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Agenda Item No 4

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Shared Regulatory Service Joint Committee: 3rd November 2015

 

Report of the Head of Shared Regulatory Services

 

Overview and Update on the Development of the Shared Regulatory Service

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. This report provides an update for Elected Members on the development of the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS) between Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils.

Recommendation

  1. The Committee is asked to consider and note the information within the attached report.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. The report is for noting.

Background

  1. On 30th June 2015, this committee received a report on the implementation of the Shared Regulatory Service. This report provides a further update on matters pertaining to the creation and development of the new service.

Relevant Issues and Options

Human Resources Update

  1. The Joint Committee will be aware that key elements of the HR work programme have been achieved over recent months following the transfer of some 170 staff to the Vale of Glamorgan on the 1 May 2015.

The post transfer restructuring consultation process was completed between June and August 2015 as part of the refining of the new staffing structure and the finalising of job descriptions.

 

The process including three separate and sequential consultation sessions with staff in each of the three participating authorities and continuing meetings with the trade unions as part of the cross Council Joint Trade Union Forum.

 

A copy of the refined organisational structure is set out in Appendix A. The structure reflects a range of constructive feedback from staff and the trade unions. Critically however it remains congruent with the agreed operating and financial model for the new service.

 

A key element of the consultation process was the design of the assimilation process for the new structure - i.e. the mechanism and time-table for matching and appointing existing staff to jobs within the new structure.

 

The above process was agreed with the recognised trades unions on the 19 September 2015 as set out in Appendix 1 and is now being progressed on a tier by tier basis. It is envisaged that the process will be completed by the end of the calendar year.

 

Members will be aware that the process (as set out at paragraphs 2 - 6 above) has been significantly helped by the appointment of the three Operational Managers in July 2015. This has, and will continue to provide additional leadership and capacity in ensuring the early and successful delivery of the new service.

 

The Joint Committee will be aware that the population of the new structure will be challenging and will result in a number of employees remaining "at risk" at the end of the process or requiring salary protection as part of the TUPE provisions. The implications and costs of this were anticipated as part of the business plan for the new service and will be managed sensitively as part of best practice change management principles.

 

A verbal update on the above issues will be provided at the Joint Committee meeting.

 

ICT and mobile working update

  1. Development of the SRS Website

Officers continue to develop a new website for the Shared Regulatory Service. This has involved auditing and migrating existing Regulatory content from the partner LA websites and holding workshops with key service staff to capture functionality and service requirements. A "test" website has been made available to service staff to "proof check" content; A welsh translator has been commissioned from the Council approved list and the process to translate the site has been started.

 

SRS software and systems audit

 

The scope of this project is to identify the software and systems that is currently in place and in use in the SRS and report and make recommendations towards a collaborative model. An audit has taken place and all software and systems have been identified. Officers are evaluating the need for, and likely use of, the software in the new SRS.

 

SRS technology rollout

 

The remodelling of the service introduces a single shared ICT suite that incorporates mobile technology and digital customer access channels. This project proposes distributing mobile devices to SRS staff to provide access to the existing Regulatory back office systems following the transfer of staff to the Shared Regulatory Service.

 

Officers are following a three stage process; distribute laptops to a core number of SRS staff and run a mobile access pilot as proof of concept; trial the laptop solution with select SRS staff; rollout the laptop solution to all staff.

 

Laptops have been distributed to a core number of staff; A mobile working pilot has been underway with 6 core staff from different disciplines within the service. The pilot has proven to be successful, albeit with some challenging technical issues that were eventually overcome. All officers engaging in the pilot now have full mobile access across the service and the second stage rollout to 20 additional staff began in October.

 

Financial Monitoring

  1. The agreed gross 2015/16 budget for the Shared Service is £9.799M. This includes allocations for core service, implementation costs, as well as several Authority-Specific services which will be recharged to relevant Authorities at cost plus management fees.               

The new senior management has now agreed their operational structure and established financial cost centres to reflect this. The proposed budget for 2016/17 and the revised budget for 2015/16 are allocated on this basis.

 

A financial monitoring report for the period 1st May to 30th September 2015 is attached at Appendix B and has been prepared from the consolidated figures gathered from each Authority for this period. Whilst all staffing costs for the SRS are held within Vale's Oracle system, all non-staffing costs are currently held remotely by each Authority.

 

A verbal update on the above issues will be provided at the Joint Committee meeting.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The financial and human resource implications associated with the creation of the new service were contained in the relevant Cabinet and Council reports. These projections were refined further to take account of some minor changes to the scope of the services provided and a one month delay in implementation. This delay has meant that the scope for 2015/16 savings is marginally reduced but this is mitigated by the reduction of staff costs as a number of in-scope staff have voluntarily left the service since May 1st. The reduction in staff numbers has however placed additional pressure on "Business as usual" activities as the new structure is not yet fully in place.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The legal implications were contained in the relevant Cabinet and Council reports.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. The crime and disorder implications were contained in the relevant Cabinet and Council reports.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The Equality implications were contained the relevant Cabinet and Council reports.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The key service and improvement objectives contained in the Business Plan identify and link to the Corporate Plans of each Council. It is intended that the adopted Scrutiny regime will engage in the review and developments of plans, polices and strategies that support the corporate objectives of each Council.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The matter is within the Policy Framework.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No specific consultation has been undertaken in relation to this report, although Members will appreciate that considerable consultation and engagement has been and continues to be undertaken with the Trade Unions and staff.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Relevant Scrutiny Committees relating to each Council

Background Papers

Cabinet reports September/October 2014

Council reports October/November 2014

Contact Officer

Helen Picton, Operational Manager

Officers Consulted

Reuben Bergman, Head of Human Resources, Vale of Glamorgan

Head of Service, Bridgend County Borough Council

Assistant Director, City of Cardiff Council

Director of Environment and Housing Services

Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Responsible Officer:

Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services

 

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