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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the Council's approach to managing performance?

A.The Balanced Scorecard is the newly developed means of examining the council's performance against the 2011-16 Corporate Plan which was agreed in June by Council, representing a very important change for the council. This new performance tool will support managers and members in managing performance throughout the council. It is a consistent approach for supporting transparent performance management, from a whole council level right through to individual units and teams.

Cllr Adrian Hardman, Leader of the County Council, said: "The Balanced Scorecard represents a very significant change for the County Council. It is a new performance management system, which while common in the private sector is far more efficient than a number of old systems which it replaces. I believe it is vital in order to support the council being transformed to deliver Better Outcomes and meet the priorities of the new Corporate Plan, 'Worcestershire: Fit for the Future', which is at the heart of providing continually better services to our residents and businesses."

Trish Haines, Chief Executive of the County Council, said: "I'm delighted that the Council wide and Directorate level scorecards are now available on the council's website for the first time. This is a good example of the way the County Council is working towards more transparency and openness with our residents."

"The Balanced Scorecard has been based on feedback from residents and following national best practice to ensure that the information presented is relevant to the people of Worcestershire. We will develop the scorecard over time so that it continues to help us deliver better services. We hope people will take the chance to scrutinise how we are doing."

For further information, please email balancedscorecard@worcestershire.gov.uk.

Q2. How frequently will performance be reported on the County Council website?

A2.  Cabinet have decided that performance updates will go public on the council's website from the Quarter Two 2011/12 reporting period and this will be updated every six months to coincide with the Q2 and Q4 reporting periods of each financial year.

Q3. How did we decide on our key areas of focus?

An essential part of our transformation programme is listening to what our communities, service users and businesses think – and acting on it.

Some of the most far-reaching consultation we have ever undertaken has helped to create this plan.

Previous surveys had already helped us to identify what people believe are the most important things that make their area a good place to live and what most needs improving.

During the most recent consultation, undertaken during 2010, residents were asked their views about which Worcestershire County Council services were most important to protect, and which they felt should have less spent on them.

We used a variety of methods to engage with all sections of the community:

  • The Worcestershire Viewpoint citizens’ panel survey
  • A ‘quick questionnaire’ in libraries and customer service centres
  • The same questions published in local newspapers
  • Distribution of the questions to hard-to-reach groups
  • An innovative online budget simulator.

We used established links to distribute surveys to voluntary sector organisations, service users and specific groups such as gypsies and travellers and migrant workers. This helped us to reach people who would otherwise have been less likely to take part in the consultation, such as disabled people and minority ethnic people. We also heard from children and young people using a tailored survey circulated via the Youth Cabinet, youth centres, youth groups and high schools.

Well-attended public road shows in town centres and community settings helped councillors and senior officers to hear from local people face-to-face. These were followed by a series of budget consultation meetings with local communities, including businesses. The large sample size and good cross section of the population helped us to draw confident conclusions.

The results were published and used to inform our priorities, including the key areas of focus in this plan. We will continue to make local people aware of the results of our consultations and explain how the outcomes have affected our decision-making. We have also listened to residents’ and businesses views on the specific content of this document.

We have identified consultation and involvement as an area for continual improvement, so we can reach out to all sections of the community, and we anticipate that our councillors will have a key role to play in this vital engagement.

Research from one of the UK’s leading market research companies, Ipsos MORI, shows that, while we will not be able to please every resident, we must be able to demonstrate that our decisions take into account the views of local people, and that those decisions are made in a fair and transparent way.

We will continue to examine how satisfied local people are with their services and their area, and whether they feel informed or able to influence decision-making because those are important ways for us to make sure that we are delivering effectively on their behalf.

More information and ways to get involved with our ongoing consultations, and those of our partners, can be found online at http://www.haveyoursay.whub.org.uk/

Q4. How can I comment on Worcestershire's performance?

 

You can contact us in the following ways:

By telephone – 01905 763763

By email – balancedscorecard@worcestershire.gov.uk

By Post – Worcestershire County Council
                County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP.

Q5. What is a Balanced Scorecard / why did the council choose to use one?

In examining our performance against our Corporate Plan we use a Balanced Scorecard tool. This supports managers and members in managing performance throughout the Council and is tailored to Worcestershire. The balanced scorecard was developed in the early 1990s by Robert Kaplan and David Norton as an approach to strategic performance management and measurement. Norton and Kaplan observed that traditional performance measures based on financial accounts gave an incomplete picture of an organisation’s performance. They created the balanced scorecard to provide a more rounded view.

The purpose of the Balanced Scorecard presentation is to show the relationship between the intended outcomes of the Corporate Plan with the vital finance, workforce and process measures that will support their delivery.  The indicators have been specifically designed to reflect the needs of the Council rather than meet central government requirements, following consultation with a focus group of residents. The Balanced Scorecard will be the means of assessing success against the Corporate Plan and it's availability to the public is a key means of the Council being accountable to local communities. 

The original authors, Kaplan and Norton define the balanced scorecard as follows:

“The balanced scorecard translates an organisation’s mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures that provide the framework for a strategic measurement and management system. The balanced scorecard retains an emphasis on achieving financial objectives, but also includes the performance drivers of those financial objectives. The scorecard measures organisational performance across four balanced perspectives: financial, customers, internal business processes and learning and growth.”

Q6. What do the coloured (RAG) assessments on the Balanced Scorecard mean?

Red, Amber, Green assessments are used as a coding system for good or bad performance - usually known as a RAG rating. For example in relation to the performance of a company in relation to meeting it's objective, red would mean inadequate performance, amber would mean reasonable performance, and green would mean performance has been achieved.

The statuses are based upon an examination of current performance/activity by the indicator. A status is applied based on current performance, potential for improvement on current performance in the future, and the risk of a target/outcome not being achieved by its end date.

Green - This indicates good performance, either at or ahead of the expected position at the current point in time.

Amber - This indicates performance which is in-line with or marginally below the expected position.

Red - This indicates poor performance, significantly below the expected position.

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • LG Inform
    Local Government Association service which allows you to access, compare and share data and reports.
  • Communities and Local Government
    Helping to create a free, fair and responsible Big Society by putting power in the hands of citizens, neighbourhoods and councils. 


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This page was last reviewed 28 June 2013 at 14:41.
The page is next due for review 25 December 2014.