Work appraisals, don’t you just love them? Reds, Ambers, Greens flash before your eyes as you scan the documents to see if you’re in trouble, then you desperately try to come up with an excuse as to why what you said would happen hasn’t quite happened yet…
Sound familiar? Well, courtesy of CornishStuff you are on the other side of the desk today because Cornwall Council were under scrutiny this morning when they had their mid term appraisal to discuss the Councils performance standards.
Cabinet members heard how there has been an overspend in the council’s budget in the quarter, with Adult Social care overspending by £7.2 m in 3 months.
And in a move that will delight Remainers but infuriate the Brexiteers, the council also officially added Brexit to the list of “Strategic Risks to Cornwall”.
In summary, of the 72 performance and financial service indicators with targets-
- 38 (53%) of indicators are green (achieving or exceeding their target)
- 11 (15%) are amber (a little short of target)
- 23 (32%) are red (significantly off target)
- In addition 5 measures have no target attributed to them (currently baselining
Of the the 23 red indicators 11 were related to performance and 12 financial.
According to the report the overspend of £7.293m in Adult Social Care is being driven by significant pressures on residential and nursing home fees. The position reflects one off measures totalling £5.4m, without these one-off measures the overspend would be £12.7m. Much of the overspend can be also be found in the delay of transferring a recovered patient from hospital to a care facility – so called “bed-blocking”. As predicted by the council earlier in the year there has been a deterioration in performance. The system is working proactively to put in place a ‘Discharge to Assess scheme pathway’ but reamins behind schedule.
The report also found
- The council coffers are£1.5m down due to non delivery of on street parking charges
- Had a ‘savings shortfall’ of £2.095m related to Voluntary & Community Sector review
- Slightly behind meeting targets for the delivery of new affordable homes for the period to date but predict meeting overall target of 800 homes by the end of 16/17
- The percentage of households in Cornwall who are in fuel poverty is 14.4%
- We binned an average of 625kg per household in the last 3 months – but we only recycle 35% of it – below target
- The council received some legal advice regarding service cuts that could be unlawfully made as a result additional cuts
On everyone’s favourite subject, parking, the council’s assesment said:
“Parking income overall is below target due to a shortfall in income for pay and
display parking and non-delivery of income generation savings from on street
pay and display parking, but has mainly occurred because the projections and
windfall last financial year for parking income have not followed through into this
year at projected levels. The parking charges were not increased this year on the
basis that the over-recovery of parking income in the previous year would be
used to ‘underwrite’ any shortfall in income this year.
There is a balance between setting prices and parking volumes as well as
support from communities. In September Cabinet agreed the Cornwall Traffic Management Parking Policy Statement and work has commenced on
planning the pre-consultation on Resident’s Parking and On Street Parking in the
7 towns which has now commenced.
Then at the end of that awful appraisal meeting you’re asked to identify targets and risks…
In a move that is bound to cause controversy, the council has made Brexit a strategic risk – saying it’s no clearer now whether Cornwall will continue to receive the levels of funding we have enjoyed in the last decade or two. The council highlighted several reasons why Brexit is now a risk to Cornwall:
- The locally managed UK funded investment programme may not
be funded to the same level by Government as the anticipated
EU allocations – impacting communities
- Reduction in schemes and initiatives in Cornwall which qualify
- Loss of outputs for the Cornish economy
- Loss of private sector confidence
- Possible national allocation scheme for funds rather than devolved decisions
- Delays in delivery, not delivering the EU programme on time and failing to meet the midyear bonus rate of 6% (£30m)
- Loss of private sector confidence
- Loss of outputs for the Cornish economy
- Due to the decreasing central government funding, increased demand on services, cost fluctuations due to Brexit, the risk is that the Council is unable to deliver and provide statutory services and those discretionary services it chooses to provide to a level that meets the expectations of the communities of Cornwall and is legally defensible. Reduced group company profits post Brexit from funding reductions and material cost increases.
“We continue to work with Government to understand the impact of Brexit on delivery of the EU funding programme” said a council official.
“The EU referendum has resulted in delays to the signing of funding agreements for the EU programmes. The 2014-2020 Growth Programme continues to contract investments – over 40 projects across the ERDF and ESF programmes were on track to sign funding agreements before the autumn budget statement on 23 November. This will represent a large proportion of the ERDF and ESF money allocated to Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. Whilst there is still a lack of clarity around the future of European programmes, we have received communication from Treasury that for projects signed after the Autumn Statement, funding for projects will be honoured by the Government only if they demonstrate good value for money and are in line with domestic strategic priorities.
Several projects receiving match funding from Cornwall Council are due to receive their funding agreements shortly. £19 million has been committed to the capital programme against investments. Superfast 2, Carluddon Technology Park Project, Aerohub+ Enterprise Zone, Cornwall Agri-tech project, Delivering RD&I in Marine technology, Cultivator, Launchpad, St Erth Multi Modalhub, Cornwall Rail Mainline Enhancement and Jubilee Pool Renewable Heat Network have all received or signed their funding agreements”.
The Growth Programme (the new EU money 2014-2020) now totals £715m which is an increase of just over £41m compared to the position at the end of June. This is mainly due to the inclusion of a number of new schemes, most significantly the Housing Development Programme Pilot Sites (£22.900m). It also includes revisions to the Growth Deal programme as approved by Cabinet at its meeting in July.
On further strategic projects the report had this update:
- A30 – Temple: Works are presently running behind the original programme
with the diversion of strategic infrastructure and inclement weather having caused delays to progress. The weather risk associated with working on Bodmin Moor remains high duringthe remaining construction period.
Overall project completion is due by 4th July 2017.
“Negotiations are underway with the site team to see how soon four running lanes of traffic for peak travel periods could be provided.Works are presently forecast to be delivered within budget. Traffic management on site has now reverted back to the
provision of only a single lane in each direction, as was the case prior to works commencing.The first of the side roads is planned to be open to local traffic
under controlled access from the end of November 2016, utilising the newly constructed bridge at Preeze Cross”
- Hall for Cornwall refurbishment : (amber) majority of £18.5m funding now secured
Then the cabinet asked full council to decide on funding for
- IDOX Document Management System (£0.115m)
- Par Athletics Track Resurfacing (£0.220m)
- Refurbishment of Camborne & Truro Day Centres (£0.436m)
- Murdoch & Trevithick Centre Demolition (£0.900m)