The Chief Executive presented a report, the purpose of which, was for Cabinet to consider the Annual Report 2019-20 (attached at Appendix to the covering report) and recommend it to Council for approval.
The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change stated that, in accordance with the Shared Purpose Shared Future statutory guidance (SPSF: 2) for the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, individual public bodies must annually review the progress of their well-being objectives and publish a report to assess the extent to which these objectives contribute to the 7 wellbeing goals in accordance with the sustainable development principal.
Under section 15 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and in accordance with the related statutory guidance issued by the Welsh Government, the authority must also publish its assessment of performance for the previous financial year before 31 October.
She explained, that in March 2019, the Council published its Corporate Plan 2018-22, revised 2019-20. The Plan sets out its vision, which is, always to act as ‘One Council working together to improve lives’, and its three well-being objectives. The Plan also reiterates the well-being objectives for 2019-20.
The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, stated that the Plan defined 41 commitments to deliver the three well-being objectives and set out 56 outcome focused indicators to measure the progress for the financial year.
Overall, the Council performed very well in 2019-20, she advised. Of the 41 commitments 34 (82.9%) were completed successfully with 3 (7.3%) achieving most of their milestones and 4 (9.8%) missing most of their milestones. There were justifiable reasons why some targets were missed.
Of the 56 indicators identified for the Corporate Plan, 52 can be compared against their target: 35 (67.3%) met their target, 9 (17.3%) were off target by less than 10% and 8 (15.4%) missed the target by more than 10%. Detailed information about the Council’s performance was included in Appendix A to the report.
The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, explained further, that due to Covid-19, Welsh Government confirmed that there would be no data collection of Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) for 2019-20 therefore no analysis has been undertaken in relation to these indicators.
A summary of funding and financial performance for the year, regulators’ findings and themes that underpin the Council’s work were also set out in the report, which due to the pandemic had looked forward as well as back, which had not been custom and practice for the Annual Report in the past.
The Leader stated that the report gave a true and honest reflection of BCBC’s performance and how that has been assessed over the last 12 or so months, including the achievements of the Council and those performance targets that weren’t achieved.
Some of the things that were not achieved included making available all Council services on-line and not realising the capital sale of the Ysgol Bryn Castell, which had now been achieved.
Some notable successes however, were:
· Exceeding the target of 180 individuals to find employment (actual 334)
· Employing 35 apprentices (target 25)
· Junior apprenticeship at the Bridgend College, supporting 72 x 15/16 year olds, enabling them to have employment aspirations
· An impressive NEET figure less than half of the Wales average
· Bringing Empty Homes into habitable use, 20 (target 5)
· Introduction of Porthcawl town beach coastal defences and the regeneration of the Salt Lake car park area.
The Cabinet Member – Future Generations and Wellbeing, thanked the staff involved in the production of the Annual Report and the positive results that were contained within this document. She felt that what stood out in the Report was the excellent partnership work that was taken place between the local authority and the likes of the third sector and Town/Community Councils, amongst others.
The Cabinet Member – Communities commended the success of the Metro Plus and the Bid for the Pyle Park and Ride, including the Porthcawl Bus Terminal.
The Deputy Leader also commended the document which had been successfully produced even though there were very difficult financial challenges being faced, in order to deliver over 800 services to the constituents of Bridgend and its visitors. 2019/20 had seen £7.6m in budget reductions and over the last 10 years such savings had amounted to over £60m since the inception of austerity.
The Cabinet Member – Education and Regeneration was pleased to confirm that the re-organisation of Education for the 16 plus had been realised in the summer, resulting in every school in the County Borough having in some capacity or another a sixth form. This had been achieved through maximum collaboration of all schools and importantly, would include blended learning. He also commended the introduction of the public square in Bridgend’s open market.
The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help concluded debate on this item, by saying that she was proud of some of the achievements in Social Services, such as prioritising vulnerable children and the development of MASH and Early Help Hubs. She felt BCBC were also in a good place to reduce its numbers of Looked After Children (LAC).
RESOLVED: That Cabinet considered the Annual Report 2019-20 at Appendix A to the report and recommended it to Council for approval.