"To run an efficient and effective Council to deliver best value for our residents."
"To build the foundations for the growth of East Cambridgeshire's economy by supporting job and wealth creation while improving the quality of life and the environment."
The government has set a range of statutory 'best value' performance indicators to monitor the performance of all local authorities and encourage them to provide the best value services they can to local people. Each council complements these with a set of local indicators to reflect local priorities.
The government has appointed the Audit Commission to review the Council's best value performance indicators to check that they are being reported accurately and to make a fair comparison with other councils. Additionally, the Audit Commission audits the council's accounts to ensure that we maintain a high standard of financial management. In this way, local people can be confident that their council tax is being administered properly to deliver high quality services.
Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA)
The Audit Commission operates a programme of regular inspection of all local authorities in England and Wales to assess how the Council is carrying out its main functions. Every three years, the results of these inspections together with the latest set of performance indicators are reviewed and compared with other councils in a Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA). This assessment involves an on-site inspection of the Council, including interviews with staff and other public bodies with which we work. The Council received its first CPA in 2004 and was rated a 'Good' Council by the Audit Commission. (There are five categories: Excellent, Good, Fair, Weak and Poor). A copy of the Council's CPA Report is published on the Audit Commission's website.
In response to the Audit Commission's recommendations, the Council has put in place a CPA improvement plan. By continuing our close partnership with local public and community organisations and by responding to the needs of local people, we are determined to improve our CPA rating to 'Excellent'.
The Audit Commission's CPA regime is not limited to a single three-yearly inspection, but instead comprises a rolling programme of audit and inspection, which addresses the government's national improvement agenda for all local authorities together with local priorities specific to this council. The latest of these inspections was conducted in May 2005 and looked at the way in which the Council involves its customers and partners in the development of services. The 'Access to Services' report can be viewed on the Audit Commission website.
The Corporate Strategy Team provides support and guidance to Council departments to help them plan their service delivery and set challenging improvement targets to meet the Council's corporate objectives. The team also provides a corporate monitoring role to gather performance figures from each service and produce reports for the Council's senior management team and councillors, members of the public and central government.
The Council's Amibitions - Corporate Plan
If you would like to know what the Council's ambitions for the district are, take a look at the Corporate Plan.
The Council has revisited its objectives, to ensure that these still meet the needs of the district and its residents. As part of this work, the Council has clearly identified the priority areas of work for the next three years, and the performance indicators that will be used to demonstrate whether we are achieving our ambitions.
The Council is committed to achieving its corporate objectives and to improving the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of its services by an annual cycle of service planning. Each year, every department reviews its activities and agrees a three-year service plan.
The plan sets out how we propose to meet government performance targets and local priorities, and describes the opportunities to enhance the service and make cost savings wherever possible.
Each plan has to be approved by a committee of elected councillors before its budget is agreed, and progress against the plan is monitored during the year by senior managers and councillors. In this way, the Council's performance and spending is kept under regular scrutiny to ensure that customers are receiving value for money.
The Council's service plans and charters are listed below:
What have we achieved?
In 2009, the Council was subject to a statutory 'organisational assessment', conducted by the Audit Commission. The inspectors concluded that East Cambridgeshire District Council has a clear and ambitious vision that links closely with partner agencies to meet the needs of local people.
High Quality Services - Housing advisors are effectively supporting those at risk of homelessness, achieving a substantial cut in the number of applications. There is an effective plan in place to improve the level of affordable housing. The streets are kept free of litter and graffiti. Concern about anti-social behaviour is low and overall satisfaction with the area as a place to live is above average.
Partnership - The Council has an effective network of Neighbourhood Panels to take action on residents' concerns; for example the Police and volunteers are running a successful 'Speedwatch' project to improve the safety of village roads. The Council's partnership arrangement to deliver revenues and benefits services is achieving performance among the best in the country and has secured significant efficiency savings.
Sustainable Growth - The Planning team consistently exceeds government targets for processing planning applications and for the overall number of new dwellings built. The Council is helping new and small companies to grow. Satisfaction among its business tenants is high, and twenty companies have moved on to bigger premises in the district.
The Council has recognised areas where targets have been missed and has agreed action plans to improve performance.
For further detail you can view the full Organisational Assessment
The Council's Performance Plan is currently being updated and will be available soon.