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Performance Improvement Plan 2023 to 2024

Performance Improvement Plan 2023-2024 Document

Foreword

As the Interim Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I would like to welcome you to our Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) for 2023-2024.

As a multi-award winning, ambitious and forward-thinking council, we are providing more services to our citizens than ever before. From responsibility for waste management, leisure and parks, to our crucial role in economic growth and investment, community safety, health and education, as well as safeguarding our environment.

Our borough has faced some significant challenges over the last number of years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very proud of our communities, businesses and staff, who worked tirelessly to come together to support those most in need. As a council, we quickly introduced new ways of working to ensure our citizens continued to receive our vital services.

As the long-term effects of the pandemic continue to impact our organisation and communities, we face a new cost-of-living crisis.

As a council, we continue to adapt, and have taken necessary steps to realign our priorities for the upcoming years. Our new Corporate Plan (2023-2027), which launches this summer, will provide our strategic direction, shape our services, and help us to achieve our vision for Mid and East Antrim.

Our Performance Improvement Plan demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting our local communities and businesses. The plan outlines what we want to improve, how we plan to do it and how our citizens will be better off as a result. It does not detail every improvement we intend to make but focuses on some of the key areas identified for improvement through our community and corporate planning processes, stakeholder engagement and research analysis.

There will undoubtedly be challenges and hurdles along the way as we deliver these plans, but by continuing to work together for Mid and East Antrim, we will create a place that everyone will be proud to call home.

Valerie Watts

Interim Chief Executive Mid and East Antrim Borough Council


Our Vision

Mid and East Antrim will be a strong, vibrant, safe and inclusive community, where people work together to improve the quality of life for all.


Our 'Duty to Improve'

The Local Government Act (NI) 2014 put in place a framework to support continuous improvement in the delivery of council services.

Under the Act each council has a statutory duty to publish a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) each year, which sets out one or more improvement objectives, and to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to achieve them. This is known as our “Duty to Improve”.

For us “improvement” is not limited to gains in service output or efficiencies. It is about focusing on the issues that are important to our citizens and businesses, helping us achieve our vision of improving the quality of life for all.

The PIP and our arrangements to secure continuous improvement are subject to an annual audit and assessment by the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO). The outcome of this is normally expected in November each year. Subject to the General Duty of Improvement being met, the NIAO will issue a Letter of Assurance to both Council and the Department for Communities.


Arrangements to secure continuous improvement

As a council, we developed a Performance Management Framework to drive performance and continuous improvement within the organisation. We measure and manage performance at every level, with the framework linking together all of our corporate planning processes.

The diagram below shows how the strategic objectives from within the Community Plan and Corporate Plan flow through to the PIP, annual business plans and, ultimately, to every employee’s work objectives.

Each plan is supported by key performance indicators, both statutory and self-imposed, so that we can continually monitor, review and report on our performance.

Our Performance Management Framework is kept under review to support our “Duty to Improve”.

Community  

Community Plan (2017-2032)

 
  • 15 year vision for the borough
  • Led by Council
  • Developed in partnership with a range of people and organisations from the borough’s public, private and voluntary sectors
Corporate  

Corporate Plan (2023-2027)

 
  • 4 year strategic plan for Council
  • Shapes our services
  • Drives our annual business planning process
  • Ensures everything we do is aimed at achieving our objectives and our vision
Performance Improvement  

Performance Improvement Plan

 
  • Annual improvement plan
  • Sets out key improvement objectives for the year ahead
  • Helps meet objectives of both the Community Plan and the Corporate Plan
Annual Business   

Annual business plans

 
  • Each service area develops an annual business plan
  • Objectives and performance indicators link directly to the Community Plan, Corporate Plan and Performance Improvement Plan
Employee Personal   

Employee Personal Development Plan (PDP)

 
  • Each employee develops a PDP annually
  • Links employee's work, and learning and development needs,
  • to the departmental objectives, the Corporate Plan and ultimately the Community Plan. 

Informing our Improvement Objectives

Criteria for selecting Improvement Objectives

The Local Government Act (NI) 2014 states that each objective must focus improvement on at least one of the following seven aspects of improvement:

  • Strategic effectiveness
  • Service quality
  • Service availability
  • Fairness
  • Sustainability
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation 

Improvement objectives should be:

Legitimate

Make a demonstrable contribution to at least one of the aspects of improvement listed above.

Clear

Set out the visible improvement that citizens can expect.

Robust

With defined terms of success (quantitative or qualitative).

Deliverable

With established links to individual service programmes and budgets.

Demonstrable

Capable of being supported by objective evidence.

In addition to the requirements of the Act, we apply the following criteria when identifying our objectives:

  • Does it support the delivery of the Draft Programme for Government?
  • Will it support the achievement of at least one of the themes within the Community Plan?
  • Will it support the delivery of at least one of the strategic themes within the Corporate Plan?
  • Are performance indicators Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound?
  • Are resources (budget, capacity, leadership, skills, knowledge) in place or committed in order to successfully deliver the project?

Identifying areas for improvement

The development of our key plans were informed by listening to our citizens, businesses, community groups, staff and Elected Members.

The Community Plan "Putting People First" (2017- 2032) sets the long-term vision for the borough, and was developed with widespread stakeholder engagement and consultation. A recent review resulted in the streamlining of the plan's key outcomes and the introduction of some new cross-cutting priorities.

Our new Corporate Plan (2023-2027) has been designed to support the delivery of the revised Community Plan, sharing the same vision, and aligning with its themes and priorities.

A survey undertaken in summer 2022 gave us a comprehensive understanding of the views of our citizens, and allowed us to shape our plans based on what they felt was most important for the borough. As result of this, six Improvement Objectives were put forward for public consultation, as outlined on the following page.

Your top 5 priorities for making the borough a better place to live:

  • Supporting and developing activities for children and young people 
  • Support to reduce poverty
  • Developing skills and job prospects
  • Delivering clean and attractive streets and towns
  • Supporting our parks, green spaces and the natural and built environment

Consultation

With the approval of the Council's Senior Management Team and it's Elected Members, we launched a public consultation for 12 weeks, from 10 January to 4 April 2023.

Key activities included:

  • A consultation document was published on our website, with a link provided to an online survey.
  • A summary consultation paper was available at our key reception areas.
  • Staff attended our three leisure centres to consult with the general public.

We promoted the consultation through:

  • Emails to local businesses and community groups
  • Emails from our Interim Chief Executive to staff and Elected Members
  • Emails to our section 75 consultee list
  • Council’s intranet
  • Council’s social media platforms
  • Council's 'Connections' magazine
  • Local press coverage
  • Attendance at the 'Democracy Week' Roadshow held in The Braid, Ballymena
  • Summary documents available at various Council events
  • Summary documents available at District Electoral Area (DEA) cluster meetings
  • Presentation to Strategic Alliance partners
  • Attendance at a meeting of the 'Youth Voice' group

Proposed Improvement Objectives 

  1. Growing the economy and creating jobs
  2. Revitalising our towns through regeneration activities
  3. Supporting MEA citizens’ health and wellbeing by providing quality, sustainable, inclusive opportunities to use parks and open spaces to encourage and promote regular, safe and responsible use
  4. Working in partnership to support our residents, particularly those who are vulnerable
  5. Improving infrastructure to encourage electric vehicle uptake in the borough to reduce emissions and protect the environment for future generations
  6. Improving customer engagement and service delivery by enhancing the Council’s use of information technology

Survey results

146 people responded to our consultation survey, which is an increase of 147% on last year’s response rate of 59. We asked “Have we got our Improvement Objectives right?

A considerable level of support was received for Improvement Objectives 1-4, and a reasonable level for Improvement Objectives 5 and 6.

Whilst there was support for Improvement Objective 5 in terms of satisfying a need within the borough, the main concerns raised were in relation to the cost of electric vehicles and the scale of the project.

Respondents were generally supportive of Improvement Objective 6, but, it was highlighted that we must take account of and support the needs of all members of society in its implementation, in particular those of an aging population.

Outcome

Given the level of support indicated through the survey, all six Improvement Objectives were recommended for inclusion within the PIP 2023-2024.

Comments and feedback have been summarised and shared with the relevant departments for consideration in business planning and service delivery.

Please note that the titles of most of the objectives have been condensed, with care taken to ensure that the original intent has not been compromised.


Growing the economy and creating jobs

Identify ways to increase local jobs and employment opportunities within Mid and East Antrim.

Why?

  • 4,680 redundancies confirmed in MEA since 2013.
    (NISRA Labour Market Report, Redundancy Tables October 2022)
  • “Developing skills and job prospects” ranked 3rd top priority for making the borough a better place to live.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)
  • Only 28% of citizens agreed MEA is a good area for “job opportunities”.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)

What you will see

  • Programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and employability.
  • The promotion of new jobs in the borough through Business Start Interventions.*
  • Programmes to support our new and growing businesses.
  • An effective and efficient Planning Service to maximise economic development.

How we will measure progress

  • 8 Employment and Skills programmes delivered by 31 March 2024.**
  • 85 jobs promoted through Business Start Interventions by 31 March 2024.***
  • Implementation of the new NI Entrepreneurship Support Service (ESS), in partnership with all NI councils.
  • Adopt the Local Development Plan Strategy by 31 December 2023.
  • Major planning applications processed within an average of 30 weeks by 31 March 2024.
  • Local planning applications processed within an average of 15 weeks by 31 March 2024.
  • 70% of planning enforcement cases concluded within 39 weeks by 31 March 2024.

Strategic alignment

Programme for Government

  • Our economy is globally competitive, regionally balanced and carbon neutral
  • Everyone can reach their potential

Community Plan

  • Tourism and the Economy
  • Progress in Education and Employment

Corporate Plan

  • Jobs and Tourism
  • Learning for Life

Seven Aspects of Improvement

  • Strategic effectiveness
  • Innovation

Who is responsible?

Director of Development

*Via the 'Go For It' Programme until 30 September 2023, when the new NI Entrepreneurship Support Service (ESS) will commence.
**Target number of programmes is subject to change due to funding.
***Target may increase from 85 to 111 during 2023-2024, pending changes to legislation.


Revitalising our towns

Through a variety of regeneration activities, support our businesses, welcome inward investment and attract visitors to our towns.

Why?

  • ‘Delivering clean and attractive streets and towns’ was identified as being one of the top five priorities for making MEA a better place to live.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)
  • Of 20 potential actions, “clean and attractive towns and streets” ranked joint 2nd most popular action Council could take to make their area a better place to live. The “regeneration of towns and streets” ranked 7th.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)

What you will see

  • Clean and attractive towns and streets.
  • Enhancement of Ballymena and Larne town centres through public realm improvement works.
  • Revitalisation Scheme delivered within our three main towns.
  • Up to 10 buildings of historical and architectural interest restored in Carrickfergus through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, with Council and Heritage Lottery grant assistance.
  • The local community will have a better understanding of built heritage.
  • Increased inward investment and local employment opportunities related directly and indirectly to heritage and tourism growth.

How we will measure progress

  • KNIB (Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful) Street Cleansing Index score of 66% or above.
  • Completion of public realm improvement works at Point Street Larne by 31 August 2023.
  • Completion of public realm improvement works at Castle Street Ballymena by 31 October 2023.*
  • Agree the Revitalisation Scheme by 30 September 2023.
  • Deliver the Revitalisation Scheme by 31 March 2025.
  • 10 buildings of historical and architectural interest restored by 30 September 2023.
  • Increased floor space for retail, commercial or residential use by 30 September 2023.
  • A Built Heritage Education programme delivered by 30 September 2023.

Strategic alignment

Programme for Government

  • We live and work sustainably, protecting the environment
  • People want to live, work and visit here

Community Plan

  • Tourism and the Economy
  • Valuing our Environment

Corporate Plan

  • Jobs and Tourism
  • Our Environment

Seven aspects of improvement

  • Strategic effectiveness

• Sustainability

Who is responsible?

Director of Development and Director of Operations

*Completion date of improvement works to be confirmed.


Supporting our citizens' health and wellbeing

Encourage and promote regular, safe and responsible use of our parks and open spaces by providing quality, sustainable and inclusive opportunities.

Why?

  • • Citizens ranked “support and activities for children and young people” as the most important thing that needed to be improved to make the area a better place to live.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)
  • Almost half would like to see more “support services for children and families and/or those with disabilities”, and more than a third would like to see more “access to green spaces such as parks and forests”.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)
  • Both the “Play Strategy” and “Play Investment Framework” for Mid and East Antrim emphasise the need for play. Our landscape provides excellent opportunities to enhance health and wellbeing, as is outlined in our “Outdoor Recreation Strategy”.

What you will see

  • 5 replacement play parks and 2 refurbishments.
  • 3 new or upgraded Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) or “kick about” areas.
  • 1 new skate park.
  • Opportunities to take part in safe and sustainable outdoor recreation training, environmental improvement projects, and to enjoy our green spaces.

How we will measure progress

  • 5 replacement play parks by 30 June 2023:
    • Ballymena Road, Ahoghill
    • Martinstown
    • Ferris Park, Larne
    • Woodburn, Carrickfergus
    • Wilson Crescent, Ballymena
  • 2 play park refurbishments by 31 March 2024:
    • Clough
    • Marine Gardens play park, Carrickfergus (partial refurbishment)
  • 3 new or upgraded Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) or “kick about” areas by 30 June 2024:
    • Portglenone
    • Glynn
    • Carnlough
  • 1 new skate park in Larne by 31 March 2024.
  • 5 outdoor safety training courses delivered by 31 December 2023.
  • 20 outdoor events (500 participants) delivered by 31 March 2024.
  • 5000 trees planted by 31 March 2024.

Strategic alignment

Programme for Government

  • Our children and young people have the best start in life
  • We all enjoy long, healthy and active lives
  • We live and work sustainably, protecting the environment
  • People want to live, work and visit here

Community Plan

  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Valuing our Environment

Corporate Plan

  • Our Environment
  • Good Health and Wellbeing

Seven aspects of improvement

  • Service quality
  • Service availability
  • Fairness
  • Sustainability

Who is responsible?

Director of Community and Director of Operations


Working in partnership to support our citizens, particularly those who are vulnerable

Working in partnership to support our citizens.

Why?

  • Almost half of citizens said they would like to see more “support services for children and families and/or those with disabilities". Less than half agreed that the borough is a good area for “supporting equality and inclusion”.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)
  • Over 14,000 school aged children have a diagnosis of Autism.*
  • Of 20 actions we could take to make your area a better place to live in, citizens ranked “affordable quality housing” joint 2nd. 57% agreed that the borough is a good area for “a sense of belonging among people”.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)

What you will see

  • The promotion and delivery of an “Autism friendly” initiative.
  • More Council venues becoming “Autism friendly” places.
  • Additional Autism Champions within Council.
  • The establishment of a Mid and East Antrim Age Friendly Alliance.
  • The development of a boroughwide Landlords Forum.

How we will measure progress

  • 10 ‘Autism friendly’ workshops for service providers delivered by 31 March 2024.
  • 3 ‘Autism friendly’ roadshows, one within each of our main towns by 31 March 2024.
  • Communications plan to raise awareness of the ‘Autism friendly’ initiative delivered by 31 March 2024.
  • “Autism friendly” action plans delivered in four Council venues by 30 September 2023.
  • 4 additional Autism Champions within Council by 30 September 2023.
  • Develop an ‘Autism Awareness Train the Trainer Programme’ and share with our partners by 31 March 2024.
  • The establishment of a Mid and East Antrim Age-Friendly Alliance by 30 December 2023.
  • The development of a Mid and East Antrim Age-Friendly action plan by 31 March 2024.
  • The development of a borough-wide Landlords Forum by 31 March 2024.

Strategic alignment

Programme for Government

  • We have an equal and inclusive society where everyone is valued and treated with respect
  • We all enjoy long, healthy, active lives
  • We have a caring society that supports people throughout their lives
  • People want to live, work and visit here

Community Plan

  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Prioritising the most vulnerable

Corporate Plan

  • Good Health and Wellbeing

Seven aspects of improvement

  • Service quality
  • Service availability
  • Fairness

Who is responsible?

Director of Community

*“Prevalence of Autism, including Asperger Syndrome, in School Aged Children in Northern Ireland Annual Report” Department of Health and NISRA May 2022.


Improving infrastructure to support the transition to low-carbon transport systems

To reduce emissions and protect the environment for future generations.

Why?

  • The phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans is 2030. From 2035, all new cars and vans must be fully zero emission at the tailpipe.
  • In a “FASTER Project” survey (2021), which established attitudes and behaviour towards transport use, almost 30% of NI respondents (464) were from Mid and East Antrim (134). Of these, 34% of those who plan to change their vehicle in the next three years said they would be likely to purchase a battery electric vehicle.
  • When asked what the Council should prioritise to be more environmentally friendly, “awareness and assistance in tackling climate change” was the 2nd most popular response.
    (MEA Citizens Survey 2022)

What you will see

  • “Fast” electric vehicle chargers (22kW, charge in 1-2 hours) installed across the borough, through the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS).

How we will measure progress

  • 12 “fast” chargers installed at agreed locations across the borough by 31 March 2024.*

Strategic alignment

Programme for Government

  • We live and work sustainably, protecting the environment
  • Our economy is globally competitive, regionally balanced and carbon neutral

Community Plan

  • Valuing our Environment

Corporate Plan

  •  Our Environment

Seven aspects of improvement

  • Strategic effectiveness
  • Service availability
  • Fairness
  • Sustainability

Who is responsible?

Director of Operations

*In June 2023, the completion date of this project was extended from 31 December 2023 to 31 March 2024.


Enhancing customer engagement and service delivery

Develop Council’s use of information technology to improve customer engagement and service delivery.

Why?

  • ‘High Performing and Sustainable Council’ is a key strategic priority within our Corporate Plan.
  • Digital transformation initiatives can improve our management reporting and help to inform our decisionmaking. It can provide us with greater flexibility in how we deliver our services, leading to gains in efficiencies and better value for money for our ratepayers.

What you will see

  • The digital transformation of at least one customerfacing service.

How we will measure progress

  • 16 Council-managed community centres connected to full fibre broadband by 30 September 2023.

Strategic alignment

Programme for Government

  • We live and work sustainably, protecting the environment

Community Plan

  • Valuing our Environment

Corporate Plan

  • High Performing and Sustainable Council

Seven aspects of improvement

  • Service quality
  • Service availability
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation

Who is responsible?

Interim Director of Corporate and Support Services


Statutory Performance Indicators

The Department for Communities (DfC) also set statutory targets for councils in the functional areas of Planning, Economic Development and Waste.

Within each of these areas, a number of performance indicators and targets have been set.

Our arrangements to meet these targets are through the delivery of our services in Planning, Economic Development and Waste. They are outlined in our annual business plans, and as far as possible, within our Improvement Objectives.

We monitor them closely to make sure they are progressing in line with our targets, and publish performance updates on our website every 3 months.

We also submit progress updates to various regional bodies, who then issue reports showing comparisons between all eleven NI councils.

In addition to the targets set by statutory bodies, we also set our own internal targets; these are laid out within our annual business plans, and help to ensure continuous improvement.

Indicators Targets

The average processing time of major planning applications

A maximum of 30 Weeks

The average processing time of local planning applications

A maximum of 15 Weeks

The percentage of enforcement cases concluded within 39 weeks

A minimum of 70%

The number of jobs promoted through business start interventions

A minimum of 85 Jobs*

The percentage of household waste collected by district Councils that is sent for recycling

At least 50%

The amount of biodegradable Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste that is landfilled

A maximum of 16,387 Tonnes

The amount (tonnage) of Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste arisings

There is a requirement by the Department for Communities (DfC) that each Council sets and monitors its own individual target for this indicator annually

Previous years' Improvement Objectives

It is important that we continue to report on our Improvement Objectives from previous years, where targets may not have been reached within the intended time frames.

Most of our previous years’ Improvement Objectives are now considered as being either ‘complete’ or ‘business as usual’, except for the objectives noted below. Updates on these objectives will continue within the normal reporting schedule for the Performance Improvement Plan 2023/24, as appropriate.

Any ongoing or outstanding indicators from the Performance Improvement Plan 2022/23 have been included within the Improvement Objectives for 2023/24.

Progress Key

We have outlined our progress as follows:

  Achieved or on track
  Delayed but progressing
  Not achieved or stopped

Objective: The development of Sullatober Household Recycling Centre (PIP 2021/22)

Outcome

A larger site with improved infrastructure and accessibility to maximise re-use and recycling.

 

Measure

6,500m2 site by 31 March 2022.

 

Status

The new recycling centre opened in May 2022.

     

 

Measure

Increase recycling rate by 23.2% by 31 March 2023.

 

Status

There was a 12% increase in the rate of recycling rate to 72%. The site is still deemed to be in the ‘settling-in’ stage, having just opened in May 2022. This target will remain until March 2024.

     

 

Measure

1,046 additional tonnes of recycled materials by 31 March 2023.

 

Status

940 tonnes achieved, due to initial ‘settling in’ period. This target will remain until March 2024.

     

 

Measure

12 additional tonnes of reused materials by 31 March 2023.

 

Status

8 tonnes achieved, due to initial ‘settling in’ period. This target will remain until March 2024.

 

Outcome

Financial savings by compacting waste and reduction in fuel consumption.

 

Measure

50% reduction in containers hauled per newly compacted material by 31 March 2023.

 

Status

20% achieved. This target will remain until March 2024.

     

 

Measure

Reduce tCO2e by 800 by 31 March 2023.

 

Status

287 tonnes, due to initial ‘settling in’ period. This target will remain until March 2024.

 

Outcome

A more effective and efficient service with increased customer satisfaction and value for money for ratepayers.

 

Measure

Increased rate of customer satisfaction.

 

Status

Customer satisfaction surveys conducted in 2021 and 2022 indicate an increase in customer satisfaction for ‘accessibility, ‘movement around the site’, and ‘sufficient site size’.

Objective: Improving infrastructure to encourage electric vehicle uptake in the borough to reduce emissions and protect the environment for future generations.

Outcome

A target of three 'rapid' electric vehicle chargers installed at strategic locations in the borough by December 2023, as part of the cross-border 

 

Measure

Three rapid chargers installed at key strategic locations by December 2023.

 

Status

Due to changes in delivery, by the project lead, it was no longer viable, financially or environmentally, for Council to remain a partner in this project. Therefore, this measure has been deemed as 'stopped' and will not be taken forward by Council.

Objective: Improving customer engagement and service delivery by enhancing Council's use of information technology.

Outcome

A redesign of Council's website, developed from user experience feedback (Phase 3).

 

Measure

Completion of website redesign.

 

Status

Progression of the website redesign is currently on hold, pending a further scoping exercise.

     
Outcome

An expansion of the Automated Customer Call System into an additional service

 

Measure

Reduce tCO2e by 800 by 31 March 2023.

 

Status

287 tonnes, due to initial ‘settling in’ period. This target will remain until March 2024.


Self-imposed indicators

To support the delivery of our Corporate Plan objectives, we have developed a suite of key Strategic Actions, having taken care to ensure that they align with the outcomes of the borough’s Community Plan.

These Actions form part of our annual business plans, which we monitor closely. We provide progress updates to Elected Members at Full Council every six months and publish the results on our website.

You can view the Corporate Plan and progress reports on this website.

We also provide updates on these Actions within our annual Performance Self-Assessment Report.

We are an active member of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), which works with local authorities across the UK to help promote public sector excellence. This includes participation in the Performance Network, which enables us to compare our performance across a wide range of services and activities.

As part of the regional Performance Improvement Working Group, we are engaging with the Department for Communities and other local authorities to inform the development of a proposed benchmarking framework for local government.

Our key Strategic Actions are outlined below.

Strategic Actions

Jobs and Tourism

  • Establish the i4C Innovation and CleanTech Centre to support businesses and create jobs.
  • Deliver a suite of business support programmes and projects designed to support business start-up and growth across the borough.
  • Deliver the 10-year vision for the three town centres to develop, regenerate and attract inward investment.
  • Develop a dynamic 5-year tourism strategy that will drive economic growth, job creation and a thriving tourism economy.

Community Safety and Cohesion

  • Through the delivery of various programmes, support our local communities to improve their resilience and build self-sustainability.
  • Deliver comprehensive ‘Good Relations’ activities, ensuring positive changes to attitudes and knowledge are achieved.
  • Work in partnership with the ‘Poverty Action Group’ to progress initiatives to support the most vulnerable across the borough.
  • Through the ‘Loneliness Network’ collaborate with statutory and voluntary partners and community groups, to promote and deliver initiatives to tackle loneliness in the borough.

Learning for Life

  • Deliver a suite of employability programmes to support our citizens to develop their skills, gain qualifications and secure employment.
  • Position MEABC as an employer of choice by providing opportunities for work placement/work experience.
  • Deliver a suite of environmental education programmes for citizens, businesses and young people across the borough.
  • Develop MEABC employees to deliver high quality and responsive services to citizens, through the provision of comprehensive and bespoke training.

Good Health and Wellbeing

  • Support our citizens to lead healthy and active lives by increasing our offering of physical activity sessions and support schemes across the borough.
  • Deliver an ‘Age Friendly Action Plan’ to ensure our older citizens feel supported and included within their local communities.
  • Encourage the use of outdoor spaces for health and wellbeing, through the delivery of an ‘Outdoor Recreation Strategy’.
  • Ensure we continue to provide reliable, value for money services to our citizens by focusing on the health and wellbeing of our employees, and through the management of employee attendance.

High Performing and Sustainable Council

  • Ensure we remain responsive to citizen need by engaging, listening to and acting on feedback from our stakeholders to increase customer satisfaction with our services.
  • Work collaboratively with our community planning partners, to consolidate and capitalise on shared resources to deliver positive outcomes for citizens.
  • Ensure we promote sustainable development for the borough across economic, social and environmental dimensions, through the delivery of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Contribute to a healthy economy by delivering effective and efficient services for the benefit of citizens and businesses across the borough.
  • Ensure we remain responsive to employee needs by engaging, listening to and acting on feedback from our employees to increase staff satisfaction levels.

Our Environment

  • Utilise nature based solutions to aid climate change adaption and improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens across the borough.
  • Develop a ‘Tree and Woodland Management Strategy’ to enhance biodiversity, increase carbon store and support ecosystems across the borough.
  • Support communities, farmers and local businesses to be more sustainable, reduce carbon emissions and adapt to a changing climate.
  • Improve the resource and energy efficiency of our buildings and practices to reduce costs and our MEABC operation emissions to net zero by 2040.
  • Deliver an effective and efficient waste service that supports citizens and businesses to reduce waste.

Management, reporting and governance arrangements

Our reporting structures have been designed to ensure proper oversight and accountability for all business, and to provide our Senior Management Team and Elected Members with assurances that our governance arrangements are robust.

This helps to ensure transparency, accountability and to further drive continuous improvement. These arrangements are outlined opposite.

We also publish a Self-Assessment Report for our citizens, service users and stakeholders by 30 September each year, in line with statutory requirements.

You can view our previous Self- Assessment Reports on this website.

Community Plan

Report to Frequency
Strategic Alliance Every six months
Community Panel Quarterly
Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee As appropriate
   

Corporate Plan

 
Report to Frequency
Senior Management Team Every six months
Full Council Every six months
   

Performance Improvement Plan

 
Report to Frequency
Full Council (for approval) Annually
Senior Management Team Quarterly
Corporate Resources, Policy and Governance Committee Quarterly
   

Annual Business Plan

 
Report to Frequency
Full Council (for approval) Annually
Senior Management Team Quarterly
Corporate Resources, Policy and Governance Committee Quarterly

Screening

In accordance with the statutory requirements set out in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act (1998), whereby Council must carry out its functions having due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and regard for the desirability to promote good relations, this Performance Improvement Plan has been subject to an equality screening. The equality screening exercise did not identify any major adverse effects on any Section 75 category or requirements for mitigation and therefore determined that there was no necessity to conduct a full equality impact assessment.

In accordance with the Rural Needs Act Northern Ireland (2016), Council has given due regard to rural needs by carrying out a rural needs impact assessment of this plan.

As part of our statutory duty to promote sustainable development, we carried out Climate and Sustainability Screening. This considered the likely impacts of this plan, following the five pillars of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. No major adverse impacts were determined as part of this process.

A Data Protection Impact Assessment screening was also undertaken, and as a result of this, a full Data Protection Impact Assessment was not deemed necessary.


Feedback

We are committed to continuously improving our services and as such we welcome your comments or suggestions for improvement areas at any time throughout the year. Please get in touch via E: performance@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

If you would like any further information or to request a copy of this plan in an alternative format please contact:

Corporate Performance and Improvement Team
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
1-29 Bridge Street
Ballymena
BT43 5EJ

E: performance@midandeastantrim.gov.uk