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Council performance, statistics and spending


Benchmarking is an improvement process that helps organisations understand how they perform in comparison to other relevant organisations and how they can learn from others. At East Renfrewshire we benchmark our performance to find out how we are performing compared to others, where we are doing better and where and how we can improve.

picture: blue and green graph to depict comparison

This page outlines how we continuously improve the way we work by comparing our services against leading practice from across the public and private sectors.


Benchmarking is, in short, a comparison exercise. It is an important method for assessing how we are performing with the resources available. It shows us areas of good practice, and those for improvement, through comparing our performance, processes, and costs with others. Benchmarking data and activities can tell us as a council, not only how we are performing in relation to others, but can also support us in further improving our services.

Performance indicators

East Renfrewshire Council uses a balance of measures to provide a clear picture of performance, against both partnership and council outcomes. The council's key partners include NHS, Police, Fire and Rescue, and Jobcentre Plus.  All Scottish councils are required to report a range of information, sufficient to demonstrate we are securing best value in relation to a number of corporate management and service performance areas. We are also required to measure performance against a specific set of indicators called the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF). They cover a range of topics such as education, council tax collection, refuse collection, recycling, social work, roads and street cleaning, and can be used to compare our performance with other councils across Scotland. As well as this, councils collect a wider range of performance information on a number of local performance indicators, which are tailored specifically to the needs and circumstances of the local area. More information on how we are performing against these indicators can be found in our performance pages in the related links section of this page.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework Icon

Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF)

SOLACE has been working with the Improvement Service (IS) to develop a benchmarking framework on behalf of Scottish councils. The framework for 2017-18 was published by the IS in February 2019. 

East Renfrewshire's performance against the 2017/18 LGBF dataset shows a positive picture of performance across the council. We continue to perform strongly in key outcome areas such as educational attainment, recycling and housing; and continue to make a difference to people's lives. The current benchmarking results show that 67% of the Council's indicators fall within the top 2 quartiles as summarised in the chart in the related documents.

It should be noted that due to final validation processes minor differences may occur when comparing the data in LGBF Report for 2017-18  with the data in the online tool My Local Council - see related content. The web page will be updated after the next data refreshment by the IS. 

How we use benchmarking information

Benchmarking information is used to improve council services. For example, data is collected on roads, council housing rents and allocations. This is then used to make improvements to those services. In Education, benchmarking information is collected on a variety of topics such as attendances, exclusions and SQA attainment results by school.

This table demonstrates some of the different ways that benchmarking is undertaken in East Renfrewshire Council Examples of benchmarking in East Renfrewshire Council
DepartmentExamples of benchmarking dataHow is this used?
Corporate and Community Services

HR absence data

Citizens' Panel data

Employee Survey data

Quarterly monitoring reports to Corporate Management Team

Target setting

Comparative exercises


Local numeracy and literacy data

School attendances

SQA results

Educational attainment

Self evaluation exercises

Education Department Standards and Quality Report

Target setting

Improving levels of educational attainment


National data collected on estate management

Rents and repairs

Allocations and homelessness data

Target setting

Service Improvement

To develop model forms, customer surveys and common protocols

As a council, we also use trend information and compare our performance against external organisations from across the public sector. This process helps us to continually improve our services and deliver Best Value for residents of East Renfrewshire.

Family Groups Project

The Improvement Service has been coordinating wider benchmarking activity across all Scottish councils. Each council has been allocated to a 'family group' made up of councils of similar characteristics for more meaningful comparisons, analysis and sharing of best practice.  Family group projects are underway for a range of topics including:  roads, libraries, street cleaning, adult social care, housing and Looked after Children.

Community Planning Outcomes Profile

The Community Planning Outcomes Profile is a project endorsed by the Public Sector Reform Board, SOLACE and the Outcomes, Evidence and Performance Advisory Board. It aims to provide decision makers with a standard set of indicators to evaluate and guide local community planning arrangements to allow for better decision making in light of:

  • Increased financial pressures and reduced resources
  • Community Empowerment Bill - Outcome Improvement Plans
  • Locality planning, prevention and joint resourcing

The Outcomes profile hopes to provide a clear picture of life outcomes, life opportunities, and inequalities within Community Planning Partnership areas, as well as developing improved measures of outputs that local partnerships can influence.  In its first year the Community Planning Outcomes Profile is targeted and Community Panning Partnership Boards, in year 2 this is intended to be made available to the public following refinements.

Other benchmarking networks

Participation in benchmarking groups enables us to share and compare data and processes with other organisations. It also helps us to identify new solutions to common problems. We take part in other benchmarking networks. These include:

  • Association for Public Sector Excellence (APSE)
  • Scotland's Housing  Network (SHN)
  • Complaints Handlers' Network (CHN)

Service areas that are benchmarked include absence management, catering, communications, complaints processes, libraries, customer contact, health and safety, performance management, recruitment and selection and many more.

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