To consider the attached report of the Chief Executive.
Representatives of Civica and East Kent Housing
The Performance Report – Quarter 1, 2019-20 had 5 red performance indicators, which were as followed:
· Civica: KPI06-D (Average call waiting time in seconds)
· East Kent Housing: EKHL1 (Average time taken to re-let council dwellings)
· East Kent Housing: EKHC2 (Rent arrears as % of annual debit)
· East Kent Housing: EKHC3 (Former tenant arrears as % of annual debit)
· Corporate Resources:HOU010a (Number of households living in temporary accommodation including B&B)
In response to concerns raised by Members about the Quarter 1 performance of KPI06-D (Average call waiting time in seconds) at 349 seconds (against a target of 233 seconds and an outturn in 2018/19 of 74 seconds), the Partnership Director (Civica) advised that the way the indicator had been calculated had been changed in order to give a more accurate indication of the customer experience.
The method of calculation for the indicator in 2018/19 included (1) switchboard calls (2) automated calls and (3) service calls (i.e. speaking to a customer services team member) while the indicator for 2019/20 only included service calls. If the performance indicator for Quarter 1 was calculated using all three components, it would have resulted in an outturn of 106 seconds.
Members welcomed the more accurate reporting of the wait time for customers calling the Council but questioned whether performance of 233 seconds was an acceptable target from the perspective of residents. The Partnership Director (Civica) advised that customer services had 60 members (increasing to 63 shortly) of staff. These were funded from within the resourcing levels set by the Council. The distribution of the staff was split between revenue and corporate and work was being undertaken to ensure that those in the corporate section could deal with calls for all areas. This would increase performance in the longer term but in the short term it meant that members of staff were being taken off the telephones to undergo the necessary training.
It was expected that Quarter 2 performance would not be within the target as while July 2019 and September 2019 (to date) had been on target, the performance for August had missed the target. In response to a question from Councillor L A Keen, Members were advised that the mailboxes of individual officers were not part of the system that Civica were responsible for dealing with.
The Partnership Director (Civica) invited Members to visit customer services during one of the National Customer Service week open days in October 2019.
East Kent Services
Members queried why performance indicator EKS02d.1 (percentage of incidents resolved within 1 working day) had a target for 2019/20 of 60% when the outturn for 2018/19 was 72% and requested an explanation as to the rationale behind the target setting.
East Kent Housing
The Chief Executive (East Kent Housing) advised Members that the performance of EKHL1 (Average time taken to re-let council dwellings) in July 2019 was 6.83 days and it was expected that Quarter 2 would show improved performance.
Members were advised that delayed payments by the DWP had affected the performance of EKHC2 (Rent arrears as % of annual debit).
A query was also raised as to whether the target for EKHC2 was 2.50% or 4.55% as there seemed to be a contradiction between the indicator and director comments.
Councillor C A Vinson queried why for IMP02 (Percentage of capital procurements (projects) delivered) there was a historical and current under delivery. The Chief Executive (East Kent Housing) advised that the capital works covered a variety of works such as kitchen and bathroom replacement, which was often cyclical. There had been problems with contract procurement as it was either EKH + 1 council or EKH + 4 councils. An example was quoted of the lack of a pitch roof works contract which was holding up the procurement of the flat roof contract.
In addition, although property components (i.e. kitchen or bathroom) had a specified lifespan it did not necessarily mean that at the end of the lifespan the condition of the property components had deteriorated to the stage where they had to be replaced. However, as EKH only had 30% of the stock condition information that it needed, it was not always able to identify works that needed to be undertaken and there were efforts underway to improve the stock condition knowledge.
In respect of IMP15 (Garage arrears as % garage rental income), Members were advised by the Director of Customer Services (East Kent Housing) that performance had improved and arrears were now within £700 of the target.
Councillor P M Brivio questioned how REP04 (Percentage of tenants satisfied with day to day repairs) was calculated given the 100% performance achieved for Quarter 1, 2019-20. The Chief Executive (East Kent Housing) advised that tenant representatives had tested it with mystery shopping. Members requested a report for the next meeting as to how EKH tested tenant satisfaction, including the methodology used and examples of any forms that tenants had to complete.
DDC Corporate Resources
In response to questions from Members about the performance of ENH015 (Number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued for dog fouling) and ENH016 (Number of Envirocrime prosecutions completed), the Strategic Director (Corporate Resources) advised that he would find out why performance amounted to 1 Fixed Penalty Notice and 1 prosecution respectively for Quarter 1.
The Strategic Director (Corporate Resources) emphasised to Members that that Council would not reject any valid homelessness presentations and that this was reflected in the performance of indicators HOU010a (Number of households living in Temporary Accommodation including B&B) and HOU010b (Number of households in bed & breakfast), which were Red and Amber status respectively. The Council had created extra interim accommodation and the number of households in Bed and Breakfast remained stable. However, there was some evidence that private landlords were leaving the market which reduced the amount of private rental accommodation available.
In respect of a question concerning the end of the business rate pilot, it was stated that this had been treated as a windfall and therefore did not have an on-going impact on the Council’s baseline.
RESOLVED: (a) That an explanation be provided for how the target of 60% was set for performance indicator EKS02d.1 (percentage of incidents resolved within 1 working day).
(b) That a report be submitted to the next meeting explaining how performance indicator REP04 (Percentage of tenants satisfied with day to day repairs) was calculated including details of the methodology and examples of any forms that tenants had to complete.
(b) That key contacts within customer services be provided to Members.
(c) That the Democratic Services Manager be requested to put information on the open days in customer services on the Members’ Weekly News.
(d) That the Strategic Director (Corporate Resources) would provide further information on the performance of indicators ENH015 (Number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued for dog fouling) and ENH016 (Number of Envirocrime prosecutions completed) for Quarter 1, 2019-20.
(Councillor T A Bond declared an Other Significant Interest (OSI) by reason of his position as a Director of East Kent Housing to which he was appointed by the Council and withdrew from the meeting for the consideration of this item of business.)