Agenda item

Mid-Year Report on Council Plan and Year Ahead Delivery Plan Progress for 2023-2024

To consider a report of the Assistant Chief Executive focusing on the activities in the Year Ahead Delivery Plan and the Council Plan performance measure data for Quarter 2 of the 2023-24 financial year.




That Cabinet note:


1.             The overall position in relation to the Year Ahead Delivery Plan activities.

2.             The Quarter 2 2022-23 data for the Council Plan performance measures.

3.             The performance reporting timetable for the remainder of the 2023-2024 year.


The Chair invited the Chief Executive to introduce the report. Also in attendance were the Leader of the Council, Assistant Chief Executive, Strategic Director for Adult Care, Housing and Public Health, Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services, Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services, and Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment.


In January 2022, the Council adopted a Council Plan for 2022-25 and a Year Ahead Delivery Plan for the period up to 31 March 2023. The Council Plan was informed by public consultation and sets out the Council’s vision for the Borough and priorities for serving residents and communities.


To enable the Council to work towards the Council Plan outcomes and achieve its commitments, a Year Ahead Delivery Plan was also developed, detailing the key activities to be delivered over the period from 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2023.  The Year Ahead Delivery Plan was updated for this financial year and approved by Cabinet on 24th April 2023. Attached at Appendix 1 was the mid-year report for 2023-24, the first of the two planned reports.


The report focussed on the progress made on the activities in the Year Ahead Delivery Plan to date and the Council Plan performance measure data for Quarter 2 of the 2023-24 financial year. The report outlined the progress made against the 98 actions and milestones in the delivery plan. A high-level overview of achievements and challenges was outlined in the appendices to the report. It was noted that OSMB members had previously requested that achievements and challenges be captured in a single section of the report.


It was noted that 82% of activities were complete or on track, 18% of activities were delayed (which equated to 10 actions delayed by less than three months and eight actions that would not be completed within three month of the original target date).


The Chief Executive gave a brief summary of significant achievements in the last period. This included the successful delivery of the Rotherham show with an estimated audience of over 88,000 people; the re-opening of the Thurcroft library and neighbourhood hub; the completion of housing developments; the launch of an online resource for families to access support around emotional health and well-being; the start of initial construction work on the markets and library development; and the opening of two business incubation centres.


In terms of performance information, of 65 performance measures within the Council Plan, 45% on target (which equates to approximately 30 measures). Management action was taken to address performance issues.


The Chair invited questions from Board Members and a discussion on the following issues ensued:


·      In respect of unmet targets, clarification was sought about how learning was applied to their revision. It was outlined that as part of management action, key themes were examined to review and identify areas of challenge. It was noted that the volatility in markets around construction costs had affected delivery of some projects. The Leader explained that targets were kept under review to ensure that they were realistic, with a balance of targets moving in the right direction and longer-term aspirations.

·       It was noted that the Council had invested in neighbourhoods, towns and villages and that this had made a positive impact. Other work around reducing the numbers of children in need was welcomed.

·       Further details were sought on Rotherham’s working age population and what data was applied to benchmark the number of people in work. Data was sourced from the Office of National Statistics and the annual population survey. However, it was noted that it was a relatively small sample which made the data volatile. The Leader committed to providing a response to clarify which data sets were used. The number of people with long-term sickness was highlighted as having a potential impact on the working age population.

·       In respect of the active travel agenda, clarification was sought on whether the Sheffield Road cycleway had been completed. It was confirmed that the target referred to the scheme commencing rather than completed works.

·       Clarification was sought about how air quality improvements and pollution issues would be monitored and how the modal shift required to reduce car use would be evaluated. It was noted that the Government had set objectives about what they wanted to see in terms of active travel measures and provided investment for implementation.

·       Reference was made to the Swinton library development and the recent discovery of light weight concrete (RAAC) in the original building. It was noted that this would have an adverse effect on timescales for completion of the project, including demolition of the old facility. It was noted that the report reflected the position in September and work was underway to complete as soon as possible. It was asked that consideration be given to when the new facility would open safely and how this would be communicated to residents.

·       Details were sought on the “Say Yes” campaign and how its impact would be measured. It was explained that attendance at sessions was measured (e.g. smoking cessation) and referrals to physical activity by GPs were monitored. Reports on the impact would be submitted to the Health and Well-being Board in due course.

·       Reference was made to the decrease in numbers of children with a child protection plan. Clarification was sought if this was a natural fluctuation or whether there was a correlation with work being undertaken in the service to reduce numbers.  It was confirmed that there had been a significant and sustained reduction which related to the work undertaken with families to provide support at a much earlier stage. Work was also undertaken with parents to reduce the length of time children spend on child protection plans.

·       It was noted that there had been an increase of 3.23% in carbon dioxide emissions and the reduction target had been lowered from 18% to 10%. Clarification was sought about how the revised target would be met and what programs were in place which would result in a significant reduction in greenhouse emissions. It was outlined that the annual climate change report would be submitted to Cabinet in February 2024 which would detail the various projects and initiatives to support the delivery of net zero. It was highlighted that fleet and buildings were the largest carbon contributors. It was noted that a significant number of electric vehicles were being procured and this would have an impact on future emissions. 

·       Clarification was sought on the influence the Council had in relation to those targets delivered in partnership with external bodies (e.g. South Yorkshire Police). It was outlined that in relation to antisocial behaviour, this was a joint responsibility between those bodies which formed the community safety partnership. It was noted that there was a focus on neighbourhood policing and a joint approach to tackle crime and disorder.

·       Reference was made to 49% of residents perceiving antisocial behaviour as a problem and the actions taken to hold the Council and partners to account. In response, it was noted that there had been reductions to staffing and budgets over the previous decade which had had an impact on services, however, the Council had made a significant investment in CCTV across the borough. It was stated that the Council had a responsibility to report accurately people’s perception around levels of crime and in turn, agencies’ responses to addressing concerns and issues.

·       Clarification was sought when the LGA Corporate Peer Challenge – Progress Review report would be submitted for consideration. It was outlined that progress was being made on the review’s recommendations. For example, a workshop was planned with the Chief Executives of the Rotherham Together Partnership to create more local jobs. Details of the publicity to promote the Multiply Programme would be circulated to members.

·       Details were sought on whether the delayed measure would have an impact on other services or budgets. It was noted that the delivery of capital projects was challenging because of inflationary pressures, however mitigations were in place to try and address these concerns.

The Chair thanked the Leader and Senior Leadership Team for their contributions.




That Cabinet be advised that the recommendations be supported.


That Cabinet note:

1)             The overall position in relation to the Year Ahead Delivery Plan activities.

2)             The Quarter 2 2022-23 data for the Council Plan performance measures.

3)             The performance reporting timetable for the remainder of the 2023-2024 year.

Supporting documents: