Agenda item

Quarter 2 Performance Report 2022-23






Councillor Huw David – Leader

Councillor Jane Gebbie – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help

Councillor Hywel Williams – Cabinet Member for Resources

Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell – Cabinet Member – Education

Councillor John Spanswick – Cabinet Member – Communities

Councillor Neelo Farr – Cabinet Member - Regeneration

Councillor Rhys Goode – Cabinet Member – Future Generations



Mark Shephard – Chief Executive

Carys Lord  - Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change

Lindsay Harvey – Corporate Director – Education and Family Support

Claire Marchant – Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing

Janine Nightingale – Corporate Director - Communities

Kelly Watson – Chief Officer – Legal and Regulatory, HR and Corporate Policy


Alex Rawlin – Corporate Policy and Public Affairs Manager  




Chief Executive’s Directorate


The Chief Executive presented an overview of the performance of his Directorate, highlighting challenges in workforce, recruitment and retention, uncertainty around budgets, increased costs and inflation.


The Chair thanked the Chief Executive and Members discussed the following:


·         When performance data subject to benchmarking would be made available and trend data relating to the previous year performance rather than the set annual targets. 

·         The corporate-wide risk of workforce and, in relation to recruitment, vacancies being advertised on the Council’s website and in some specialist journals and magazines, with some advertisements being for multiple roles.

·         Whether there was an indication from Welsh Government (WG) regarding the final budget settlement and whether the revised budget proposals and full financial ledger would be available for the next meeting of the Budget Research and Evaluation Panel (BREP).

·         Working with landlords and the role of planning in the Council’s policy of bringing empty properties back into use.

·         The issue of sickness absence due to non-work-related stress and the wellbeing support available for staff.

·         The targets and missing data regarding Disabled Facilities Grants and e-learning.

·         The in-depth Digital Strategy review following work regarding hybrid working and digital aspirations and priorities.

·         The discrepancy between the green status attributed to commitment WBO2.2.3 relating to preventing homelessness and the shortage of suitable accommodation in the County Borough.


Communities Directorate


The Corporate Director – Communities presented an overview of the performance of her Directorate, highlighting the underspend driven by a large number of vacancies, steps being taken with regard to recruitment, the possibility of the cessation of some services due to lack of resources, challenges with Member Referrals and providing context around some of the Performance Indicators graded as red.


The Chair thanked the Corporate Director – Communities and Members discussed the following:


·         The responsiveness to Member Referrals and the safety and reliability of temporary fixes to boilers in estate services. 

·         The number of Community Asset Transfers completed in year.

·         Sources of capital receipts and the reuse shops at Pyle and Maesteg.

·         Measures to address sickness absence attributed to Musculoskeletal disorders across all Directorates and the impact of sickness on ability to provide services.

·         Which services may need to cease due to financial pressures, which areas in the Directorate were not meeting performance targets and whether any other in year savings had been identified. 

·         The Caerau Heat Scheme, funding and viability.

·         Changes to the agreement and disposal fees for residual waste at the Materials Recovery & Energy Centre


Education and Family Support Directorate


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support presented an overview of the performance of his Directorate, highlighting that there were no schools in any Estyn category of concern, the significant improvements in the Bridgend Youth Justice Service, that the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) had been approved by WG, context regarding areas where performance exceeded targets, staffing challenges (particularly in catering) and that current underspend was likely to be exhausted by home to school transport pressures.


The Chair thanked the Corporate Director – Education and Family Support and Members discussed the following:


·         The number of and challenges associated with permanent exclusions, the contributory factors and support available.

·         Additional, specialist staff and best practice associated with safeguarding referrals and escalating behaviours.

·         The downward trend in Welsh speakers in the recent Census, Welsh language provision to improve targets and the ambitious WESP for schools and families.

·         Sufficiency of school facilities and time for provision of free school meals, the lack of appeal of limited hour school catering contracts, the prospect of pilot schemes for the Universal Primary Free School Meals roll-out with emphasis on equity for all pupils and an update on the upgrading of kitchen facilities. 


Social Services and Wellbeing Directorate


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing presented an overview of the performance of her Directorate highlighting the increasing need and demand for services and statutory support, workforce pressures, particularly in children’s social care (CSC) and adult home care, the improvement check by Care Inspectorate Wales in CSC, the key areas of pressure, particularly in the provision of statutory care and support plans and the excellent outcome and focus on prevention and wellbeing services.


The Chair thanked the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing and Members discussed the following:


·         The targets regarding the percentage of care leavers who completed at least 3 consecutive months of employment, education or training and the WG Basic Income Pilot Scheme.

·         Measures and support to alleviate sickness and workforce pressures.

·         Recruitment plans to lower the vacancy threshold in Bridgend to bring it more in line with other local authorities and reduce reliance on agency staff.

·         The number of reablement packages completed, mitigating need for support and the prospect of a change to national indicators to demonstrate the positive performance in a more meaningful way.


The Chairperson advised that there were no further questions for the Invitees, thanked Invitees for their attendance and, advised that if they were not required for the next Item, they may leave the meeting.


RESOLVED:                 Following detailed consideration and discussions with Officers and Cabinet Members, the Committee made the following Recommendations:


1.    To ensure the time of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee (COSC) is used to maximum benefit, that the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees should scrutinise in detail matters in the remit of those respective Committees.


2.    That the Task and Finish Group considering fixed and permanent exclusions look at and identify best practice in terms of management of pupil behaviour.


and the Committee requested:




3.    How many Community Asset Transfers have been completed between April and September 2022.


4.    With reference to the Performance Indicator DCO16.9 CP WBO3 on page 48 of the agenda reports pack, to what does the £275,000 remaining capital receipts relate. 


5.    The budget breakdown of the remaining £9,000,000 not committed to contracts.


Education and Family Support

6.    An update on the number of and themes surrounding fixed and permanent exclusions.


7.    An update following the Cabinet Member for Education’s meeting with the Welsh Government Minister to discuss the unattractive limited hours offered in school catering contracts and whether a person seeking to fill the position would have their benefits affected or lost.


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