Policy & Resources Committee

23 November 2016

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



Strategic Plan Performance Update Quarter 2 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 2 of 2016/17 for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and corporate strategies and plans.

2.   Note the progress of strategic plan action plan at appendix II

3.   Note where complete data is not currently available.

4.   Note the performance of Key Performance Indicators from Quarter 1 of 2016/17  for which data was not available at Policy & Resources on 26 July 2016

5.   Agree to remove the Income from Environment and Public Realm Projects Indicator, and report it as part of the Income from Commercial Activities Key Performance Indicator.



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

17 October 2016

Heritage Culture & Leisure Committee

1 November 2016

Strategic Planning, Sustainability & Transport Committee

8 November 2016

Communities, Housing & Environment

15 November 2016

Policy & Resources Committee

23 November 2016

Strategic Plan Performance Update Quarter 2 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


1.2     Data has been provided where it was not available for the Quarter 1 performance update.





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     A midyear update has been provided for any objectives in the Strategic Plan Action Plan that were due between 1 April and 30 September 2016. Updates for these objectives can be found in Appendix II. These are progress updates against specific milestones through the last two quarters.


2.3     The Strategic Plan now has 33 Key Performance Indicators that were agreed by Committee in April 2016. This is in addition to the existing 14 plan and strategy updates.


2.4     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.


2.5     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 annual target they are 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.


2.6     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 of when the information is expected.


2.7     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 2 Performance Summary


3.1     There are 33 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, 70% (12) of KPIs reported this quarter achieved their annual target for quarter 2. For 60% of indicators, performance improved compared to the same quarter last year.


4.      RAG Rating












Strategic Actions



















Data not available


·         Percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling, or composting.

·         Income derived from environment and public realm projects.

·         Net contribution generated from commercial activities.


4.2     Kent County Council provides the recycling and composting data. Currently, only the data for July has been provided. Complete data for Quarter 2 will be provided as an update to Wider Leadership Team in the Quarter 3 performance update.


4.3     Separating the income from public realm projects from Grounds maintenance income has been difficult, and parts of this income are already included in the commercial activity indicator. Going forward, this will all be reported under the Net Contribution from Commercial Activities indicator to avoid any duplication of figures, and the environment and public realm indicator will be removed.



5.       Performance by Priority


Priority 1: Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all


5.1     Quarter 1: Recycling rates were higher than the same period in 2014/15. With overall waste reduced. Mixed recycling was higher which increased recycling rates for April even though compositing levels were down. There was a significant increase in recycling in June to just over 55%, following work to reduce contamination. The target was marginally missed in quarter 1, but the figure for June indicates performance is increasing, and recycling is likely to reach the target this year.


5.2     Quarter 2: Recycling data is only available for July, but was 52.8% which is above target. As data for the remaining quarter is unavailable a quarterly comparison is not possible. The lower contamination rate of household waste, and recycling of street arisings has contributed to a higher recycling rate. This is the highest recycling rate for quarter 2 since we started recording this data. Full data for quarter two will be available in quarter 3.


5.3     The percentage of land and highways assessed as having acceptable levels of litter is 8.65% against a target of 6.5%. An increased littering score in Park Wood contributed to lower performance against the target for quarter 2. The scores in Park Wood were higher as retail outlets were highly littered, and they were surveyed before the scheduled cleansings had arrived. Performance is significantly lower than quarter 2 in 2015/16.


5.4     The percentage of land and highways assessed as having acceptable levels of detritus is 17.5% against a target of 18%. This is comparable to the same quarter last year. Even though this is a challenging target for the levels of detritus, we have achieved the target for the quarter.


5.5     The number of incidences of fly-tipping has shown a seasonal increase in comparison to quarter 1. There was an increase in the number of fly-tips reported on footpaths and bridleways. There has been a 200% increase in construction and demolition waste, and 150% increase in garden waste. However, quarter 2 saw a 33% reduction in white goods and electrical item waste. Fant Ward had the highest number of fly tips, and there was an increase in construction waste in Boxley. Work is still ongoing to establish the reason for these increases, and to determine if there is any link with the disruptions to household waste collections. 


5.6     No safeguarding practitioners have been trained for quarter 2. The lack of training in this quarter, as well as quarter 1, makes it unlikely that the annual target will be achieved. The safeguarding policy is set to be agreed by Communities, Housing, and Environment Committee on 18 October 2016. Once agreed, a skills and training audit will take place to identify appropriate staff to take the safeguarding leads. These officers will receive safeguarding training from the Community Partnerships Team.  


5.7     Crime in the borough has seen a 17% increase in the year to date up to August. Figures are not yet available for September 2016 but are expected to be available by the end of October. July and August 2016 compared to 2015 shows a 19% increase, with 285 additional crimes. The increase could again be seen in a positive light as it demonstrates domestic abuse campaigns are working, and people are more confident in reporting crime. If call handling of the 101 service improves, we may see a further increase in the number of crimes reported. This is something communities, Housing, and Environment Committee are looking at when they meet as the Crime and Disorder Committee.  


5.8     The number of Disabled Facilities Grants completed is 26 for quarter 2 against a target of 25. This is more than double the completion rate for quarter 2 in 2015/16. Completion of grant cases is back on track despite complications from migrating the cases to a new system in August 2016. Performance is expected to improve as the year progresses, if the trend from last year continues.


5.9     User satisfaction with the Leisure Centre has shown a slight improvement on quarter 1, but satisfaction remains below the 82% target. Historically, quarter 2 is the worst performing quarter of the year, which may be due to increased footfall over the summer. It is expected that quarter 3 will see an improvement on this quarters result. The café brought the satisfaction down more than any other section, and we are looking at ways to improve the café satisfaction score. This is a relatively small sample and users with a complaint are more likely to complete the forms. The operators are looking at a new system for collecting responses, which could potentially increase the sample size.


5.10 The number of people completing a course at the Leisure Centre after being referred by a GP was 36 for quarter 2. This is a provisional figure as final figures are not provided until the middle of the month.


5.11 The number of older isolated people prevented from social isolation was 20 for the quarter. Café Culture at the museum continues to attract a regular clientele. We will consider a summer break in the future as only 2 people attended in August.


5.12 The percentage of parishes satisfied with the level of communication and engagement with Maidstone Borough Council is 38.3%. A total of 62 responses were received from Parish Councillors and Clerks. Almost a third (32%) were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with engagement. Comments for this question and others from the survey as a whole are being reviewed and will help shape future communication and engagement.


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


5.13 A negative figure indicates an income. The Net income generated from commercial activities was -£233,061 for quarter 2. The quarter 2 income target was -£290,580. Income for this quarter was -£57,519 short of meeting its target. Our commercialisation strategy is discussed in more detail in the Review of Maidstone Borough Council Commercialisation Strategy 2014/15-2018/19, being presented at Policy & Resources Committee on 23rd November 2016.


5.14 Footfall at the Museum and Visitor Information Centre was 16,610 against a target of 19,625. This is comparable the footfall for quarter 1 but almost 20,000 down on the same quarter last year. This may be due to the unprecedented success of the Lego Exhibition during the same quarter in 2015. The drop in visitors may also be explained by a late period of hot weather, and the lingering effect of Monday closure. Steps are being taken to improve the visual appeal, exhibitions, and activities available in an attempt to increase footfall. We are working with schools that traditionally visited on a Monday to come on an alternative day of the week, and we are increasing our outreach programme on a Monday.


5.15 The number of children taking part in formal educational activities at the museum was 1598. This is a reduction on quarter 1, and the target of 2085 has been missed for quarter 2. This quarter was comparable with the same quarter last year. The reduction quarter-on-quarter was due to the Summer School Holidays. Schools sessions and Arts Award continue to be popular and highly regarded by schools. The Learning Service works with schools across Kent with reduced fees for schools in the Maidstone Borough.


5.16  Footfall in the High Street has exceeded its target of 2,058,735 for quarter 2. Footfall was slightly higher in comparison to the same quarter of 2015/16, and we are pleased to see that the Bridge Gyratory works have not had an impact.


Priority 2: Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough


5.17 The number of school journeys undertaken without a car was 688 for quarter 2. This is a significant reduction on the performance observed in quarter 1. The data still demonstrates a positive modal shift. The reduction for quarter 2 may be due to the impact of summer holidays and the new intake of pupils in September.


5.18 The percentage of people claiming an out of work benefit in Maidstone is 1.2%. This is below the target of 2% but shows an increase on the same period in 2015/16. In real terms, this represents an 8.3% increase in people claiming an out of work benefit compared to August 2015/16. The age group with the highest level of unemployment in Maidstone is 18-24 year olds (2.3%).


5.19 The percentage of 16-18 year olds not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs) is 5.88% in Maidstone. This data is for August only as September data has not yet been released, and is expected by the end of October. Maidstone is currently fifth out of the twelve Kent authorities for proportion of NEETs. Maidstone has the fourth lowest population of ‘unknown’ NEETs. These are people where it is not possibly to ascertain their current education, employment, or training situation.


5.20 The number of businesses/start-ups that received information, advice, and guidance in quarter 2 was 270. This indicator is on track to exceed the annual target. There have been a number of successful workshops leading to further advice and support from advisors. Many of the contacts are due to an increase in the use of the Start Up Resource Centre. We received 185 contacts for information, 74 for guidance, and 11 for advice. We hope to bring the level of guidance contacts above the level for information contacts.


5.21  Homelessness preventions exceeded the target with 102 preventions in quarter 2, against a target of 75. This was due to a review of historic and open housing advice and prevention cases, with all completed cases being closed.


5.22 All major planning applications were processed on time during quarter 2. 28 applications were completed within the agreed timescales. Of these, 6 were determined within 13 weeks, and the 22 were determined within developer agreed timescales. The majority of these have been complex housing applications which require S106 agreements to be negotiated. This shows how effective officers have been in negotiations and securing extensions of time for complex developments.


5.23 A total of 139 affordable homes were delivered, exceeding the target of 45 for the quarter. The affordable housing programme is maintaining a steady supply of new build affordable units. The annual target has already been exceeded with 225 affordable homes delivered to date. According to latest schedules, there are in excess of 300 affordable dwellings forecast for completion by the end of the year.


5.24 We have housed 155 people through the housing register for quarter 2 2016/17. This is a 50% increase on the number housed for the same period last year, and has exceeded the quarterly target of 150. This indicator remains on track to exceed the annual target. 





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.


7.2     It is recommended that The Policy & Resources Committee agree to remove the Income from Environment and Public Realm Projects Indicator, as this is difficult to separate from other income such as grounds maintenance. This is already included as part of the Income from Commercial Activities indicator that is currently reported quarterly. Data has not been provided for this indicator for quarter 1 or quarter 2.








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 Q2 2016/17

·         Appendix II: Strategic Plan Action Plan 6 Monthly Update