Mar 16 2013

Harrow Council Publishes Performance Report for Q3/2012; makes dismal reading

harrow_council_logo2Struggling Harrow Council has published its Performance Report for Q3/2012, which looks as how badly it is doing across a number of measures. We last looked at this in January 2013, when we examined the Q2/2012 report.

You can download the report here, but it makes dismal reading. Some of the key points:

  • Residential burglary has fallen by 14% in the financial year to date.
  • IT experienced some “major challenges”, although the council will address the remaining issues “…with Capita at a senior level.”
  • Cashless Parking is due to go live in March 2013, although it isn’t clear where this will start.
  • Street appearances (littler, detritus and grafitti) are still falling way short of the council’s targets.
  • The Council Priority: A Council that Listens and Leads continues to drop, from both the last year, and the last quarter – it simply means that residents don’t believe that the Council listens nor leads.
  • Residents feel less informed and less involved.
  • Neighbourhood Champions have less than half the number that they’re looking for (839 vs 2000). From reading the report, the plan here is to change the goal, and target less than 2000 people. So, if the new target was 800 champions, then wahay! target met!
  • Public consultation responses increased – which is good, and shows that more residents are responding to those things that they council feels they should be invited to get involved with.
  • Library computers (although running behind schedule significantly) – turns out no decision will be taken on wifi until a decision on whether to outsource libraries has been taken.
  • The Council Priority: Supporting Those Most in Need misses most of its targets and worsens in almost half of them. School absences worsen, permanent exclusions from schools almost double for Autumn Term 2012 versus Summer Term 2012.
  • Number of library visits is down, ostensibly blamed on the out-of-order computers. Number of museum visits down (around half that of the previous quarter). Number of leisure centre visits down and below target.
  • No progress on Dandara project, nor Bradstowe House, means our town centre will continue to be an eyesore.
  • Staff sickness days increase for third quarter in a row – average staff member takes almost eight days sick per year (includes teachers).
  • IT systems availability getting worse; number of complaints about IT increasing and “remained high” with a poor outlook.
  • Total debt uncollected increased from £4.3m to 4.7m; rent collections worsen.

It’s not a pretty picture, and tells a story of a council that looks like it might, just might,  be falling apart.


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