Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE:
26 JULY 2016
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 4 JULY 2016
C3227 RESHAPING SERVICES PROGRAMME UPDATE (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -
Cabinet approved the Reshaping Services strategy on 3 November, 2014. The Strategy was developed following a programme of consultation and engagement with key stakeholder groups, including briefing sessions for elected members and officers.
The aim of the strategy was 'to reshape the Council to enable it to meet the future needs of citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan within the context of unprecedented financial challenges.' The objectives were:
• To identify alternative ways of delivering services which provided better outcomes for citizens and/or more efficient means of delivery.
• To meet the future financial challenges while mitigating the impact of cuts on service users.
• To develop the Council and its partners to ensure they were able to meet future challenges.
The Reshaping Services strategy provided a framework for the Council to work within for the next three to five years. The programme was the Council's proactive response to central government's austerity drive that had created a period of unprecedented financial pressure in the public sector. The Council's budget had been under pressure for a number of years with £35million in savings identified between 2010/11 and 2015/16. Further substantial savings had been identified as being necessary in future years. Failure to deliver the required level of savings would not be an option for the Council. According to many analysts the period of austerity was likely to continue for councils and the public sector.
The Council's traditionally low funding base (20th out of 22 local authorities in terms of funding per head of the population) meant the authority was well-versed in working together to find savings and had a long-established track record of achievement in this respect.
The scale of the challenge that now faced the Authority though meant that a "business as usual" approach, however well managed would not be enough. A strategy that consisted solely of incremental cuts to budgets would simply lead to a steady decline in the quality and availability of public services, dissatisfaction among those who used the service and poor staff morale.
The challenge was therefore to consider alternative delivery models for services across the Council. This was essential to mitigate the impact of cuts and assist in continuing to provide priority services.
Cabinet approved the proposals for the management of the Reshaping Services change programme in January 2015. Since then work had commenced in line with the process described in that report and a summary of the activity undertaken in 2015 was reported to Cabinet in December 2015 which was referenced in the background papers to the report. Where appropriate, reports had also been presented to Cabinet (and other Committees) on specific Reshaping Services activity. The report provided Members with an update on the progress of the programme as a whole.
The Reshaping Services programme comprised of three inter-related project workstreams which were identified below and were outlined in greater detail in the report:
Service Specific Workstream Projects - The Reshaping Services programme would undertake on-going reviews of Council services via a “challenge process”. Each service area across the Council would be subject to challenge on a regular basis throughout the duration of the programme.
Corporate Workstream Projects - The challenge group identified a series of opportunities that would benefit from a corporate-wide response and these were being progressed as corporate workstream projects.
Programme Activity - The third element of the Reshaping Services programme was the corporate arrangements that had been put in place to manage the programme and ensure its efficient delivery.
At the Meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education commented that this was a hugely important programme as the Council reshaped its services to meet the need of residents whilst at the same time facing unprecedented financial challenges. She further commented that she was pleased that the Council was adopting an innovative and transformational approach to service delivery.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the contents of the report be noted.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee Corporate Performance & Resources for their consideration, with particular emphasis on the administration and implementation of the programme.
(3) T H A T a copy of the report be sent to all elected Members, Clerks of Town and Community Councils, members of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee, Community Liaison Committee and the Public Services Board for their information and in order to provide an update on the progress being made on the Reshaping Services Programme.
(4) T H A T the detailed service reviews described in the report be reported back as required to Cabinet for approval prior to implementation.
(5) T H A T quarterly progress reports continue to be brought to Cabinet to provide updates on the progress of the Reshaping Services programme.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To provide Cabinet with an update on the progress of the Reshaping Services programme.
(2) To provide the Scrutiny Committee Corporate Performance & Resources with an opportunity to consider the progress being made on the Reshaping Services Programme as lead Committee for the programme.
(3) To provide these Committees, groups and the Local Service Board with an update on the progress being made on the Reshaping Services programme.
(4) To ensure Cabinet approve any proposed changes resulting from Reshaping Services projects as appropriate.
(5) To ensure that Cabinet were kept informed of the progress being made on the programme.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 4 July 2016