Data released today by Welsh Government shows that most of Monmouthshire County Council’s services maintained their performance levels in 2015-16. Well over 50% of all comparable measures fall within the top half of performance indicators for Wales as a whole.
Performance across all key stages of education is now an absolute strength reflecting the focus and priority attached to this area. The council has now seen three years of successive performance improvements against a backdrop of £17m of cost reduction.
The council has continued to focus on its core purpose of ‘building sustainable and resilient communities’ as well as its four priorities of education; protecting the most vulnerable in society; supporting enterprise and maintaining locally accessible services.
Performance has improved in some key areas. For example:
- 66.9% of pupils obtained five good GCSEs including English or Welsh and Maths in summer 2015 – the best outcomes in Wales
- 91% of adult social care users had their support reviewed compared to 84% in the previous year
Some areas remain broadly similar to the previous year:
- 99% of highways inspected were of a high or acceptable standard of cleanliness – it would be difficult to improve on this
- 9.2% of roads were assessed as being of poor standard compared to 9.7% last year.
The council recognises there are areas of performance that require improvement:
- It has seen an increase in staff sickness to 11.6 days per full time employee which is higher than the Wales average of 10.2 days
- It has seen some marginal declines in a number of measures attached to children’s social services. The council is confident that these changes have not exposed any child to harm – which is clearly what really matters – but it continues to improve social work practice, management capacity and the range of preventative services available.
Over the past four years the council has reduced the amount it spends while striving to protect front-line services and focus resources on its priorities. Over this period the council has delivered improvement against 74% of its performance indicators.
Commenting on the published data, Council Leader Peter Fox said: “I am pleased to see that most of our services continue to perform well. We know from this data and our own regular performance information that there are still service areas that require improvement and we are starting to see these improvements being made.
“During the last four years of this administration we have seen nearly three quarters of service performance indicators improve. Faced with unprecedented financial challenges, increasing demand and the rural nature of the county, continuing to maintain and improve performance in all service areas is becoming increasingly challenging but it is a challenge we are up to.
“We remain committed to prioritising our resources on our four priority areas, while I still expect every service to be efficient and cost effective. We continue to talk to residents about what’s good about their community and what would make it better as we develop long-term objectives for our county.”
The council will publish a full evaluation of its 2015/16 performance in October on www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/improvement