Public service organisations must be transparent and accountable to the citizens they serve. In order to ensure that services do perform effectively and provide value for money, organisations report on their work.
Because organisations need to report on many different aspects of the services that they deliver, reporting could be a burden. The information provided and the workload might also be duplicated as plans and strategies overlap.
Wrexham County Borough Council employs around 6000 members of staff across nine departments. Responsibility for corporate planning and performance management sits with one of three Strategic and Performance Directors, and is supported by a small team within the Corporate and Customer Services Department.
Wrexham County Borough Council have organised five levels of planning, which come together to form a Golden Thread. Each level feeds into the next so that planning resources are used as effectively as possible.
Each staff member receives a Performance Review and Competency Development appraisal, which is a six-monthly review between themselves and their manager. Here they agree a small number of defined and deliverable objectives for the year. They report on progress and also look at the support needed to achieve these objectives.
These objectives feed into Departmental Service Plans, which might also include service area plans, team plans or unit plans. These are management tools to ensure all objectives are resourced and monitored
The plans in turn feed into the Corporate Strategies, which contain the detail about what the Council will do.
The Corporate Strategies feed into the Council Plan [Opens in new window], which is the statutory improvement plan for Wrexham County Borough Council. The plan matches the electoral cycle of the Council. It sets the Councils priorities around where they spend their money and time.
Members receive quarterly performance reports, which are pulled together from information within departmental service plans. These are updated quarterly by department heads, and priority outcome challenge meetings also take place quarterly.
The themes of the Council Plan mirrors those of the ‘Our Wrexham Plan’, which is the single integrated plan. Whilst the Local Service Board owns the plan, the Council has a statutory duty to ensure the plan is in place. Other partners in the Local Service Board have statutory duties to collaborate with them.
The Wrexham Plan is to be delivered and managed by three Partnership Delivery Boards that work to the themes of ‘Live independently and be healthy and active’; ‘Safe and where everyone feels included’; and ‘Strong, resilient and responsible economy’.
This approach helps to avoid duplication of reporting and enables Wrexham County Borough Council to ensure that resources are used as effectively as possible in the process. It has resulted in streamlined reporting. The data is simpler and clearer, with the detail in the comments, particularly in the highlights and areas of concern.
Wrexham County Borough Council have a Statutory Duty to publish a self-evaluation of their performance against their stated objective, which has been developed to make it more interesting and user-friendly. It includes graphs with trend, target and comparison.
Name: Morgan Jones
Title/role: Senior Performance, Improvement and Partnerships Officer
Organisation: Wrexham County Borough Council
Telephone: 01978 292263