FPNs for environmental issues but they also covered a breadth of other duties such as homelessness and anti-social behaviour.


In response to several of the LCSA participant’s questions regarding footfall and events in the Town, the Assistant Director (Communities) explained that:


·         Incidents do tend to take place in some parts of the Town Centre,  and more needs to be done to address the perception of crime, especially in the evening.The team that undertook the evening and night time economy audit in November 2019, were surprised to see how quiet the Town was on a Friday night.  Increasing footfall and promoting the range of restaurants and entertainment that the town has to offer would make the town feel more safer in the evening

·         In total there are 55 CCTV cameras in public spaces in and around the Town Centre  which are monitored from the main control room

·         In order to increase footfall, further events needed to be held within the Town Centre.  The summer cinema evenings on Community Square demonstrated what can be achieved and were very well received.  Evenets, such as the annual fireworks bring people out into the Town Centre and  additional footfall

·         The bars and restaurants that were most popular were scattered around the Town and more needs to be done to promote what the Town has to offer. The Western Quarter in the Town Centre is being redeveloped and will include a cinema, numerous restaurants, together with the Panic Room which already attracts people into the Town for leisure; having those sorts of establishments will increase footfall within the Town during the evening as well as the day providing an alternative to other destinations.


The Assistant Director (Communities) fielded questions from Members, explaining that:


·         The Kent Police Chief Inspector is keen for more officers to be deployed during the evening and night time economy in Gravesend.

·         Currently, the two Town Centre officers have built up many relationships allowing effective intelligence to be gathered and, through their daily presence, make the Town feel a lot safer for members of the public


The Chair advised that many Districts within Kent had requested additional CCTV cameras from the Kent Police Crime Commissioner and within a recent report to the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel he stated that he wasn’t willing to fund them as the responsibility lay with the Distinct Councils. The Chair stated that hopefully he would change his mind one day and release funding for cameras based on need.


1.    Design a quality and affordable leisure offer:


The Leisure & Resilience Manager updated the Committee on the success of the organised parkrun’s held in the borough, including the new run at Cyclopark which is managed by local volunteers on a weekly basis. This particular parkrun received Council seed funding earlier this year. There are now three parkrun’s in the area including Shorne Woods Country Park and a junior parkrun held at the Gravesend Riverside Leisure Area.


The Leisure & Resilience Manager advised that the Fleet Leisure site (a multi-faceted football facility) had escalated to the planning stage and would be determined hopefully in the next few months.


In response to a question regarding the location of the site, the Committee were advised it was situated off Nelson Road in the Coldharbour Ward.


2.    Manage a programme of proactive healthy living interventions:


The Leisure & Resilience Manager updated the Committee on key programmes that focused on health issues such as weight loss, mental health wellbeing, mobility issues and support for the elderly.


The Gifted Young Gravesham (GYG) group were very busy during quarter three hosting several events focused on youth work including the Showcase in the Woodville’s and Aloud 2 Laugh which took place at Blake’s Nightclub.


Molly Hepburn questioned how the Youth Council could be promoted further to increase membership.  


The Leisure & Resilience Manager responded; Diljit Nota was based at the Gr@nd and she has been working closely with Danielle Lock to advertise membership of the Youth Council to schools in the Borough. Hopefully, the Youth Council should see increased interest in the near future.


The Assistant Director (Communities) further explained that the Youth Council always experienced a change in representation when members went to University. With regards to the Blake’s youth night (Aloud 2 Laugh), representatives from the Community Policing Team and the Safer Place Officers attended the event to have discussions with young people in a positive environment.


In response to further questions, the Assistant Director (Communities) and the Leisure Resilience Manager explained that:


·         The dark line on the graph on page 17 represented the Actual figures for quarter performance and the dotted line represented the Trend. Once a full year has been carried out and reported back, the figures will be much clearer  

·         The seasonality during quarter two attributed to the lower target outcome from the Gr@nd healthy living services


The Committee agreed that the charts in the report needed to be made bolder so that they were clearer and more attention was drawn to them.


3.    Develop a cohesive and resilient community:


The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) advised that the Council had been successful in driving forward community spirit with several events celebrating different faiths and ethnics groups with some being hosted by the public. Other events such as Community Litter Picks have grown both in size and number with much higher turnouts demonstrating resident’s willingness to improve their areas.


The community will continue to be supported by the Council for celebrations and events; as this is an annual indicator there will be no results reported until quarter four.


Husam El-Henawy explained that he had once contacted GBC to see what his school could do to help develop the Community further however he never received a response.


The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) apologised for the miscommunication and advised that she would exchange contact details and follow up with him after the meeting. 


4.    Enhance the borough’s cultural offer:


The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) explained that the increased footfall during quarter three for the Market and Woodville’s was due to the Christmas Markets and the pantomime production.

One Member noted the improved performance of the Christmas pantomime productions in recent years and claimed that many people only had positive comments to say about it. However, he explained that the monthly classical concert was relatively unknown and needed far more publicity to ensure it continued and attracted classical talent.


The Chair took in the comments and informed the Committee that the current pantomime producers were keen to continue the relationship they had with the Woodville’s.


5.    Promote Gravesham’s arts and heritage:


The Assistant Director (Communities) felt that there was a growing creative strength in Gravesham especially for local arts and heritage and the Council’s ambition is to increase it exponentially; as part of that growth there will be a report submitted to the next Committee regarding the Dickens 150 festival being held in June 2020 and an update on Estuary 2020 later in the year.  


In conclusion, the Chair agreed that quarter 1 to quarter 3 was very positive and the additional context added to the new reporting style was very clear and welcomed. 


The Committee thanked the officers for their hard work.


Supporting documents: