Vanessa Higgins (Information Business Partner) presented the report which confirmed how the council measured the delivery of its Corporate Plan.
The main changes to the framework had been brought about by corporate targets that had been affected by COVID-19. Some positive outcomes had become evident, such as a reduction in sickness levels and an increase in the council’s use of social media.
Several Heads of Service attended the meeting to respond to member queries, which included:-
· Why had only 3 landlords signed up to the Landlord Accreditation Scheme? (When considering accreditations, there needed to be a value to it and the council had to ensure all aspects were correct. Most Landlords had left the previous Stoke-on-Trent scheme. The council retained the capability to enforce where necessary and this was our main responsibility. This action had no effect on the tenancies.)
· What was being done about the level of empty properties? It had previously been agreed that an ‘Empty Property Working Group’ should be set up with member involvement. (Efforts were made to act whenever possible but some properties were exempted from action. Compulsory purchase was an area being investigated. The agenda for the working group was being compiled. A list of empty properties would be provided to members before the Working Group met.)
· Some CCTV cameras had been de-commissioned. Was there a bid to re-instate them? (A response would be provided.)
· What was being done to assist new and existing businesses after COVID-19, given the level of empty shops? (The council’s Regeneration section was involved in the ‘Covid Recovery Group’. Additional Business Grants were available to support businesses. The County Council were administering Restart Grants and Start-up Grants.)
· The Outside Markets were shown at a cost of £4,000. Was this a direct cost to the council and what return did the council received? (A response would be provided.)
RESOLVED – That the Panel recommend that Cabinet APPROVE the Performance Framework 2021/2024.