Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Report of Head of Policy & Improvement
11 January 2011
Report prepared by: Tim MacGregor
Corporate Strategy and Performance Advisor
Corporate Priorities – 2010/11 and 2011/12
Economic and Environmental Scrutiny – Executive Councillor: Councillor Holdcroft
1. Purpose of Report
1.1 To provide an update on progress against the Council’s Corporate Priorities for
2010/11 and agree the Council’s Corporate Priorities for 2011/12.
2.1 That progress and key achievements made to date against the Council’s Corporate
Priorities for 2010/11 is noted.
2.2 That the proposed Corporate Priorities for 2011/12, as outlined in Appendix 1, are
3.1 The Council’s Corporate Priorities are reviewed each year in the context of national
and local political, economic and social circumstances. They are also reviewed in
the light of consultation with residents.
3.2 Clearly the election of a new Government in May 2010 and the subsequent
programme of deficit reduction and reform to public services is having a significant
impact on local authorities. The Government’s declared commitment to localism, the
‘Big Society’ and greater transparency in public services will change the way
services are delivered and are held to account. The deficit reduction programme has
left the Council with less resource for this financial year to deliver council priorities,
which will make achieving some actions and previously stated targets more
challenging. The level of resource available for future years will also be a key factor
in shaping actions and targets for 2011/12 onwards.
3.3 Residents priorities have been considered through the ‘Your Southend, Your Say’
budget consultation, with over 1,000 residents participating in the survey. Findings
from the survey and other relevant consultation exercises have been taken into
account in drafting the new priorities.
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3.4 The proposed Corporate Priorities for 2011/12, therefore, reflects the commitments
made over recent years, while taking account of the changing environment the
Council is operating in (see Appendix 1).
4.0 Corporate Priorities 2010/11
4.1 Progress in delivering targets and actions against the Corporate Priorities for
2010/11 has so far been encouraging. This progress against key indicators and
actions is reported in the Monthly Performance Report, reviewed by Cabinet,
Scrutiny Committees and senior managers and shows that:
At present 69% of Corporate Priority performance measures are on target to be
met, with a further 11.5% expected to be met by the year end.
The proportion of corporate priority indicators which have improved from last year
is (55)%. Most of the indicators which, to date, have not improved have been
adversely affected by the economic downturn.
5.0 Key achievements against the Council’s 2010/11 Corporate Priorities include:
5.1 Continue to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
Crime rates, which have fallen by 20% in the last three years, have fallen in
relation to burglary and robbery for 2010, compared to last year.
The Council has one of the best performing Youth Offending services in the
UK in keeping young people out of the youth justice system.
The nationally recognised Family Intervention Project continues to achieve
high standards, with, in the last three years, 100% of those young people
assessed as being at high risk of offending and whose families received its
support, being kept out of the criminal justice system.
Developing and implementing the Domestic Abuse strategy to enhance the
Council’s and partners’ approach.
The Council’s Sanctuary Scheme, to help victims of domestic abuse, has
been highlighted in a DCLG report on effective schemes that allow victims of
abuse stay safely in their homes.
Established the new domestic abuse refuge service in Southend (‘Safer
Places’) in partnership with Harlow and Broxbourne Women’s Aid.
Developed a pilot perpetrator programme to reduce reoffending and the risk of
South Essex Homes, staff were awarded the ‘Tim Winter Award’ at the Social
Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group Awards for exceptional performance.
The Council marked International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
(IDAHO), highlighting the reporting of homophobic hate crime, delivered in
partnership with South Essex Homes, the Council’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgender staff forum and local Community Groups (Women4Women,
CAB and Trans-living).
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5.2 Create a well-maintained and attractive street scene, parks and open spaces.
Maintained performance for the quality of the street scene in relation to
flytipping, flyposting, litter and graffiti.
Retained 4 green flags for Belfairs, Chalkwell, Priory and Southchurch parks.
Embedded the area based mobile working of the street scene team approach,
with services integrating other functions, such as highways and street based
enforcement within area based teams.
Developed the Recycling Champions network further, with over 40 now
Signed up to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) commitment
with 10 tough pledges to provide an effective, value for money, waste and
Awarded three Blue Flags for Southend’s beaches and seven Quality Coast
Awards for Pier and Foreshore teams.
Installed state of the art lighting in the town centre along with improvements to
the public realm that will also support the night time economy.
5.3 Minimise our impact on the natural environment
Revised the Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan agreed in June 2010.
Recycling rates continue to improve and are heading for 45% by March 2010
compared to 28% three years ago, along with a reduction in the amount of
Higher rates of recycling from council buildings, enhanced by the introduction
of food recycling.
Put in place arrangements to meet the requirements of the Carbon Reduction
Commitment scheme that will penalise the council for its carbon emission
Undertook a major clean up of Southend’s beaches following the oil spill in
September, removing more than a ton of polluted material as part of an
effective operation with key partners.
New cycle routes have been put in place, exiting ones improved (eg Priory
Park to Pier Hill and to A127) and cycling facilities enhanced through the use
of resources from gaining cycling town status. The recycling centre launched
in May 2010 to reuse bikes has a stock of around 350 with 150 sold.
The Council’s ICT Team has been chosen as one of seven finalists in the
sustainable ‘green IT’/’carbon efficient’ section of the e-Government National
5.4 Continue to improve outcomes for vulnerable adults and older people.
The Council’s Adult Care Services have been assessed as ‘performing well’
(level 3 out of 4) in the annual performance assessment by the Care Quality
Commission and achieved ‘excellent’ (level 4 out of 4) in two of the seven
categories assessed. This places the Council joint 3rd out of 17 local
authorities in our comparator group.
The Reablement Team continues to be the top performer in the Eastern
Region and its work in developing a ‘competency framework’ is continually
cited as good practice for other local authorities.
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The number of people in receipt of self-directed support through personal
budgets and direct payments has exceeded national targets.
23% of adults with learning disabilities of clients with mental health have been
helped into paid employment.
The Council was highly commended in the 2010 East of England Health and
Social Care Awards for the Ordinary Lives Project.
Helped more people with a learning disability have a health action plan to
support them in maintaining their health.
The proportion of people who are helped to live independently is 98.5% - up
from 98% in 2008-9.
Benefits advice is now provided in key locations in the community, such as
5.5 Make Southend active and alive with sport and culture
Opened the new cutting edge swimming and diving pools which has been
selected as a pre-games training camp for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
All Leisure Centres and swimming pools have retained the UK Quality
Scheme for sport and Leisure (QUEST) accreditation.
Attracted over 25,000 people to the Village Green family festival.
Expanded the cultural events and activities programme, including the ‘Feast of
Festivals’ for film, cycling, sea and air.
All museums, have been awarded the Museums Libraries and Archives
Council (MLAC) accreditation and the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance
Scheme (VAQAS) for Central Museum, Beecroft Art Gallery and Southchurch
The level of children and young people’s participation in high quality PE and
sport places the authority in the top quartile nationally, above statistical
neighbours and national average of 81% (ranked 12 out of 150 authorities).
Refurbishment of the Cliff Lift has led to its re-opening in May.
On-target to deliver the new central Library (due for opening 2013/14).
5.6 Continue to improve outcomes for vulnerable children
The Council’s Children’s Services have, for the third consecutive year, been
assessed as ‘performing well’ by Ofsted.
An unannounced Ofsted inspection of front-line child protection services in
May 2010 found ‘much that was strong and no issues that seem to be putting
children whose circumstances make them vulnerable at risk of harm’. It also
found good partnership working and a well-established common assessment
process being used to provide effective early support to families whose
circumstances make them vulnerable.
Established the new Shoeburyness Youth Centre, with state of the art facilities
for young people.
Undertaken major investment in schools:
- £5m in chase High school for a new building to host dance, drama and
learning centre and £7m for a new post 16 building.
- £18m in Belfairs High School.
- £8m for Hinguar Community Primary Schools for a rebuild at Gunners Park.
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Performance by pupils achieving 5+ A-C GCSEs, including English and Maths
has improved from 2009 and is in the top quartile of local authorities, well
above our statistical neighbours.
The Dare2Dream campaign, using young people to raise the aspirations of
young people and their families/carers, is going from strength to strength and
now has a total of 16 role models over the last 16 months.
The reduction in the under 18 conception rate is among the largest in the
country – and is better than the average of our statistical neighbours.
At 5.9% the level of 16-18 year olds Not in Education, Employment or Training
is better than our statistical neighbours.
5.7 Enhance the prosperity of Southend and its residents
Delivery of major projects to regenerate the town, including £25m investment
- Victoria Gateway: £7m scheme that will create a new town square and
access to the station and high street;
- City Beach: £7.6m revamp of Marine Parade with new lighting columns, new
town square and widened promenade;
- Cuckoo Corner: £5m traffic improvements to reduce congestion at the
- Progress Road: £4.6m to widen the road and improve traffic flow.
Development of a Local Economic Assessment and revised strategy to direct
and inform future policy and developments across the borough connecting
the local economy with the interlinking elements of housing, environment and
Helping to attract inward investment into the borough. For example, the
recently opened, 137 room, Park Inn Palace, which along with improvements
at the Roslin Beach Hotel, and promotional campaigns for short break visitors
have helped Southend attract more business tourists.
The Council has supported residents and businesses through the economic
downturn. For example, ‘Business Boosters’ specialist business advice and
benefits with now 60 supported, a new mentoring scheme launched and
‘networking on sea’ events averaging 35 people per meeting.
Targets for low carbon business support have been reached for 2010 ahead
5.8 Enable well-planned quality housing and developments that meet the needs
and expectations of Southend’s residents and businesses
South Essex Homes is ahead of the anticipated profile for delivering the
‘decent homes’ standard in modernising its properties.
Despite the economic downturn, the numbers of households in temporary
accommodation have declined since the start of the year and within target.
The Council’s successful use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders to
reclaim empty properties in the borough to bring them back into use (the only
borough in Essex) has been cited as a case study by the Empty Homes
Exceeding Local Area Agreement targets for providing affordable homes.
Completion of high quality student accommodation in the town centre.
Securing of £1.4million in funding to redevelop council owned garage sites to
provide 39 new affordable homes.
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Launch of private sector landlords accreditation scheme.
Continued progress in licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
accommodation and striking a ground-breaking legal agreement where an
approved letting agent will take over management of badly run properties.
Renovation of sheltered units into Extra Care accommodation at Nayland
South Essex Homes continuing performance improvement has been reflected
in a number of awards, for example, winning two National Federation of
5.9 Reduce the inequalities gap and increase the life chances of people living in
Agreed a partnership wide Health Inequalities Strategy
Produced a Single Equalities Scheme which brings together and strengthens
the work already done on advancing equality of opportunity over the last three
years through our Disability, Race and Gender Equality Schemes. The
Scheme sets out how we will build upon existing best practice and meeting
equality duties arising from the Equality Act 2010.
Ran a nationally recognised poster campaign supporting Changing Faces
‘Face Equality’ initiative which gives a voice to people who have
disfigurements of the face or body from any cause.
The Council is in Stonewall’s top 100 employers in the country for providing a
supportive environment for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff - the Council stands
63rd out of over 400 employers who take part in an annual benchmark
South Essex Homes have been assessed as ‘Excellent’ under the Equality
Started the roll out of project to develop active citizens, (initially in areas of
relative deprivation) who are supported to work within their immediate
communities to identify local needs and new ways to meet them.
Successfully delivered a Black History Month event with key partners
(including local schools and the Voluntary Community sector) in association
with the Council’s Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority staff forum. Doreen
Lawrence was the key note speaker.
5.10 Become a higher performing organisation
The Council has been shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle (LGC)
‘Council of the Year’ awards, highlighting the progress the Council has made
on its improvement journey in recent years. The Legal Team have been
shortlisted, as part of the Essex Legal Services Partnership for LGC ‘Legal
Team of the Year’.
The Council was awarded Investors in People (‘Silver’) status.
The Revenues Team were finalists in the 2010 IRRV Revenues Team of the
The transformation programme, Delivering excellence, will deliver £2.2m
savings by March 2011 and at least £15m by March 2015 through service
transformation and re-engineering of back office functions.
£11m of efficiency savings have been achieved since 2008/9.
The website has been improved to make it more user friendly and increase
customer self-service and provide better value for money.
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The Customer Service Centre has achieved the Customer Service Excellence
6. Other Options
6.1 Other options include:
Retaining the current wording of the Corporate Priorities. This would not reflect
the changed circumstances the Council is operating in since the election.
7. Reasons for Recommendations
7.1 To ensure Cabinet notes many of the key achievements to date against the
2010/11 Corporate Priorities and has had an opportunity to refresh the Corporate
Priorities for 2011/12, particularly in the light of changes to the political and financial
environment since May.
8. Corporate Implications
8.1 Contribution to Council’s Vision and Corporate Priorities
The Council’s corporate priorities help ensure that the Council’s work reflects
community and organisational needs and the activity that will deliver these and are a
critical element of robust business planning arrangements.
8.2 Financial Implications
The corporate priorities form the basis for budget discussion and help determine
where resources will be allocated.
8.3 Legal Implications
There is no statutory duty to produce Corporate Priorities, although it is considered
good practice as part of strategic business planning.
8.4 People Implications
8.5 Property Implications
Consultation and engagement activity has been incorporated within the business
planning timetable. Results of the Your Southend, Your Say consultation are feeding
into the Council’s budget making process.
8.7 Equalities and Diversity Implications
The revised framework will ensure the corporate priorities accurately reflect local
needs. An EIA was carried out on the business planning process in 2009. The EIA
will be reviewed to ensure the framework reflects the needs of local communities.
8.8 Risk Assessment
A decision on the revised timetable will enable the business planning framework to
be launched with potential risks and mitigating action identified before the start of the
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8.9 Value for Money
Value for money will form a central part of the council’s discussions on the budget
and priorities. A corporate approach to assessing value for money has been
developed and aligned to the business planning timetable.
8.10 Community Safety Implications
8.11 Environmental Impact
9. Background Papers
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Appendix 1 - Southend on Sea BC’s Corporate Priorities 2011-12
Aim Existing Priorities – 2010-11 Revised Priorities – 2011-12
Safe Continue to reduce crime, Continue to reduce crime, disorder and
disorder and anti- social anti-social behaviour.
Create a well-maintained and Ensure a well-maintained and attractive
attractive street scene, parks street scene, parks and open spaces.
and open spaces.
Clean Minimise our impact on the Where possible minimise our impact on the
natural environment natural environment
Healthy Continue to improve outcomes Maintain improved outcomes for vulnerable
for vulnerable adults and older adults and older people
Make Southend active and Support Southend to be active and alive
alive with sport and culture with sport and culture
Prosperous Continue to improve outcomes Continue to improve outcomes for
for vulnerable children vulnerable children
Enhance the prosperity of Encourage the prosperity of Southend and
Southend and its residents its residents
Enable well-planned quality Enable well-planned quality housing and
housing and developments developments that meet the needs of
that meet the needs and Southend’s residents and businesses
expectations of Southend’s
residents and businesses
Reduce the inequalities gap Reduce inequalities and increase the life
and increase the life chances chances of people living in Southend.
of people living in Southend.
Excellent Become a higher performing Deliver strong, relevant and targeted
organisation services that meet the needs of our
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