Part 1 ITEM NO.

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Part 1
ITEM NO.
REPORT OF THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER AND SUPPORT SERVICES
TO THE THINK EFFICIENCY CABINET WORKING GROUP
On MONDAY, 11TH APRIL. 2005
TITLE :
VALUE FOR MONEY SELF-ASSESSMENTS
RECOMMENDATIONS :
That members note the actions in progress to undertake a comprehensive value for money selfassessment across all services of the Council in preparation for the 2005 comprehensive
performance assessment and agree to receive further reports on the outcome of the selfassessments.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY :
This report informs members of the actions being taken to undertake a comprehensive value for
money self-assessment across all services of the Council.
BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS : Self-assessment proformas
(Available for public inspection)
ASSESSMENT OF RISK: Low
SOURCE OF FUNDING: N/A
COMMENTS OF THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER AND SUPPORT
SERVICES (or his representative):
1. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS
Not applicable
2. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
Not applicable
CONTACT OFFICER :
John Spink
Tel : 793 3230 E-mail : [email protected]
WARD(S) TO WHICH REPORT RELATE(S):
KEY COUNCIL POLICIES:
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all
Performance management
REPORT DETAILS
PURPOSE OF REPORT
The purpose of this report is to inform members of the Group of the progress with work to
undertake a self-assessment of the current value for money from all services across the Council.
CPA 2005
The key driver for undertaking this exercise is for the Council to be well placed when the Audit
Commission undertake their comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) later this year. Their
annual audit plan for 2005/06 indicates that their work on their value for money opinion (and the
use of resources judgement, of which value for money is part) will begin in June 2005, so it will
be important to demonstrate that the Council is taking appropriate steps to address the Audit
Commission’s key lines of enquiry.
Their key lines of enquiry will cover how well the Council : currently achieves value for money
 how well the Council’s overall and service costs compare with others
 what local factors affect costs and how adjusted costs compare
 the extent to which costs are commensurate with service delivery, performance
and the outcomes achieved
 the extent to which costs reflect policy decisions
 manages and improves value for money
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how the Council monitors and reviews value for money
how well the Council has improved value for money and achieved efficiency
savings
whether procurement and other spending decisions take account of full long term
costs
The Audit Commission has identified a number of criteria that it expects local authorities to meet
to achieve either a level 2 or 3 rating, and are currently in the process of identifying best practice
that would justify a level 4 rating.
These criteria for the use of resources judgement are currently still being field tested by the
Audit Commission. The initial assessment for 2005 is therefore expected to be a “lighter touch”
assessment ahead of a more rigorous assessment in 2006 and so is expected to focus on the
preparatory steps authorities have taken and the steps that are planned to ensure continuous
improvement in value for money and the use of resources.
VALUE FOR MONEY SELF-ASSESSMENT
Directors Team in January considered a pilot proforma self-assessment designed to assess the
value for money from 4 services – Benefits, Refuse Collection, Children’s Outside Placements
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(Education) and Children’s Outside Placements (Social Services) – and agreed that the proforma
be rolled out for completion by all services of the Council by 31st March. Most returns have now
been received and are being assessed as to the robustness of information to meet Audit
Commission scrutiny requirements.
An example of a completed self-assessment proforma – for Refuse Collection – is attached in the
appendix.
The information in the proformas should enable an overview to be taken of how well the Council
is addressing the Audit Commission’s key lines of enquiry.
Equally, they will have a number of other associated uses, for example they will help to pinpoint
further internal lines of enquiry to be identified to examine matters where value for money might
be improved, establish links to service and financial planning and performance management, and
possibly identify potential for best value reviews, service improvements and efficiencies.
RECOMMENDATIONS
That members note the actions in progress to undertake a comprehensive value for money selfassessment across all services of the Council in preparation for the 2005 comprehensive
performance assessment and agree to receive further reports on the outcome of the selfassessments.
ALAN WESTWOOD
Strategic Director of Customer and Support Services
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Appendix
VfM Self-Assessment – Refuse Collection
COSTS
How do the costs of the service compare ?
Cost of Waste Collected :
 To other Councils - cheapest quartile
 To Sister authorities – Cheapest quartile
 To AGMA Authorities – 5th lowest
Evidence : All comments made within this proforma are evidenced by the Lead Inspectors comments
with regards to the Waste Best Value Re-inspection in July 2004
Are there any local factors which might cause costs to be higher or lower than other comparators ?
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Street Cleansing Frequencies
Sickness
What steps have you taken or are taking to reduce costs ?
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Fundamental review of services leading to:
o 4 day week
o Introduction of agency contract to secure 100% service delivery
o £150,000 savings provided
o Introduction of cost effective flytipping charge
OTHER INPUTS
What other significant inputs are used in providing this service ?
The service maintains a low cost base through vehicle procurement and maintenance and identifying
scope for efficiency savings.
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PERFORMANCE
How does performance compare ?
Waste Collected per Head of Population (420kg 2002/2003):
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To other Mets – lower than average
To Sister Authorities – Best quartile
To AGMA authorities – 6th highest
Household Waste Recycled:
 To other councils – Above average
 To sister Authorities – Above average
 To AGMA authorities – 3rd Highest
 Friends of the Earth – 2nd best in England – Kerbside collections
 99% served by Kerbside collection of recyclables – Best quartile
 LPSA Target – High rise flats – target achieved 12 months in advance of requirements
Satisfaction Levels:
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Street Cleanliness 2000/2001 32% 2003 50%
Waste Collection 2000/2001 78% 2003 89%
Recycling Facilities 2000/2001 55% 2003 66%
Missed Bins:
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21 per 100,000 – Best Quartile
Are there any local factors which might cause differences in the level of performance compared
with other comparators ?
All front line operational services are subject to the consideration of community needs. The reshaping of
the Refuse Collection Service, the establishment of the Kerbside Collection Scheme, the additionality
invested in SRB and New Deal areas are examples of where straight-line comparators need greater
comparator intelligence.
Is performance improving or deteriorating ?
All indicators identify service improvements across all core services.
Educational Activity is supporting the reduction of waste collected. 3.5% has been taken out of the waste
stream since 1998/99 against a national trend of a 3% growth per annum in waste.
What steps are you taking to improve performance ?
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Best Value Improvement Plan
Business Planning and Performance Management Frameworks
Internal and External Scrutiny
Communications and Marketing Plan
Introduction of new services:
o Green Waste Collection Service
o Low rise flats recycling service
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OUTCOMES
What qualitative outcomes does the service deliver ?
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The aims are underpinned with service objectives and targets
The aims are challenging and seek to improve outcomes
The service is taking effective action to minimise, reuse and recycle waste
The service has a track record of delivering dynamic and innovative education programmes
The service is accessible and responsive to users
Emphasis is placed on education and advice to encourage people to change behaviour and
attitudes
Education and enforcement activities are having an impact with some areas no longer classed as
hotspots
The Council has developed clear environmental aims and objectives in its strategic planning. It is
meeting these through a range of initiatives across service areas and these are having an impact
on cross-cutting issues such as regeneration and community safety.
Cleanliness of the environment and sustainable waste management are priorities for the Council
Business Planning within the service is a strength and links service delivery to corporate and
community plans for improving the local environment.
The service knows what matters to local people through a range of consultation mechanisms and
responds accordingly
Action plans are adequately funded and have already delivered significant impacts
Private and public sector partners confirm that the service works effectively with them. A mixed
economy of services has led to improved quality and reliability
What quantitative outcomes does the service deliver ?
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The amount of waste collected per head of population has overall fallen by 3.5% since 1998/99,
against a growth nationally of around 3%
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The Council has achieved its statutory target for the percentage of household waste arisings
which have been recycled / composted.
The Council has achieved its LPSA target
Community initiatives are encouraged through the payment f recycling credits to local and
national charities
The service responds promptly to service requests – 97% of fly tipping and 93% of graffiti are
removed within the 3 day target
A range of national and local performance indicators are in place, positioning the services
consistently in the top two quartiles.
The council uses a mixed economy for service delivery – Refuse, recyclables and street
cleansing are provided in-house, other services and equipment such as dog wardens, weed
control, vehicles and agency staff are subject to competitive tender.
The service positively seeks to encompass best practice, the quality of service has been
recognised by a Charter Mark for Refuse Collection Environmental Education
The service has a good track record of attracting external funding through the DEFRA waste
minimisation fund.
The service has a tracj record of improvement against Best Value performance indicators
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VALUE FOR MONEY JUDGEMENT
(eg How good is the service ? Are there promising prospects for improvement ? Are costs
commensurate with service delivery, performance and outcomes ? Do costs reflect policy decisions
? Is Vfm improving ?)
Audit Commission Waste Management Inspection Report, July 2004 identified that:
The service is good 2 star service because its strengths include:
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Efficient and effective refuse collection and street cleansing services that are accessible and
responsive to users.
Increased user satisfaction
A strong contribution to meeting the council’s aims
Service provision reflects the diversity of the local area
A reduction in the amount of household waste collected per head of population
Proactive enforcement and education policies
Good use of information technology to improve responsiveness and performance
management
Favourable comparisons with services provided by other councils
The service has excellent prospects for improvement. Positive developments include:
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Good consultation mechanisms with local communities to respond to their needs
The council is clear about, and committed to, strategic direction for waste management
services, including working with the Greater Manchester Waste disposal Authority and
developing the Municipal Waste Strategy for Greater Manchester
The council has financed growth in the service to compliment investment from external
funding
Significant changes have been introduced within the service that have improved efficiency
and effectiveness
Good progress on improving environmental best value performance indicators in delivering a
best value review improvement plan
Good performance management and business planning systems
Strong partnership working
The council is aware of what further improvements are needed and is making progress in
implementing a co-ordinated approach to street scene management.
Service and other action plans are being delivered
The service is well managed with a committed, motivated workforce and a range of expertise,
which has been enhanced from outside the organisation.
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