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Network News - April 2017

Year 19 data collection

Welcome to the Spring 2017 edition of Network News. We’re relishing the extra hours of daylight now the clocks have gone forward and are working hard to build the Year 19 data collection templates, which will be finalised and rolled out in the next few weeks. We will send notifications via email once they are ready to go! In the meantime if you feel you would benefit from some data completion training, please see details below of this year’s schedule. Don’t forget that we can also offer on-site training at your authority for 4 or more people and all training is free of charge.


Second batch reports

You should now be receiving your second batch performance reports and PI standings reports, which have been processed throughout March.


Data completion training

Are you new to performance networks or just need some help in familiarising yourself with the data templates?

To aid with inputting data into the data templates, APSE performance networks are offering its members the chance to attend a data completion training session. These sessions are free of charge and are aimed at those who are less experienced in completing the data templates or those who need a quick recap. You will particularly benefit from this training if you have never completed a data submission before or you are new to performance networks and responsible for collecting the data. The training provides delegates with an opportunity to clarify the basic issues relating to the data collection process in a facilitated environment. Technical guidance about which data to include or exclude from a calculation is given and members are able to raise any individual queries relating to the data collection, information sources, definitions and/or interpretations.


Sessions have been set for the following dates:

Hamilton 15th May

Oxford 23rd May

Manchester 31st May

Hamilton 12th June

Manchester 20th June

Cardiff 29th June


If you are interested in attending a session, or would like to discuss your requirements, please download the booking form below or alternatively contact Darja Scukina on 0161 772 1810 or email dscukina@apse.org.uk for more information.


Download 'Data completion
training' booking form


Revamped data collection packs

This year we have reviewed usage of the CD packs for APSE performance networks following on from a number of requests from authorities to be taken off the distribution lists for these. This demonstrated that APSE performance networks members are increasingly downloading the data templates from the APSE web portal as opposed to using the CD version. As a result we are now removing the CDs from this year’s data collection pack mail out.

We will still distribute a new and improved data collection pack along with a new business card which contains details of how to download/upload from the new web portal as well as improving the information which is supplied in the data collection packs.


Performance Networks – database and web portal development

We are currently undergoing an overhaul of our in house database system and it means exciting times are ahead at Performance Networks. We have been working closely with CAMMS group in building the new systems and undergoing stringent testing to ensure that we build the best system possible. Once completed the new database will mean improved report generation, data queries and validation. Going forward we will be able to offer more types of reports and in the future we will be able to offer on line collection and reporting.

The PN web portal is also being updated which will include individual log-ins rather than authority wide log-ins. This will enable more reports and analysis to be uploaded onto the web with customised information such as forthcoming deadlines and dates for benchmarking meetings relevant to that particular service area. This is underway at the moment and will be launched during spring 2017.


Markets Pilot

Performance Networks have been working with NABMA over a benchmarking pilot for markets during 2017 which is being commissioned by 10 local authorities. This will be on a facility by facility comparison and will cover both indoor and outdoor markets. A meeting was held on 27 February 2017 with the project group to develop relevant performance indicators and family groups. If you like more information or would like to get involved in the markets pilot, please contact djohns@apse.org.uk


Trading Standards Pilot

The Trading Standards pilot is underway and the draft reports have been issued. 

Key achievements to date have included:

1. Final trading standards performance template agreed, together with mechanism for issuing and collating the data for the pilot year 2015/16

2. Meeting held by APSE with representatives from Scottish local authorities to discuss the Trading Standards module, the data template and the process for collating and submitting returns on 28th September 2016

3. Deadline for submitting returns to APSE was 18th November 2016. As of December 2016, 25 local authorities have submitted data.

4. Discussions have been held with Douglas Olley of Improvement Services to review the work undertaken to date by the Project Team and APSE. This is with the intention of reviewing the current LGBF measure for Trading Standards and identifying what support the Improvement Service could offer the Society.


Future actions and timetable


  • Performance report issued by APSE 30th April 2017
  • Meeting to review report, pilot and identify areas for improvement: May 2017
  • Implement agreed changes for 16/17 data collection: May-June 2017






How to get involved

Should your local authority already be signed up to performance networks for ‘all services’, you are entitled to participate in this module for no additional cost. Any local authorities  interested in participating should contact the performance networks team on 0161 772 1810 or email performance.networks@apse.org.uk for further information.


Land Audit Management System (LAMS)

We are currently working with members of the LAMS group to create a new case study publication specifically in relation to the LAMS project. We hope that this new report will be completed and ready for distribution in the spring. The working group also agreed improvements to the inspection form and reports at the latest meeting and these will be emailed out to LAMS participants in April 2017. There will be a LAMS training session held in May 2017 for those authorities interested in joining for this coming year.


Northern Ireland

We have seen a significant increase in membership from Northern Ireland over the past few months. The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 introduced new duties for the new local authorities to collect performance information and to benchmark and 9 of the 11 councils in Northern Ireland are using performance networks to help to fulfil this duty. APSE have now issued the data collection templates for 12 service areas; 7 of which were tailored from existing service areas for performance networks and 5 of the service areas are new modules which are required for Northern Ireland. The new modules include Planning, Community development, Economic development, Cultural services and Corporate services. The working group was held on 28 March 2017 to develop a customer satisfaction survey as well as develop new modules for estates and building control. It is envisaged that once the proof of concept has been completed for some of these new service areas such as Corporate services, these may be rolled out UK-wide.


And finally…

Welcome to the newest member of the PN team!

A huge congratulations to our data processing and analysis officer, Rebecca, who gave birth to a healthy baby boy on New Year’s Eve. Both Becky and baby Leon are doing really well.






Performance Networks Members Portal

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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