South Ribble rates its performance

South Ribble Borough Council's headquarters in Leyland.
South Ribble Borough Council's headquarters in Leyland.
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Half of the targets which South Ribble Borough Council sets itself to monitor its own performance either improved or were unchanged in the three months to April.

Of the 34 measures, 14 showed an improvement and 3 stayed the same. Six targets worsened and, for 11, there was no comparable data by which to judge them.

Amongst the best indicators was the council’s performance on refuse collection. Figures show an average of 20 bins per week are missed as lorries tour the borough - just 0.02 percent of the approximately 100,000 which are collected.

A report presented to a meeting of the authority’s cabinet also highlighted that Worden Park has received a Green Flag award for the twenty-first consecutive year - a feat equalled by only six other parks nationwide.

Staff sickness rates improved from the same period last year - which came shortly after a critical staff survey - but they remain above the national average.

Deteriorating targets include a reduction in the percentage of calls from the public which were answered within 60 seconds. The figure dipped below half in the fourth quarter of the year, but the council attributes the drop in performance to an increased number of enquiries about recently-introduced green waste charges.

There was a jump in the number of complaints within the quarter, but a reduction across the full year from 46 in 2016/17 to 40 during 2017/18 - below a national average of 60.

Nine complaints were made to the Ombudsman in 2017/18, but that figure remains unvalidated and there is no information about how many of them have been upheld, as some are ongoing.

Master plans for Penwortham, Lostock Hall and Leyland have all been delayed after the brief for them was changed at the request of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. Consultants have also taken longer than expected to complete the work, cabinet was told.

But the latest peer review of South Ribble - where a comparable local authority assesses the council’s performance - acknowledged “a significant amount of progress”. Members were told that work is continuing to address “remaining challenges”.