Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 19th March 2009
Title of Item/Report
Local Area Agreement (LAA) Targets
Record of the Decision
Cabinet was reminded that the Local Area Agreement was a performance contract between the Council and its partners, through Stockton Renaissance and the Government. It set out how the Council and its partners would deliver the key objectives within the Sustainable Communities Strategy in line with agreed priorities and was approved by Cabinet in May 2008. All LAAs are subject to an annual review and refresh process. This was undertaken by Government Office for the North East on behalf of Central Government and was due to receive ministerial signoff at the end of March 2009.

Members were provided with a table showing measures currently held within the LAA (Appendix 1 to the report). These were the same measures as those originally negotiated for year 1 of the LAA, indicating no changes to priorities but where targets had been renegotiated or baselines changed, these were shown in Italics. Also included were the original negotiated targets and baselines, so that any changes were clear. The commentary reflected why targets had been renegotiated. Targets highlighted in bold remained to be signed off through Government Office.

Guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government indicated that the review and refresh process was clearly focused on a limited range of objectives; ensuring strong delivery arrangements were in place; reviewing new performance information relevant to the LAA and relevant contextual information; setting targets for the limited number of indicators where the definitions were not finalised at the time the 2008-2011 LAA was signed-off.

The intention of the 2009 refresh was to support progress towards success on the established LAAs, not to signal changes in direction.

Cabinet noted progress against the 2008 - 2011 LAA and it was explained that Government Office North East considered that Stockton had made good progress with developing and bedding down delivery arrangement across the majority of the designated targets. The strong performance culture was acknowledged and there was evidence of innovative practice. Stockton's approach to delivery planning was identified as being robust and inclusive and the Local Strategic Partnership was identified as being strong and inclusive.

The potential impact of the economic climate on achieving some of the targets has been the subject of discussion with our partners, the Local Public Service Board and GONE with the outcome that it is too early to tell what the overall impact of the current economic climate will be across a range of the indicators within the LAA. It has been agreed that those measures affected by the current economic conditions will be the subject of further, more informed discussions, at the end of year 2 of the agreement and that the aspirations set out in the original agreement would remain in place for the time being.

Members noted that 3 designated targets had not been set during 2008 - 11 negotiations but had been negotiated as part of the refresh. A further 8 targets had been renegotiated due to changes to baseline data , changes to definitions and the Place Survey results being published in February 09. These measures were provided:-

* NI 11 Engagement in the Arts
* NI 110 Young People's participation in positive activities
* NI 187 Tackling Fuel Poverty
* NI 1 The % of people who believe people from different backgrounds get on well together.
* NI 5 Overall Satisfaction with the local area
* NI 15 Serious Violent Crime
* NI 17 Perceptions of Anti Social Behaviour as a problem
* NI 130 Social Care Clients receiving Self Directed Support
* NI 162 Number of entry level qualifications in numeracy achieved.
* NI 195 Improved levels of litter
* NI 198 Children travelling to school by car

RESOLVED that:-

1. The information in the report and the assessment of GONE in relation to progress against the LAA be noted.

2. The refreshed targets indicated in Italics at Appendix 1 be approved and approval of the outstanding targets be delegated to the Chief Executive.
Reasons for the Decision
The Local Area Agreement was a performance contract between the Council and its partners, through Stockton Renaissance and the Government. It set out how the Council and its partners would deliver the key objectives within the Sustainable Communities Strategy in line with agreed priorities and was approved by Cabinet in May 2008. All LAAs were subject to an annual review and refresh process and for the 2008-9 refresh that includes negotiating some of the targets in the original LAA which were still subject to definitions being finalised at the time the LAA was agreed. Cabinet approval was required under the Local Government and Public Involvement Act.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None.
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Cunningham declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of this item due to his employment in the energy industry.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 27th March 2009.
Attachment

Date of Publication: 23 March 2009


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