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Quarter 3 Performance Update

APPENDIX I

Quarter 3 Performance Update

 


Understanding Performance

Key to performance ratings

RAG Rating

Target not achieved

Target missed (within 10%)

Target met

No target to measure performance against

Data Only

 

Performance indicators are judged in two ways; firstly on whether performance has improved, been sustained or declined, compared to the same period in the previous year. For example, 2016/17 annual performance will be compared against 2015/16 annual performance. This is known as direction.

Direction

Performance has improved

Performance has not changed / been sustained

Performance has declined

No previous performance to judge against

Where there is no previous data, no assessment of direction can be made.

 

The second way in which performance is assessed looks at whether an indicator has achieved the target set and is known as PI status. Some indicators may show an asterisk (*) after the figure, these are provisional figures that are awaiting confirmation. 

Data Only indicators are not targeted but are given a direction. Indicators that are not due to be reported or where there is a delay in data collection are not rated against targets or given a direction. 

Strategic Actions have also been rated using the RAG Status (Red, Amber or Green). The ratings are there to provide an assessment of how well the strategy or plan is progressing.

Performance Summary

This is the annual update on Maidstone Borough Council’s Strategic Plan 2015-20. It sets out how we are performing against the Key Performance Indicators and Strategic actions that directly contribute to the achievement of our priorities: Keeping Maidstone an attractive place for all and securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough.

Outlined below is a summary of the ratings and direction that have been given for the annual results.

RAG Rating

Green

Amber

Red

N/A

Total

KPIs

11

2

4

5

22

Strategic Actions

13

1

0

 

14

Direction

Up

Across

Down

N/A

Total

KPIs

11

0

4

7

22

 


 

Priority 1: Keeping Maidstone an attractive place for all

Providing a Clean and Safe Environment

Over the past 5 years, Maidstone Borough Council has demonstrated its commitment to deliver cost effective and sustainable waste and recycling services, as a result our recycling rate has improved significantly. Maidstone does not experience high levels of crime.

 

Waste & Recycling Strategy

The food waste campaign was launched in February with "No Food Waste" stickers being attached to refuse bins, a school campaign and an animated video. The activities are funded from the DCLG incentive fund which awarded Maidstone £68,000 to increase participation in the food waste service and the Kent Resource Partnership. The recycling rate is currently 52%, however data from October 2016 is still outstanding from Kent County Council. Following the launch of the new targeted campaign, the service will be closely monitored to assess the impact on participation and performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting

The indicator measures percentage of household waste that has been sent by the Council for reuse, recycling, composting or anaerobic digestion. This is a key measure of a local authority’s progress in moving management of household waste up the hierarchy, consistent with the Government’s national strategy for waste management. The Government expects local authorities to maximise the percentage of waste reused, recycled and composted.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

50.61%*

52.5%

-1.89%

Target will be slightly missed

Performance Comment:

Update for Quarter 2 as information wasn’t available in previous report:

The recycling rate for Quarter 2 is 51.27%. This is below our own target but higher than the Mid Kent and EU recycling targets of 50%. The recycling rate is higher than for the same quarter of the previous year. Work undertaken earlier in the year has resulted in improvements to the recycling contamination rate as the weight of rejected recycling has reduced. We are continuing to monitor contamination performance and currently this is on track to achieve the target of a rate of contamination at 8% or lower. For quarter 2 we have seen good organic waste tonnages which are mainly attributed to the levels of garden waste.

Quarter 3:

Our recycling rates is below our own target of 52.5% however it remains above both the EU and Kent Resource Partnership targets of 50% by 2020. We are still awaiting figures for December from KCC, but the data that we currently have shown reduced levels of total household waste, reduced contamination and an increase in recycling tonnage when compared to the same quarter of the previous year. We are still on target to achieve a contamination rate of 8% or lower for the year. Further work to tackle contamination is underway, including crew monitoring. Over the Christmas period resident engagement, with advertisement and social media support, was carried out to promote recycling of additional seasonal items. We will also be running a campaign over the next couple of months promoting the food recycling service which is hoped to have a positive impact on our recycling rate.

 

The percentage of relevant land and highways that is assessed as having deposits of litter that fall below an acceptable level

Reducing unacceptable levels of litter formed a key part of Government’s ‘Cleaner Safer Greener Communities’. Through using the improved management information that the indicator provides, the score should be reduced year-on-year.

 Litter includes mainly synthetic materials, often associated with smoking, eating and drinking, that are improperly discarded and left by members of the public; or are spilt during waste management operations. Good performance is indicated by a lower figure.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

4.5%*

6.50%

-2%

Target for the year will be slightly missed

*Data for August to November only. The environmental survey is conducted every four months, and so data is produced 2 months in arrears for the second, third, and fourth quarter.  Performance Comment: Monitoring is carried out in three tranches over the course of 12 months. During each tranche different wards are surveyed in line with the index of deprivation and land types. The 2nd tranche of monitoring to assess relevant land and highways that have deposits of litter that fall below an acceptable level was undertaken independently of the street cleansing service and identified a significant improvement in the levels of litter and detritus. The street cleansing team have worked hard to target areas identified previously as requiring improvement and have adapted their routes to take into account hotspots.

 

 

The percentage of relevant land and highways that is assessed as having deposits of detritus that fall below an acceptable level

Reducing unacceptable levels of detritus formed a key part of Government’s ‘Cleaner Safer Greener Communities’. Through improved management information that the indicator provides, the score should be reduced year-on-year.

Detritus includes dust, mud, soil, grit, gravel, stones, rotted leaf and vegetable residues, and fragments of twigs, glass, plastic, and other finely divided materials. Good performance is indicated by a lower figure.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

9.95%%*

18%

-8.05%

Target will be achieved

*Data for August to November only. The environmental survey is conducted every four months, and so data is produced 2 months in arrears for the second, third, and fourth quarter.  

Performance Comment: The environmental survey is conducted every four months, and so data is produced 2 months in arrears for the second, third, and fourth quarter. The 2nd tranche of monitoring to assess land and highways that have deposits of detritus that fall below an acceptable level has been undertaken independently of the street cleansing service. It identified a significant improvement in the levels of detritus recorded compared with the first tranche. The team have been working systematically to target areas with high leaf fall during the Autumn and in doing so have reduced detritus levels and improved the overall standard of the street scene.

 

Number of incidences of fly-tipping

This indicator gives a wider view of the issues in waste management beyond street cleansing. It also reflects the work undertaken to reduce the level of fly-tipping in the borough through projects and deterrents. Good performance is indicated by a lower figure.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

222

300

-78

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment:

Number of incidents

The Q3 figure shows an expected seasonal decrease from Q2.   The year on year comparison of Q2 2015/16 (124) shows a slight increase and is comparable with the 2014/15's figure.

 

Type of waste

Despite another decrease in the number of incidents reported involving "other household waste" the overall reduction in fly tips from other sources means that with white goods and domestic black sacks, domestic waste accounted for 54% of the reported fly tips. Further work is required to raise awareness of household duty of care as many of these fly tips are in urban locations.  Construction/demolition waste remained the next highest individual waste type after other house hold waste and represented 35% of Q3's figure. This indicates a sustained trend as it remains higher than 2015/16. This will be monitored as part of a longer term strategy to target Small to Medium Enterprises and construction companies.

 

 

Community Safety Strategy

The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) has completed a first draft of the Strategic Assessment (SA) for 2017/18. With the SA are data sets from the partner agencies that make up the CSP, they reflect the crime and disorder trends over the last year (November 2015 to October 2016). This assessment is used by the CSP to set its priorities for the coming year, an away day is planned for February where partners will come together to discuss the priority areas and how best to address the key issues for each. This will involve both the formation of new sub groups and draw together learning from existing sub groups which can then be included within the CSP’s Community Safety Plan for 2017.

 

Maidstone’s Domestic Abuse Forum is now a CSP sub group rather than being a charity, the funds from the charity have been handed over to Choices who are operating the account for the CSP. The Domestic Abuse Awareness Day held on the 9th November was a huge success. The event was opened by the Mayor of Maidstone and dignitaries included Lord High Sheriff of Kent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of safeguarding practitioners trained

Safeguarding has been identified as a national priority and a compulsory part of our work as a Council. This indicator measures the number of internal and external staff trained in areas such as child sexual exploitation and anti-extremism. Having more practitioners trained in safeguarding ensures the protection of vulnerable adults and children across Maidstone. 

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Outcome

150

50

+100

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: The Community Partnerships team provided domestic abuse training to 150 people in quarter 3. This now brings the indicator back on track, achieving its target for this point of the year. Communities, Housing, and Environment Committee agreed the safeguarding policy on 18 October 2016. We are currently in the process of doing a skills and training audit to identify training needs. Any officers identified in this audit will receive safeguarding training

 

Air Quality Strategy

The newly formed working group has met and agreed its terms of reference. A series of themed based meetings have been diarised, the first of these was completed before the Christmas break to consider procurement, Council owned estate and carbon management. The next scheduled meeting will look at the topic of transport and will take place in January. The working group is expected to report back the CHE Committee in the early Spring.

 

 

 

 

Environmental Quality Survey

The 2nd tranche of environmental survey has been undertaken and has shown a significant improvement in the levels of litter and detritus. This work continues to be carried out independently of street cleansing to ensure it provides an accurate record of cleansing standards across the Borough. Recruitment of a new Compliance Manager has started and this officer will work with the Environmental Improvement Manager to use the survey data to identify improvements to the service.

 

Percentage Change in All Recorded Crime (Information Only)

This indicator reports the percentage change in the number of all recorded crime in the borough to provide an indication of the crime trends in the borough and help assess the impact of the work the Council undertakes in relation to Community Safety. Note: Improving performance for this indictor is demonstrated by a negative figure.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

14%

 

 

 

Performance Comment:

Figures for November as December data are not yet available. There has been a 14% increase in crime year to date since November. This represents an additional 221 crimes. There has been a 28% increase in violent crime; A 20% reduction in shoplifting; a 21% reduction in burglary of a dwelling; a 25% increase in sexual offences which equates to an extra 57 offences.

 

We are reliant on the police for this data; they state that  that there is an  improvement in  the integrity of crime reporting, there are fewer crimes being discounted or included as a secondary incident which is pushing crime up. This is all  due to the changes introduced following the HMRC inspection and the Home Office crime category changes a little over a year ago, we are effectively in a position of having to wait for a new baseline year to emerge.

 

Encouraging Good Health and Wellbeing

Deprivation in the borough is lower than average, however 15% (4,300) of children (under 16 years old) in Maidstone live in poverty. There is a larger difference in life expectancy of men and women; 7 years lower for men and 4 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Maidstone than in the least deprived.

 

Health Inequalities Action Plan Update

The Community Housing and Environment Committee agreed the refreshed Health Inequalities Action Plan on 18 October 2016. The action plan demonstrates how the key functions we deliver such as planning, housing, economic development, environmental health, leisure and community safety impact on the health of our communities. We must work together to achieve results. The Maidstone Health and Wellbeing Board are the key mechanism to ensure that priorities for health and wellbeing in our area are identified and driven forward. A board is being is being organised early in the New Year. To support the delivery of the action plan internally, ‘Health Champions’ have been nominated by Heads of Service to champion public health across the Council, identify best practise, and innovation and be the voice of service areas, on how they can contribute to reducing health inequalities. A briefing session has been scheduled for 6th February 2017.

 

The Council is working alongside Kent County Council to deliver their health inequalities action plan ‘Mind The Gap 2016’. The agreed approach by KCC is to approach health inequalities by building on the assets and community infrastructure of the 10th most deprived lower super output areas (LSOA) in Kent. In Maidstone, there are 5 LSOA areas which have been divided into 3 identifiable communities; in Park Wood, in High Street and in Shepway South. It is essential we are a key partner as we are close enough to our communities to understand how they work and how to best reach and support them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of completed Disabled Facilities Grants

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) are used to provide home adaptations for disabled people generally to improve access; access into and around the home and access to, or provision of, basic amenities such as bathing and WC. They are an important part of the work we do to support people who want to remain independent or stay in their own home.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

25

25

=

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: We have met the target for quarter 3, and performance has shown an improvement against the same quarter last year. If the trend from last year continues and the number of grants completed increases for quarter 4, we expect the annual target to be achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housing Strategy Update

The Housing Strategy has entered into its delivery phase and implementing the action plan. The Council has set up a property holding company to progress the acquisition, delivery and retention of accommodation through direct intervention. Two major sites are being progressed in addition to smaller purchases that will support the Council’s new temporary accommodation strategy. The Council is also working with housing providers to maximise the potential delivery of affordable housing, which should see an additional 200+ homes provided this year.

 

During the quarter a new Temporary Accommodation Strategy was developed and adopted by the Communities, Housing & Environment Committee. The strategy sets out how the Council will assist those households who find themselves homeless, ensuring that good quality accommodation can be acquired whilst at the same time reducing the financial burden on the general fund. A range of measures including acquiring new accommodation and enabling greater access to both social housing and the private rented sector.

 

User Satisfaction with the Leisure Centre

The Council recognises that access to leisure services plays an important role making somewhere a good place to live. This indicator measures customer satisfaction with the Leisure Centre.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

78.18%*

82.00%

-3.82%

Target will be slightly missed

*Data for November and December only

Performance Comment:

Following concerns from Heritage Culture and Leisure Committee members and officers regarding the low number of feedback returns received from Leisure Centre visitors, the operators have purchased and installed customer feedback terminals. These terminals are based on smiley face buttons and range from very happy to very unhappy.

 

Even though these machines were only installed in mid-November they have resulted in 8596 responses which is far greater than the previous customer response forms.

 

Customer responses can be analysed by individual days and even hours. This will result in particular trends when customer satisfaction drops being identified, and remedial action identified.

 

The operators of the Leisure Centre will continue to operate the comment card system and these will be collected and analysed by the Leisure Monitoring Officer on a monthly basis. As always any areas of concern will be dealt with accordingly.

 

 

Number of people successfully completing a course at the leisure centre following referral by GP

This indicates the key work that is being completed at the Leisure Centre around health. This part of the Leisure Centre’s work is not reflected in ratings of satisfaction. This indicator has no target and is for information only.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Outcome

23

 

 

 

Performance Comment:

Maidstone Leisure Centre deliver a 10 week programme which includes one free seminar supporting people around their diet and nutrition and one circuit training class a week helping people to get more active. The circuit training costs £1.70. Whilst on the programme participants can use the gym and swimming facilities for a discounted cost of £1.70 per visit.

·        Of the 23 completing the course, 23 lost weight (100%)

·        Of the 23 completing the course, 14 achieved 3% weight loss (61%)

·        Of the 23 completing the course, 5 achieved a 5% weight loss (22%)

·        24 people were referred to the programme in this period.

Number of older isolated people prevented from social isolation through museum projects

This is a unique sector leading project, which is currently funded. In the longer term, it will look to continue without funding. It seeks to engage older people in learning in a community group to prevent social isolation.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

23

 

 

 

Performance Comment: The Cafe Culture project continues to run successfully. Participant consultation has identified new ideas the group would like to try such as visits to other museums but it is important that the scheme is run with only minimal staffing costs. Following a volunteer recruitment event in February, we anticipate more of the running of this scheme to be carried out by volunteers which will make it much more financially sustainable. A review of the future of the group is taking place in 2017 to ensure that it is still meeting its original objectives of encouraging as wide a range as possible of older people to mix, socialise and enjoy the museum.

Respecting the Character of our Borough

Maidstone is the County town of Kent. In terms of its geography, it is largely rural and the countryside offers high quality landscape and biodiversity. Approximately 50% of the borough population live in a parished area. We are focused on achieving economic prosperity, whilst at the same time balancing protecting the environment and landscape that makes the borough of Maidstone a great place to live, work in and visit.

 

Communications & Engagement Strategy Update

A new Communication and Engagement Strategy and action plan was approved in quarter 3. A number of actions have been completed and progressed since its introduction including the creation of a member sounding board, a food waste campaign, a budget roadshow with face to face and online participation. Across the council consultation has been run on key issues such as the local council tax discount scheme, a mote park youth survey, heritage consultation, skate park and the Mela and safer communities. A beta site for the new intranet will be available by the end of January as part of improving our staff and councillor engagement offer.

 

NB: Parish charter developed in consultation with parishes and KALC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Priority 1: Keeping Maidstone an attractive place for all & Priority 2: Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough

Ensuring there are good Leisure and Cultural Attractions

There is always something to see or do in Maidstone with the river, two museums and a theatre in the town centre, four green flag parks, a well-used Leisure Centre, a castle, various markets and a variety of festivals and events held across the Borough and throughout the year.

 

Festivals & Events Strategy Update

During 2016 over 600 borough wide events were promoted via the Visit Maidstone website with around 60 of these being major events such as our own Proms in the Park and Leeds Castle Firework Spectacular. On 29 November 16, Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee approved the following:

1) To continue to support Proms in the Park but look for alternative funding to reduce the Council’s contribution and delay the decision on the introduction of ticketing for the next 12 months;

2) To develop a new 2-3 day multi-cultural event (to replace The Mela) and food festival and outsource it to an external provider with a reducing subsidy over 3 years so it becomes self-financing and potentially profitable to the Council; and

3) To approve the amendments to the Festivals and Events Policy relating to the noise levels and frequency of events. Mote Park being limited to 2 category A events with a maximum of 6 days per year and 8 category B events with a maximum of 12 days per year and Whatman Park being limited to 1 category A events with a maximum of 2 days per year and 2 category B events with a maximum of 4 days per year. Both venues will have unlimited category C events. Committee also agreed that, should an additional significant opportunity arise, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be consulted with a view to bringing it to the Committee for approval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destination Management Plan Update

 A well attended 'Tourism Destination Management Plan One Year On' event was held on 29 November 16 followed by a report to HCL on that same day. An update was provided on the progress to date against the three year action plan which included the following highlights:

-The Shared Story toolkit created and available online.

-Creation of an Online Image Library.

-Online Event Planning Calendar created.

-New Historic Interpretation Panels in the town centre designed and installed.

-New iconic photography commissioned to support the Shared Story.

-Commissioned new promotional videos showing the attraction of visiting the borough to support the Shared Story themes of: History and Heritage, Food and Drink, Museums and Culture, Parks and countryside, Explore, Shopping, The Two of Us.

-Development of a new website, Conference Maidstone to support:

-Business Tourism and the wedding venues.

-Development of a new Museum website.

-Development of accommodation, events and attractions widgets.

-An application has been made to the Highways Agency to change the signage on the M20 from Park and Ride at Junction 6 to tourism signage for Maidstone, Kent’s Historic County Town.

 

Cultural Strategy Update

A new Public Realm Design Guide and Street Furniture Guidelines for Maidstone Town Centre and a Public Art Policy for the borough were adopted by HCL Committee on 1 November 2016. These documents are being used in the design stage for Phase 3 of MBCs public realm investment in the town centre. A further report will be presented to Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee early in the new year that will see the Public Art Policy adopted as a material planning document.

News on the £2m bid to HLF Townscape Initiative Fund for Gabriel's Hill will come in early February 17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net contribution generated from commercial activities

The Council has a Commercialisation Strategy, which seeks to make better use of the Council’s assets to provide increased leisure opportunities for the borough’s residents and visitors. This indicator is to assess the performance and progress of the Commercialisation Strategy in monetary terms.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

-£242,617*

-£443,561

-£200,943

Target will not be achieved

Performance Comment: *A negative figure denotes an adverse variance.

Note: The definition of commercial activities for the purpose of this indicator excludes Garden Refuse collection.

A breakdown of the variances to the budget is shown below:

 

Mote Park Cafe -£148,930 (adverse)

Commercial Waste £12,252 (favourable)

Chillington House -£26,115 (adverse)

Phoenix Park £11,896 (favourable)

Mote Park Pay & Display -£54,349 (adverse)

Debt recovery service £4,002 (favourable)

 

Overall variance to budget -£200,943.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footfall at the Museum and Visitor Information Centre

This indicator reflects the investment the Council has made to ensure that an important cultural provision and a major draw to the Town Centre is maintained. 

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

11484

19,625

-8,141

Target will be missed

Performance Comment: Quarter 3 is always the quietest time of the year and indeed, we saw visitor figures halve between October and December. However, this was still a disappointing quarter some 2000 visits down on the same quarter last year. Some of last year's success was a legacy of the unprecedentedly popular Lego exhibition but no similar blockbuster appeared this year. Major road works taking place at the end of St Faith’s Street had an impact on accessibility to the museum during this period.   Although the feedback from visitors to the ‘Coming Home’ WWI exhibition has been very positive, the numbers of attendees was lower than the exhibition in the same quarter last year which had a family audience.  We are investigating the costs of an electronic counting system as numbers are currently collected manually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of children taking part in formal educational activities on and off site.

This indicator reflects the investment the Council has made to ensuring that an important cultural provision and a major draw to the Town Centre is maintained.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

1863

2,085

-222

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: The figure is an improvement on last quarter despite this being the quietest quarter usually for school activity. It is however, 500 children down on last year. A significant trend has been that, while the number of schools engaging with the museum has remained the same, the number of different ‘paid for’ sessions undertaken has dropped so whereas a school would once pay for a full day of activities, they now only book half a day. This is a result of the funding situation in schools but will obviously impact the way the learning services plans its offer in future. We are still confident that the overall target will be met by the end of Q4.

 

 

Enhancing the Appeal of the Town Centre

 

Maidstone has had a historically thriving town centre however, we need to ensure that we keep pace with the changing economic environment and continue to meet the demands of businesses and consumers. Investment in Maidstone town centre is needed if it is to continue to be a popular place for leisure, to live, shop and work.

 

 

 

Town Centre Vision Update

A full report on the progress of the Maidstone Town Centre 5 Year Investment and Development Plan will be taken to P&R Committee in March 17.

This report will show progress across a wide range of projects including, Maidstone East, Bridges Gyratory, River Medway Cycle Path, housing development in the town centre as well as reporting on private sector investment that has been forthcoming for The Mall, Lockmeadow Complex and a new boutique hotel. It will also review progress made against sites identified as 'eyesore' and potential development opportunities in line with the Council's emerging Regeneration and Investment Strategy.

 

Footfall in the High Street

This indicator provides a good balance between Town Centre vitality and satisfaction with the High Street.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

3,081,174

2,448,795

+633,079

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: We remain above target, and have shown a slight improvement on the same quarter last year. In quarter 3 there is always an increase in footfall due to the seasonal trend of Christmas shopping. We are currently investigating an issue with the Springboard website that was showing incorrect figures.

 

Priority 2: Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough

Securing Improvements to the Transport Infrastructure for our Borough

Maidstone is strategically situated between London and the channel ports and is serviced by two motorway networks, the M20 and M2, with rail connections to central London. With regard to travelling in and around the Borough by car, congestion is an issue particularly at peak time in the town centre. The bus transport network serving Maidstone town is relatively strong whilst rural transport presents distinct challenges.

Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS) Update

Following adoption of Integrated Transport Strategy and Walking and Cycling Strategy at the 13th September 2016 Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transportation Committee, these documents have been used as evidence to support the Maidstone Borough Council Local Plan. MBC will continue to work with KCC towards joint adoption of these documents. It is anticipated this Strategic Action will be green by the end of the year.

 

Number of school journeys undertaken without a car as part of borough wide schemes

Figures for this are published by KM Charity Team. This reflects the objectives set out in the Integrated Transport Strategy in reducing the use of unsustainable transport.   

Current Value

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

4661

Performance Comment: There has been an increase in the numbers from last quarter and the figures have returned to similar figures of that in quarter 1. The increase may be due to a push in the first school term after the school holidays to encourage sustainable travel.

Promoting a range of employment skills and opportunities across the borough

There were 76,300 people employed in the Maidstone economy in 2014 with a high proportion in the public sector, reflecting the town’s status as Kent’s County Town and administrative capital.  There were 6,885 registered businesses in Maidstone in 2013, equivalent to 43 businesses per 1,000 population, compared to 37 for the United Kingdom and higher proportion of people that are self-employed compared to the South East and to United Kingdom.

Economic Development Strategy Update

Planning Permission has been granted to enable the implementation of the holding strategy for the former Royal Mail Depot site. A master planning workshop with KCC is planned for the 12th January. Solum (the Joint Venture between Network Rail and Kier Group) and the HCA have expressed investment interest in the site. A Housing and Regeneration Strategy will be presented to Policy and Resources Committee (P&R) alongside an update of the Town Centre Investment Plan, in  March 2017. Waitrose has been granted planning permission on Eclipse Business Park. A Delivery Plan is being prepared for the Enterprise Zone which will be presented to P&R in March.  P&R agreed in December that the provision of a new Business Terrace should be considered as part of the Council's own office requirements post 2023.  There has been a delay in the Government announcement regarding the Council's Local Government Fund bid to fund infrastructure improvements at Junction 7 M20 and nearby roundabouts. A report will be going to P&R in March to seek approval to go out to public consultation on the Public Realm Phase 3 improvement works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of people claiming Out of Work Benefits

Out of Work Benefit claimant count records the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Universal Credit. This indicator is expressed as a proportion of the resident population of the area aged 16 to 64 years old and is provided by the office of National Statistics. A lower figure indicates good performance.  

Current Value

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

1.2%

2%

-0.8%

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: Data for December is not available yet, however the unemployment rate in October and November was 1.2%. This is below the unemployment rate for England (1.8%). The 18-24 category remains the highest unemployment group at 22%.

Maidstone has the 4th lowest unemployment rate in Kent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of 16 to 18 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs)

Non-participation in education, employment or training between the ages of 16 and 18 is a major predictor of later unemployment, low income, depression, involvement in crime and poor mental health. The figures are based on the monthly submission made to Department for Education via National Client Caseload Information System for Kent County Council. Academic age is the age of the young person on 31st August (i.e. prior to the start of the academic year).

Current Value

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

2.94%*

 

 

Performance Comment: *Data is for November only, December data has not yet been released. Maidstone is currently ninth out of the twelve Kent authorities for proportion of NEETs. Sevenoaks has the lowest figure at 1.44% and Swale has the highest at 3.91%. Maidstone has the lowest proportion of ‘unknown’ NEETS. These are 16 – 18 year olds where it has not been possible to ascertain their current education or employment status. As expected, the NEETs figure has reduced over the winter months across all authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Businesses/Start-ups receiving information, advice, and guidance

The Business Terrace is a new venture by the Council, to provide office space and facilities to smaller and start-up business with the addition of business support functions. Through local, regional and national partners and other users, the Business Terrace provides formal and informal peer-to-peer business support and advice underpinned by onsite bespoke mentoring, events, seminars and workshops.

Current Value

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

168

200

-32

Target will be achieved

 

Performance Comment: The target has been missed this quarter and is lower than previous quarters. There are three main reasons  for this:

1. The Gateway has been shut for refurbishment  and therefore  fewer people have been able to 'walk in'.

2. In the run up to Christmas, fewer people are focused on starting or expanding their business, with a spike already being recorded for the new year indicating Q4 will more than offset the lower numbers from Q3.

3. The focus of the officer responsible had changed focus to increasing occupancy of The Business Terrace, now that issue is resolved, focus can be directed to increasing utilisation of MBC’s business support offer.

One reason to be positive is the increasing numbers of businesses benefiting from Advice and Guidance;showing an active move from just looking at information online to actively seeking it. A breakdown of contacts has been included below:

·         Information: 74

·         Advice: 16

·         Guidance: 78

Planning for Sufficient Homes to meet our Borough’s Needs

Over the last five years, the supply of new, affordable housing within the borough has been greater than in neighbouring authorities, although still less than historic levels. 189 new affordable homes were built in the borough in 2013/14 and 163 in 2014/15.  In total 413 new homes were delivered in 2014/15, of these new homes over 75% were built on land that had previously been developed.

Local Plan Update

The Maidstone Borough Local Plan examination hearings continued throughout the October to December period. The Inspector has chosen to hold further, reserve sessions and the hearings are now expected to conclude in January. On the 22nd December the Inspector provided an interim report on his findings and initial conclusions. The report has been largely positive for the Council with some further work required regarding employment provision. It is anticipated that the Inspector will provide his final report following conclusion of the hearings, which will seek modifications to the Local Plan and require public consultation.

 

Housing Strategy Update

The Housing Strategy has entered into its delivery phase and implementing the action plan. The Council has set up a property holding company to progress the acquisition, delivery and retention of accommodation through direct intervention. Two major sites are being progressed in addition to smaller purchases that will support the Council’s new temporary accommodation strategy. The Council is also working with housing providers to maximise the potential delivery of affordable housing, which should see an additional 200+ homes provided this year.

 

During the Quarter a new Temporary Accommodation Strategy was developed and adopted by the Communities, Housing & Environment Committee. The strategy sets out how the Council will assist those households who find themselves homeless, ensuring that good quality accommodation can be acquired whilst at the same time reducing the financial burden on the general fund. A range of measures including acquiring new accommodation and enabling greater access to both social housing and the private rented sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of households prevented from becoming homeless through the intervention of housing advice

The provision of comprehensive advice plays an important part in delivering the Council’s strategy for preventing homelessness in Maidstone. This measure provides an indication of the effectiveness of housing advice given by the Council in preventing homelessness or the threat of homelessness.  The annual target is split to give a quarterly target of 75.

Current Value

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

85

75

+10

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: The reported figure has actually increased to 140 homeless preventions for the quarter, due to figures being provided by the CAB and Revenues & Benefits team after the figures were reported. The increase in homeless preventions for this quarter includes, continuing work in October to record historic cases which had remained open but were homeless preventions. It also now includes households prevented from homelessness due to an award of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) and from the work carried out by the CAB. There is also increased homelessness prevention activity within the Housing Advice Team that contributes to the overall increase in number of homeless preventions.

 

 

 

 

 

Processing of major planning applications in 13 weeks

This indicator measures the percentage of major planning applications processed within the statutory timescale of 13 weeks, or within timescales agreed with the developer. This has increased importance to central government. Major developments are classified as those providing 10 or more dwellings, or on an area of 0.5 hectares or more where the number of dwellings is unknown. Major applications also include building(s) where floor space is 1000 square metres or more, or the site has an area of one hectare or more.

Current Value

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

87.5%

80%

+7.5%

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: Performance continues to be strong in the processing of Major planning applications. Officers have been very successful in negotiating an extension of time agreements with developers, which has led to the successful delivery of housing sites. Since the 1 April 2016 over 96% of Majors have been delivered within agreed time scales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of affordable homes delivered

Housing supply has not kept pace with demand. Many families are locked out of the housing market by unaffordable prices and unobtainable mortgages.  Affordable dwellings include social-rented housing and intermediate housing. These can be new build or acquisitions; the figure does not take into account any losses.  

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

69

45

24

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: The quarterly target of 45 affordable completions has been exceeded by 24. There has been 258 affordable completions up until 31st December 2016, which has already exceeded the annual year target (180) by 78 completions, with a quarter to spare. Affordable completions have been strong this year as a result of some sites being delivered as 100% affordable housing and phases of affordable development being brought forward quickly on several strategic allocated sites within the emerging Local Plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of households housed through housing register

This is an important indicator, which monitors the number of applicants on the housing register who have been successfully rehoused. This provides a balanced view of the work of the housing service, in addition to the homeless preventions indicator.

Current Performance

Q3 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

172

150

+22

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: The quarterly target has been exceeded and we remain on track to exceed the year end target. This is a slight increase on the number housed for the same period last year. 172 households have been housed via the councils housing register in the past quarter.  34% of properties went to Band A applicants, 12% to Band B,

44% to Band C and 10% to Band D.  During this quarter new affordable housing units were made available on developments at Langley Park, Imperial Park and The Coppice (all on the Sutton Road) along with Heath Road at Coxheath, Bridge Nursery and Hermitage Lane.  The completion of these new developments continues to help with the amount of households that the council can assist with social housing.

 

So far, 516 households have been housed through the housing register in 2016/17 against the annual target of 600.