Agenda item

Corporate Performance Report: Q1 2021-22


Members of the Performance & Administration Committee with presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter One 2021-22 (April to June 2021).


The Head of Revenues & Benefits guided Members through appendix two and gave a statistical overview of each Performance Indicator.


Members noted the following information:


  • Gravesham Council were in the top quartile in the Country for accuracy in relation to processing Housing Benefit claims
  • Collection of Council Tax as at end of August 2021 was up 1.8% from this time last year
  • Business Rates Collection had a decrease of 5.5% from last year but that was largely down to the rules around retail discounts changing. From 01 July 2021, instead of receiving a 100% discount, businesses were only entitled to a 66% discount which meant it increased the amount of money that Gravesham had to collect by £4.5 million. The Council had had only two months since the 01 July to collect that additional money which was why the figures had decreased; the remainder of the money to be collected had been spread over the financial year to assist businesses
  • The total number of reported corporate complaints had increased but the corporate complaints process was being reviewed as it had been revealed that a large number of the complaints should have actually been classed as ‘service user requests’. Only four of those forty one complaints went to stage two and of those four only three escalated to stage three. Most of the valid complaints in Housing were due to changes to the Housing Register from 01 April 2021


The Head of Revenues & Benefits gave Members updated figures for the Performance Indicators as at end of August 2021:


  • PI23 - Average processing time taken for Housing Benefit – 14.2 days
  • PI24 - Average processing time for changes of circumstance in Housing Benefit claims (days) – 5.9 days
  • PI 50 - Total number of people signed up to citizens access – Increased by 2413 people
  • PI55 - % of internal audit recommendations implemented – 16 were due for implementation by the end of June 2021, 7 of which have been implemented with only 9 recommendations outstanding. The team had issue reminders for responses by the end of September to the lead officers and were still waiting for those responses. As of today, the planned delivery stood at 21% with a further 13% underway
  • PI56 - % of information requests completed within statutory deadline – The service had seen a 42% increase in FOI requests; performance had not been affected


The Head of Revenues & Benefits and the Assistant Director (IT & Transformation) fielded questions from the Committee and explained that:


  • An FOI request could be rejected if it would take over eighteen hours’ worth of work to complete however they were rare and the majority were reasonably simple to provide a response too. The service also published questions and responses online so that if a similar FOI was requested then they could be directed to the Councils website
  • The Head of Revenues & Benefits had not rejected any FOI requests in the last year and the Assistant Director (IT & Transformation) had only rejected one in the last two years
  • If the Council held the information that the FOI requested then the Council had an obligation to release that information unless it took longer eighteen hour to collate. There was also a separate provision that stipulated that the Council did not have to recreate data that was already held in order to satisfy the request
  • A wide range of people made FOI requests but more often than not they were received from businesses asking for information which could be used to create work opportunities. The press also made a large number of requests for information that could be reported on such as the amount paid out by Covid grants
  • The Q1 Corporate Performance reports were considered at MT and discussed in depth prior to submission to Committee; the responsible Directors in areas where there had been complaints were asked to find out more information and resolve the issues. MT was where it was noticed that Housing Allocation drew may complaints and many of the other complaints weren’t actually complaints but service user requests. The Director (Housing) would have been tasked with resolving the issues stemming from the complaints


Members noted that clarification of Housing issues and how they could be improved upon could be raised at the Housing Services Cabinet Committee.


Members noted the information contained within the report.


Supporting documents: