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Cabinet Decision: 9th July 2009
Title of Item/Report
Q4 Improvement Report - Finance/Performance
Record of the Decision
This report outlines the Council’s service and financial performance for the full year from April 2008 to 31ST March 2009 highlighting achievements, areas for improvement, consultation activity undertaken, complaints, commendations and comments and outturn against revenue and capital budgets.

In October 2006, the local government white paper, “strong and prosperous communities” highlighted some changes to the way that Government would assess and monitor the performance of councils and their partners. These changes were included in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.

It was explained that as the new performance framework continued to embed, robust performance management systems remained in place across the Council to monitor achievement against objectives and targets set. The Corporate Management Team retained its focus on service performance as well as monitoring progress in implementing this new performance framework.

Cabinet was provided with a picture of the Council’s performance against the Local Area Agreement, the Council Plan, the National Indicator set as well as detail on the achievements made through the Equality Impact Assessments and the implementation of the Single Equality Scheme. The report also included detail of resident feedback and consultation activity. A series of appendices had been prepared to the report to provide members with a full picture of performance. The appendix had previously been could be accessed via e genda.

Cabinet considered the position of the MTFP for each service as at March 2009 and noted the major reasons for any movements from the previously reported position.

It was noted that the Council’s net working balances stood at 14.9 million.

It was explained that the position for the medium term was uncertain in its scope but what was certain was that it would be difficult and challenging. Since the MTFP for 2009/10 had been agreed in February the Budget Speech had exposed the scale of public sector borrowing and announced reductions in overall public sector expenditure. There were no details on the actual impact for Local Government services. There was however general agreement that from 2011/12 it would be facing negative grant settlements, the only question being how large these cuts would be. Stockton needed to start planning now for a course of action to ensure it was able to respond positively to these challenges. The Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation Programme that had already been initiated would undoubtedly contribute to the solution, but the deficits now envisaged would be much larger than when this was originated and thoughts needed to turn to alternative actions that would supplement this. Given these concerns it was considered appropriate, at this time, that the Council did not utilise balances , and continued to review the position on a quarterly basis, as part of the updates on the Medium Term Financial Plan.

RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. the overall report be noted.

2. the current progress in implementing the new Performance Framework be noted.

3. the revised MTFP be noted.

4. the level of working balances be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
To provide an update to Council
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Nelson and Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in this item as they served on the Stockton and District Advice and Information Service Board.

Councillor Lupton declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of this item as a result of his membership of Tees Active Ltd.
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not applicable

Date of Publication: 14 July 2009

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