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Network News - May 2015


What is LAMS?

(full pack is now downloadable from the web portal)


The LAMS (Land Audit Management System) is a quality inspection system, initially developed by local authorities in Scotland and now rolling out on a UK wide basis, to monitor grounds maintenance, which can also be applied to street cleansing for a total street scene quality score. If you are a member of APSE’s Performance Networks you will be able to use LAMS to measure the quality of your own localities and at the same time, benchmark these against other local authorities. You can choose between using the system to monitor grounds maintenance and/or street cleansing as well. The LAMS system has already been proven to be a simple and effective performance measuring system, which has benefits far beyond simply showing the cleanliness and quality of green spaces and the street scene. LAMS can be a useful tool to senior managers who have to justify greenspace and street scene budgets, it can be used as a marketing tool when applying for new contract work, and is also a great way to publicise the work the council does in maintaining its local environment to residents and businesses.


No additional resources needed

LAMS inspections can be carried out by any officer as part of their normal daily work routines when visiting an area, as the inspection is based on ‘what the public would see’ rather than requiring a technical inspection.


How does it work?

LAMS requires users to identify a number of transects across a local authority area and undertake inspections over a given monitoring period. These transects must include a number of different amenity types or ‘zones’:

• High amenity e.g. town centres

• General amenity e.g. approaches to towns

• Low maintenance e.g. woodlands

By assigning a quality/cleanliness grade to each of the transects within each of the different types of zones, an overall picture can be established as to the cleanliness and quality of a local authority’s environment and as stated previously, scores can be benchmarked against other local authorities.


What does LAMS monitor?

Ground Maintenance Street Cleansing
  • Litter levels 
  • Litter levels 
  • Presence of detritus
  • Presence of detritus
  • Fly-tipping occurrences
  • Fly-tipping occurrences
  • Dog fouling count
  • Dog fouling count
  • Bins overflowing
  • Bins overflowing
  • Levels graffiti
  • Levels graffiti
  • Ground maintenance standards


  • Presence of weeds


Photographic examples of the monitored issues are provided in the LAMS guidance notes to help inspectors, and training can be given to ensure uniformity of scoring.


How can you start to use the LAMS system?

APSE performance networks are inviting members to sign up to use the LAMS system so they can monitor their own greenspace and/or street cleanliness quality levels. To get involved, local authorities need to be fully subscribed members of APSE performance networks for parks and/or street cleansing.

This system allows APSE performance networks members to receive regular reports on the quality of grounds maintenance and/or street cleansing compared with other authorities free of charge and the overall scores will be included in the main APSE performance networks performance reports.

Register your interest on the form attached and we will send you the LAMS Guidance Manual, together with details about training courses in your area.  If you are already a member of APSE performance networks for parks and/or street cleansing, the full pack is now downloadable from the webportal.

Environmental Health

Following a successful pilot in 2014 with 22 local authorities participating, this service is being rolled out to all members UK-wide.  The model has been developed in partnership with the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland.

Performance indicators include:

•         Net cost of food standards service per head of population

•         Total number of Category A, B and C premises per FTE

•         Inspection/operational staff cost per head of population

•         Average time (days) for completion of a service request

•         Net cost of noise service per head of population

APSE performance networks member authorities who are subscribed to all services will be able to participate in this model for 2015 free of charge. Click here to register for the service.

There will be a launch event on the 12th of June, please contact APSE head office for further details. 


Building maintenance quarterly

Working with Nottingham City Homes and a group of authorities in Scotland APSE have created a data template to gather information and produce a set of headline indicators which can be monitored quarterly for building maintenance housing operations.

This new template will not replace the existing Building maintenance template, the aim is to allow authorities to assess their performance against key indicators on a more frequent basis.

All existing Building maintenance members can participate in the project at no extra cost. Performance indicators include:

  • Average number of hours taken to complete an emergency repair job
  • Average number of days to complete a non-emergency repair job
  • Percentage of responsive maintenance jobs undertaken by appointment
  • Percentage of responsive maintenance appointments kept
  • Average billed value per emergency repair
  • Average billed value per non-emergency repair
  • Average cost per responsive repair
  • Percentage delivery of planned maintenance programme
  • Percentage of homes deemed 'Non-decent' or not meeting the Scottish / Welsh Housing Quality Standard
  • Percentage of properties compliant with BS OHSAS 18001
  • Percentage of high rise blocks meeting a four star rating
  • Percentage of wards meeting the four star inspection rating
  • Responsive maintenance customer satisfaction score
  • Planned maintenance customer satisfaction score
  • Percentage of customers satisfied with the repairs service
  • Number of complaints received relating to the repairs service
  • Average number of FTE tradespeople employed to deliver the responsive repairs service
  • Average income per FTE tradesperson
  • Percentage of Building Maintenance staff that live in the local postcode area
  • Percentage of Building Maintenance staff that live within the authority boundary
  • Total number of apprentices employed during the reporting period
  • Percentage of the workforce which are apprentices


New performance at a glance reports

We have developed a new type of report called ‘performance at a glance’. This dashboard style report shows your authority's performance for each key performance indicator against the 2013/14 average performance of your family group. Whether your result has improved or not from 2012/13 is also shown. Icons are used to display this information and the idea of this report is that authorities can see 'at a glance' where they are performing well and where improvements may need to be made. Where the box is blank, this indicates that there is no authority score available for this performance indicator. The key to the icons are displayed below the table.

A sample report is available to view by clicking here.

The intention is to build on these reports for future years. 


New report improvements - putting the data tables in the performance reports

The data tables (which show the full data outputs from the performance report graphs and each participant) have now been included in the email version of the performance reports. This now allows you to view the exact scores for your own organisation as well as that of other family group members.


Leisure/Education catering - Bronze, Silver, Gold accreditation

APSE Performance Networks is looking to enhance the status of leisure centres and education catering services through a new accreditation system.

Based on the results from the existing benchmarking exercise, a selected number of leisure centres and education catering services will receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze classification. This accreditation will be an additional benefit to members of APSE performance networks.


Training sessions

APSE performance networks training

All of the year 17 data templates, service profile tables and guidance manuals are now available for download on the members only portal.  There is support to guide you through the benchmarking process, which is FREE OF CHARGE. To register your interest in data completion training please complete the ‘Data completion training flyer’ and send back to the address stated on the flyer.


Up-coming reports 

Direction of travel, summary reports, efficiency case studies, best practice case studies

Following the completion of the final performance reports and the new performance at a glance reports, we are now producing the following reports containing Year 16 data:


Efficiency case studies

We have ran a number of data queries to identify local authorities who have reduced their service costs over the past 5 years but have managed to improve quality and/or productivity of service.  We have contacted these authorities to ask them to provide a short case study on the service changes which have been made and have led to this improvement.  These case studies will be written into a publication and circulated to member authorities. 


Best practice case studies

We are currently asking the winners of the best and most improved performers awards to write a short case study to tell us how they have been able to improve and maintain a high quality service. These will be sent out to members as soon as they have all been submitted.


Summary reports

The summary reports contain the summarised data that was collected during year 16 and also includes trends, averages, highest and lowest figures, as well as comparisons by country. One report will be produced for each service area. 


Direction of travel reports

The direction of travel reports are personalised reports for each service area and show your last 5 years results across selected performance indicators against the overall average for each service.  These will soon be available to download from the webportal and the PDF reports will be emailed to member authorities.


Resources - click the headings below to download each document:

LAMS Booklet
Education catering performance at a glance
Data completion training flyer
Data completion booking form
Network news downloadable PDF




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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