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Quarter 2 Performance Update

APPENDIX I

Quarter 2 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

12

0

5

6

23

Strategic Actions

13

1

0

 

14

Direction

Up

Across

Down

N/A

Total

KPIs

9

0

6

8

23


 

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 recycling rate for July 2016 was over 52% and contamination has remained within target indicating that the communications campaign which has been launched is having an effect. A number of initiatives are lined up for the coming months including engagement with the primary and secondary schools, door-knocking and advertising. Focus remains on reducing contamination levels and therefore new initiatives are being explored for the collection of textiles as these are some issues with residents putting them in their bins rather than in a carrier bag next to them. Increasing the reuse of furniture and other household items will also be a focus over the next 6 months with Christmas initiatives in partnership with local charities. The recycling of street arisings has been particularly successful and further work is underway to find ways to recycle more litter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

52.8%

52.5%

+0.3%

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: *Data only includes tonnage for July. The recycling rate for July was 52.8% which was above target. Unfortunately the figures for August and September are not yet available from Kent County Council. The higher recycling rate is due to the lower contamination rate and recycling of street arisings. This is the highest recycling rate for Quarter 2 since we started recording this data. August and September data will be included in the Quarter 3 performance update to see if they affect our performance against the target.

 

Update for Quarter 1 as information wasn’t available in previous report: Recycling rates are higher than the same month in 2014 and 2015, with overall waste reduced. Mixed recycling is higher which has increased recycling rates for April, even though composting levels were down. In June there was a significant increase in recycling rate to just over 55% following work to reduce contamination and the introduction of street sweeper recycling. Although the target was marginally missed this quarter, the figure for June indicates that performance is continuing to improve and is likely to reach target this year.

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

8.65%*

6.50%

+2.15%

Target will be slightly missed

*Data for April to July 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 NI195 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.  During this first tranche, the survey results from Park Wood resulted in an overall increase in littering.  This has been linked to high levels of littering around the new shops, the construction sites and the timing of the cleansing work being undertaken.  The results of the survey have been used to inform the cleansing regime, which is now being carried out earlier around the shops in Park Wood.  

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

17.5%*

18%

-0.5%

Target will be achieved

*Data for April to July 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: Even though this is a challenging target for the levels of detritus on the highway, the survey indicates that we have achieved the target for the quarter. The environmental survey is conducted every four months, and so data is produced 2 months in arrears for the second, third, and fourth quarter.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

285

300

-15

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment:

The Quarter 2 figure shows an expected increase from Quarter 1 due to the seasonal increase of fly tipping being reported.

The year on year comparison of Q2 2015/16 (202) shows there was an overall increase but the figure is comparable with the 2014/15 figure.

The main reason for the increase in fly tips is a 200% increase in construction and demolition waste and a 150% increase in garden waste.  This is commonly found in the summer months when more construction work in particular is undertaken.  However there has been a 33% reduction in white goods and electrical items being fly tipped this quarter compared with quarter 1 which is encouraging following previous increases in this waste due to the reduction in scrap value and new regulations governing the disposal.  The highest number of fly tips were reported in Fant, along with an increased number of fly tips involving construction waste in Boxley.  Work is still ongoing to establish the reason for the increase in Fant and determine if there is any link with disruptions to the household waste collections. There is some evidence to support the fly tips in Boxley being connected to recent multi-agency work on an illegal disposal site, where this waste is likely to have been destined.   The Environmental Enforcement Team are monitoring the outcome of this work and will continue to work closely with the other agencies involved.

 

 

 

Community Safety Strategy

The Community Safety Partnership is currently operating through the 6 sub-groups agreed in the CSP action plan, All of the sub groups have now drawn down actions set out in the plan and are in the process of implementing or completing the projects designated. The Substance misuse sub group has installed external needle bins in high drug use areas as well as dispatched specialist practitioners and youth workers to areas where drug use has been identified. This has had a significant Impact on the number of needles found in public areas and has dispersed drug users unwilling to engage with the support provided by the Kenward trust and local youth services. Awareness sessions around alcohol abuse have been delivered in all primary schools in Maidstone and a further programme aimed at drug use will be delivered across a number of secondary schools in Maidstone.

 

An awareness campaign on Domestic abuse and the new laws instated has been organised for November and is set to reach 150 local practitioners from the voluntary, charity and public sector. This will increase awareness of Domestic abuse and encourage practitioners to support victims in a safe and understanding way.

 

A review of the illegal encampments policy is being undertaken to take into account the authorities as part of the Mid Kent partnership. This will ensure a consistent approach is taken by all MKS authorities from the effects of illegal encampments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of safeguarding practitioners trained

Safeguarding has been identified as a national priority and a compulsory part of what we do 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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Outcome

0

50

-50

Target will not be achieved

Performance Comment: No safeguarding practitioners have been trained this quarter. 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.

 

Air Quality Strategy

Following the member workshop in July a report was provided to the September 2016 Housing Communities & Environment Committee providing options for moving this matter forward. The CHE Committee determined that a working group is established, comprising of members of the CHE Committee and Strategic Planning & Sustainable Transport Committee; and agreed the terms of reference. The Committees are in the process of putting forward their representatives and the working group is due to meet in November.

 

 

 

Environmental Quality Survey

Whilst the recruitment for an Environmental Performance Officer was not successful, the work has been undertaken using the temporary Street Scene Support Officer. This has provided an independent view of the environmental quality and the results for detritus has shown a small improvement whilst the level of littering has increased slightly due to higher levels of littering in one Ward. This has now been addressed with the street cleansing team to ensure that more focus is given to the new shopping parade in Park Wood and for issues to be raised with the housing trust when necessary. Going forward the work will be undertaken by a member of the waste and street scene team as the Environmental Performance Officer will be incorporated into the role of Depot Commercial Officer to focus more precisely on compliance.

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

17.0%

 

 

 

Performance Comment: There has been a 17% year to date increase up to August. Figures are not yet available for September 2016. July & August 2016 compared to 2015 shows a 19% increase, with an additional 285 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. Crime detection and recording by the police has improved as police become more proactive in dealing with issues such as drugs, making more arrests. Better and more accurate recording of data could also mean that the number of crimes has remained steady, but that the data is of a higher quality. If call handling of the 101 service improves, we may see a further increase in the number of crimes reported.  

 

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 revised plan was taken to the Wider Leadership Team in September 2016 and the WLT provided commentary that was incorporated into the draft document. The revised action plan was presented to the Maidstone Health & Well Being Group at the beginning of October for consultation. The final draft has been released for a decision by CHE Committee on 18 October, which will be preceded by a Member workshop on health & wellbeing to take place on 17 October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

26

25

+1

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment:  Completion of grant cases is back on track in spite of complications arising from software migration to Uniform in August 2016.

The same quarter last year saw 12 Disabled Facility Grants completed, less than half the number that were completed this quarter. Performance is expected to improve as the year progresses, if the trend from last year continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housing Strategy Update

The Housing Strategy 2016/20 has moved in to the delivery stage and a number of initiatives have commenced in order to achieve the outcomes set out in the Key Priority Themes. A local housing company has been set up and the development of Brunswick Street and Union Street sites are progressing with the appointment of a development agent. The Council  has met with the Homes & Communities Agency to pursue a programme of additional housing through the government’s Starter Home initiative. The affordable housing programme is on track to provide nearly 300 new homes during 2016/17 with our housing association partners. Despite an increase in the preventions of homelessness (129 in the first 2 quarters), the trend seen across London and the South East is that homelessness is set to rise again (357 decisions issued between April and September). In response a temporary accommodation strategy is being developed in order to meet the increasing demand from households becoming homeless. The Council’s Health & Well Being Action Plan has been reviewed and following consultation with stakeholders and councillors a refreshed action plan was adopted the CHE Committee. Work is progressing in developing a new pathway for people who need adaptations to their homes and in response to the need to find a more efficient process Housing staff have been collocating with care providers at KCC in order to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable households.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

72.28%

82.00%

-9.78%

Target will be slightly missed

Performance Comment: Although there has been a slight improvement from Q1, satisfaction remains below the set target of 82%. Historically Q2 is the worst performing quarter each year linked to increased usage over the summer holidays. Historically Q3 sees an improvement on Q2.

15% of users showed a degree of dissatisfaction, whilst 13 % of users were neither satisfied or dissatisfied. Key comments regarding dissatisfaction were in relation to the customer service in the Cafe, which brought the score down more than any other area. We are working with the Leisure Trust to discuss ways of improving performance within this area.

Although the operator is meeting their requirements in terms of the number of surveys collected it 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 the data which potentially could increase the sample size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Outcome

36

 

 

 

Performance Comment: This is a provisional figure as the final figure is not provided until the middle of the month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

20

 

 

 

Performance Comment: Cafe Culture (sponsored by Audley Homes) continues to attract a regular clientele. Only 2 people attended in August and so it will be worth considering a summer break in future. We are currently looking into the potential for activities to be delivered by volunteers in order to release paid staff for other work.

 

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

With a new communications team in place, we have taken a new approach to the Communications and Engagement strategy this year and rewritten the document to reflect our focus of promoting pride in the borough. The new strategy clearly sets out how the council’s narrative will be reflected in everything we do and how the team’s priorities will be agreed on a yearly basis with levels of support for each area of work set out in advance. At the heart of the strategy is the council’s vision with the recognition that the effectiveness of how we deliver our vision is determined to a significant extent by the quality of our communications and engagement. The strategy outlines the approach we will take to ensure our communications and engagement activity is the best possible and helps to achieve our vision.  The strategy will go before Policy and Resources Committee on 26th October for approval.

 

NB: Parish charter developed in consultation with parishes and KALC

Percentage of parishes satisfied with the level of communication and engagement they have with Maidstone Borough Council (Parish Survey)

The parish council survey was open from 18th July until 2rd October.

Current Performance

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

38.3%

 

 

 

Performance Comment: A total of 62 responses were received from Parish Councillors and Clerks. While the greatest proportion of respondents were satisfied with the level of communication and engagement from MBC, almost a third (32%) were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Comments around this question concerned queries to Officers going unanswered, however there were several positive comments about the Parish Liaison Officer role.

 

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

The summer events programme has now concluded with The Proms and the Street Mela delivered successfully and consultation carried out around both events. An open air cinema event was also held in Whatman Park. Mote Park was also hired out for the Big Day Out family event and the second year of the Ramblin' Man Festival which alone generated over £1m into the local economy.

Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee will receive a report on 29 November 16 which will review the programme and set out the options for the future of council funded/delivered events.

 

Destination Management Plan Update

The Tourism Destination Management Plan Board met at the beginning of September 16 for an update and to review the progress made in year one. We will be holding a TDMP Update – One Year On, on the 29 November 16 and will be inviting stakeholders to share their progress in delivering the actions. An update report will be presented to the Heritage, Leisure and Culture Committee on the 29th November.

After the initial meetings were held with four working groups, they only meet now if it is essential to complete a task and In most cases this communication is done by email by those physically carrying out the work. 

The new Maidstone River Park group is a direct action of the TDMP and includes volunteers as well as public and private sector supporters. http://www.maidstoneriverpark.co.uk/maidstone-river-park-group/

 

Cultural Strategy Update

The new Public Realm Design Guide and Public Art Policy will go the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee on 1 November 2016 for adoption, following extensive consultation on their development.

The bid to Heritage Lottery Townscape Initiative Fund for Gabriel's Hill for £2m 'War, Peace and Trade' was submitted and a decision will be made in January 2017. The Urban Panel visit has been postponed until later in the year to allow the work to be finished on the Public Realm Design Guide.

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

-£233,061

-£290,580

-£57,519

Target will not be achieved

Performance Comment: A negative figure indicates an income, and a positive figure indicates expenditure.

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

 

Mote Park Café: £23,274

Commercial Waste Services: -£38,769

Chillington House: -£1,743

Phoenix Park Units: -£137,668

Mote Park Pay & Display: -£75,324

Debt recovery Service Trading: -£2,830

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

16,610

19,625

-3015

Target will be slightly missed

Performance Comment: This quarter, whilst similar to quarter 1, was almost 20,000 down on the same quarter last year. However, this is due to the unprecedented success of the Lego exhibition in 2016 which saw an increase of 15,000 in visitor numbers. If we compare 2016-17 with the more usual 2014-15 figures, we can see that the visits were around 5,000 down. This can be explained by a late but very hot period of summer and the lingering effects of Monday closure in Q1 of 2016. Steps to improve visitor footfall are being taken with the improvement of the visual appeal of the museum exterior, improvements to museum exhibitions and more events and activities. We are also working with the schools that traditionally visited on a Monday to come on an alternative day and are increasing our learning outreach programme on a Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

1598

2,085

-487

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: 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.

 

 

 

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

Excellent progress continues on the Town Centre Investment and Development Plan. The Bridges Gyratory Scheme is on schedule for delivery by the end of the year and work will start on the River Medway Cycle Path Scheme later in the year.

The Vic Public House at Maidstone East will be demolished before March 17 and it is hoped that the station improvement programme will be complete by June 18 for the arrival of the new Thameslink service. Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council have now completed on the purchase of the Royal Mail Sorting Office at Maidstone East and a holding strategy has been agreed whilst a master plan is developed for the long tern regeneration of the wider site. Consultants are working on indicative designs for the Week Street and Gabriel's Hill Public Realm schemes and these will be presented to members in due course.

Development schemes for Brunswick Street and Union Street are being progressed with scheme design commissioned.

 

Footfall in the High Street

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

Current Performance

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

2,355,859

2,058,735

+297,124

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: Footfall in quarter 2 is slightly higher than the same quarter last year. Footfall in the high street is on track to achieve target, and we are pleased to see that the Bridge Gyratory works have not affected footfall in the town centre.

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 the request for minor changes to the documents by the Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transportation Committee on 6th July the revised Integrated Transport Strategy and the Walking and Cycling Strategy were adopted by the Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transportation Committee on 13th September. However, as a result of continuing discussions with Kent County Council (KCC) the latest revised documents were not subsequently reviewed by the Joint Transportation Board on 13 July 2016 as envisaged.  Instead a joint report was presented by the KCC Head of Transportation and the Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) Head of Planning and Development which updated Members with respect to the 7 December 2015 resolution.  Further to the JTB resolution of 13 July 2016, MBC will continue to work with KCC towards its joint adoption.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

688

Performance Comment: As this  is only the second quarter  of monitoring this data we do not have a baseline. There has been a reduction in the numbers from last quarter; however the data still demonstrates a positive modal shift. The reduction in Quarter 2 may be due to the impact of the Summer holidays and new intake of pupils into the schools. The data includes schemes such as walking bus, Active Bug, Green footsteps, and Walk-Once-a-Week.

 

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

The former Royal Mail Depot site has now been purchased in the partnership with Kent County Council. A holding strategy is being put in place whilst the master planning work for its comprehensive redevelopment with the adjoining Network Rail land is produced.  A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between all partners and the Government regarding the North Kent Enterprise Zone. Consultants have been commissioned to design the public realm phase 3 works and a HLF bid has been submitted for Gabriel's Hill. A Business and Learning sub group of MEBP has been established to improve careers opportunities and information in schools. An LGF bid has been submitted to fund infrastructure improvements at Junction 7 M20 and nearby roundabouts.

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

1.2%

2%

-0.8%

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: September data not available at present.

Maidstone continues to have an unemployment rate below the level for England (1.8%).

The age group with the highest level of unemployment is 18-24 (2.3%). 1240 people were claiming an out of work benefit in August, showing an 8.3% on the same period 2015/16.

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

5.88%*

 

 

Performance Comment: *Data is for August only, September data has not yet been released. Maidstone is currently fifth out of the twelve Kent authorities for proportion of NEETs. Sevenoaks has the lowest figure at 3.84% and Gravesham has the highest at 7.92%. Maidstone has the fourth 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. The increase in NEETs is likely due to the start of the new academic year, and it is expected that this will reduce over the winter months.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

270

200

+70

Target will be achieved

 

Performance Comment: On track to exceed target. There have been a number of successful workshops leading to further advice and support from advisors who often see the same individual or start-up multiple times.

 

Many of the contacts are due to an increase in use of Start Up Resource Centre due to specifically designed tweets to increase the number of people using it.

A break down of contacts can be seen below we are hoping to increase the number of Guidance engagements over Information.

 

Information – 185

Guidance - 74

Advice - 11

 

 

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 commenced on 4th October. It is anticipated that the examination hearings will run until December. There are fifteen scheduled hearing days with two additional full days and two additional half-days held as reserve dates.  The Government appointed Inspector is Mr Robert Mellor. The Inspector has given detailed consideration to the representations made during the publication consultation in February and March 2016, as well as reviewing the evidence base, and has used these to produce a list of attendees for each session. Matters, Issues and Questions from the Examiner were dealt with by officers and published on 15th September. The remaining Matters, Issues and Questions (relating to the later scheduled hearings) continue to be dealt with by officers and will be sent to the Inspector by 20th October.

 

Housing Strategy Update

The Housing Strategy 2016/20 has moved in to the delivery stage and a number of initiatives have commenced in order to achieve the outcomes set out in the Key Priority Themes. A local housing company has been set up and the development of Brunswick Street and Union Street sites are progressing with the appointment of a development agent. The Council  has met with the Homes & Communities Agency to pursue a programme of additional housing through the government’s Starter Home initiative. The affordable housing programme is on track to provide nearly 300 new homes during 2016/17 with our housing association partners. Despite an increase in the preventions of homelessness (129 in the first 2 quarters), the trend seen across London and the South East is that homelessness is set to rise again (357 decisions issued between April and September). In response a temporary accommodation strategy is being developed in order to meet the increasing demand from households becoming homeless. The Council’s Health & Well Being Action Plan has been reviewed and following consultation with stakeholders and councillors a refreshed action plan was adopted the CHE Committee. Work is progressing in developing a new pathway for people who need adaptations to their homes and in response to the need to find a more efficient process Housing staff have been collocating with care providers at KCC in order to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable households.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

102

75

+27

Target will be slightly missed

Performance Comment: The target for Quarter 2has been exceeded due to a review of  historic and open housing advice and prevention cases,  all completed cases were closed. A number of these were homeless prevention cases and these hadn’t been included in the previous quarter.

It is necessary to prioritise statutory work over preventative, due not only to the nature of those clients already being homeless, but also in an effort to minimise the spending on temporary accommodation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

100%

80%

+20%

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment:  Performance on major applications remains very strong. Q2 has achieved 100% with 28 applications being recorded within agreed timescales. Of these 6 have been determined within the 13 week period and 22 have been determined within an agreed timeframe. The majority of the 22 have been major housing applications which require complex S106 agreements to be negotiated and signed. The figures show how effective officers have been in negotiating and securing extension of time agreements which the developers are willing to sign up to. As a comparison to our neighbouring authority - Swale Borough Council have determined 15 major applications, 14 of which have been within agreed timescales (94%). Again this shows the throughput of major applications with MBC achieving almost double that of its neighbouring authority.

 

 

 

 

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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

139

45

+94

Target will be achieved

Performance Comment: The affordable housing programme for 2016/17 is maintaining a strong supply of newbuild affordable units with several schemes running to forecasted schedules. Performance has been excellent and the annual target has already been exceeded by 45 affordable dwellings at the mid point of the year, with 225 completed so far. According to latest schedules, there are in excess of 300 affordable dwellings forecast for completion by year end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of households housed through housing register

This is an important indicator, which will help to monitor 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

Q2 Target

Value Vs Target

Direction

Status

Expected Outcome

155

150

+5

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 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.