Performance, Audit and Review Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 10th December, 2009
Time:
7.30pm
Place:
Committee Room 1, Council Offices, Gernon Road, Letchworth Garden City
 
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor M.E. Weeks (Chairman), John Booth (Vice-Chairman), Councillor R.E. Inwood, Councillor Paul Marment, Councillor Elliot Needham (substitute), Councillor Deepak Sangha, Councillor R.L. Shakespeare - Smith, Councillor Martin Stears - Handscomb.
In attendance:
Strategic Director of Customer Services
Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management
Head of Policy, Partnerships and Community Development
Head of Community and Cultural Services
Customer Services Manager
Performance Manager
Service Manager (Waste Management)
Member and Committee Services Officer
Also Present:
PART TIME: Councillor Tom Brindley (Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transport).
Item Description/Decision
PART I
36 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: Alan Bardett, P.C.W. Burt, Paul Clark, David Levett, Julian Cunningham and Sal Jarvis. An apology for absence was also received from the Chief Executive.
37 SUBSTITUTES
An apology for absence had been received from Councillor P.C.W. Burt and Councillor Elliot Needham confirmed that he would be the substitute in accordance with the agreed procedures of North Hertfordshire District Council.
38 MINUTES
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 September 2009 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chairman.
39 NOTIFICATION OF OTHER BUSINESS
There was no notification of other business.
40 CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Chairman reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest should be declared immediately prior to the item in question.
41 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
There was no public participation.
42 REFERRAL FROM AUDIT AND RISK SUB-COMMITTEE 24 SEPTEMBER 2009 - RISK MANAGEMENT
The Chairman advised the Committee of the Risk Management report presented to the Audit and Risk Sub-Committee on 24 September 2009 and the resolutions determined.

The Committee reviewed the resolutions and specifically the proposal to refer to Cabinet that the Local Area Agreement Risk be deleted from the Cabinet Top Risk.

Following a short discussion the Committee:

RESOLVED: That the resolutions (1) to (4) made by the Audit and Risk Sub - Committee be at the meeting held on 24 September be agreed.

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET: That the Local Area Agreement Risk be deleted from the Cabinet Top Risk.

REASON FOR DECISION: All recommendations were made in accordance with the declared policy of North Hertfordshire District Council.
43 REFERRAL FROM AUDIT AND RISK SUB-COMMITTEE 25 NOVEMBER 2009 - RISK MANAGEMENT
The Chairman advised the Committee of the Risk Management report presented to the Audit and Risk Sub-Committee on 25 November 2009 and the resolutions determined.

The Committee accepted the proposal by the Audit and Risk Committee to delete the Risk of Equality and Diversity as a top risk for the Corporate Management Team and that Cabinet be requested to consider the reduction of the assessment score for the Waste and Recycling Service Risk.

The Committee reviewed the Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy as presented at Appendix B within the Risk report presented to the Audit and Risk Committee on 25 November. The Committee were pleased to agree the changes in text at Paragraphs 1.6 and 1.7 of the Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy and reviewed the proposal that Paragraph 7.3 should now read that Council and not Cabinet sign off the Risk Management Policy and Strategy.

Following a short discussion the Committee agreed that Cabinet be requested to accept the proposal that Full Council should sign off the Risk Management Policy and Strategy.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the resolutions (1) to (4) and (6) made by the Audit and Risk Sub - Committee at the meeting held on 25 November be agreed;

(2) That the proposal at (5) to alter Paragraph 7.13 of the Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy for 2009 where Council and not Cabinet should sign off the Risk Management Policy and Strategy be agreed.

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET:

(1) That Cabinet be requested to consider and endorse the proposal to alter Paragraph 7.13 of the Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy for 2009 where Council and not Cabinet should sign off the Risk Management Policy and Strategy.

(2) That Cabinet be requested to endorse the proposal that the assessment of the Waste and Recycling Service score be changed (Probability 1 and Impact 2).

REASON FOR DECISION: All recommendations were made in accordance with the declared policy of North Hertfordshire District Council.
44 COMMENTS, COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS - UPDATE 1 APRIL 2009 TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2009
The Customer Services Manager (CSM) presented the report of the Strategic Director of Customer Services which gave details of 3Cs for NHDC and its contractors for the period 1 April 2009 to 30 September 2009, confirmation of the successful re-accreditation to BSi Standard ISO10002/2004 and that the Local Government Ombudsman confirmed that there been no evidence of maladministration by NHDC in this reporting period.

The CSM confirmed that a total of 1573 3Cs were received in this reporting period (including 834 from the Museums and Resource Centres) which was a 20 per cent increase in the total of 3Cs received. The CM advised that 38 of these 3Cs related to third parties about services that NHDC did not provide. Although the number of compliments had increased this was greatly affected by the number of compliments received on the Dr Who exhibition at Hitchin Museum. In turn the number of complaints received had fallen by 20 per cent when compared to the same period last year. The CSM then provided a summary of the headline information for this reporting period:
a. The Council was successfully re-accredited to the British Standard ISO 10002/2004;
b. The Local Government Ombudsman found no evidence of maladministration by the Council in any cases referred in 2009 to date;
c. Less than one per cent of residents formally complained to the Council in this reporting period;
d. The figure of 1535 represented a 25 per cent increase on the number of 3Cs received;
e. However, the breakdown of the type of 3C has changed:
f. Sixty one per cent were compliments about NHDC services, the majority relating to the Dr Who exhibition held in Hitchin Museum this summer;
g. The proportion of complaints received had fallen;
h. Six per cent of the complaints were justified; and
i. Four per cent of complaints had escalated to Stage 2 of the 3Cs process.

The CSM described to the Committee the methods used to contact the Customer Service Centre with the number of contacts by telephone increasing the most. The CSM referred the Committee to Appendix A which gave a breakdown of the 3Cs received per service area and to the data concerning 330 complaints by key areas of dissatisfaction which the Committee noted.

The CSM was pleased to advise the Committee that the re-assessment to ISO 10002/2004 had been successful for the third successive time after a three day review of NHDC and its contractors. The Committee noted that there had been six complaints against NHDC that went onto the Local Government Ombudsman(LGO): Housing Needs (2); Council Tax (2); Waste (1) and Leisure (1) none of which were found against the Council. At the time of reporting to PARC the LGO had found in favour of the Council in three of the complaints and adjudication on the remaining three was awaited.

In response to an enquiry concerning complaints about staff conduct the CMS confirmed that training was always given to re-enforce the training provided at corporate induction. The Strategic Director of Customer Services advised the Committee that the reasons for complaint detailed at Paragraph 4.1.7 were categorised in response to the issues raised by the customer and not a category defined by NHDC.

The Chairman congratulated the CSM for the continued success of the Customer Services Centre, the re-accreditation to ISO 10002/2004 and it was agreed that the thanks of the Committee should be passed to all officers concerned and the appropriate contractors’ personnel.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the good performance of the management of 3Cs between 1 April 2009 and 30 September 2009 be noted;

(2) That the reasons for the overall increase in received 3Cs be noted;

(3) That the reduction in the proportion of number of received complaints be noted;

(4) That the successful re-accreditation of North Hertfordshire District Council to the British Standard ISO 10002/2004 Complaint Handling for the third time in succession be applauded;

(5) That the Customer Services Manager be requested to pass on the thanks of PARC to all officers in the Customer Services Centre, NHDC officers who reply to complaints and the contactors for waste collection, recycling, leisure centres and grounds maintenance all of whom who had contributed to the ongoing success of the 3CS procedures;

(6) That the Committee were very pleased to note that the Local Government Ombudsman had not found any cases of maladministration at North Hertfordshire District Council.

REASON FOR DECISION: To allow corporate consideration of the 3Cs received by this authority and review decisions raised by customers which was a requirement of the BSi Standard.
45 PLACE SURVEY 2008
The Head of Community and Cultural Services (HCS) advised the Committee that the full written report for the 2008 Place Survey was now available, reminded the Committee that the survey collected information on 18 national indicators and that the findings of the survey were presented at Appendix 1. The Appendix provided details for NHDC in comparison to the other Hertfordshire Local Authorities and for benchmarking against national and regional results.

The HCS advised the Committee that these data were recorded more than 12 months ago and should be considered against the responses made by NHDC since the Survey. Of particular note for North Hertfordshire were five National Indicators in the top 25 per cent of all Local Authorities of which two were in the top 10 per cent. However, four National Indicators were in the bottom 25 per cent of all Local Authorities, one of which was in the bottom 10 per cent.

The HCS also advised that a separate action plan to address the areas of concern identified in the survey was not considered necessary but would be used to inform subsequent actions fed into for example the 2010/2011 Corporate Plan and in particular to the Sustainable Community Strategy work programme as all data would be shared with groups in the North Hertfordshire Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. The Committee noted that all of these groups would review the findings and issues raised by the consultants - Opinion Research Services. The HCS stressed that any of the proposed actions identified in existing service plans would be reviewed to ensure that issues raised by respondents would be addressed effectively.

The Committee reviewed the results of the Place Survey 2008 as presented at Appendix 1 and in particular the Priority Analysis Summary and noted that Community Safety in respect of ‘teenagers hanging around on streets’ was the biggest anti-social problem followed by traffic congestion and rubbish and litter. Another problem raised by respondents (26 per cent) was concern over drug use and dealing. The Committee noted that the Priorities for Improvement confirmed respondents sought the following: Affordable decent housing, Clean streets, Level of Crime, Public Transport and Shopping Facilities.

The Head of Policy, Partnerships and Community Development was pleased to advise the Committee that funding had been awarded to invest in addressing the disproportionately higher fear of crime, given the relatively low actual crime rate. This funding would be used for the provision of re-assurance measures in North Hertfordshire and flowed directly from the publication of the Place Survey results. The Committee noted that more funding would be available from the Home Office in 2010/2011. Comment was made as to other issues such as transport, recycling especially the need for kerb side collection of plastic and waste collection. The HCS assured the Committee that the reported dissatisfaction with refuse collection was linked to the two weekly operation and was reflected throughout the United Kingdom where the collection cycle was changed. However, this and other service specific concerns will be investigated further at a service specific focus group discussion.

The Chairman thanked the Committee and the HCS for their comments and the HCS confirmed that a lot of progress had been made since the 2008 Place Survey which would be examined in the next Place Survey that would be conducted in 2010.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the results of The Place Survey as presented at Appendix 1 be noted;

(2) That the results of The Place Survey as presented at Appendix 1 which highlighted the position of refuse collection, doorstep recycling and local bus services that were in the bottom 10 per cent of all England Local Authorities and that Local Household waste/recycling and local transport information were in the bottom 25 per cent of local authorities be noted with concern;

(3) That the recommendations made at Paragraphs 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7 of the report concerning the future plans for this authority, to address the issues raised by the external consultants, incorporation into the draft Corporate Plan for 2010/2011 and the delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy Work Programme be agreed.

REASON FOR DECISION: To make good use of effective partnership working and improve public perception of this Council.
46 THE NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE PARTNERSHIP (LSP), LOCAL AREA AGREEMENT (LAA) AND COMPREHENSIVE AREA ASSESSMENT (CAA)
The Head of Policy, Partnerships and Community Development (HPP)advised the Committee that this report to PARC encompassed an account of the activities of the North Hertfordshire Partnership (LSP) during the previous 12 months, and update on Local Area Agreement 1 and 2, allocation of the Performance Reward Grant, concluding with an update on the Comprehensive Area Agreement.

The HPP clarified the structure of the LSP, a two tier Board and Executive, the wide range of partner organisations and the ten themes within the new Sustainable Community Strategy and the ten draft action plans. The HPP confirmed that the LSP will report progress on each theme every quarter to the Executive who in turn will summarise for the Board and subsequently placed on the LSP website which was available to the public via the NHDC website. The HPP proposed and it was agreed that as the LSP would be delivering practical actions that PARC should now receive progress reports every six months.

The HPP described the 15 topics addressed by the LSP Board and/or Executive in 2008-2009 and commented on: Building Communities Resilient to Violent Extremism; Community Cohesion; Hertfordshire Forward; Performance Reward Grant; Place Survey; Response to Recession, and Sport Facility Strategy.

The HPP turned to the Local Area Agreement (LAA) and the Performance Reward Grant and advised the Committee that the first rounds of LAA1 and LAA2 overlapped by one year. The Committee noted that the potential performance reward grant for the North Hertfordshire Partnership could be £750,000 paid in two equal tranches of £375,000 in April 2010 and April 2011 and that 50 per cent of each payment would be revenue and capital.

The HPP explained that the Comprehensive Area Assessment had taken a slightly different approach to that of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment. There was a requirement in CAA for a series of reviews to take place each year: Countrywide progress against the LAA targets; Progress against agreed performance indicators; Partner agencies’ progress against ‘Use of Resources’ assessments; a self assessment by each agency or authority and the outcomes of the ‘Place Survey’.

The HPP confirmed that the draft CAA report had been received by NHDC and that there had been no green flags issued and that one red flag was issued concerning planning for large housing schemes. This matter had been addressed immediately by the Strategic Director of Planning, Housing and Enterprise in meetings with other Hertfordshire Local Authorities, and that a Members Information Note would be issued confirming that NHDC was performing adequately.

The Committee acknowledged the progress on the LSP, LAA and the outcomes of the CAA and that action had been taken to acknowledge the red flag regarding large scale housing planning applications. The Committee expressed concern at the issue of the red flag and the HPP confirmed that officers would be working hard and that there was room for improvement. In response to an enquiry the HPP advised on the wide ranging groups involved in LSP and LAA and the composition of Community Forums. The HPP also accepted that it would be appropriate to place the outcomes of the CAA review in Members Information Service.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the work of the North Hertfordshire Partnership in the previous 12 months be noted;

(2) That the proposal for PARC to receive progress and performance reports on the Local Strategic Partnership on a six monthly cycle (June 2010) rather than 12 months be agreed;

(3) That the Head of Policy, Partnerships and Community Development be requested to present a report on the allocation of the Performance Reward Grant from the Local Area Agreement 1 to the next meeting of PARC to be held on 25 March 2010;

REASON FOR DECISION: To allow PARC perform its role of assisting Cabinet with policy development and the scrutiny of the North Herts Partnership and approve more frequent reporting to allow review of the progress of projects using the Performance Reward Grant.
47 INTERIM PROGRESS REPORT ON APPROACH TO BUDGET BALANCING: 2010-2011
The Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management (HF) provided an update on the budget setting process for 2010 - 2011 following Member Workshops and review by the five Area Committees in the November 2009 cycle.

During a short discussion the Committee agreed that the process for setting the budget with respect to review by Members at Workshops was good and at the moment acceptable and those present saw no need to change. Several Members expressed a view that when Area Committees reviewed Efficiencies and Investments for the forthcoming year a different approach and understanding of local issues was undertaken with members of the public present and that this should be maintained. It was also suggested that budget setting should be an early agenda item for Area Committees and that it would be helpful if the Member workshops were all party as this would reduce the need for several meetings.

The HF noted the comments made by the Committee and advised that he would provide a full report on the outcomes of the Budget setting process to the meeting of PARC to be held on 17 March 2010.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the details and information provided on the budget setting process for 2010 to 2011 be noted;

(2) That there should be no change to the current process and consultation subject to any findings identified in the post budget setting analysis;

(3) That the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management be requested to continue with the presentation of efficiencies and investment proposals to Area Committees in addition to Members Workshops;

(4) That the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management be requested to present a completion report on the 2010 - 2011 budget setting process to the meeting of PARC scheduled for 28 March 2010.

REASON FOR DECISION: To allow PARC undertake its role of assisting Cabinet with policy development and ensure a robust and sustainable governance programme.
48 CORPORATE PLAN MONITORING REPORT: APRIL 2009 TO SEPTEMBER 2009
The Performance Manager (PM) presented the report of the Head of Policy, Partnerships and Community Development and that this was for the second quarter of 2009-2010.

The PM referred the Committee to the monitoring report presented at Appendix A which detailed the milestones to be reached to achieve each overarching action and progress to date against each action. The Committee noted that where a date for an action to be commenced was not due the specific column was shaded. The Chairman requested and the PM agreed to add where applicable a previous due date in say italics and in parentheses above the recorded completion date.

The PM advised the Committee that there had been significant progress in the delivery of the Corporate Plan in the reporting period and was on target for all actions , except that four sub- actions all within the Town Centres Priority had fallen behind schedule and had revised completion dates: 1. Implement plans for Churchgate, Hitchin; 2. Highways Enforcement Agreement with HCC;3. Implement a Highways Enforcement Agreement with HCC; and 4. Adopt a new Licensing Policy for Street Trading.

The Committee noted that officers with responsibility to advance the Corporate Plan had made alterations to timescales for certain actions and sub - actions which had also been detailed in Appendix A as detailed at Paragraph 4.4 to the report. It was proposed and agreed that the Head of Policy, Partnerships and Community Development be requested to advise the Committee outside of the meeting what these changes were.

The Committee reviewed Appendix A and in particular the four sub - actions that had fallen behind schedule. These delays were of particular concern considering that these actions were within one of the three priorities for NHDC and specifically what were the reasons for the slippages against the milestones. With reference to the development of Churchgate and Surrounding Area the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management (HF) advised that the close of dialogue with the remaining bidder was imminent and that when this closure was realised progress would be much quicker.

The Committee accepted that apart from the four delayed actions there had been good progress against the milestones but expressed a view that Cabinet should be made aware of these slippages. Cabinet should be requested to take immediate action to address the delays and note that delay to the development of Churchgate and Surrounding Area had become unacceptable.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the information provided on the progress against the Corporate Plan for the reporting period in the second quarter up to 30 September 2009 be noted;

(2) That in the next presentation of a Corporate Plan Monitoring Report to PARC the Performance Manager be requested to place where applicable previous due dates next to completion dates;

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET:

(1) That Cabinet be requested to note the concerns expressed by PARC on the slippages to actions within the Corporate Plan as detailed at Paragraph 4.2 and within Appendix A where ‘due dates’ had not been met;

(2) That Cabinet be requested as a matter of urgency to address these slippages in ‘due dates’ for actions within the Town Centre Priority;

REASON FOR DECISION:

(1) The recommendations contained within Paragraph 9 of the report had been made in accordance with the declared policy of North Hertfordshire District Council;

(2) To ensure that delays to completion of actions within the Corporate Plan are addressed as soon as possible and appropriate action be taken to meet re-scheduled completion dates.
49 PERFORMANCE INDICATOR MONITORING: APRIL 2009 TO SEPTEMBER 2009
The Performance Manager (PM) presented the report of the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management which gave an update on progress against Performance Indicators for the period April to September 2009.

The PM referred the Committee to the pie diagrams at Paragraph 4.1 which summarised the information presented at Appendix A for Traffic Light Status and Short Term Trend. The PM advised the Committee that there were 18 indicators (out of 43) which had exceeded their target, performed better than this date in 2008 or remained at an optimum performance. Unfortunately, 11 indicators were at red status of which ten had shown decline compared against the same period 12 months ago except for NI 179. This indicator NI 179 concerned Value for Money and the Committee noted that NHDC had set its own target (greater than the national indicator) and exceeded it. The Committee noted the actions that would be taken to improve the status of the ten indicators. The PM referred the Committee to Appendix B concerning the actions taken by officers to improve Indicator NI 196 - Improved street and environmental cleanliness - fly tipping.

The Committee reviewed all the performance indicators as presented at Appendix A and comment was made as to the target for Indicator BV 174 - Racial Incidents recorded per 100,000 population in that incidents had been recorded but a target was noted as blank. The HPP agreed that a target of ‘0’ was desirable but a target had to be set and two incidents were considered acceptable. The incidents recorded in Hitchin Town Centre were outside the council’s jurisdiction and had been passed to the appropriate authorities, and the Committee noted that in conjunction with BV 175 - Racial Incidents resulting in further action there was 100 per cent compliance.

With regard to Appendix B the Service Manager for Waste Management answered several points for clarification and confirmed that historically fly tipping was domestic generation but during the last year there had been a marked increase of commercial waste dumped due to gypsum and plasterboard being excluded from landfill sites, and was made worse by the dramatic increase in renovations/extensions . Another factor which affected the target attainment was the increase in ‘fly tipping’ due to individual bags of say plastic bottles left adjacent to a bottle bank which were classified as fly tipping but in fact should be recorded as littering.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the progress on meeting Performance Indicator Targets in the reporting period from April to date be noted;

(2) That 18 of the 43 performance indicators reported in this quarter had exceeded their target, performed better than 12 months ago or remained at optimum performance be noted;

(3) That the 10 performance indicators reported at red status this reporting period showing a decline compared to 12 months ago apart from the eleventh indicator NI 179 be noted with concern and the actions taken to rectify the situation be noted;

(4) That the information provided on Indicator NI 196 - Improved street and environmental cleanliness - fly tipping at Appendix B and the actions taken to improve reporting be noted.

REASON FOR DECISION: The recommendations contained within Paragraph 9 of the report had been made in accordance with the declared policy of North Hertfordshire District Council.
50 BEST VALUE FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEWS - UPDATE ON SERVICE IMPROVEMENT PLANS
The Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management (HF) presented the report which provided an update on the outstanding issues for four Service Improvement Plans: 1.Planning and Regulatory Services; 2.Efficiency; 3.Museums and 4.Transport. The Committee reviewed each Service Plan in return and agreed to sign off the Planning and Regulatory Services SIP with the proviso that the improvement action for an ‘Arms Length Trading Unit for Building Control be monitored through the Building Control Policy. With regard to the Efficiency Service Improvement Plan the Committee agreed to sign off 21 actions as ‘completed’ and that the remaining 11 ‘ongoing’ actions be monitored and their status be reported back as an update at the meeting of PARC scheduled for 17 March 2010. The Committee also agreed to sign off the Museums Service Improvement Plan subject to two ongoing actions relating to the establishment of a Museum for North Hertfordshire in Hitchin Town Hall and the improvement of storage, workshop and research facility being reported on at the meeting to be held on 17 March 2010.

With regard to the Transport Service Improvement Plan (tabled at the meeting) there was considerable debate and from items raised it was agreed that the SIP could not be ‘signed off’ at this meeting. Of specific importance were the following items raised by a Hitchin Councillor viz.
Absence of linkages to NHDC Parking Strategy in the Service Improvement Plan.
Page 3: Overnight HGV Parking - This activity was not included yet in the HCC work plan as far as the Hitchin Urban Transport Plan.
Page 7: Station Travel Plans - This activity was not included yet in the Hitchin Urban Transport Plan, and required clarification of the HCC timetable.
Page 8: Station Travel Plans - Letchworth and Baldock Town Transport Plans were still ongoing.
Page 10. Road repairs to support cycling - the objective is not correct and status should be amended to ‘monitoring on an ongoing basis’.
Page 11: Royston Demand Responsive Transport Service - is this in the Royston Urban Transport Plan?
Page 12: Reduce freight on highways - this is currently not in the Hitchin Urban Transport Plan.
Page 12: Station Travel Plans - repeat of the comment raised at Page 7.

The Chairman invited the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transport Councillor Tom Brindley to address the Committee and Councillor Brindley thanked them for their observations and comments on the Transport Service Improvement Plan. The Portfolio Holder accepted from the issues raised that the SIP could not at the moment be regarded as complete and he proposed and it was agreed that he would re visit the SIP with appropriate officers and that a revised SIP would be presented to the meeting of PARC scheduled for 17 March 2010.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the proposal to monitor the one remaining Planning and Regulatory Services action through the Building Control Policy be agreed;

(2) That subject to (1) above The Planning and Regulatory Services - Service Improvement Plan be signed off;

(3) That the proposal to sign off the 21 Efficiency service improvement plan actions with a ‘completed’ status be agreed;

(4) That the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management be requested to monitor the progress of the remaining eight ‘ongoing actions’ and provide an updating report to a future meeting of PARC;

(5) That the proposal to sign off 12 Transport service improvement plans (two with a status of ‘completed’, one with a status of ‘no longer proceeding’ and nine with a status of ‘complete for the purposes of the SIP’) be deferred and that the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management be requested to report back on the issues concerning Urban Transport Plans to the next meeting of PARC to be held on 28 January 2010.

(6) That the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management be requested to report back to the meeting of PARC scheduled for 25 March 2010 with a Service Improvement Plan which would address those activities not signed off at this meeting;

(7) That the proposal to sign off the Museums (Heritage and Cultural Service) Service Improvement plan be agreed and that PARC should receive further updates on the two outstanding actions categorised as ‘complete for the purpose of the SIP’ i.e. (develop plans for one gallery, museum and community venue in a town centre location/improve storage, workshop and research facility) via the PRINCE 2 project team and the appropriate reporting channels.

REASON FOR DECISION: The recommendations contained within Paragraph 9 of the report had been made in accordance with the declared policy of North Hertfordshire District Council.
51 ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY - EXCEPTION REPORT
The Strategic Director of Customer Services advised the Committee that he had been unable to provide a report due to the cancellation of the meeting of the Organisational Development Board scheduled for 23 November 2009. Unfortunately the next meeting of the Board was scheduled for 15 December after this meeting of PARC. The SCS provided a very short oral update as applied to 4th Tier and Below Restructuring (net savings of £432,000), Political and Management Leadership Development and Office Accommodation (re-location to Letchworth Grammar had been cancelled).

RESOLVED:

(1) That the short oral update on Organisational Development Strategy be noted;

(2) That the Strategic Director of Customer Services be requested to present an updating exception report to the next meeting of PARC to be held on 28 January 2010.
Published on Friday, 15th January, 2010
Start: 7.30pm
End: 9.15pm