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

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

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Contents 1.0 Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21

4-7

2.0 Quarter Three Performance Summary

8-9

3.0 Performance Improvement Objectives 2020/21

10-19

4.0 Statutory Key Performance Indicators

20-21

5.0 Update on previous Performance Improvement Objectives 22-23 6.0 Performance Improvement Plan 2020/21 Summary Table

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1.0 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 Three 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 06 |

Quarter Three Review 2020/21

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2.0 Quarter Three 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.

62 jobs

101

3

1,110

business plans created.

19 Indicators April – December 2020

new CTHI funding applications awarded.

Green Dog Walker pledges.

16 Outcomes April – December 2020

promoted through the ‘Go For It’ Programme.

Online Booking System

9 staff

9 Community groups committed to taking action against dog fouling.

81.25% of indicators are on

68.4% of indicators are on

track / achieved this quarter.

track / achieved this quarter.

12.5% are delayed but

5.3% are delayed but

progressing.

progressing.

6.25% are either not yet

21% are either not yet

available or not yet due.

available or not yet due.

0% were not achieved.

5.3% were not achieved.

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

All 5 Digital Transformation projects progressing on track.

introduced at Sullatober HRC.

trained as ‘Autism Champions’.

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3.0 Performance Improvement Objectives 2020/21

How are we doing so far this year?

Our aim

Grow the economy and create jobs

? Why?

• 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.

The promotion of new jobs in the borough by successfully delivering the ‘Go for It’ Programme.

To date, 62 jobs have been promoted and 101 businesses plans created, through 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.

Progress continues with the Integrated Property Programme to create Grade A office accommodation that will encourage start-ups, allow our local indigenous businesses to grow and attract new investment.

Outcomes

One major planning application was received in Q3.

What you will see

Director of Development

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

Who is responsible?

What did we deliver?

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 applications. However, we remain well above target, for both the processing of local planning applications and enforcement conclusion times. 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. Council will be submitting the draft Plan Strategy to the Department for Infrastructure in March 2021.

Indicators How we will measure progress

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

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

62 jobs promoted.

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

115 jobs created.

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

Rental income is on target. 2 companies have availed of a 3-month rent deferment from April-June 2020; this is scheduled to be recouped by March 2021.

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

59.7 weeks (April - September 2020).

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

9.8 weeks (April - September 2020).

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

79.2% (April - September 2020).


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?

Our aim

• 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?

Director of Development Outcomes What you will see

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

What did we deliver?

3 further properties have been awarded THI funding; bringing the total number of properties funded to 6. THI funding applications have been received from 2 further properties and are currently being assessed for funding, with decisions expected by April 2021.

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 is underway and once completed will be freely accessible online for people to research family and building records.

Indicators How we will measure progress

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

Approximately 10-16 construction jobs have been supported to date on THI schemes, with one full-time and one-part time job created. The number of jobs created on completion of projects will be evaluated at programme close.

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

3 new grants awarded.

Education Programme completed by December 2020.

The Education Programme has been extended into 2021. This is to allow for completion of the digitising the Carrickfergus Town Records 1600-1800, and the social promotion of the Warrant Officers House.

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

Footfall counters are in place and will be evaluated at the end of the project.

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

Town centre occupancy will be evaluated at the end of the project.

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

To date, the total vacant floorspace restored and converted for reuse is 249m²: 195m² for retail/commercial use and 54m² for museum/culture space.

*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.

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

*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.

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

? Why?

How are we doing so far this year?

• 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). • We have received 111 dog fouling complaints during 2019/20 (April 2019 - March 2020).

Our aim

What did we deliver?

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

Following the successful and continued roll-out of the Green Dog Walkers marketing and promotional campaign, pledge numbers are currently 1,110.

• We want to have a borough that is clean and not just cleaned.

• Who is responsible?

Director of Community

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

Outcomes

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

What you will see

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, the Newsletter and BBC Radio Ulster. Enforcement Officers continue to encourage active participation through their routine patrols.

A cleaner borough.

The third quarter of the year saw an increase in the number of substantiated dog fouling complaints received by Council. This brings the total for the year to 91. 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.

1,110 pledges are currently active.

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

Complaints have increased by 28% when compared to the same period for 2019/20. 91 complaints were received bteween April and December 2020 compared to 71 complaints in the same period last year. The increase is likely to be a result of increased numbers of dog walkers during lockdown combined with dark evenings and increased levels of reporting using the Reportable App. 9 community groups are committed to taking action.

Indicators How we will measure progress

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

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

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

DAERA Forestry Service in respect of Portglenone Forest have agreed to take action. Three of the existing Community Groups (Larne RFC, Millbrook Community Association and Ahoghill Thistle FC) displayed their bespoke GDW banners on their grounds during the quarter, as despite no sport being played as a consequence of COVID restrictions, grounds are being utilised more than ever by dog walkers. 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 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

? Why?

How are we doing so far this year?

Our aim

What did we deliver?

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

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.

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

The procurement process for the redesign of Council’s website has begun.

Transformation of Council’s telephony services.

A review of the existing system has taken place and meetings have been held with the incumbent suppliers. COVID funding for ICT has been secured and software licences have been purchased. Once successfully tested, remote access will be implemented more widely. Movement from traditional telephony-only lines to internet-based telephone lines has been reviewed with suppliers and once implemented will allow 24x7x365 availability of services.

Conversion of additional services to citizen text alert system.

Text wording has been created by the Environmental Health team and uploaded to the Notify system. Following approval of a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), the Notify system with Gov. uk will be signed and the additional text alert notifications will be implemented.

• 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.

Director of Corporate Services

Who is responsible? Outcomes What you will see

The following customer facing services have been digitally transformed:

Digital transformation of at least one customer facing service.

• Online Waste Booking system at Sullatober Waste depot. • Establishment of Council’s Remote Call Centre. • Live broadcast of Council and Committee meetings. A proof of concept has been approved by Council regarding an automated customer call solution. The solution will automate the call process for Waste in Council’s main telephony call menu. The project is due for completion by the end of February 2021.

Indicators

Additional Wi-Fi Points (Phase Three).

A Wi-Fi building survey has taken place of The Braid. Surveys of other Council locations are due in February 2021 to ensure adequate coverage for citizens. Additional Wi-Fi points have been purchased and are ready for installation following completion of the surveys.

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.

How we will measure progress

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

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

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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

A bespoke, free of charge, training/awareness raising package has been developed by the project steering group. Bespoke certificates, pins, badges and window stickers have been designed for training participants.

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

• Who is responsible?

What did we deliver?

Director of Community

As a result of COVID restrictions, the sessions will be delivered virtually. The steering group have adapted the sessions into shorter segments that are more conducive to virtual delivery. The group have also engaged with Castle Tower school to explore best practice whilst living with COVID-19 restrictions. Virtual training sessions have been scheduled for January and February 2021.

Outcomes

It is also planned that the ‘Autism Champions’ will cascade their learning to their colleagues.

What you will see

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

Using the ‘Autism IMPACT Framework’, each of the three leisure centres within the Borough have begun developing location-specific ‘action plans’. All physical adaptions have been successfully implemented. For example, ‘Autism Friendly’ signage, developed in conjunction with Northern Area Autism Forum and Reference Group has now been installed across all 3 locations. Pre-visitor guides are being finalised, after which all supporting documentation will be submitted to Autism NI for approval and IMPACT award accreditation.

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

The team are currently working on the final stages of accreditation and it is expected that full accreditation will be awarded imminently.

9 staff members trained as ‘Autism Champions’.

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

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.

3 virtual training sessions have been scheduled for delivery during the first two months of 2021.

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.

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

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4.0 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.

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

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.

*⁸

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Quarter Three Review 2020/21

Our latest results are summarised in the diagram opposite. Year to date figures up to December 2020 are not yet available, therefore quarter two figures are reported (April to September 2020). *⁹ Relates to the period April to December 2020.

Indicators

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.

79.2% *⁸

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

85 jobs.

62 jobs *⁹

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

50% household recycling by 2020.

55.2% *⁸

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

12,829 tonnes (2020/21).

6,214 tonnes *⁸

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

N/A.

41,587 tonnes *⁸

Results


5.0 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 Three Review 2020/21

Status 2019-20

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

Complete

22 |

Outcome

A Customer Complaints & Contact System.

The implementation of this system was placed on hold during the response to COVID pandemic. Council have now reviewed a number of suitable systems.

Online Building Control Certificates.

Legacy systems have been amalgamated into the TE-Build system. IPads have been issued to all Building Control team surveyors to enable on-site working. Online Property Certificates payment mechanisms have now been successfully tested. Some minor issues, including document formatting, need to be resolved before the system is fully implemented.

Additional Wi-Fi points.

Additional Wi-Fi points have been purchased and are ready for installation, with new points now installed in Larne Waste Depot and Glenarm Marina.

To be complete

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


6.0 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 | 24

By when*

Performance Quarter ThreeImprovement Review 2020/21 Plan 2020/21

March 2021

March 2021