Committee hear of improvements

Council Chambers.
Council Chambers.

Banff and Buchan Area Committee’s councillors were informed of improvements across the board for Aberdeenshire Council’s housing and social work department on Tuesday, January 29.

The quarterly performance report, reporting the July to September findings, asked councillors to consider the findings, whether or not they were above or below expectations, and advise the director of the department, Mr Ritchie Johnson, to continue to report, by exception, the the area committee quarterly on performance measures against service objectives and six monthly on progress in delivering all aspects of the service plan.

The report told councillors that key services included “to ensure access to good quality, affordable housing” and to “improve community protection,” reporting that, across the board, there were improvements in these objectives.

Eight projects supporting the key service objectives were, however, behind target, the report saying: “Out of 47 projects, although 8 are behind target, in all instances efforts are being made to progress them.”

The eight behind target included a review of the housing allocation policy, to complete a review of housing support, and to improve attendance and and reduce staff absence through the quality of management information.

Councillors Brian Topping and Ian Tait had differing opinions on the report, the former saying: “To me this is one of the most unhelpful reports I’ve seen in a long time.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Tait thought the report was “quite full and quite worrying,” given the decreasing level of some services in Banff and Buchan.

Councillors agreed to defer the report until a member of the housing and social work service could answer their questions, an officer not present at the meeting on Tuesday.