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Agenda item

Quarter Two, 2018/19 Performance Management Report

Report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships – Strategy Team Leader, Transformation and Partnerships.


The Chairman introduced the Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager, Tom Gorman who was in attendance to speak to Members in relation to the Quarter Two 2018/19 Performance Management Report for the Altogether Wealthier theme (for copy see file of minutes).


The Corporate Scrutiny and Strategy Managerreminded Members of the different types of indicators reported, Tracker indicators and Target indicators and the performance reporting arrangements for 2018/19 were via a number of key performance questions (KPQs), aligned to the “Altogether” framework of six priority themes.


Councillors noted the five area of focus for “Altogether Wealthier” were: do residents have good job prospects; do residents have access to decent and affordable housing; is county Durham a good place to do business; is it easy to travel around the County; and how well do tourism and culture events contribute to our local economy.  Members noted that there would be infographics relating to performance under each of those areas.


In relation to “do residents have good job prospects” it was noted that the per capita household income had reduced slightly in comparison to the previous year reported, however the median gross weekly household earnings had increased in the period 2017 to 2018.


Members noted the percentage of the working age population in employment had increased, better than the regional level, less than the national figure.  It was added that the Durham trend was an increasing level, with the regional figure having a downward trend.  Members noted figures set out in relation to jobs created and safeguarded through Business Durham activities and the gross value added (GVA) comparison of Durham, regional and national averages.  Members were informed the correct value of £16,513 as reported in the table, erroneously set out as £16,294 within the graph.


The Corporate Scrutiny and Strategy Manager noted that the number of empty properties brought back into use through Local Authority intervention was slightly down in comparison to the previous year.  Members noted however that figures were on track to exceed the annual target within six months and therefore this target may need to be looked at for the future.  The Committee noted the figures in relation to the Bishop Auckland Food Festival and the Durham at War project, highlighting the work of Visit County Durham (VCD) and partners.  The Corporate Scrutiny and Strategy Manager noted the VCD website contained a number of excellent facts sheets as regards these and a number of other areas, and information on how their performance was calculated.


The Corporate Scrutiny and Strategy Manager noted that the Housing Strategy had been scheduled to be considered at Cabinet in December, however, it had been delayed until January in order to incorporate issues in terms of Selective Licensing.


The Chairman thanked the Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Managerand asked Members for their comments and questions on the performance report.


Mrs R Morris asked as regards apprenticeships, noting that rates were reported as “green” and therefore on track.  She noted concern as regards those young people aged 16-17 who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) and asked what specifically was being undertaken in terms of helping those young people into apprenticeships.  She also asked if there was comparison data from our statistical neighbours.  The Corporate Scrutiny and Strategy Manager noted that comparison data was provided where available and that he would also investigate as to work being undertaken to direct young people who are NEET into apprenticeships and then circulate the information to Members. 


Councillor J Atkinson asked what work was undertaken, for example in schools, to counter any negative attitude in terms of the apprenticeship route in comparison to an academic route.  The Chairman noted that this was an issue that had been looked at previously by a Working Group of the Committee, and she noted that young people themselves view apprenticeships as an attractive option.


Mrs R Morris noted that she felt that issues for those young people that are NEET at age 16 often began much earlier and added she felt it was important to be able to identify those young people early and provide assistance so that they do not become disengaged from the education system.  The Chairman agreed and noted the work of the Strategic Manager Progression and Learning, Linda Bailey and her team in this regard.  Councillor J Atkinson welcomed the improving attitudes and reminded Members of the opportunities within the County, including the University Technical College and South West Durham Training.  The Chairman noted that it may be possible to have an update within the work programme.


Councillor A Reed asked if young people were paid under those apprenticeships and noted that in some cases young people were being persuaded by their parents to take up certain courses and schemes in order to attract funding.  The Chairman noted that when the Working Group of the Committee had visited several colleges and training facilities it had been noted that they were all very good and encouraged young people to pursue apprenticeships and supported them in order to ensure the apprenticeships were sustained.




That the report be noted.


Supporting documents:


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