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Agenda Item No 4

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Shared Regulatory Service Joint Committee: 4th February 2016

 

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 3rd November 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 the main elements of the HR work programme have now been achieved following the transfer of some 170 staff to the Vale of Glamorgan on the 1 May 2015. This has included:-
  • Induction of all new staff to the Council as "host employer"
  • Completion of consultation on the new staffing structure
  • Consultation on the assimilation process and protocols
  • Supporting managers in populating the new structure through the process of "job matching" and wider recruitment process.
  1. By the end of December 2015 over 90% of the structure had been successfully populated across all areas of the service and at all seven "ring-fence" levels. This has included some 161 employees from across each of the three participating local Authorities. Final arrangements are now being made to recruit to those posts that have not been filled as a result of the job matching and internal recruitment process.
  2. As part of the process, consideration has also been given to applications for both voluntary redundancy and where necessary compulsory redundancy. By end of December 2015, the Vale of Glamorgan's Early Retirement and Redundancy Committee had considered and approved 17 such applications. Applications have only been supported where the applicant has not been successfully assimilated to the new structure and where no suitable alternative post is available. The ERR Committee will consider further redundancy applications at the end of January. The costs of the above mentioned redundancies are funded from the former employing Local Authority for each of the employees in accordance with the SRS Legal Agreement.
  3. The priority over the coming months will be to support the new management team to look at the workforce planning and employee development issues congruent with the successful development of the new service.

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

ICT and mobile working update

  1. Development of the SRS Website

A first phase dual language website went live in the final quarter of 2015. Officers have started work on the second phase of website development. This second phase will consider all the feedback received to date and make changes as appropriate. Factored into this work will be the development of the branding of all documents that are available for download from the website. Officers will also look at Welsh language provision and requirements for downloadable documents.

Phase 2 will also incorporate changes to the website editing process to train staff so they can maintain and update the site. Officers are also working very closely with Contact One Vale to consider working processes within the service to establish one contact phone number for Shared Regulatory.

  1. Business case - database

    During December and January Officers met with three database providers, Tascomi, Civica and Arcus Global. Officers from all service disciplines met the providers to ask questions about the different solutions. Each session proved to be very insightful. Management have met with staff to discuss the different databases and identify a preferred provider.

The system will need to incorporate the necessary security protocols to ensure compliance with data protection legislation. Officers are completing a Privacy Impact Assessment that considers changing work practices to ensure continued data compliance within a consolidated database.

A Business Case was developed recommending the preferred provider and the case for a consolidated database to replace the four instances of Flare that are currently in place. The Business Case was considered at the SRS management Board on 20th  January 2016.

  1. SRS technology rollout/Agile working

The laptop pilot stage moved to full production in November. To date, 104 laptops have been issued to staff as they have been recruited to the service. Those officers are now able to access their ICT accounts and the requisite databases remotely enabling them to work in the agile manner envisaged.

This process is supplemented by software to facilitate management of staff and to support agile working ('presence' software). A specification has been created and a package currently on trial. This will enable managers to manage staff working remotely and will provide the ability to check availability status, video call and instant message. Once established, its use will extend to the wider service.

Additionally, Officers are looking at the range of lone working software in use across the service currently and are devising a strategy to consolidate into one system.

  1. Accommodation

Officers are working on strategies to provide a better understanding of current capacity and alignment of accommodation for the new structure. They are working alongside the current property strategies within each of the Councils. This work will define what ICT is required to support the service in the new locations while facilitating an agile workforce.

Officers are looking at the three major hubs and have been identifying the ICT requirements on a role-by-role basis. Officers have been establishing staff placement in respect of office location, hot or fixed desk working while developing regional flexibility. They have also been gathering staff user requirements relating to hardware, software and ICT requirements in respect of infrastructure demands and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Officers are liaising with colleagues in Cardiff and Bridgend to identify and implement ICT in the new locations.

  1. Archiving and migration

Officers have started a piece of work looking at the data that will migrate to the new database and the data to be archived. This is a vital piece of work and is integral to the success of the consolidated database system.

Financial Monitoring

  1. A financial monitoring report for the period 1st May to 31st December 2015 is attached at Appendix 1 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, non-staffing costs are currently held remotely by each Authority and details are provided on a monthly basis from finance colleagues at Cardiff and Bridgend.  

To summarise the apportionment of costs of the new service, all core costs of the service, which are shared by each Authority, are allocated based on population whilst several services are provided uniquely within each Authority and these 'Authority-specific' services are charged back to the relevant Authority at cost plus an element of management and administration. 

One-off implementation costs of the service, including redundancy and ICT costs are also included in Appendix 1. Costs of redundancy are to be borne by the Authority that originally employed the staff whilst ICT costs are recharged to Participants on a relative population basis.

Performance Monitoring

  1. Joint Committee members have asked the service to provide data on activity levels to help reassure local members that SRS activity continues to tackle issues across the region. In 2015/16, performance data continues to be collected and reported to each Council in line with the legacy performance management regimes and existing service plans.

A presentation on the current performance will be provided at the Joint Committee meeting.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The Participants' contribution towards the Shared Regulatory Service is recharged on a quarterly basis, based upon the approved budgets for 2015/16. The quarter 4 recharge will take account of non-staffing costs incurred by Cardiff and Bridgend since 1st May 2015.

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 & Housing Services

Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Responsible Officer:

Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services