Agenda item

To receive the report of the Service Improvement Officer.


The purpose of this item was for Members to receive the report from the Task & Finish Group on the review of the QBR.


The Task & Finish group comprised of the Chair of Internal Overview & Scrutiny, Councillor Newton, Councillor Langford, Mr Dengate, Councillor Hames, the Finance Manager (S151 Officer), the Strategy, Performance & ICT Manager and the Service Improvement Officer. 


Councillor Newton opened the presentation expressing firstly how much the group enjoyed being part of this project. Issues with the old QBR were explained with the new design having two main elements, structure and content, resulting in the document being easier to read, understand and have a strong link with the new Strategic Plan. Recommended changes from the Task & Finish group were shown.


The Strategy, Performance & ICT Manager re-iterated Councillor Newton’s comments adding information regarding themes and providing examples of old and new layouts for budget monitoring pages. 


The presentation continued with detailed description from the Finance Manager (S151 Officer) on the new budget monitoring pages.


Changes to the layout of the actions and performance measures were presented by the Strategy, Performance & ICT Manager showing how the new layout will be amended to flow better and be easier to read.  To allow for improvement the Task & Finish group suggested that some historic data, that is included on every QBR, be removed and that a trend analysis be produced on a yearly basis.


The Service Improvement Manager presented the proposal for Trend Analysis which would include:

      Published alongside QBR4 each year

      Additional performance measures to those in QBR1, 2, and 3

      Reads left to right in date order

      Minimum 6 years of data

      Target against current year actual

      Trend graphs


The Strategy, Performance & ICT Manager provided a summary of findings from the group and stressed the importance of aligning the QBR with the Strategic Plan.


Recommended changes include:


Changes to Finance pages

      Remove previous years comparison columns from Income page – these are a distraction

      Include previous years comparison in end of year addendum (see above)

      Move notes on income to relevant row – easier to read/understand

      Change ‘total’ to ‘actual’ in column headings

      Add a Forecast column – so we can see what the end of year position will be

      Check the income we are reporting and add anything missing (i.e. green waste & hostel)

      Change headings in salaries monitoring: ‘expenditure to date’ and ‘budget to date’’ and replace ‘same time last year’ with ‘total budget for current year’ and add columns for ‘funded establishment’ and ‘vacancies (excluding /refuse)’

      Re-order the variances with the largest at the top and add a percentage column

      Provide more detail for the Earmarked Revenue Reserve

      Provide more detail on the £17m list and highlight ethical investments

      Reword to short term deposits

      Remove brackets and make clear ‘overspend’ or ‘underspend’

      Add narrative of key detail for earmarked reserves

      Investments – add trades, dates and ethical

      Swap columns – year to date and same time last year


Changes to Highlights

      Take out the Budget monitoring highlights. This is no longer needed as we are including additional narrative in the key areas of the budget monitoring pages.


Changes to Measures

      Take out the unemployment rate (this is a government model and does not reflect changes in a timely manner). This measure should be replaced by two new measures: ‘the number of people who are not in employment and claiming Universal Credit’ and ‘the number of people who are in employment and claiming Universal Credit’

      The unemployment rate should be included in the annual summary of trends

      Include measure for the timely payment of invoices

      The number of businesses in Torridge should be included in the annual summary of trends

      Take out LE352 (accidents reported on Council premises)

      Add in a new measure to report on achieving carbon neutrality

      Take out BV082a (dry recycling rate) and BV082b (composting)

      Add in two new waste measures: Food Waste Tonnage and Garden Waste Tonnage

      Move the main Land Charges Measure (LE701 – end to end time for searches) from Theme 4 (Our Council) to Theme 1 (Local Economy) and change headings from ‘total’ to ‘average’


Comments were received on how greatly improved the new design is with thanks and congratulations being expressed to all involved.


Following comment from the Chief Executive to add Lead Members to the appropriate Officer name to demonstrate the good working relationship, Councillor Newton suggested initials be added to use less space.


The Chair explained, following a query from Councillor Hodson, the reasoning behind removing businesses from every quarter and adding to the yearly analysis.


It was proposed by Councillor Watson, seconded by Councillor Manley and –




That the newly designed QBR (Appendix A) format and the Trend Analysis Quarter 4 addendum (Appendix B) for use from 2021/22 onwards be adopted.


A recorded vote was taken.






Cllr Boughton, R




Cllr Cottle-Hunkin, C



Mr S Dengate




Cllr Gubb, J




Cllr Hames, P




Mr I Harper




Cllr Inch, A



Cllr Langford, S




Cllr Manley, J




Cllr Newton, S




Cllr Watson, P





(Vote: Unanimous)



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