How we measure our performance

We measure our performance against the key priorities and outcomes included in our Council Plan.

To assess progress and performance against these priorities and outcomes, along with performance against individual service objectives, we have a performance management framework that consists of three elements:

  • corporate plan priorities
  • corporate health of the organisation
  • directorate performance

Each quarter, we produce a performance report summarising our performance against the priorities and outcomes and how well we're performing.

Quarter 3 2020/21

Thriving and vibrant economy

Message from Matt Gladstone - Executive Director, Place

Tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been; and continues to be; very challenging, but we are working to ensure that we do absolutely everything we can to both reduce the spread of the virus and get our communities and businesses through it.

We have continued to build on our successes from both Q1 and Q2 and are forging ahead with our masterplans for key growth sites to ensure a strong pipeline of inward investment, building developer confidence and levering in more jobs, homes and businesses.

We remain focused on economic recovery and continue to support both our workforce to adapt and our businesses to prosper under tough, changing conditions. Our strengths continue to include outcomes for care leavers, with a high proportion of young people in either education, training or employment. The number of adults with learning difficulties supported into employment continues to exceed our target. Although town centre footfall struggled in Q3, this reflected the trends seen in similar towns both locally and nationally. The strength of our culture and visitor economy – particularly visitor numbers at key heritage sites – is impressive.

Our Enterprising Barnsley programme has helped to administer a £1.1m, 100% grant for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in South Yorkshire, to invest in projects worth between £1,000 - £3,000, so we are looking for companies to bring forward investment projects who have been adversely impacted by COVID. This is the £1.1m European Regional Development Fund Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government offered to Growth Hubs across England.

Areas of good performance

  • Care leavers and young people in employment, education or training
    73.5% of care leavers were in education, employment or training and 4.7% of adults with learning disabilities were in employment.

    99.8% of Barnsley’s 16 and 17-year-olds were offered an education or training place which places Barnsley in the top 10% nationally across all Local Authorities

  • Business and jobs
    38 companies have been supported to expand and 113 private sector jobs were created during Q3. Four businesses have also relocated to Barnsley in Q3.

  • Visitor numbers at museums
    So far this year, Barnsley Museums have had over 770,000 visitors, contributing £17,000,000 to the local economy.

    Affordable homes
  • 53 affordable homes were created in Q3. 103 in total this year to date – over 100% of revised target achieved.

Areas for improvement

  • Number of new build home completions
    426 homes have been built between April and December 2020 which is some way short of our 700 year-end target.

  • Town centre footfall
    The lockdown in November severely impacted the town centre footfall figure of 1,066,432. November footfall was 61% down on 2019 and overall Q3 is 65.6% down on Q3 for 2019.

Case studies

Opening of the Digital Media Centre, DMC02

The growth of DMC01 prompted the council to create DMC02 Digital Business Hub. Its £1.7M refurbishment was backed by the Sheffield City Region and will support 100 jobs to be created. DMC02 aims to attract technology businesses from across the UK and Europe. The centre will play a huge part in securing Barnsley’s role at the heart of digital technology and innovation in the North.

DMC01 and DMC02, together with Barnsley College’s SciTech building for digital learning and apprenticeships, form part of The Seam Campus. There are future plans to add residential, retail, hotel and transport facilities.

Flour power

The Worsbrough Mill team have responded to a rapid an increase in demand for flour. During lockdown, their customer base has grown significantly to include restaurants, bakeries and individual customers from across the country. Five years ago, the mill only produced four tonnes of flour a year and was not really a commercial proposition. Flour sales are now set to generate almost £20,000 in income towards supporting Barnsley Museums.

To improve water flow to the mill and increase daily milling capacity it was necessary to dredge the mill’s pond to remove significant silt build-up. This has enabled a 43% increase in operational hours and a 39% increase in flour production.

Affordable housing - Kenworthy Road, Worsbrough Common

Three new council homes, a three bedroomed house and two two-bedroomed houses, were completed in November 2020. Built to the council's standard house types, the new homes have transformed a brownfield site. The main contractor was Berneslai Homes Construction Services.

The scheme has achieved the Police's Gold "Secured by Design" award, recognising again the council's commitment to "designing out" crime to provide safe and secure new homes.

People achieving their potential

Message from Mel John-Ross - Executive Director, Children's Services

I am pleased with our Q3 performance. In particular:

  • The percentage of children in care in family placements further increased, whilst children subject to a care protection plan for the second or subsequent time decreased.
  • Despite seeing an increase in Q3 in the percentage of re-referrals in the last 12 months, we remain on target and well below benchmarks.
  • The number of young people entering the Youth Justice System for the first time continues to decrease and puts us amongst the best performing local authorities nationally.
  • The percentage of two year olds taking up a funded place continues to increase.
  • The percentage of Section 47 investigations proceeding to Initial Child Protection Conference within 15 days (based on number of children) fell below target in Q3. We understand this and our Year To Date (YTD) performance remains above target and benchmarks.
  • The percentage of children becoming the subject of a Child Protection Plan for a second or subsequent time involves a small cohort of children and is above our aspirational target; our YTD performance however remains well below it.
  • Performance for assessments completed within the national 45 day standard remains outstanding, but we need to be completing shorter, more proportional assessments within 20 working days of referral.

Message from Julia Burrows - Director of Public Health

It is really pleasing to see that number of Excess Winter Deaths has reduced In Barnsley. The most recent rate of 17.7% for 2018/19 is less than half of the previous year and demonstrates the progress made through collaborative action. We know that there are still large geographical differences in the rate across the borough and we will continue in our efforts to understand and target those at risk.

Regrettably, we have seen an increase in our suicide rate over the most recent two year period. We remain alert to emerging risk factors whilst recognising that known risk factors including health inequalities and deprivation may be worsened by the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Message from Wendy Lowder - Executive Director, Adults and Communities

Our ongoing commitment to preventing and supporting homelessness has allowed us to achieve our annual target. We are also pleased that anti-social behaviour remains the lowest across South Yorkshire. In Adult Social Care we have seen the investment in two additional social workers at the hospital alongside more flexible weekend working impact positively on hospital discharges and reablement targets increased from 24% to 41% in this quarter.

Our Home First approach has seen continued reductions in admissions to residential care with 80 less admissions than the same time last year. Q3 also showed further improvements in safeguarding with Section 42 Decisions completed within 72 hours exceeding the target.

Areas of good performance

  • Anti-social behaviour
    There were 4,441 anti-social behaviour incidents recorded between April and December 2020. This is the lowest in the South Yorkshire region.

  • Youth Justice System
    There were only 14 first time entrants to the Youth Justice System in Q3, this is 136 per 100,000 of the 0-17 population; significantly lower than the national and regional figures.

  • Preventing homelessness
    There were 140 homelessness preventions making the total so far for 2020/21 353, above the annual target.

  • Excess winter deaths
    The rate of excess winter deaths (17.7) is less than half that of the previous year.

  • Adult safeguarding
    95.7% of Section 42 decisions were made within 72 hours.

  • Support for children
    Take up of the two-year-old childcare/education offer has increased to 77.3% in Q3 from 70.8% in Q2 and 85.6% of Education Health and Care Plans were completed within 20 weeks.

Areas for improvement

  • Suicide rates
    Barnsley's 2017-19 rate per 100,000 population for suicide and injury of undetermined intent is 10.7.

Case studies

Local boost to COVID-19 Test and Trace

Since October, members of our Public Health team have been contacting residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 to offer support and guidance. This work complements and enhances the work of NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England, to ensure that as many people as possible are reached by contact tracing, to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 across the borough.

The local Public Health team use the data provided by NHS Test and Trace and aim to follow up all positive cases, firstly by text to offer support for self-isolating safely, and then by following up with a supportive call or email. The scheme has been well received with some really positive comments from the residents who were contacted. 

Safeguarding Awareness Week - 16-20 November

Despite the COVID pandemic, a total of 13 safeguarding adult learning events were provided by a range of partners including South Yorkshire Police, BMBC, Refugee council. Adult Safeguarding Evaluations show that people found the training 'very useful' or 'useful' and rated the content 'good' or 'very good' and all would recommend the courses to others.

The launch event, delivered virtually over Microsoft Teams, included inputs from elected members, the Chair of the Safeguarding Board and key partners who all confirmed their commitment to safeguarding.

Training for staff - free childcare entitlement

An online e-learning module has been launched for council staff to access during their induction or as a refresher for existing employees entitled "Free Child Care for Eligible Two-Year-Olds". In addition, training has been delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams to Family Centre outreach staff.

Dearne and North East area team - Stay Home, Stay Safe winter warmth programme

We provided our most vulnerable residents with items to keep them safe and warm, and a little special something to keep them active too. Bags were sourced from a specialist company that deals with keeping elderly people warm in winter. Packs included a blanket, hand warmers, flask, gloves, hat, socks, refreshments, activity book and leaflets on how to keep warm during the winter months. We worked with the Public Health team to provide information on their new Fall Proof campaign designed to keep elderly residents active in their own homes.

Strong and resilient communities

Message from Matt Gladstone - Executive Director, Place

Throughout this pandemic, the ever-changing restrictions have had a significant impact on environmental and transport services, and our performance in Q3 demonstrates that our detailed recovery and renewal plans are coming to fruition. Employee and resident safety continues to be our primary concern in all of the work that we undertake. All services are now back up and running and incorporating the required safe systems of work aligning to the latest government advice. Our ongoing commitment to a clean, green borough is evidenced by continued success in dealing with instances of fly tipping, alongside making progress with our tree-planting programme. Bins are emptied on time, traffic signals, street lights and pot holes are repaired quickly, and our recycling rates are improving. Household Services, which were adapted in Q2, continued to be delivered safely in Q3.

We are also pressing ahead with Zero Carbon and have published our ambitious first Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) which sets out our ambitions for the next five years - focussing on continuing and accelerating our journey to net Zero Carbon by 2040. There remains ongoing appreciation for our front line workers with considerable acts of kindness being shown towards our staff. The volume of positive feedback received demonstrates a real togetherness, and our communities’ resilience is to be admired in such tough times.

Message from Wendy Lowder - Executive Director, Adults and Communities

During Q3, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown with its restrictions and limitations continued to affect volunteering opportunities for the community. We have been working with existing volunteers (where appropriate and safe to do so) but we have been unable to do a recruitment drive for new volunteers due to the reduced number of opportunities for volunteering.

There has been some activity but not as regularly as before COVID-19. Some of the regular volunteers the team work with will have been self-isolating.

Areas of good performance

  • Safer roads
    98% of all CAT 1 pot holes were repaired on time and 95% of all signal faults were fixed within 24 hours during Q3.

  • Cleaner air
    At the end of Q3, 41.7% of diesel council vehicles detailed in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 vehicle replacement programmes had been replaced with electric vehicles

  • Fly tipping
    Neighbourhoods continue to clear all cases of fly tipping within 5 days despite an increase in fly tipping incidents

  • Superfast broadband
    There has been a 61.% take up of superfast broadband against a target of 56%

Areas for improvement

  • Recycling
    32.3% of household waste was recycled which is below the 40% target. Some collections were stood down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Number of new volunteers
    619 new volunteers registered (46% of the annual target) between April and December 2020

Case studies

Barnsley Healthy Holidays – Dearne Area team

With COVID-19 still upon us during the holidays, we were unable to run any community projects and felt upset at the prospect of not helping our families. We felt we needed to help all our families whether they are working, furloughed or unemployed.

We targeted all our families that were struggling with unemployment, furlough, changes to the household income, families receiving free school meals and anyone which had children that needed some help with healthy eating over the festive period. 204 families received boxes of vegetables and fruit; 477 children were fed with their families over Christmas with fresh, locally sourced produce.

Community Advent Calendars – Central Ward team

The team designed community advent calendars to be distributed to residents within the Central Area Council. The 5,000 calendars had 24 windows, behind each was a call to social action or a social wellbeing task.

The initiative was supported by a social media campaign where the daily actions were revealed on Facebook in the morning followed by a video or photo. The videos were made in partnership with various organisations and
council services.

The calendars were distributed via primary schools, contracted providers, the Family Centre and Elected Members. The tasks were suitable for people of all ages. The purpose was to help address loneliness and isolation and help people feel connected to their community.

Friends of Wilthorpe Park

Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic caused major disruptions to the community and the groups that operate within it. Steadfastly, the Friends of Wilthorpe Park have been committed to keeping the park area as safe as it possibly can be and have gone above and beyond to make Wilthorpe Park beautiful.

Where it has been possible to meet as a group, the members have done so, weeding, planting, and maintaining the park. Where full lockdowns have been in effect, the members have gone out of their way to use their daily exercise to go individually to the park with their own tools and put in hours upon hours of work to keep up the area. They truly are community focussed and deserve much praise and respect.

One council

Message from Shokat Lal - Executive Director, Core Services

Our Business Rates collection rate continues to fall short of the current target as a result of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on business sustainability. However, there has been an increase of 0.65% on the Q2 position, which reflects that the position is currently stable but uncertainty remains due to current and any future restrictions which may be placed upon the borough.

Council Tax collection performance remains below the 96% target, but is stable due to an increase of 0.4% on the Q2 position. There is also the potential for a further reduction in the amount of council tax collectable as the pandemic impacts the economy and more jobs and more residents claim local council tax support.


  • A total of £7.448M of efficiency savings are to be delivered in 2020/21. Directorates are reporting a 95% delivery against this target.

  • The Council Tax collection rate in Q3 was 95% falling short of target by 1%

  • The Business Rates collection rate was 94.9% and has fallen short of target by 3.25%

Recovery and renewal plan for Barnsley

The Local Government Association (LGA) has highlighted the council's hard work to support local communities and businesses through the pandemic, which it noted, has often involved going 'above and beyond' what might be expected of a council in more 'normal' times. The LGA also said that the council had demonstrated clear and determined leadership of place and noted many examples of good practice including early payment of business grants and comprehensive support to care homes.

Read more about the response from the LGA and the recovery and renewal plan.


Currently, 1.34% of the council’s workforce, which includes employees in schools, are undertaking an apprenticeship, 63 of these began in Q3.

An increase in the overall number of employees has affected performance of this indicator.

A number of people are waiting to begin programmes and there is potential for Leadership and Management Apprenticeships following the launch of our Leadership Programme. It is anticipated that the number of employees beginning an apprenticeship in Q4 will assist in achieving the annual 2.3% public sector target for this indicator.

Sickness absence

  • In Q3, the number of days lost to sickness absence per full time equivalent employee was 1.91 days. This is higher than in Q2 (1.71 days lost) and is lower in comparison to Q3 19/20 (2.27 days lost).

  • Mental Health continues to account for the largest proportion of absences. We have implemented a number of offers to assist employees with their mental health, including a helpline and app, e-learning courses and recruiting mental health first aiders.

  • Short-term sickness absence is 0.66 days and long-term sickness absence is1.27 days.

Quarter 3 2020/21 finance data

Spend per outcome

Outcome Budget Out-turn Variance % variance Commentary
1 1,807,964 2,139,524 331,559 18% Shortfall in income due to COVID-19.
2 1,656,779 1,658,382 1,603 0% Balanced position as per Q3.
3 (345,090) 791,037 1,136,128 329% Shortfall in markets and town centre income due to COVID-19.
4 1,986,826 2,167,284 180,458 9% Shortfall in income and extra costs due to COVID-19.
5 1,632,377 1,640,964 8,587 1% Shortfall in income due to COVID-19.
6 5,143,895 6,165,645 1,021,750 20% Additional costs for home to school transport due to higher than anticipated demand combined with a shortfall in income due to COVID-19.
7 6,109,194 5,663,087 (446,107) -7% Underspends on staffing and supplies and services partially offset by Early Years settings
COVID-19 costs
8 80,741,548 94,176,729 13,435,181 17% COVID-19 costs payments to ASC providers, homelessness and rough sleepers, and additional children SW, placement breakdowns/extensions and payments to care leavers
9 2,073,950 5,242,368 3,168,419 153% Income shortfall against school catering due to schools closures for COVID-19 combined with increased COVID-19 related Public Health costs.
10 4,676,978 4,510,253 (166,725) -4% Staffing vacancies - delays in recruitment.
11 27,110,491 32,902,767 5,792,276 21% Loss of income due to COVID 19 e.g. Car Parks, Highways and Licences combined with
the additional cost of maintaining services during the pandemic including the
additional cost of waste collection and traffic management.
12 3,117,346 3,065,548 (51,798) -2% Staffing vacancies - delays in recruitment offset partly by lost income due to COVID-19

You can also view our corporate plan performance data tables.