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Public performance reports

Consultation and engagement

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22.  Connect ambitions and objectives should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others.  In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our ambitions show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Report which details how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement the Annual Performance Report we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports. This report outlines the performance in relation to consultation and engagement and how this links to the outcomes of our ambition to ‘Achieve results through leadership, good governance and organisational effectiveness’.

Consultation and engagement

The council is committed to “working together to improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire” by tackling the ongoing disadvantages which exist in our communities and in ensuring fairness for all.  Our report “South Lanarkshire working for you” outlines our commitment to equality for all; what we plan to do; and what we have done so far.  Our outcomes are focused on the following key principles:

As part of the council’s commitment to making sure that our policies and services meet the needs of our communities, we conduct consultation and engagement events regularly to ensure people are given a chance to have your say on what we do.

In 2016-17, 337 consultations took place across all council services.  These were conducted using a variety of methods including online, paper and face-to-face formats.  The subjects ranged from Community Safety, to recycling and the council budget proposals.  Groups including the Citizen’s Panel, Seniors Together in South Lanarkshire and the Youth Council were involved in providing their views on the wide range of topics.  The work also includes regular customer feedback for the purposes of Customer Service Excellence as well as internal consultation with our employees for Investors in People.  In addition to this, services engage with customers and residents in a variety of ways; focus groups; customer experience mapping, through residents groups and the Citizen's Panel.

We have a large and diverse workforce, committed to customer-centred service delivery.  To help us to achieve this we encourage well-being by providing all employees with a safe and healthy working environment where all are treated with dignity and respect.  We believe that our 14,000 employees are our biggest asset. The council’s conditions of service enable employees to balance family and work life and we have achieved and maintained the Healthy Working Lives Gold Award since 2009. We also achieved the Healthy Working Lives Mental Health Commendation Award in 2013.  As a recognised Investor in People (IiP), and achieving the gold award in 2014-15, the council places considerable emphasis on the performance and development of our employees too.  For further information, follow the links to:

What we have done:

Issue/Action Accessibility of council information – Work will continue on making information accessible to all and this will be influenced by work about to start developing the council’s first British Sign Language Plan.
Result We plan to:
  • work with local communities and partners to develop a plan that will improve awareness and understanding of individual’s communication needs; and
  • introduce, where possible, improved communication technology to enable better service delivery and fair access to services.


Issue/Action Awareness of accessibility to local communities for those with dementia and those with disabilities.

Through Seniors Together in South Lanarkshire and the South Lanarkshire Access Panel (SLAP), work is ongoing to develop dementia friendly communities and to improve the availability of changing places and toilets. This is to enable people to participate more in their communities and to be able to undertake day-to-day activities that many take for granted.


Issue/Action Worked closely with the South Lanarkshire Access Panel (SLAP) to ensure that all those who live, work and visit South Lanarkshire are able to access services and facilities that the area has to offer in a way that best meets their needs.

Ensures architects, designers and planners consider their duties under the Equality Act at the earliest possible stage of a project and clearly set out how they have developed and included access for all in their design.  The Panel reviews plans, makes site visits of new and refurbished buildings, both in the public and private sectors, and provides advice on access issues.   A recent project they were involved with was the sheltered housing programme in Cambuslang and Rutherglen.  More information can be found at SLAPs website.


Issue/Action We continue to use a variety of options to engage with the community and work is continuing to refresh our Citizens’ Panel to allow us to reach people who live in all parts of our community

Community groups are able to feed into the service and policies of the council.  Activities have included consultations on a variety of topics including how people rate the wide range of services and facilities provided by the council, to the quality of homecare services.
Community groups also have an opportunity to engage through regular meetings and forums.  The groups include South Lanarkshire Access Panel (SLAP), South Lanarkshire Disability Partnership, Tenants groups, Youth Council, Employee Network, and Lanarkshire Ethnic Minority Action Group.

Equal Opportunities

We aim to ensure fairness is a priority for all of the work of the council. The Mainstreaming Equalities Report and the subsequent progress report published in April 2017, set out how this is being achieved and helps to meet our legal equality duties of eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Employee feedback

In the 2016 employee survey, there was an decrease of 4.4% in the return rate compared with the 2014 response rate, with 34.8% of staff taking part. The survey showed that 84% of people were satisfied in their roles and that 89% of people were clear on the aims and objectives of the council.

The survey also looked at what we do to support our employees through a range of policies and our employee assistance programme.  Our employee survey of 2016 showed that 99% of employees were aware of the absence policy. Most people were aware of the the availability of Counselling services and Physiotherapy as part of the Employee Assistance Programme however 28% of people were not aware of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and 27% not aware of the availability of Workplace Mediation. 


In 2016-17, 337 surveys were commissioned and this generated 68,707 responses. This can be broken down over the council's Resources as follows:

Resource Number of surveys Responses received
Community and Enterprise 45 15,404
Education 35 6,738
Finance and Corporate (Note 1) 152 32,734
Housing and Technical 21 4,367
Social Work 70 4,536
South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture 14 4,928
Total 337 68,707

(Note 1: Some surveys include many services within the council and are co-ordinated centrally through Finance and Corporate Resources, hence the high result)

Many surveys are conducted outwith the council website, using other methods and types of technology:

  • ipad kiosks: shoppers or visitors are encouraged to complete a short survey on a tablet, set up in the shop/centre for the day
  • video diaries: units are again set up for the day and people are encouraged to record their comments
  • Optionfinder: at events, participants can vote anonymously from a range of options, using a hand-held key pad

We maintain a database on the council website which lists our past and present consultations.  View our past and present consultations.

Customer services

Our Customer Services Centre deals with all frontline telephone enquiries, including housing repairs, bulk uplifts and roads and lighting enquiries as well as Out of Hours Emergency enquiries.  We deal with approximately 50,500 telephone, email and online enquiries per month.
More information and contact details are available on the customer services pages.


The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’s (SPSO) new complaints handling procedure was introduced 1 April 2013.  This changed the way we handle complaints. 

The new procedure aims to ensure that all complaints are handled in as simple, effective and consistent a way as possible.  To achieve this every local authority in Scotland now uses a two stage process as follows:  

  • Stage 1. We aim to resolve complaints within 5 working days at the first point of contact, where possible.  At this stage, if the complaint is complex and requires a full investigation, we may agree with the complainant to take it direct to Stage 2. 
  • Stage 2. The complaint will be investigated further and resolved within 20 working days.  At this stage a senior manager will look at the complaint and respond.

For more information, see our page and short video on the complaints process and the stages.

When complaints are received, we try to turn them around to identify changes or improvements to services or procedures.

Learning outcomes from complaints can be viewed on the You said, We did page.

Total number of complaints received 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
Our performance 3,207 2,330 1,820 1,198 990 Yes

Overall, since 2012-13, there has been a continuing decrease in the number of complaints received by South Lanarkshire Council. The 2016-17 figures showed a 69% decrease compared with the 2012-13 figures and a decrease of 17% compared with the figures for 2015-16. This information suggests that we are improving the services we deliver to you.

Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman's Performance Indicators

Our full set of performance results can be found in the Executive Committee report Complaints Report 2016-17. (This information excludes complaints relating to Social Work Resources as they currently have a different statutory complaints procedure.)

Percentage of complaints at each stage which were closed in full, within the set timescales for 2015-16.  Targets – 5 days at stage 1; and 20 days at stage 2
What this means This indicator identifies the percentage of complaints closed within the target timescales.
Why this matters Monitoring of complaints ensures the council keeps track of timescales to ensure SPSO guidelines are adhered to.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator % Stage 1 within 5 days % Stage 2 within 20 days Are we improving?
SLC 79.4% 100% Yes
Scotland N\A N\A
How we have performed in improving this public service Overall 79.4% of stage 1 complaints are dealt within timescale which is a slight reduction over the 2015-16 result (83%).  For stage 2 complaints this is 100% which is an improvement on the 2015-16 result of 81%.

There are indicators that also look at how the council has learned from complaint and customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction - statement to report customer satisfaction with the complaints service provided
A complaints handling customer feedback survey was conducted and the results can be accessed in the following committee report Complaints report 2016-17, section 6.
Learning from complaints - statement outlining changes or improvements to services or procedures as a result of the consideration of complaints
Learning outcomes from complaints can be viewed on the You said, We did page.

Here are some examples of complaints and what we did:

Complaint Licensing services: A customer arrived to uplift copy marriage certificates to find office closed on Saturday 18 March – customer has not been made aware of office closure.

What we did
An apology was given, procedures reviewed and staff reminded of procedures. Team briefings emphasise need for better communication between staff and customers.

How we expect our service to get better
Appointments will now be logged on a booking system together with customer contact details and if a similar situation should arise then customer can be contacted in advance.


Housing Repairs: A service user was unhappy that they were not advised when their repair would be carried out.


What we did
Housing and Technical Resources investigated the areas of concerns raised. They identified that there was an issue with communication regarding when the repair would be carried out and apologised to the customer
How we expect our service to get better
The resource has reminded staff of the procedure of advising customers of when their repair will be carried out.



Allocation of lock-ups: A customer complained that they had signed for a new lock up and had been unable to get access.


What we did
An apology was given, and robust procedures put in place to ensure lock ups are inspected, emptied and in working order prior to allocation.

How we expect our service to get better
We will continue to monitor complaints through service/management reports and regular meetings of complaints group.


Customer communication: A service user was unhappy with the level of communication and support given relating to their case.


What we did
Social Work investigated the areas of concerns raised. They identified that there was an issue with communication channels and apologised to the customer for the unsatisfactory level of communication. It was agreed that development work would be carried out with staff.

How we expect our service to get better
Improved communication with customers will ultimately lead to a higher quality and more efficient service being provided.

Areas for improvement and action

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • Roll out of the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) quality improvement tool will enable employees to better implement the national complaints handling process and promote empowerment when dealing proactively with complaints at the point of contact.
  • The consultation database is updated with the broad range of activities being facilitated across the council’s services and on behalf of partners. Work is ongoing to improve accessibility for customers and communities to information regarding ongoing and upcoming consultations, to ensure they are aware and engaged in all that we do.

Further information

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. Performance and actions relating to Consultation and engagement can be found in the following Resource Plans:

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect objectives are prepared – see Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 performance reports for further information. More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Report.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2018)