Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21 - Progress Report - April to September

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Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21 Progress Report - April to September 2020

If you would like this publication in an alternative format, such as large print, or another language, please email communications@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council 1-29 Bridge Street Ballymena BT43 5EJ T: 0300 1245 000 E: enquiries@midandeastantrim.gov.uk W: www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk

www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk


Contents 1.0 COVID-19 Response and Arrangements

4-5

2.0 Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21

6-7

3.0 Quarter Two Performance Summary

8-11

4.0 Performance Improvement Objectives 2020/21

12-21

5.0 Statutory Key Performance Indicators

22-23

6.0 Update on previous Performance Improvement Objectives 24-25 7.0 Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21 Summary Table

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1.0 COVID-19 Response and Arrangements In March 2020, following the announcement of measures by the UK Government to tackle the COVID-19 virus, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council invoked its Emergency Plan.

30.8%

Slow Cooker Kits Scheme

‘Virtual Summer Scheme’

Reduction in the no. of dog fouling complaints

successfully developed and delivered

successfully held with over 40 videos produced

4 Green Flags Awards 3 Seaside Awards 3 Blue Flags

#RediscoverMEA to bring tourism and trade back to the borough

65,000 Bins Collected Each Week

This included the immediate closure of a number of Council services, including, leisure centres and parks to protect the public and staff. To ensure minimal disruption, Council put in place measures to ensure many services continued to operate as normal and some vital new services were introduced. Additionally, Council established a Remote Call Centre to provide residents and business owners with advice and support on how to stay safe. Council expanded its business support programmes, providing vital advice and support to local businesses impacted by the COVID pandemic. Council continues to work extensively with local communities to support those most in

need. We have distributed over 5,000 food parcels and awarded over £100,000 through the Community Support Grant Scheme.

1,149

A number of Council services were digitally transformed in order to continue to provide vital services, including the establishment of an online booking system for Sullatober HRC, live broadcast of Council and Committee meetings and the use of digital events.

3,000+ rural households

Council remains flexible in its approach to combating the pandemic, at all times following the advice of the Public Health Agency. Further details on some of the services that Council has delivered during the last six months can be found on the opposite page.

858

Volunteer Recognition Certificates

Local Businesses Engaged & Supported

20,000+ Calls received

visited and supported through the Rural Door to Door

to the Remote Call Centre

Scheme

5,000+ DfC Food Parcels Delivered across the Borough

3 Thank You NHS Flowerbeds Created

902k+ visits to the

civic events Virtual

held successfully across the Borough

7,000+ tonnes of waste collected at local Household Recycling Centres

Council website

MEAUnited formed to bring together Ballymena United, Larne FC and Carrick Rangers

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Quarter Two Review 2020/21

3 Drive-In Cinemas held

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2.0 Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21 The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 put in place a framework to support continuous improvement in the delivery of council services. The Act requires councils to set one or more improvement objectives annually and to have appropriate arrangements in place to achieve those objectives. Our Performance Improvement Plan sets out five improvement objectives for this year. It explains what we hope to achieve, how we plan to do it and how our citizens will

Strategic effectiveness

Fairness

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Quarter Two Review 2020/21

Service quality

be better off as a result. It does not detail every improvement we intend to deliver, but focusses on the key areas identified for improvement through Community and Corporate Planning processes, stakeholder engagement and research analysis. After a period of consultation, we agreed five improvement objectives for 2020/21, focusing on seven key improvement areas:

Service availability

Sustainability

Efficiency

Innovation

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Our Improvement Objectives 2020/21 1. Grow the economy and create jobs. 2. Support the communities within the historic conservation area of Carrickfergus, contributing to the sustainability of the local economy.

3. Encourage people to value our natural environment through the promotion of the Green Dog Walkers scheme. 4. Improve customer engagement and service delivery by enhancing our use of information technology. 5. Autism Friendly Mid and East Antrim.

We have outlined our progress towards meeting our objectives as follows: Green | Achieved / On track Amber | Delayed but progressing Red | Not achieved / Stopped Grey | Not due yet / Not available 08 |

Quarter Two Review 2020/21

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3.0 Quarter Two Performance Summary

Key Achievements to Note

We monitor our performance through a series of outcomes and indicators. The outcomes are statements of what we want to achieve for our citizens.

The indicators are the means by which we will measure our progress towards achieving our outcomes. Our results for this quarter are outlined below.

34 jobs

55

3

1,066

business plans created.

19 Indicators April – September 2020

new CTHI funding applications received

Green Dog Walker pledges

16 Outcomes April – September 2020

promoted through the ‘Go For It’ Programme. Dog fouling complaints down 31% on same period last year.

8 Community

Online Booking System

9 staff

75% of indicators are on track /

63% of indicators are on track /

achieved this quarter.

achieved this quarter.

6.25% are delayed but

5% are delayed but progressing.

progressing.

12.5% are either not yet available or not yet due.

6.25% were not achieved.

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Quarter Two Review 2020/21

groups committed to taking action against dog fouling.

introduced at Sullatober HRC

trained as ‘Autism Champions’

21% are either not yet available or not yet due.

11% were not achieved.

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4.0 Performance Improvement Objectives 2020/21

How are we doing so far this year?

Our aim

Grow the economy and create jobs

? Why?

The promotion of new jobs in the borough by successfully delivering the ‘Go for It’ Programme. The growth of new industry sectors by being a Centre of Excellence for start-ups, spin-outs and social-economy businesses within the Ecos Innovation Centre.

• You told us that ‘investment to grow the economy, create jobs and attract tourists’ was one of the most important forms of investment for Council (Household Survey 2018). • There were approximately 1,300 jobs lost in Mid and East Antrim during 2019.

What did we deliver?

So far this year, 34 jobs have been promoted and 55 business plans created through the ‘Go for It’ Programme.

As a result of COVID related redundancies, the number of jobs currently within the Ecos Innovation Centre is 111 jobs. However, recruitment is underway and it is hoped to recover the jobs lost.

Outcomes What you will see

Delivery of an effective and efficient Planning Service to maximise economic development.

Director of Development

Who is responsible?

The Local Development Plan continues to progress and Council remains well placed to be among the first three Councils to submit to the Department for Infrastructure.

Indicators How we will measure progress

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Quarter Two Review 2020/21

Due to a number of complicated applications, with a large number of consultees, Council have not met the target set for the processing time of major planning applications. However, we remain well above target, for both the processing of local planning applications and enforcement conclusion times.

85 jobs promoted through the ‘Go for It’ Programme by March 2021.

34 jobs promoted.

125 knowledge-economy jobs created in Ecos Innovation Centre by March 2022.

111 jobs created.

£95,000 in rental income from Ecos Innovation Centre by March 2021.

£50,892 - Income reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. Tenants given 3-month rent deferment for April – June 2020 which will be recouped in the final 6 months.

Major Planning applications processed within an average of 30 weeks by March 2021.

59.7 weeks (April - June 2020).

Local Planning applications processed within an average of 15 weeks by March 2021.

9.8 weeks (April - June 2020).

70% of planning enforcement cases concluded within 39 weeks by March 2021.

83.3% (April - June 2020).

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Objective: Support the communities within the historic

How are we doing so far this year?

conservation area of Carrickfergus, contributing to the sustainability of the local economy

? Why?

• Carrickfergus Castle is a key landmark and popular visitor attraction. Up to 10 buildings of historical and architectural interest restored (including 3 existing awarded schemes), through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, with Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund grant assistance, by March 2022 or beyond. *¹ *³

• Significant factory closures, changes in buying habits and proximity to Belfast have led to a decline in Carrickfergus’ traditional town centre economy.

• Who is responsible?

Our aim

What did we deliver?

Construction work at the Warrant Officers House and Guard Room resumed on site in late July, following a period of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A THI funding application was received in July 2020 for three properties at 3, 3c and 5 Market Place. The scheme will carry out a programme of conservation and repairs, instate two traditional shopfronts and create five self-contained apartments at upper floors. The application is currently under assessment. Further THI applications for two properties in North Street and High St. are anticipated within this financial year.

Director of Development

Outcomes What you will see

The local community will have a better understanding of built heritage.

The THI participated in a virtual event to celebrate European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) 2020 by producing a short film featuring clips of THI capital projects and a new publication called “Carrickfergus across the Centuries”. The film was distributed by the organisers of EHOD on social media channels to heritage audiences. A project to digitise Carrickfergus Town Records 1600s-1800s got underway and on completion would be freely accessible online for people to research family and building records.

Indicators How we will measure progress

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Quarter Two Review 2020/21

Increased inward investment and local employment opportunities related both directly and indirectly to heritage and tourism growth.

6-10 construction jobs are estimated to be supported during the conservation of the Warrant Officer’s House and Guard Room.

Up to 7 new grants awarded by March 2022 or beyond, to be measured in line with revised programme timescales.*²

3 new funding applications.

Education Programme completed by December 2020.

2 short films were produced and shared on social media during September 2020; European Heritage Open Days and the history of the Warrant Officers House.

Increased town centre footfall by March 2022 or beyond.*³

Pedestrian footfall is being monitored in three locations within the Townscape Heritage Initiative area.

Lower levels of town centre vacancy by March 2022 or beyond.*³

Kellys’ Coal Office, a derelict landmark at the entry point into Carrickfergus Conservation Area has been restored.

Increased floor space for retail, commercial or residential use by March 2022 or beyond.*³

New office space in Kelly’s Coal Office contributes to this target (114.1m2).

*¹ The full impact of COVID 19 on the overall programme and budget is as yet unknown. There are anticipated delays in programme arising from the management of construction projects within safe distancing guidelines. Programme delays are likely to incur additional project costs, bringing additional pressure on THI budget and the availability of grant across THI properties.

*² The principal funder, National Lottery Heritage Fund, have further offered flexibility over the proposed new grant expiry date of March 2022 during this period of uncertainty. *³ A full evaluation will take place at the end of the project and will inform future town centre regeneration initiatives. Indicator will be measured in line with revised programme timescales.


Encourage people to value our natural environment through the promotion of the Green Dog Walkers scheme

? Why?

Our aim

• Dog fouling is one of the top perceived problems in our local areas with 31% of residents considering it to be an issue (Household Survey 2018).

Responsible dog ownership through increased participation and support of the Green Dog Walkers Scheme.*⁴

• We have received 111 dog fouling complaints during 2019/20 (April 2019 - March 2020). • We want to have a borough that is clean and not just cleaned.

• Who is responsible?

How are we doing so far this year?

Director of Community

What did we deliver?

Following the successful and continued roll-out of the Green Dog Walkers marketing and promotional campaign, pledge numbers are currently 1,066.

The campaign continues to make a positive impact in the borough in relation to dog fouling.

Outcomes What you will see

A marketing and promotional campaign to challenge attitudes and change behaviours.

Campaign activities have been restricted due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, more specifically with no summer 2020 road shows being possible and the Enforcement Officer Team being reduced by 50%. A number of press releases have been issued via Council’s social media platforms with key messaging around responsible dog ownership to include Green Dog Walkers. This messaging has been picked up in local press, Newsletter and BBC Radio Ulster. Enforcement Officers continue to encourage active participation through their routine patrols.

Indicators How we will measure progress

A cleaner borough.

Substantiated dog foul complaints received by Council continue to fall. The Reportable App continues to be promoted as a means to report environmental matters to the Council, including dog foul.

At least 1,500 active Green Dog Walker Pledges by March 2021.

1,066 pledges are currently active.

A 10% reduction in the number of dog fouling complaints by March 2021.

Complaints have reduced by 31%. 36 complaints were received in the first six months of 2020/21 compared to 52 complaints in the same period 2019/20.

At further two organisations committed to taking action by March 2021.

8 community groups are committed to taking action. 7 of these groups are now active with the 8th and a further group confirming they will be active from November 2020.

A reduction in the number of residents perceiving dog fouling to be an issue in our local areas.

Existing pledge holders were scheduled to be contacted in July 2020; however this survey was delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19. A refocus on contacting these pledge holders is currently under consideration.

*⁴ The Green Dog Walkers Scheme is an innovative approach to

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Quarter Two Review 2020/21

dog fouling. Responsible dog owners and dog walkers support the scheme by signing a pledge to clean up after their pets, and to encourage other owners to do the same by giving them bags.

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Improve customer engagement and service delivery by enhancing our use of information technology

How are we doing so far this year?

Our aim

• Our services will be more effective and efficient, providing greater satisfaction and value for money for ratepayers.

? Why?

Implementation of our Digital Transformation Strategy, to include:

• Digital Transformation will lead to improved management reporting and will support better and more informed decision-making. • In our recent Household Survey (2018), 39% of residents said they would like to be able to report a problem online, 37% would like to book activities, 27% would like to buy tickets and 22% would like to pay bills.

• Who is responsible?

What did we deliver?

Director of Corporate Services

A redesign of the Council website developed from user experience feedback.

A new Content Management System has been agreed which will allow for improved user experience and navigation across the site. Work is currently being completed to develop Template Pages that will form the core layout and structure of the site. A holding webserver and CMS platform manager are in the process of being procured. Progress will begin in populating the site and integrating database management systems for a number of core elements and exploring additional functionalities.

Transformation of Council’s telephony services.

A review of the existing system has been completed and meetings with potential suppliers have taken place.

Conversion of additional services to citizen text alert system.

This service is being extended to include reminders for the submission of information to allow Environmental Health Officers to complete tasks in a more efficient manner. Key staff have been introduced to the Notify platform to familiarize themselves with it. An updated contract of service will be signed and submitted to Gov.Uk in advance of the additional use going ahead.

Digital transformation of at least one customer facing service.

This project has been successfully completed with the installation of the ‘Online Booking System’ at Sullatober Household Recycling Centre. Additional services are currently being identified for digital transformation.

Additional Wi-Fi Points (Phase Three).

All hardware has been purchased; however, installation has been paused due to building closures as a result of COVID-19. Once normal business resumes, the additional wifi points will be installed immediately.

A minimum of five digital projects completed by March 2021*⁵.

All five projects are progressing well and are expected to be successfully delivered by March 2021.

Outcomes What you will see

Indicators How we will measure progress

*⁵ Timescales may be subject to variation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 18 |

Quarter Two Review 2020/21

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Objective: Autism Friendly Mid and East Antrim

? Why?

How are we doing so far this year?

• Autism is lifelong and affects the development of social and communication skills. It can affect the way an individual relates to people, situations and the environment.*⁶

Our aim

• In Northern Ireland, 1 in 24 children have a diagnosis of autism (2020, Prevalence of Autism in School aged children, DHSSPS)*⁶ • Improving people’s health and wellbeing (and reducing health inequalities) is one of residents’ top five priorities for making the local area a good place to live (Household Survey 2018).

What did we deliver?

An awareness-raising programme to develop the borough as an autism friendly place.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been possible to deliver awareness sessions with businesses. The project steering group have been meeting to adapt the training into smaller elements that will work via digital platforms.

We will secure ‘Autism Friendly’ organisation status as a potential model for other Community Planning Partners.

This has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 Council leisure centres accredited with the Autism NI Impact Award.*⁷

This timeline has slipped due to COVID-19 restrictions. Work is underway to submit evidence of all the necessary adaptations that have been carried out. There has been a delay with signage as the company procured has been busy with the necessary COVID safety adaptations for businesses. The project has also been delayed due to leisure staff being furloughed and leisure centres being closed.

9 staff members trained as ‘Autism Champions’.

9 staff members have successfully completed the Champion training and have received formal accreditation.

3 ‘Autism Friendly’ public awareness sessions held for businesses and the local community, with at least 70% of attendees reporting that their knowledge of autism has increased following training.

Awareness raising sessions have not been rolled out yet due to COVID-19 restrictions. The project steering group have met to consider how this can be delivered virtually.

Outcomes What you will see

Director of Community

Who is responsible?

Indicators How we will measure progress

*⁶ www.autismni.org/statistics-1 *⁷ Timescale may be subject to variation as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. 18 |

Quarter Two Review 2020/21

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5.0 Statutory Key Performance Indicators Objective:

In addition to the improvement areas identified by us, the Department for Communities also sets statutory targets for Councils in the functional areas of Planning, Economic Development and Waste. Our arrangements to meet these are through the delivery of our statutory services. They are outlined in our annual business plans, and as far as possible, within our Improvement Objectives. We closely monitor our performance to ensure we are progressing in line with our targets. We submit our results to the Department for Infrastructure, the Department for the Economy and the Department of Agriculture,

Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) every three months. Reports are then issued comparing our performance against all 11 councils. We publish the results on the Council website every six months at www.midandeastantrim. gov.uk/PIP

Year to date figures up to September 2020 are not yet available, therefore quarter one figures are reported (April to June 2020). *⁹ Relates to the period April to September 2020. Quarter Two Review 2020/21

Targets

The average processing time of major planning applications.

Major applications processed within an average of 30 weeks.

59.7 weeks *⁸

The average processing time of local planning applications.

Local applications processed within an average of 15 weeks.

9.8 weeks *⁸

The % of enforcement cases concluded within 39 weeks.

70% of all enforcement cases progressed to target conclusion within 39 weeks.

83.3% *⁸

The number of jobs promoted through business start-up activity.

85 jobs.

34 jobs *⁹

The % of household waste collected by district Councils that is sent for recycling.

50% household recycling by 2020.

55.4% *⁸

The amount of biodegradable Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste that is landfilled.

12,829 tonnes (2020/21).

3,140 tonnes *⁸

The amount (tonnage) of Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste arisings.

N/A.

19,156 tonnes *⁸

Results

Our latest results are summarised in the diagram opposite.

*⁸

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Indicators


6.0 Update on previous Performance Improvement Plan Objectives The table opposite provides an update on projects that were not carried forward into the subsequent year’s Performance Improvement Plan. Some of these projects were not fully complete by the end of the financial year in which they related.

Objective

Quarter Two Review 2020/21

Status

2019-20 Improve customer engagement and service delivery by enhancing our use of information technology

Complete

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Outcome

A Customer Complaints & Contact System.

The procurement and implementation of a Customer Complaints & Contact System has been put on hold as Council are currently reviewing the potential to utilise a module within the new Finance System.

Online Building Control Certificates.

Testing of the new system remains ongoing. Council are currently in negotiations with the supplier to amend the current certificate format and once this has been finalised, the system will be rolled out.

Additional Wi-Fi points.

An additional 6 Wi-Fi points have been installed across the Borough; however, due to the closure of a number of Council sites, 3 remain outstanding. These include, Sullaboter HRC, Ballymena Waste Depot and Carrickfergus Castle.

To be complete

You can view previous Performance Improvement Plans at www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/ performance www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk | 23


7.0 Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21 Summary Table Improvement Objective

What you will see

Grow the economy and create jobs

• •

Support the communities within the historic conservation area of Carrickfergus, contributing to the sustainability of the local economy

• •

The promotion of new jobs in the borough by successfully delivering the ‘Go for It’ Programme. The growth of new industry sectors by being a Centre of Excellence for start-ups, spin-outs and social-economy businesses within the Ecos Innovation Centre. Delivery of an effective and efficient Planning Service to maximise economic development.

March 2022

Up to 10 buildings of historical and architectural interest restored (including 3 existing awarded schemes), through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, with Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund grant assistance, by March 2022 or beyond. The local community will have a better understanding of built heritage. Increased inward investment and local employment opportunities related both directly and indirectly to heritage and tourism growth.

March 2022 or beyond

Responsible dog ownership through increased participation and support of the Green Dog Walkers Scheme. A marketing and promotional campaign to challenge attitudes and change behaviours. A cleaner borough.

March 2021

Encourage people to value our natural environment through the promotion of the Green Dog Walkers Scheme

Improve customer engagement and service delivery by enhancing our use of information technology

Further implementation of our Digital Transformation Strategy through delivery of a number of citizen-focused projects to include: • A redesign of the Council website developed from user experience feedback. • Transformation of Council telephony services. • Conversion of additional services to citizen text alert system. • Digital Transformation of at least one customer facing service. • Additional WiFi Points (Phase three).

Autism Friendly Mid and East Antrim

• •

• •

An awareness-raising programme to develop the borough as an autism friendly place. We will secure ‘Autism Friendly’ organisation status as a potential model for other Community Planning Partners.

* Timescales may be subject to change as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.

We welcome ongoing feedback on our Performance Improvement Plan. If you would like to make any comments, our contact details are on our website www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/PIP 36 | 26

By when*

Performance Quarter Two Review Improvement 2020/21 Plan 2020/21

March 2021

March 2021