To receive a report presenting details of the delivery of the Corporate Plan 2022/23 and project delivery.
Executive Councillor: S Ferguson.
Contact: D Buckridge - 01480 388065
The Cabinet has considered and commented on progress made against the Key Actions and Corporate Indicators in the Corporate Plan and current projects, as summarised in Appendix A and detailed in Appendices B and C of the report now submitted.
With the aid of a report prepared by the Business Intelligence & Performance Manager (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) the Cabinet were presented with details of delivery of the Corporate Plan 2022/23 and project delivery.
The Executive Councillor for Customer Services summarised the progress made in delivering the Key Actions for 2022/23 over the reporting period where the Cabinet were pleased to note that all were on track or within acceptable variance. Specific mention was made of the performance levels achieved for the Energy Bills Rebate scheme, the Resident Advice and Information Team, the work being undertaken in conjunction with community and voluntary organisations to deliver projects around tackling health inequalities in the District and the Community Chest funding grants. In respect of Corporate Indicators, it was reported that with the exception of one, all were on track or within acceptable variance. The Executive Councillor for Customer Services reported that less green waste had been collected owing to the long hot summer and made reference to three of the amber corporate indicators relating to housing benefit claimants, community and voluntary sector groups and food safety inspections. The red corporate indicator related to homelessness but was not a grave cause for concern. Finally, the Cabinet received details on the status of corporate projects which had progressed well with only one identified as being significantly behind schedule. This project related to the Revenue and Benefits service e-billing project which had been pushed back owing to the prioritisation of the Energy Bill Rebates scheme.
A number of matters were raised and discussed by the Cabinet. These included confirmation from the Executive Councillor for Climate and Environment of her intention to declare a Climate Emergency together with actions to resolve, an update from the Executive Councillor for Jobs, Housing and Economy on the various projects falling under the Market Towns Programme scheme and the comments observed by the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Performance & Growth) in respect of the project relating to St Neots Riverside Walks.
Having commended Officers for their achievements in continuing to deliver excellent services to the residents of Huntingdonshire during challenging times, it was
that Cabinet note the progress made against the Key Actions and Corporate Indicators in the Corporate Plan and current projects, as summarised in Appendix A and detailed in Appendices B and C of the report now submitted.
By means of a report by the Business Intelligence and Performance Manager (a copy of which was appended in the Minute Book), the Corporate Performance Report 2022/23 Quarter 2 was presented to the Panel.
Following a question from Councillor Harvey, the Panel heard that changes to attendance at One Leisure were likely due to early cost of living pressures and that the One Leisure team continued to monitor and react accordingly to attendance reports. It was also advised that increased energy costs would likely impact the service in the coming months.
Councillor Cawley and Councillor Gray observed that the One Leisure offer is not the same as it was pre COVID and enquired on plans to reinstate fitness classes and activities which were previously available. The Panel were advised that as that level of detail is not available within the report this would be investigated and communicated back at a later date.
In response to a question from Councillor Wells, the Panel heard that the Council continued to work with partners on the development and availability of Cambs WiFi across the district and that performance feedback could be relayed back to the providers.
The Panel heard that Community Chest Grants, where payment details were available, were paid to date in reply to an enquiry from Councillor Howell.
Following a question from Councillor Cawley on the difference in tonnage between green compostable and dry recycling waste in PI1, the Panel were advised that a detailed explanation would be sought and circulated to the Panel following the meeting.
Councillor Gardener enquired about the increase in days to process new benefit claims in PI13, the Panel heard that whilst there is some seasonality to claim processing this is reflective of the increase in claims received for processing due to the current economic climate.
Councillor Gray questioned the statement at KA1 and observed that a Climate Emergency had not been declared. He stated that this related to the cost of living crisis and felt that this inaccuracy was misleading.
Some concern was expressed surrounding continued delays to the Market Town Programme projects in St Ives and St Neots, in particular the effect of these delays to the residents of the town due to the continued decrease in spending power of the available funds as goods and services continue to rise in line with the economic climate. Following debate on the progress of the Market Town Programme projects, the Panel were assured that detail on this would be sought and reported back. Councillor Wakeford, who at the invitation of the Chair, joined the Panel, clarified that ongoing work with partners would ensure the right projects were commissioned and remained affordable.
Councillor Gray observed that the project at St Neots Riverside Walks should be shown as Red status due to unresolved objections from the Environment Agency making the project undeliverable within the given timescales. The Panel were advised that a progress status would be sought and reported back along with revised timescales.
Councillor Blackwell challenged the ... view the full minutes text for item 40