Corporate Performance Report: Q3 2020-21
The Committee were presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Three 2020-21 (October to December 2020).
The officers present went through each policy commitment in turn and provided an update on what activity had and/or would be delivered in order to successfully realise the policy commitments.
The officers present fielded questions from the Committee for each policy commitment and explained that:
- Enforce High Regulatory Standards
- Unfortunately, P14 appeared to be dipping as food establishments that could not be inspected due to closure had to be counted as ‘non-compliant’ when in fact they were just not open for business. Many food establishments had remained closed due to the ongoing lockdown restrictions, so officers were not able to enter the establishment and conduct an inspection. In addition, the Food Standards Agency who set the inspection regimes had been releasing constantly evolving guidance over the last year informing Food Safety Teams how to react to the pandemic and prioritise limited resources.
- All Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) served had the right of appeal through the Council’s internal corporate complaints procedure; the procedure was recommended by the Office for Product Safety and Standards. It provided people with the means to challenge a FPN in a clear and transparent way and in the report, it stated that two of the fourteen FPN’s issued in Q3 were withdrawn after successful appeals. The defendants provided their sides of the story with relevant evidence and the decision was made to withdraw them
- Improve the Local Environment – Environmental Protection
- During the first lockdown there was a 50% increase in the complaints and requests logged so an increase of only 20% during Q3 was seen as much more manageable by the team. The increase was directly due to Covid and level of complaints had remained elevated all through the last financial year
- Improve the Local Environment – Waste & Recycling Update
- The Street Champions initiative continued to attract new volunteers. To date, the scheme boasted 201 Street Champions (an increase of 105.1% since January 2020) who had pledged to ‘adopt’ 174 streets, alleyways and open spaces. It was originally expected that the amount of volunteers would decrease during Wintertime but there was a spike in the amount of application towards the end of the last quarter which would be reflected in the Q4 report. Due to contact having to be limited with the volunteers, the new registration process had been temporarily suspended; there would be another push for volunteers in Springtime by which time hopefully some of the restrictions would have eased
- Following a question about staff welfare especially those working from home the Assistant Director ( Operations) explained that most of his team were classified as key workers working on the frontline services and most of the Civic Centre staff had been working from home; the staff had been regularly communicated with throughout the pandemic and the Council had taken a very proactive approach with regards to engagement. Managers were told to have weekly meetings with their staff to make sure everyone was well and handling being at home/on the frontline. A number of health and wellbeing initiatives had been set up such as zoom coffee mornings, mental health workshops and staff talking sessions which were all created to engage with staff and promote wellbeing. The Chief Executive had made it clear to senior managers that the Council were a family and a range of guidance had been released to support that notion
- A larger number of Recycling ‘on the go’ bins were being trialled at St Andrews Gardens as the team recognised that there were problems every summer with bins overflowing
Cllr Broadley informed the Waste Projects & Compliance Officer that he would contact him outside of the meeting as he had several people that wanted to get involved with the Street Champions.
- Create clean, welcoming neighbourhoods and parks, and an Attractive Town Centre
- The team had been working hard to deep clean the Town and the intention was to push the Maxvac Gladiator deep cleansing machine to other parts of the Town as well as places in Northfleet and rural areas etc
- The code of practice on litter and refuse described four different gradings for levels of litter from A-D with A being the lowest and D the highest. Under the code A&B level of litter is considered acceptable and C&D levels of litter unacceptable. The Assistant Director ( Operations) agreed to add the four classification levels for litter to the next Street Cleansing Update Report brought to the Committee
- It was generally accepted that ‘rubbish attracted rubbish’ so the Council strove to keep those affected areas by litter as clean as possible
- There were a number of different processes for park inspections; a weekly inspection was carried out on all parks within Gravesham where the team checked all the play sites to ensure they were safe for public use. Each quarter, a more in-depth inspection was held and once a year an inspection was carried out on all play sites by a qualified ROSPA inspector from an external company; the annual inspection was currently being undertaken and the team would be made aware of the results within the next few weeks.
- There was a budget for the Councils parks and inspections; during the previous financial year, the Assistant Director (Operations) managed to attain enough budget from the HRA and General Fund for the gradual replacement of all of Gravesham’s play sites over a twenty-year period. None of that budget had been spent during this calendar year due to the Covid 19 pandemic but the Assistant Director ( Operations) was planning to undertake the review of the play sites with his team this year
The Chair made several points:
- The Chair felt that the Street Champions were a vital resource that allowed for greater engagement with the Community and residents; due to their importance the Chair asked that a report be brought to the next Committee meeting in March on Street Champions and their work within the Borough
- The Committees thanks were to be passed down to all the teams that had worked tirelessly through the pandemic and done a fantastic job
The Chair thanked the Assistant Director (Operations) for the report and asked that the Committees thanks be passed down to the teams for their hard work.
- 1. Operational Services Committee - Q3 2020-21 Performance Report, item 22. PDF 85 KB
- 2. Operational Services Portfolio - Q3 2020-21 - Appendix 2, item 22. PDF 1 MB