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Agenda item

Quarter One 2018/2019 Performance Management Report


The Committee considered the report of the Corporate Management Team which presented progress against the Council’s corporate performance framework for the Altogether Greener priority theme for the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year (for copy of report, see file of minutes).


The Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager was in attendance to present the report.


The Chairman thanked the Officer for his presentation and indicated that single use plastics was ongoing and would be brought back to the Committee in the future.


Councillor Crute commented that members had an opportunity to discuss fly tipping next week. He then referred to the 22 CCTV cameras deployed and four incidents were picked up on the cameras and asked if these were deployed in the right place. Councillor Crute then asked why the performance indicator was a tracker rather than a target and if there were any regional or national comparatives.


The Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager indicated that they could look into obtaining some regional figures but there were no national indicators for fly tipping incidents. The increase in fly-tipping incidents could be due to better and easier reporting methods. With regard to the CCTV cameras this would depend if the culprit or vehicle could be identified.


Councillor Dunn referred to the fly-tipping cameras which he had found difficult to be located in identified areas of his division. He had reported fly-tipping on three occasions and the reports were not included in statistics. He had also made a request for a covert camera to be used but they had not been deployed in the areas identified. He advised that more modern cameras were available on the market which had a better battery lifespan and maybe the service should invest in some of these cameras.


The Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager responded that perhaps they had to limit the number of cameras as they required staff to review the footage and that this may be something Councillor Dunn wanted to raise at the Special meeting on 10 October but in relation to reported incidents and statistical information the Performance Team would look at this to see if they could be categorised.


The Chairman commented that Members were involved in the purchasing of cameras so this needed to be looked at.


Councillor Dunn asked in relation to highway maintenance what proportion of the highway schemes were footpaths and were they prioritising smaller schemes.


The Head of Technical Services advised Members that the condition of the footpaths had improved in recent years due to extra investments in highways. There was a backlog in highways that had been reported to Cabinet and this was broken down by asset type. It was difficult to prioritise footways as there are other important structures included within highway maintenance, such as bridges too.


Councillor Dunn referred to the footpaths in his area that had been assessed and found to be acceptable but were in an appalling state.


The Head of Technical Services advised Members that if footpaths were not safe then they would carry out a proactive repair but they could not resurface all footpaths.


The Strategic Highways Manager indicated that they do closely monitor the condition of all of the highway network and they had a strategy in place to maintain to the highest standard and they continued to maintain roads. Category A roads were at a level of 3% that needed treatment so a decision was taken to use more highways resources to repair category B and C and this brought them to a similar level with the A roads. Unclassified roads were currently at 20% that required maintenance. The decision is do we allow A, B, and C road deteriorate to repair unclassified roads and footways. All footways are inspected for safety and structure but not as to whether they are aesthetically pleasing.


The Head of Technical Services advised Members that in 2014, 27% of footways required maintenance, this decreased to 21% and 24% as at 31 March 2018.


Councillor Martin asked if more money was required in Highways as the Portfolio Holder had reported that sufficient monies were going into Highways but the data says otherwise, so did they require more money. Councillor Martin suggested that the performance data for unclassified road maintenance indicated that performance was reducing.


The Head of Technical Services indicated that there was a highway maintenance backlog which had decreased slightly but was still a significant figure. They did look for capital maintenance and they relied on funding, they do have funding to make safe the backlog but this was a national issue and they were constantly putting in bids for extra funding.


The Strategic Highways Manager advised that this was a minor blip and the service followed the trend rather than a percentage change during the year. He went on that sophisticated surveys are used on A, B and C roads, footways are inspected on a four yearly cycle and unclassified roads are scanned but at a different level of survey to other road classifications. Therefore the 1% increase is viewed as a minor fluctuation and not a cause for concern.


In relation to fly tipping Councillor Clark asked if the statistics reflected incidents reported from the public, wardens or both. The Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager confirmed that it was both.


Mrs Holding asked who the biggest culprits for fly-tipping were. The Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager responded that the majority of fly-tipping incidents were domestic. Mrs Holding then asked if there was a reason for this to which the Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager advised it could be missed collections or laziness.


Councillor Sexton referred to some of the footpaths in his area that had been treated with a scree technique but within 48 hours in some cases the weeds were through and had this technique been piloted.


The Head of Technical Services indicated that it was a technique to stop the footpath from deteriorating. There was a challenge with weeds as strong pesticides could not be used and the pesticides they were able to use were less effective, but if weed spraying had been carried out prior to screeing this should address the problem.


Mr Bolton advised there had been regular problems with fly-tipping in his area but following reporting of incidents fly tip items had been removed within 24 to 48 hours which helped people’s perceptions.


The Chair advised in areas of Newton Aycliffe there had been incidents where fly-tipping had been removed quickly people used the same place to dump rubbish as they thought this was a service.


Resolved: (i) That the report be noted.


(ii) That the following change to the Council Plan be noted:-


“The Commissioning of a leachate treatment system at Coxhoe East landfill site has been delayed. Only one compliant tender was returned and this was significantly above budget available. The service is currently reviewing the procurement approach.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714