The Performance and Data Insight Manager and Performance Analyst presented the Draft Self-Assessment Report. Following the slide presentation, Members were invited to ask questions:
· A Member liked the balanced and realistic approach and welcomed consideration of a resident friendly version. The Member added that there should be consistency in use of comparators providing the example of play provision. It was commented that the graphs required greater detail to improve the helpfulness of the data to note trends etc. The Member asked if the enabling work processes can deliver the future outcomes for self-assessment.
The Performance and Data Insight Manager agreed that comparators should be consistent, and the graphs should clearly show impact. The report will be amended accordingly. It was added that a performance dashboard is in place that contains all the measures for the corporate and community plan to enable the identification of trends, performance against targets etc. This is available internally currently and all Governance and Audit Committee Members will have access via a link as required. The intention in the future is to extend access to residents.
· A Member also highlighted the apparent inconsistency in the instances where percentages regarding volunteering are references in the report. An explanation of Universal Free School Meals/Free School Meals was requested and why this number is rising exponentially. Regarding Objective: Green Place to Live, it was suggested that honesty is needed about the likelihood of meeting targets. Similarly in the Objective: A Safe Place to Live in respect of homelessness, whilst appreciating the significant financial pressures, the need to be more specific around statutory targets set by Welsh Government and including this aspect in budgets. With concern, the Member drew attention to the Objective: A Learning Place where attendance is 88% (80% for free school meals pupils). The Performance and Data Insight Manager acknowledged the point about consistency regarding volunteering and an amendment will be made. It was explained that universal free school meals are not necessarily those who are eligible for free school meals. In respect of Green Place to Live and Safe Place to Live, the conclusions in the report will be used to inform future plans and will include more focus on impact as that approach develops. The attendance figures highlight that challenge for the authority.
· The Chair thanked the team for their work noting that the approach demonstrated a robust and balanced approach taken resulting in a comprehensive, well-produced and meaningful report to drive future performance.
· In terms of action points, the Officer confirmed that actions will be reported through the Committee’s Work Programme. Progress will be monitored by services during the year in service business plans and will be reported back to Committee in next year’s self-assessment report. It was requested that any material issues in achieving the actions should be reported back outside of the annual self-assessment report.
· In response to a query about external panel review, it was confirmed that this is part of the Local Government and Elections Act 2021 regulations requiring an independent peer review once in an electoral cycle to assess performance more thoroughly. This will be scheduled within the performance cycle to maximise the benefit from self-assessment reports. The Committee will be informed when the review is taking place.
· It was confirmed that the Senior Leadership Team and other officers have been involved in the processes leading to production of the report.
· In response to a question, it was explained that the audit tracker is not yet live due to some system bugs and is currently with the Digital Team for resolution before moving to testing.
As in the report recommendations, the committee reviewed the draft self-assessment report 2022/23 and made recommendations for changes to the conclusions or actions prior to the report being considered by Council.