Agenda item

2023 to 2024 Performance Report (Quarter Three)

Report number: PAS/WS/24/005


The Cabinet Member for Resources presented report number PAS/WS/24/005, which set out the quarter three performance for the period October 2023 to December 2023 and the forecast 2023 to 2024 revenue and capital position. 


Attached to the report were a number of appendices as follows:


-      Appendix A: Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) Dashboards

-      Appendix B: Income and expenditure

-      Appendix C: Capital Programme

-      Appendix D: Earmarked reserves

-      Appendix E: Strategic Risk Register

-      Appendix Ei: West Suffolk Risk Management Toolkit

-      EXEMPT Appendix F: Aged debt over 90 days

-      Appendix G: List of available KPIs

-      Appendix H: Environment and Sustainability Reference Group quarterly progress report.


At the last meeting in November 2023 there had been a debate over the number of KPIs being reported and whether these should be reduced to more manageable levels.  The Cabinet Member advised that officers were currently working on a review of all the current KPIs, in order for Portfolio Holders to select the suite of indicators to monitor in 2024 to 2025.  Members of the Committee were invited to submit suggestions for changes to the KPIs.


The Cabinet Member highlighted a number of KPIs in Quarter three as follows:


Car parking events by town

Following a request by the Committee car parking events by town had been included as an indicator which showed good progress in the post COVID recovery.

Number of Housing Health and Safety Rating System hazards removed or reduced

During 2023 to 2024 to date, there had been greater activity in identifying and resolving housing standards issues, particularly in relation to damp and mould in light of greater focus on the issues.

Anglia Revenue Partnership (ARP) – days taken to process benefits

Whilst the length of time taken to process claims was currently exceeding target, ARP had a plan in place with the aim of meeting the year-end target.  Issues faced had been a system issue around Council Tax Reduction claims; and the remaining Housing Benefit claims being complex cases as the Universal Credit migration continued.


The Cabinet Member for Resources then presented the forecast year-end outturn as at quarter three, which showed an overall balanced position.  This result included the release of £572,000 of the planned top-up to the general fund of £800,000.  Officers would continue to review the position as the year progressed, but the forecast would mean the general fund would increase to £5.3 million by the year-end.  The council was forecasting to spend £19.7 million in the year 2023 to 2024.


The council’s reserve position remained strong with a forecast balance of £41.2 million, against a budgeted closing balance of £36.6 million.  The majority of the variance related to the timing of expenditure into the next financial year related to capital programme spend.  The net under-utilisation was primarily due to savings on borrowing costs and higher interest receivable.


A review of the Strategic Risk Register had taken place in the context of how the council assesses and rates risks.  The review had included an initial update to the Risk Management Toolkit which provided a framework for identifying, assessing and rating risks.  There were still six risks which still had a high residual risk even mitigation and controls and this was predominantly due to the wider economic and social environment, despite the actions the council had taken.  The review of the strategic risks would be ongoing as the council planned to also benchmark its approach to other local authorities.


Attached at Appendix H was a new update from the Environment and Sustainability Reference Group, which reported on the progress the council was making in delivering its environmental and climate change action plans.


The Committee considered the report in detail and asked a number of questions to which responses were provided.  In particular discussions were held on the KPI’s; the financial forecast summary and the risk register.


In response to a suggestion regarding including new KPIs for staff vacancies and access to social media by the public, officers agreed that these could be included. 


Officers also agreed, in response to a suggestion, that the KPIs that were monitored by Oflog would be highlighted in future dashboards.


A member of the Committee suggested that one approach to dealing with the large number of KPIs would be for the Committee to consider them on a rolling basis, by topic, but also always to take exception reports on KPIs from the standard suite, that were outside the particular area of focus. Officers would in future include on the dashboards a way of viewing the KPIs by strategic priority. 



In response to a question raised on the Risk Register, in particular risk WS12 “Partner / Public Sector Failure” as it was felt there was no mitigation around the avoidance of “cost shunting”.  The Committee was advised that following the review of the risk register, the risk had moved, but the council was being prudent by still showing it as a red risk.  The council was engaging with partners and actions were being taken on limiting any cost shunting.


At the conclusion of the discussions, the Committee:


-      Noted the forecast 2023 to 2024 revenue and capital positions as detailed in report number PAS/WS/24/005 and attached appendices. 


-      Noted the risk management review process to date.




Supporting documents: