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Agenda item

Quarter 1/ 2 Performance Update - Well Run Council

Minutes:

Councillor Andy Hull, Executive Member Finance, Performance and Resources was present for discussion of this item. Annette Hobart, Strategy and Change Manager (Lead on Performance) was also present

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         Members noted that a new suite of corporate performance indicators will be used to track progress in delivering the Council’s new Corporate Plan 2018-22

·         The Council are currently on track to meet targets for collection of Council Tax and Business Rates. However, it was noted that a change in the way that collection rates are calculated means that it is not possible to compare performance to last year

·         In response to a question it was stated that it is anticipated that Islington were in a London wide business retention pooling arrangement and it was expected that it was expected that the target set of 97.5% would be met. It was stated that it was felt that small businesses were struggling and 2019/20 would be a difficult year for them as transitional relief will be ending. The Chair stated that if Members were aware of small businesses that were in difficulties these should be referred to Councillor Shaikh, who will endeavour to assist them

·         Reference was made to the outstanding £24m in Council Tax/Business Tax arrears and it was stated that the Council are continuing to focus efforts on recovering old debt and the amount of arrears recovered in the first 6 months of the year was over £2.6m, comprising £837000 Council Tax arrears and £1.8m in business rates arrears

·         Members noted that the number online transactions had increased, which was beneficial to the Council, however residents could still choose not to do transactions online

·         Discussion took place as to the sickness levels detailed in paragraph 4.14 of the report and that the previous explanation given in relation to high levels of sickness in E&R, which had been stated this was mainly due to muscular/skeletal injuries, actually showed high levels of stress/depression/anxiety and mental health problems in addition

·         Members also expressed concern at the high levels of sickness across most Directorates of the Council, particularly stress, anxiety, mental health etc.The view was expressed that this could be mainly due to the pressures placed on staff by the Government reduction in funding to the Council and the need for significant savings to be made. This not only caused more work for staff remaining but future need for savings caused uncertainty for staff. Councillor Hull stated that the Council were putting in place a 3 year budget to try to alleviate stress for staff

·         Members expressed the view that there are HR policies in place to manage staff sickness and there is a need to ensure that these are being effectively communicated and implemented by managers and HR support is being offered when needed

·         The view was also expressed that in smaller departments figures could be affected by a small number of staff being on long term sickness

 

 

RESOLVED:

(a)  That a report be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee by the Head of HR detailing the following with regard to sickness across the Council, and such reports be submitted on a 6 monthly basis –

(i)            A breakdown by Directorates of staff numbers by grade, sickness patterns within each Directorate, including management posts, and whether this has increased over the previous 3 years, including details of short/long term sickness, whether staff have repetitive patterns of sickness, the seasonality of sickness absence, and the procedures in place for managing sickness, (both by management and HR) in supporting staff to return to work. In addition, the report should detail the HR policies in place to support management and staff in reducing sickness levels. Furthermore, given the high levels of sickness absence due to stress, anxiety, depression and mental health issues, details should be provided in relation to what the Council does to publicise and offer assistance to staff suffering from these conditions

 

(ii)           The Organisational structure of HR department and the number of interim and permanent staff in post

 

(iii)          Details of engagement surveys be investigated to ascertain whether there were any reasons given by staff for dissatisfaction with their employment that may give rise to increased sickness absence

 

(iv)          The cost of sickness absence by Directorate

 

(b)  That future reports include target details for performance indicators in the previous year, as well as the current year

 

(c)   That Councillor Hull be requested to provide details of the targets in 2017/18 that were set for number of new affordable homes completed by the Council and the numbers completed to date in 2018/19 and similarly details for the number of planning permissions agreed for new Council housing

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Hull for attending

 

Supporting documents: