SSDC Transformation costs £700k+ extra
The papers for the meeting of South Somerset District Council’s Executive last week threw more light on their “Transformation.” This is a project led by Chief Executive Alex Parmely with consultancy Ignite to make the council more efficient.
2019/20 was supposed to be the year when the council saw benefits from the Transformation project.
The Executive Report notes:
“In recognition of the delays in delivering all the benefits of the transformation programme, District Executive Committee agreed to additional funding to relieve the pressures and reduce service waiting and processing times.
Funding was agreed for £494,990 in 2019/20 and £240,230 in 2020/21 to be funded from additional business rate income existing reserves, increased income targets, and a commitment against the 2020/21 budget.”
That means the project will cost a further £735,220.
On the plus side, taxpayers and residents will be relieved to see performance at SSDC coming back to the sort of level the council achieved before the Transformation project.
In planning we are told: Overall services are within standards for determination of planning applications within government targets
Validation time (for applications) now reduced from a baseline of 29 days to 15 working days.
The backlog of applications in the system over 8/13 weeks without an extension of time has reduced from 309 to 296 since August. 2019
Elsewhere “with some additional resource we have reduced the Housing Benefit work backlog from 14 weeks in August to 4 weeks at the end of December.”
In customer service they tell us “Our average call wait time has reduced from 5 ½ mins to 4 ½ mins”
And in Housing matters progress has been made too: “Our waiting time for housing registering applications has been reduced and is now down from 29 days in October to 8 days and a new system for appointments introduced with the Connect team undertaking the initial Triage.
There is now a one day wait to be placed on the housing waiting list against over a month in October last year.
For changes of circumstances the wait time is now 15 days against a target of 28 days.”