Decision details

Improvement Plan - Progress Report

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Councillor Ann McLachlan introduced a report by the Director of Public Health/Head of Policy and Performance that provided an update on progress in delivering the Council’s Improvement Plan, six months into its implementation.


The report informed that significant changes have been made since the Improvement Plan was developed during summer 2012.  The Plan reflected the position the Council was in at that time, with an emphasis on the need to get some of the basic infrastructure for change in place to enable the organisation to begin a longer process of transformation. 


The Cabinet noted that the emphasis of the Plan was being changed to ensure that it was more outcome-based.  Outcomes had been identified that the Council believed would demonstrate the impact of the changes being made as an organisation, against the priorities that were set out in July 2012.  They would also enable the Council to be stronger in its approach to delivering the commitments made in the Corporate Plan for 2013-16. 


The report looked forward and informed that the focus for the next six months would be on ensuring Wirral could evidence the actions taken that showed the borough was strengthening its corporate culture to meet its current and future challenges.  Key priorities would be to embed a new performance culture as well as embarking on a series of transformational projects that were seen as essential in shaping the Council that Wirral would be by 2016.  The Peer Challenge follow-up visit recommendations had support this, particularly around the need to strengthen Wirral’s corporate functions and linking the transformation programme to the vision of its future. 


The report was accompanied by a detailed milestone report which was attached as an appendix.  It included a summary of progress against each of the Improvement Plan objectives and a Red, Green, Amber, Blue (RAGB) rating.


The Cabinet noted that of the 45 objectives within the Plan:


·  11 were rated blue and had now been completed.

·  13 were rated green and were on track, in progress and completed to plan, with no issues.

·  21 were rated amber and were not yet completed, a risk but not yet an issue.

·  0 were rated red and identified as a problem requiring serious or immediate attention or action.


The Cabinet noted that this RAGB rating illustrated that significant progress had been made.  The report narrative highlighted the main areas of progress and those areas requiring more attention.  There was a summary against each of the five Improvement Plan priorities and at the end of each section, a list of the key supporting evidence. 


Progress with Priority 1 ‘Political and Managerial Leadership’ had been strong with the delivery of a series of development sessions for all Members to shape the Council’s vision and transformation priorities.  However, some activities under this priority, specifically the Leadership and Cultural Change programmes had been deferred until the autumn once the organisational restructure (currently being implemented) was completed.


There had been good progress under Priority 2, ‘Corporate Governance and Decision-Making’, specifically in terms of completion of a constitutional review that delivered a number of improvements in Council governance.  Areas under this priority that now needed significant attention included improving the Council’s arrangements for Risk Management and Procurement.


Overall, progress against Priority 3 ‘Corporate Plan’ and Priority 4 ‘Budget and Financial Stability’ had been very strong in view of the business need to meet the challenges of reduced funding, whilst also rectifying historic issues in terms of base budget setting and debt recovery.  The success of the ‘What Really Matters’ consultation had provided a foundation upon which to build the new Corporate Plan and Council priorities.  The consultation had also provided local residents with a say in determining the budget options which would deliver over £40 million worth of savings in 2013/4.


In terms of Priority 5, the Improvement Board had acknowledged that the Council’s Investment Strategy and approach to economic development were an area of high achievement.  Progress had also been made in relation to safeguarding in Adult Social Services with the implementation of an action plan in response to a safeguarding peer review in 2012. 


Councillor McLachlan thanked the Director of Public Health/Head of Policy and Performance and her officer team for their hard work which had resulted in the progress made to date.


Councillor Phil Davies also thanked the Officers for the huge amount of work that sat behind the Director’s report.  He told the Cabinet that it was within touching distance of completing its targets set out in the Improvement Plan and that Members should all be proud of this achievement.




(1)  Cabinet Members be requested to reflect on the progress made within the Plan and provide any comments or observations;


(2)  the Cabinet recommends that the Improvement Plan should shift its focus to outcomes as described in the priority sections of the report; and


(3)  a further progress report be presented to the Cabinet in September 2013.

Report author: Fiona Johnstone

Publication date: 01/07/2013

Date of decision: 13/06/2013

Decided at meeting: 13/06/2013 - Cabinet

Effective from: 09/07/2013

Accompanying Documents: