Your Councillors

Policy & Resources Committee

28 June 2017

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?



Strategic Plan Performance Update Quarter 4 2016/17


Final Decision-Maker

Policy & Resources Committee

Lead Head of Service

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy & Communications

Lead Officer and Report Author

Anna Collier, Policy & Information Manager. Alex Munden, Performance and Business Information Officer



Wards affected




This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   Note the summary of performance for Quarter 4 of 2016/17 for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and corporate strategies and plans.

2.   Note where complete data is not currently available.

3.   Identify any action that needs to be taken or amendments to the Quarter 4 report including the comments prior to committee circulation.

4.   Note the updates of strategic objectives due between 1 November 2016 and 31 March 2017 at Appendix II.



This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all

·         Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough

Key Performance Indicators monitor the delivery of the Council’s Corporate Priorities as set out in the Strategic Plan 2015-20. The Performance Plan provides progress against the Council’s key strategies which deliver the Council’s corporate priorities.






Wider Leadership Team

9 May 2017

Heritage Culture & Leisure Committee

6 June 2017

Strategic Planning, Sustainability & Transport Committee

13 June 2017

Communities, Housing & Environment Committee

20 June 2017

Policy & Resources Committee

28 June 2017

Strategic Plan Performance Update Quarter 4 2016/17





1.1     The Policy & Resources Committee is asked to review the progress of key strategies, plans, and performance indicators that support the delivery of the Strategic Plan 2015-2020. The team is also asked to consider the comments and actions against performance to ensure these are robust.





2.1     Having a comprehensive set of actions and performance indicators ensures that the Council delivers against the priorities and actions set in the Strategic Plan.


2.2     In 2016/17 the Strategic Plan had 32 Key Performance Indicators that were agreed by Policy & Resources Committee in April 2016. This was in addition to the existing 14 plan and strategy updates.


2.3     Performance indicators are judged in two ways. Firstly on whether performance has improved, sustained or declined, compared to the same period in the previous year. This is known as direction. Where there is no previous data, no assessment of direction can be made.


2.4     The second way is to look at whether an indicator has achieved the target set and is known as PI status. If an indicator has achieved or exceeded the target it is rated green. If the target has been missed but is within 10% of the target it will be rated amber, and if the target has been missed by more than 10% it will be rated red.


2.5     Some indicators will show an asterisk (*) after the figure. These are provisional values that are awaiting confirmation. Data for some of the indicators were not available at the time of reporting. In these cases a date has been provided for when the information is expected.


2.6     Contextual indicators are not targeted but are given a direction. Indicators that are not due for reporting or where there is delay in data collection are not rated against targets or given a direction.




3.        Quarter 4 Performance Summary


3.1     There are 32 key performance indicators (KPIs) which were developed with Heads of Service and unit managers, and agreed by Policy & Resources Committee for 2016/17. 


3.2     Overall, 81% (13) of targeted KPIs reported this quarter achieved their target for quarter 4. For 80% of indicators with previous data available, performance improved compared to the same quarter last year.



RAG Rating












Strategic Actions



















4.        *Data Not Available


4.1     Data for quarter four is not available for the Number of Safeguarding Practitioners Trained. This is due to absence of the officer responsible for the data. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) training was delivered to staff at McDonald’s restaurants in the Town Centre as part of CSE awareness week. 




5.       Performance by Priority


Priority 1: Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all


5.1     The percentage of waste sent for reuse, recycling, and composting for quarter 4 was 47.64%. The recycling rate is the lowest of the year due to seasonal fluctuations in garden waste, and higher levels of waste following the Christmas period. In quarter 4, we delivered the food waste campaign and saw a 28% increase in food waste for March in comparison to February. There was also a significant increase in garden waste, with the peak expected in June/July. The contamination rate for the quarter was 8%, in line with our target, and further work is planned to reduce this.


5.2     The percentage of land and highways assessed as having unacceptable levels of litter is 2.5% against a target of 6.5%. The improvement to cleansing schedules seems to be providing the required results and the third tranche of monitoring has provided the best result for 2016/17.


5.3     The percentage of land and highways assessed as having unacceptable levels of detritus is 7.48% against a target of 18%. This is a significant improvement on the same quarter of last year and improvement has been seen over the course of the year, representing the hard work of the cleansing team.


5.4     The number of incidences of fly-tipping reported in quarter 4 was 273. This is an increase of 49 incidents between quarter 3 and quarter 4 which has been  largely due to an increase in the number of fly tips with green waste and bagged household waste.  We have recently issued a number of fines in relation to fly-tipping, and the new fixed penalty notice has resulted in more action being taken against those dumping illegal waste. Overall, the number of fly-tips is within the target of 300, and 212 less than the same period last year.


5.5     No data has been provided in relation to the number of safeguarding practitioners trained. The Community Partnerships team provided Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) training to staff at McDonalds Restaurants in the town centre as part of CSE awareness week.  


5.6     Crime in the borough has seen a 20% increase in the year to date up to March. Crime has increased across all offences with the exception of vehicle interference, which has declined by 17%. The increase in overall crime is attributed by the service area to the high standard of crime recording now used by Kent Police, and improvements to the 101 service.


5.7     The number of Disabled Facilities Grants completed for quarter 4 is 55 against a target of 25. Historically, there is a higher proportion of expenditure in quarter 4 in comparison to the rest of the year, which in turn causes completions to rise. Housing & Health staff co-located staff with Kent County Council’s occupational therapist team, which has helped deliver DFGs more effectively. Performance has improved in comparison to the same period in 2015/16. 


5.8     User satisfaction with the Leisure Centre achieved the quarterly target for the first time in 2016/17, with satisfaction at 87.36% against a target of 82%. This is a significant improvement on satisfaction in quarter 4 2015/16, increasing by 11.3%. Satisfaction for quarter 4 was measured using paper surveys, as the new feedback machines were on trial in quarter 3. These machines will be reinstalled for 2017/18 and should increase the number of responses received.


5.9     The number of people completing a course at the Leisure Centre following GP referral was 65 in quarter 4. All of those who completed the course lost weight. This has been the most successful quarter of the year for course completions. Of those that completed the course, 41 achieved 3% weight loss, and 27 achieved 5% weight loss, after 10 weeks.   


5.10 The number of older isolated people helped to achieve reduced social isolation was 64 for the quarter. Café Culture continues to be popular and is now limited by the number of staff needed to run it, and the space for participants. We are currently undertaking a recruitment drive for volunteers across the museum. Three of the attendees also applied to join a new cohort of museum volunteers.  


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


5.11 For net income generated from commercial activities, a negative figure indicates an income. In quarter 4, the year to date income was -£375,747 against a budget of -£623,250. The variance for the year was -£247,503. Most of this adverse variance is owing to the performance of Mote Park Café, which under-performed by £169,869.  Income streams that out-performed budget were:

·         Commercial Waste - £14,866

·         Debt Recovery Service Trading - £6,332


5.12 Footfall at the Museum and Visitor Information Centre was 14,409 against a target of 19,625. The Graham Clarke exhibition in quarter 4 was very popular, but there was a reduction in casual visits. These are visits which are not booked in, or attending a specific event or meeting  This highlights the importance of events and temporary exhibitions to attract repeat visits. Nationally, there is a declining trend in people visiting museums. We are working with Marketing and Communications to increase footfall next year.      


5.13 The number of children taking part in formal educational activities at the museum was 3,775. This is more than double the attendance we had in quarter 3. A contributing factor to this was ‘Arts Award in a Day’. This is a recognised qualification that encourages young people to take part in art challenges, activities, events, and be inspired by artists to share their art skills with others.  


5.14  Footfall in the High Street has exceeded its quarter 4 target by 950,555 for quarter 4, with a footfall figure of 2,956,816. Footfall has increased by 17.8% in comparison to quarter 4 last year.



Priority 2: Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough


5.15 The number of school journeys undertaken without a car was 4,848 for quarter 4. There has been a continued increase in this figure, which demonstrates a positive modal shift.


5.16 The percentage of people claiming an out of work benefit in Maidstone is 1.25%. This is below the target of 2% but shows an increase on the same period in 2015/16. This remains below the average for Kent (1.7%) and the UK (1.9%). The highest percentage of unemployment is in the 18-24 category, with 2.65% unemployment.


5.17 The percentage of 16-18 year olds not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs) is 2.94% in Maidstone. Maidstone is currently 6th out of the 12 Kent authorities for proportion of NEETs. The proportion of NEETs in Maidstone is significantly lower in comparison to 4.93% in quarter 4 of 2015/16.


5.18 The number of businesses/start-ups that received information, advice, and guidance in quarter 4 was 229. This has exceeded the target of 200, and contact figures have recovered since quarter 3. 145 contacts were received for information, 29 for advice, and 55 for guidance.


5.19 During Quarter 4, 90.48% of major planning applications were processed on time. Performance continues to be strong in the processing of major applications. Of the 21 major applications that were determined, 19 were determined within 13 weeks, or within timescales agreed with the developer.


5.20 A total of 45 affordable homes were delivered, meeting the target of 45 for the quarter. There have been 303 affordable completions up to 31 March 2017. The annual target has been exceeded by 153. Delivery against affordable completions has been strong due to good progress made on several key strategic sites. Of the total affordable completions this year, 124 have been delivered for shared ownership

5.21 Homelessness preventions exceeded the target with 115 preventions in quarter 4, against a target of 75. Further households were prevented from homelessness with awards of Discretionary Housing Payments, and from the work carried out by Citizens Advice Bureau and Sanctuary Scheme Assistance. An increase in homelessness prevention activity in the team has contributed to an increase in preventions. This was in spite of the designated Preventions Officer post being vacant during the period. The Preventions Officer posts were filled at the end of May.


5.22 We have housed 127 people through the housing register for quarter 4

2016/17. This is a reduction in comparison to the 203 housed in the same quarter last year. This is the first time this year that the quarterly target has not been achieved. The quarterly figure is lower due to fewer properties being provided by our Registered Providers. Despite lower performance in quarter 4, the annual target has still been achieved.  





6.1     The Strategic Plan Performance Update will be reported quarterly to the service committees; Communities Housing and Environment Committee, Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee, and Heritage, Culture, and Leisure Committee. The report will then go to Policy & Resources committee following these meetings, with any feedback from the Committees.





7.1     The Council could choose not to monitor the Strategic Plan and/or make alternative performance management arrangements, such as the frequency of reporting. This is not recommended as it could lead to action not being taken against performance during the year, and the Council failing to deliver its priorities.








Impact on Corporate Priorities

The key performance

indicators and strategic

actions are part of the

Council’s overarching

Strategic Plan 2015-20 and

play an important role in the

achievement of corporate


They also cover a wide range

of services and priority

areas, for example waste and recycling.

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy & Communications

Risk Management

The production of robust

performance reports ensures

that the view of the Council’s

approach to the management

of risk and use of resources

is not undermined and allows

early action to be taken in

order to mitigate the risk of

not achieving targets and outcomes.

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy & Communications


Performance indicators and

targets are closely linked to

the allocation of resources

and determining good value

for money. The financial

implications of any proposed

changes are also identified

and taken into account in the

Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan and associated

annual budget setting

process. Performance issues

are highlighted as part of the

budget monitoring reporting


Section 151 Officer


Having a clear set of targets enables staff outcomes/objectives to be set and effective action plans to be put in place.

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy & Communications


None identified.

Legal Team

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

The Performance Indicators reported on in this quarterly update measure the ongoing performance of the strategies in place. If there has been a change to the way in which a service delivers a strategy, i.e. a policy change, an Equalities Impact Assessment is undertaken to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on individuals with a protected characteristic.

Equalities and Corporate Policy Officer

Environmental/Sustainable Development

A number of performance indicators relate to our performance in environmental services. This has a significant effect on our ability to monitor the Environment in Maidstone. This is also important as one of our key priorities is to provide a clean and safe environment.

Policy and Information Manager

Community Safety

We have Key Performance Indicators that relate to important areas of community safety. These ensure that the work being done by the Community Safety Unit is relevant, and that key areas such as safeguarding are being developed.

Policy and Information Manager

Human Rights Act

None identified.

Policy and Information Manager


Performance Indicators and Strategic Milestones monitor the any procurement needed to achieve the outcomes of the Strategic Plan.

Policy and Information Manager

Asset Management

Performance Indicators that measure our commercial activities monitor our use of our assets. Good performance shows good management of our assets, or can highlight where assets can be utilised more efficiently.

Policy and Information Manager





The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix I: Strategic Plan Performance Update Q4 2016/17

·         Appendix II: Strategic Plan Action Plan Update Q4 2016/17






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