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Council Plan - Corporate Theme: Organisation

Corporate Theme: Organisation

Striving for Excellence

Wrexham County Borough Council is made up of 52 elected Members and is led by a cross-party Executive Board who are supported and held to account by five Scrutiny Committees.  The Senior Management Team is one of the smallest and most cost effective management structures in Wales. 

Services are currently provided and enabled by around 6,000 members of staff, but in line with the streamlining of managers this number has reduced as the Council has reshaped services and continues to become a leaner organisation in order to tackle the funding pressures we face.

Priority Outcomes

The Wrexham Context

Each authority in Wales receives an in-depth Corporate Assessment once during a four-year period.  Wrexham’s corporate assessment found that:

“Wrexham County Borough Council’s vision and ambition are helping deliver improved outcomes for citizens but some outdated arrangements may limit the speed of progress.”

The assessment highlighted the authority’s strength in its inclusive leadership, its financial management and other areas.

The Council has been working with a reshaping partner – PwC – for eighteen months to bring an expert external challenge to its plans to reshape the organisation to improve customer experience and  respond to the financial challenge which is facing all public sector bodies.

How this theme was developed

This priority theme reflects the Council’s Organisational Development and Workforce Strategy, as well as the customer focus and consultation and engagement strategies.

The council at present do not listen to residents. They may ask your opinion but this is ignored if it is different than their own.

'What are the key issues for Wrexham’ Survey respondent

I find it crazy that more things cannot be done online these days.’

‘Your council, your area’ survey respondent

The opportunity to influence decisions was a key issue for improvement highlighted by survey respondents, as well as one that has been raised by regulators.

O1 – Engaged and Satisfied Customers

Over seven thousand people contact Wrexham County Borough Council each working day for advice and information, to request services or to report problems.  We recognise that the standard of service customers receive will influence their view of the Council and potentially of Wrexham the place. We also recognise that customer’s expectations are rising at a time when all Councils are striving for efficiencies.  We aim to address these challenges by making the best use of innovative technology to deliver quality, cost effective services. We will invest in our on-line services creating a 24 hour Council, transform our services to make them simple to deliver and easy for customers to access and increase access to services through social media.

We will improve the way we learn from customer feedback, both positive and negative, and use this to improve services. We will also invest in our staff, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to support customers and resolve queries at the point of contact wherever possible.

We will improve the way we engage with local people to understand their opinions, needs and preferences and use this information to plan and deliver effective, efficient and inclusive services.  The 2014 National Survey for Wales found that only 18% of respondents in Wrexham feel they can influence decisions affecting the local area (which is a reduction from the 2013 figure)   However, over recent years the number of consultations we conduct, and the number of responses we receive (to corporate consultations) has increased significantly.   We will strive to improve the way we understand and respond to citizens so that people feel they can have a genuine influence on the local decisions that affect them.  We will look to improve the way we give feedback to the public, and demonstrate how the results of consultation are used to inform decision making.

We will monitor our success through:

Outcome Indicator Comparison (Wrexham 2014/15) Wrexham 2015/16 Target 2016/17
Sustain: Customer satisfaction with all Council services39 75% 80% 80%
Sustain: Percentage of customers who feel it is easy to access Council services 96%



Stretch: Grow the percentage of customers who are signed up to an on-line self-service account - 4% 15%
Sustain: Percentage of respondents to the ‘national survey for Wales40' who live in Wrexham County Borough and feel that the that they can influence decisions affecting the local area 28%
(Wales average 2015)
18% 18%
Improve: The gap between public expectation and perceived performance in relation to the Council listening to local people41 New indicator 37% improve

What we will do to support this priority objective:

39 Customer satisfaction measures satisfaction with services offered through the Contact Centre.  The number of services provided through the centre has increased significantly over the last year. The target set reflects an ambition to sustain the improvement made on 2014/15. 

40 The National Survey for Wales is an annual survey that covers all Welsh authority areas.   

41 This score is taken from the annual ‘What’s Important To You’ survey. Respondents are asked to rate the importance of, and their satisfaction with, key outcomes. The difference between the two ratings gives the ‘performance gap’- the higher the score, the greater the gap between public expectation and perceived performance. In this instance the average importance given was 82.1% and the satisfaction 45.0%, leaving a gap of -37.1%

O2 – Creating the Conditions for Success

Wrexham County Borough Council works to ensure that the people of Wrexham are supported to fulfil their potential and to prosper, but must do so whilst reshaping services to meet the unprecedented financial challenges ahead whilst prioritising the most vulnerable.  To achieve this will require a leaner organisation, and employees who do their best work and ‘go the extra mile’ to deliver required services.  We are reducing in size as an organisation, and will look to sustain current levels of staff engagement as we do by continuing to invest in our staff and their potential, both through specific training and our organisational development resource.  We want our employees to have jobs that are worthwhile, jobs that inspire them and to understand how what they do contributes to the success of the authority. 

To build an authority that delivers positive results again and again we nurture an organisation where employees feel valued.  Feedback and challenge are seen as healthy processes and there is a commitment to listen and respond.

Good leaders create the environment for employees to be innovative in how we improve what we do and the outcomes we deliver for the people of Wrexham.  In short, we create a passion within the Council for customer service within Wrexham.  Employees understand their unique contribution to the Council and this inspires change, creativity and innovation.

We will monitor our success through:

Outcome Indicator Comparison (Wrexham 2014/2015) Wrexham 2015/16 Target 2016/17
Stretch: Percentage of staff due to receive a PRCD42 who received one 92.9% Awaiting data 100%
Sustain: Level of staff engagement (Amalgamation of employee engagement measures taken from the staff survey) 61% 61%43 61%
Improve: The percentage of employees responding positively that ‘I have the opportunity to develop and improve to my full potential’ 49% 52%44 52%

What we will do to support this priority objective:

42 PRCD is the Council’s staff appraisal process –the Performance Review and Career Development process

43 The staff survey was completed in April 2015 and so results have previously been  included in the 2014/15 performance reports produced in May 2015.

44 See previous footnote