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Public performance reports

Finance, budgeting and workforce

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our outcomes for 2022-27. Connect Outcomes 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 lives and prospects of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our outcomes show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners.

For daily updates, stories, and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View.

Each year we produce Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Outcomes. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports that focus on key areas of council business. This report outlines the performance in relation to our Finance, Budgeting, and Workforce and how this links to the outcomes of our Value to be ambitious, self-aware, and improving.

Note: There remains a legacy impact of Covid 19 and the response to it in some areas, and performance should be considered in that context.

The following performance information and indicators relating to finance, budgeting, and workforce measure our efficiency in processing and charging for services and collecting debts and income. Efficient use of public money becomes ever more important as budgets continue to be squeezed and funding becomes more and more scarce. Articles relating to budget setting can be found in the online news pages South Lanarkshire View and information on Budget setting Consultations is also available on the website.

Revenues

Revenue expenditure is the cost of running services: for example salaries, electricity, supplies, and minor repairs. This will be offset by Revenue income or money received from, for example, the sale of goods or services, admission fees, and commissions. In 2022-23 actual revenue funding of £895 million was raised from three main sources:

  • funding from Scottish Government grants and Non domestic rates - £677 million (76%)
  • Council Tax - £146 million (16%)
  • Reserves - £72 million (8%)

More on the council's revenue financial information is included in the Annual Report and Accounts.

The savings exercise is an integral part of the budget-setting process, and helps the council to arrive at a balanced budget each year. Resources are asked to identify savings that can be implemented, with minimal impact on service delivery, where possible. The package has included savings arising from efficiencies, charges (both inflationary and non-inflationary), and those with a service impact.

As part of the annual budget setting process, the council undertakes a public consultation exercise involving representatives from the People's Panel and specific interest groups like the Employee Network, Trade Unions, South Lanarkshire Youth Council, Seniors Together, the South Lanarkshire Disability Partnership and Access Panel and Lanarkshire Ethnic Minority Action Group. Online consultation for all members of the public is also carried out and publicised widely using social media. The focus of the consultation changes each year depending on the savings proposed and the budget priorities. The results from the public consultation events are advised to all elected Members. The public is also asked for their views on the budget proposals by emailing savings@southlanarkshie.gov.uk.

Percentage of invoices that were paid within 30 days – Target 90%

What this means 30 calendar days represent the normal credit term period by which debts should be paid. This indicator calculates how many invoices are paid within this timescale.
Why this matters This indicator allows the council to keep track of payments to ensure the target is being achieved.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 90.7% 92.9% 91.8% No
Scotland 91.8% 92.2% 90.6%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Although invoices were being keyed onto the system within a week of being received, there were delays in holds being released, therefore having a negative impact on payment performance. Finance staff proactively discuss issues with Resources on a regular basis and work together to improve performance. In addition the support offered to the Fusion programme impacted performance.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

In South Lanarkshire, Council Tax accounts for approximately 16% of the funding required to pay for the range of services that we provide for the residents of the area. It is essential that we not only maximise this source of income by collecting as much as possible of the income due but that we also ensure that the cost of collecting the income is kept as low as possible.

Percentage of income due from Council Tax received by the end of the tax year – Target 95.5%

What this means The amount of Council Tax actually collected is expressed as a percentage of the total amount due in the year.
Why this matters This indicator allows efficiencies in the collection of Council Tax to be compared between years.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 95.6% 96.2% 97.0% Yes
Scotland 94.8% 95.7% 96.2%
How we have performed in improving this public service

The improved collection rate is largely due to the cost of living payment of £150 applied to council tax accounts for low income households in 2022-23. South Lanarkshire’s performance continues to be better than the Scottish average. Work to maximise council tax income collection will continue in 2023-24, utilising all available recovery methods.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

The Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) is the result of ongoing work by various agencies including Scottish local authorities, the local government Improvement ServiceSOLACE, and CoSLA to create a framework to enable councils to work together to develop and use performance information in a way that will help understand variations, share good practice and improve services.

The final results for Scotland for 2022-23 were published by the Improvement Service via their dashboard explore the data. To coincide with this, see the report detailing all our LGBF results with contextual information, comparison with the Scottish results and explanatory narrative.

Cost indicators are detailed and explained in full under the appropriate service Public Performance Report. A summary of the indicators and the status is included below:

Cost indicators
These indicators use financial data to calculate the cost of providing services. To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.
Indicator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
Cost per primary school pupil £6,337 £6,589 £6,977 No
Cost per secondary school pupil £8,010 £8,230 £8,294 No
Cost per pre-school pupil £9,092 £10,595 £10,589 Yes
The gross cost of children looked after in residential-based services per child per week £3,879 £3,860 Not available Not available
The gross cost of children looked after in a community setting per child per week £295.00 £307.00 Not available Not available
Older persons (65+) home care costs per hour £27.10 £30.47 £29.86 Yes
Average weekly cost per person (age 65+) in residential care £700 £755 £697 Yes
Cost per attendance at sports facilities £57.44 £6.30 £4.50 Yes
Cost per library visit £6.47 £5.07 £3.62 Yes
Cost per museum visit £14.33 £3.75 £2.47 Yes
Cost of parks and open spaces per 1,000 population £34,084 £31,458 £31,063 Yes
Net cost of waste collection per premise £87.10 £86.51 £83.52 Yes
Net cost of waste disposal per premise £120.58 £113.57 £100.65 Yes
Net cost of street cleaning per 1,000 population £17,023 £17,640 £19,632 No
Spend per km of road £21,311 £19,295 £16,828 No
Cost of trading standards per 1,000 population £3,097 £3,464 £2,970 Yes
Cost of environmental health per 1,000 population £13,335 £13,280 £12,404 Yes
Cost per planning application and building services per application £4,727 £4,695 £5,410 No
Investment in economic development and tourism per 1,000 population
 
£48,303 £74,111 £70,043 No
The cost per dwelling of collecting council tax
 
£7.04 £7.35 £6.38 Yes
Gross value added (GVA) per capita
 
£18,886 £20,736 Not available Not available
 (Figures correct as at 06 February 2024). An explanatory narrative for the movements in performance above can be found in the LGBF results report for 2022-23

As demand for services is increasing and cost pressures are rising, local authorities are feeling the financial pressure which is impacting budgets. Local authorities are also facing higher levels of scrutiny over their decision-making, with Audit Scotland stating that “although no council is currently using reserves which risk their financial resilience, they would continue to have an interest in how councils set their reserves policies and utilise those reserves as funding pressures continue in the coming years.” Creating a common set of financial sustainability measures that are comparable across all Scottish local authorities, will support robust discussions around financial decision-making, on the robustness of budgets.

Total useable reserves as a % of council annual budgeted revenue

What this means This indicator is calculated as the ratio of total usable reserves to council's annual budgeted revenue.
Why this matters This measure has been incorporated to provide an indication of the level of how a council is placed to meet unforeseen events. A low level of unallocated reserves may be a sign that a council could struggle if any unknown financial surprises were to occur.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 18.3% 14.7% 22.0% Yes
Scotland 23.6% 24.4% 24.5%
How we have performed in improving this public service

The council has seen an increase in useable reserves as a percentage of Council budget. This reflects an increase in the level of useable reserves (significantly as a result of the new accounting arrangements for Service Concessions) and an increase in the council’s annual expenditure Budget, meaning that arithmetically, the percentage of useable reserves to annual budget increases. The important factor to consider is the purpose and use of reserves, and the fact is that the council is clear on what reserves we have, and the purpose of them. The use of Loans Fund Review and Service Concession Reserves will affect the figures for the next few years as they are used to support the Council's financial strategy. The key factor is that the reserves are sufficient.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Percentage of financing costs to net revenue stream - General Fund

What this means This indicator is one of the Prudential indicators currently published by councils during their budget setting process.
Why this matters This is an indicator of affordability and highlights the revenue implications of existing and proposed capital expenditure by identifying the proportion of the revenue budget required to meet financing costs, net of investment income.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 5.3% 5.2% 5.0% No
Scotland 6.2% 5.9% 5.4%
How we have performed in improving this public service

This percentage shows a reduction in the General Fund’s ratio of financing costs to net revenue stream. The overall reduction reflects a reduction in financing costs mainly due to a change in how we account for the Council’s schools PPP project combined with an increase in income (Council Tax, NDR and Non Ring Fenced Government Grants). The position reflects the product of strategic, sustained capital investment in schools and roads over more than twenty years.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Percentage of financing costs to net revenue stream - Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

What this means This indicator is one of the Prudential indicators currently published by Councils during their budget setting process.
Why this matters This is an indicator of affordability and highlights the revenue implications of existing and proposed capital expenditure for the HRA, by identifying the proportion of the revenue budget required to meet financing costs, net of investment income.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 16.3% 16.0% 13.9% Yes
Scotland 22.9% 22.1% 22.3%
How we have performed in improving this public service

This percentage shows a reduction in the HRA’s percentage of financing costs to net revenue stream. The overall reduction reflects a reduction in loan charges combined with an increase in income (Rents). The position reflects the product of strategic, sustained capital investment in the Council’s housing stock.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Support services as a percentage of total gross expenditure

What this means This indicator calculates the proportion of total running costs of councils which is spent on support services.
Why this matters This high-level indicator is important because it provides information on the level of support that is required in each council for front-line services.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 3.59% 3.87% 3.80% Yes
Scotland 4.03% 4.07% 4.00%
How we have performed in improving this public service

There has been a small decrease in the cost of support as a percentage of total budget – this is a combination of an increase in support costs and also an increase in the total budget. These result in an overall minor decrease in the percentage.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Financial sustainability looks forward to the medium and long term to consider whether the council is planning effectively to continue to deliver its services or the way in which they should be delivered. As part of their Annual Accounts 2023 our external Auditors prepare an update on how well, or otherwise, the council is complying with this.

The percentage of the highest paid 5% of employees who are women 

What this means This indicator provides a picture of the current gender balance in more senior posts.
Why this matters The delivery of quality services is dependent on a trained and motivated workforce, and it is essential that councils’ employment policy reflects their commitment to equal opportunities. This helps identify areas of potentially unfair or discriminatory practices.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 55.3% 56.7% 59.6% Yes
Scotland 58.1% 58.9% 58.9%
How we have performed in improving this public service

There has been an increase in the proportion of women in the top 5% earners in the Council between 2021-22 and 2022 -23. We continue to work in line with our current policies and processes to ensure that our female employees at that top end (which can shift depending on where the 5% falls), are being progressed appropriately. Our picture is improving year on year and we need to keep a focus on that along with the work that we continue to do in line with our equalities duties.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

The gender pay gap

What this means This indicator provides a picture of the gap in pay between men and women employed by councils.
Why this matters Employers are required (under Section 7 of The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012) to publish a single gender pay gap figure, which is the percentage difference between men’s and women’s hourly pay, excluding overtime. The delivery of quality services is dependent on a trained and motivated workforce, and it is, therefore, essential that councils’ employment policy reflects their commitment to equal opportunities. The indicator provides a picture of the current gender pay gap between male and female employees. This will help councils to identify areas of potentially unfair or discriminatory practices as well as provide a baseline for measuring improvement over time. The indicator does not deal with equalities relating to ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 4.8% 4.0% 3.2% Yes
Scotland 3.7% 3.5% 2.5%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Through continuing monitoring of pay and grading and appropriate action to address any inconsistencies. This includes job evaluation exercises which have resulted in improved rates of pay.

Actions We will continue to monitor gender and pay gap information and take action as required. We continue to plan and implement actions in partnership with trades union representatives in line with the principles of ‘Delivering a fairer future’.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Sickness absence days per teacher

What this means This indicator calculated the sickness absence days per teacher.
Why this matters Sickness absence in the public sector is widely regarded as being a significant cost to councils. This indicator is important because it allows councils to compare these rates and establishes which councils are dealing effectively with this issue. This indicator looks at the effectiveness of the HR function in terms of impact on the overall levels of sickness absence for teachers through the development of processes and procedures, and training for managers. Services should aim to reduce the number of shifts/days lost through sickness absence over time.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 5.1 7.2 7.4 No
Scotland 4.2 5.8 6.8
How we have performed in improving this public service

The number of days lost due to sickness has increased compared to 2021-22, due to an increase in the number of short-term absences. Throughout the year the absence rate was the same or lower than the previous year. However, absence rates started to increase from Quarter 3 onwards.

Actions The managers continue to follow the Maximising Attendance procedures and work with Personnel colleagues to ensure all the supports are in place to enable employees to return to work and that appropriate actions are taken.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Sickness absence days per employee (non-teacher)

What this means This indicator calculated the sickness absence days per employee (non-teacher).
Why this matters Sickness absence in the public sector is widely regarded as being a significant cost to councils. This indicator is important because it allows councils to compare these rates and establishes which councils are dealing effectively with this issue. This indicator looks at the effectiveness of the HR function in terms of impact on the overall levels of sickness absence in the service through the development of processes and procedures, and training for managers. Services should aim to reduce the number of shifts/days lost through sickness absence over time. Sickness rates tend to vary considerably between services, and the rates for operational staff within the fire & rescue service are generally high in comparison with the public sector average. This is explained in part by the hazardous nature of the work, and the special needs in respect of fitness. This indicator is defined in accordance with ‘Value for Money in public sector corporate services’ (May 2007) and amended guidance issued in June 2011, published on behalf of the joint UK audit bodies.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 10.1 12.9 13.9 No
Scotland 9.7 12.4 13.2
How we have performed in improving this public service

The number of days lost due to sickness has increased compared to 2021-22, due to an increase in the number of short-term absences. Throughout the year the absence rate was the same or lower than the previous year. However, absence rates started to increase from Quarter 3 onwards.

Actions We have provided additional HR support to assist managers to enable appropriate actions and supports are in place in line with our Maximising Attendance Policy. A dedicated Maximising Attendance team ( 3 x officers and 2 x assistants) to provide advice and guidance to managers and also produce reports to enable activity to be monitored.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Claimant count as a % of working age population

What this means This measure calculates the number of people of working age claiming either jobseeker’s allowance or Universal Credit, as a percentage of the working age population.
Why this matters

Employability is a key national policy objective and local authorities are currently working to deliver a range of employment support programmes. These schemes often include working in partnership with commercial and third sector providers.

Data is sourced from ONS Nomis - Official Census and Labour Market Statistics
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 6.3% 4.7% 3.2% Yes
Scotland 6.1% 3.7% 3.2%
How we have performed in improving this public service

The SLC claimant count as a percentage of the population has fallen to 3.2 % from 4.7% the previous year. This is the same as the national figure and reflects the tighter employment market during 2022-23 with an increased availability of vacancies as the economy recovered after covid.

(SLC does not contribute to this result in isolation – it should be pointed out that there are many external factors affecting the data)

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

Claimant count as a % of 16-24 population

What this means This measure calculates the number of people aged 16 to 24 claiming either jobseeker’s allowance or Universal Credit, as a percentage of all 16 to 24 year olds.
Why this matters

Employability is a key national policy objective and local authorities are currently working to deliver a range of employment support programmes. These schemes often include working in partnership with commercial and third sector providers.

16 to 24 year olds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Schemes like The Young Persons Guarantee and No One Left Behind are being administered locally to improve opportunities for young people to get into work.

Data is sourced from ONS Nomis - Official Census and Labour Market Statistics
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Are we improving?
SLC 7.8% 5.3% 3.5% Yes
Scotland 7.2% 3.7% 3.6%
How we have performed in improving this public service

The claimant count for 16-24 year olds is 3.5% which is lower than the Scottish rate and lower (better) than the result in 2021-22.

To see how we compare against other councils, links to the data are available in the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

(SLC does not contribute to this result in isolation – it should be pointed out that there are many external factors affecting the data)

The council’s Annual Report and Accounts contain very detailed financial information but also a summary of highlights of the year from the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive Officer. This is audited by our external auditors Audit Scotland and we obtained a ‘clean’ audit certificate. This audit opinion and other judgments on the council’s financial sustainability and management, governance, transparency, and Best Value are included in the annual Auditor's Report (AAR).

South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Annual Report outlines the work and highlights the financial information for the Leisure Trust which delivers all leisure and cultural activities on behalf of the council.

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 Revenues and costs 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 Outcomes 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 Spotlights

Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. For more information and links relating to this framework go to the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

The information contained in this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2024).