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Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 27 June 2017

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing Services

 

Shared Regulatory Services Annual Report

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide a report on the performance and financial position of the Shared Regulatory Service for 2016/17.

Recommendation

  1. That the Joint Committee approves the report and authorises the Managing Director, Vale of Glamorgan Council, to forward a copy of the report to the Heads of Paid Service for the other partner Councils.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To meet the requirements set out in Clause 5.1 of the Joint Working Agreement.

Background

  1. Under the Joint Working Agreement, the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS) is required to produce an annual report that covers the operational and financial performance of the service for the preceding year. Clause 5 of the Joint Working Agreement states:
  2. "The Joint Committee shall receive in each year at its annual meeting which shall be held no later than 30th June the report of the Head of Regulatory Services and the Lead Financial Officer in respect of the functions delegated to the Joint Committee relating to the twelve months ending 31st March of that year and a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Chief Executive of each Participant.
  3. The report shall include:-

          (i)   a statement showing the performance of the Regulatory Service Functions and progress in achieving the

                Objectives and delivering the Business Plan

          (ii)  a summary revenue account and statement of capital spending including the distribution or use of any revenue

                surpluses and the financing of any capital expenditure"

  1. This is the second report produced under this requirement and covers the period 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017. If the content of this report is agreed, a copy of the report must be sent to the Head of Paid Service of each of the three Councils along with the SRS Business Plan for 2017/18.
  2. This second Annual report outlines many of the actions undertaken to embed the SRS arrangements into the day to day functioning of each partner Council and the continued delivery of the wide range of statutory functions assigned to the Service. The report provides a review of operations across the service, a summary of the financial position, and outlines performance against the 2016/17 service objectives.

Relevant Issues and Options

The Shared Regulatory Service

  1. The Shared Regulatory Service (SRS) operates across Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The SRS delivers a range of statutory services, critical to maintaining the health, safety and economic wellbeing of local communities, through a collaborative model. The operating model delivers an integrated service for the Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions, which has three service delivery sectors focusing upon the customer rather than the traditional professional delivery model.
  • Neighbourhood Services: activities relating to residential premises or having an impact on the local community
  • Commercial Services: activities relating to business premises (generally where national standards apply)
  • Enterprise and Specialist Services: specialist areas of work and income generating services
  1. As a regional organisation, providing regulatory services across three local authority areas, the SRS seeks to ensure that the corporate priorities and stated outcomes of the three councils at the heart of all its activities. Using them as a focus, the strategic priorities for the Shared Regulatory Service:
  • Safeguarding the Vulnerable
  • Improving Health and wellbeing
  • Protecting the Environment
  • Supporting the local economy
  • Maximising the use of resources
  1. Provide a robust base for achieving the outcomes identified in the 2017/18 business plan and the partner Council's corporate aspirations.
  2. The Joint Working Agreement, executed in April 2015, underpins the entire service provision. The JWA contains a number of milestones and requirements. In accordance with those requirements:
  • The Wales Audit Office completed an independent financial audit of the service in September 2016; there were no recommendations for improvement
  • The service set its budget in December 2016 for the 2017/18 period
  • The Business Plan for 2017/18 is presented for political approval in other papers to the June 2017 Committee, following consultation with stakeholders
  • The Annual report is presented here for consideration by the Joint Committee
  • The Joint Committee will receive an audited statement of accounts in September 2017.

Annual Review

  1. The 2016 Annual report highlighted the following items as the principal challenges for the service.
  • Delivery of the SRS Business Plan 2016-2017
  • Implementation of the SRS Workforce Plan
  • A review of the partnership, governance and scrutiny arrangements and organisational structure for the SRS
  • Delivery of the identified budget contribution reductions for partners
  • Refinement of the fee-generating activities approach to better understand the SRS cost base
  • Exploration of new ways of generating income for the service and future savings
  • Continue the process of channel shift by increasing the customer's ability to use self-help and undertake transactions on-line.
  • Continue to harmonise working practices across the region, ensuring an effective, improved delivery and achievement of key performance indicators.
  1. As will be seen below, these challenges have been met; the targets identified for the period 2016/17 have, for the most part, been achieved and the financial savings delivered, along with an in year underspend. 2016/17 has seen other issues emerge resulting in further change and progress for the SRS. These issues are set out below in the synopsis for the year:

Human Resources

  1. The SRS structure became operational on 1st December 2015/16 and almost 200 people were placed in the new structure within 10 weeks through a process of matching and competitive interview. Through 2016/17, recruiting to the remaining vacancies has proved to be more challenging than anticipated and the SRS has struggled to recruit suitable individuals into the new arrangements. For example, the statutory Trading Standards qualification is not delivered through the University networks as previously, but through distance learning and the professional body. Therefore, the Service is now "growing its own" Trading Standards officers due a shortage of suitably qualified individuals. Similar challenges exist within the Food Hygiene discipline and this year the service supported three individuals to achieve higher accreditation to allow them to undertake a wider range of inspections. That said, the recruitment difficulties persist and remain a significant challenge.
  2. The SRS has also experienced a significant number of professional officers taking maternity leave. This has added to the challenge to ensure that the SRS the capacity and competency to deliver "business as usual". The temporary absence of experienced officers has been managed through a process of secondment opportunities for junior officers and they have performed admirably.
  3. Consequently, the last 12 months has resulted in officers assuming new roles that require a broadening of professional skills and the taking on of new responsibilities to deliver the service. Accordingly, the retention of key skills, experience and talent; a commitment to, and the resourcing of training to develop people within the organisation to ensure competency within their roles has been, and remains, of paramount importance. All officers underwent a Personal Development Review (PDR) process last year and this will be fed into a personal training plan for each officer and form part of the wider workforce development plan for the service.
  4. Sickness absence levels for 2016/17 were 5.39 days per FTE person. This compares favourably with the average sickness rates for the partner councils despite the service going through a time of rapid change, where there is always likely to be some impact on staff sickness, even where managers are providing all of the relevant support to staff. There are no discernible trends in either the short or long term absence figures.

Embedding the Regional Service

  1. The joining together of three local authorities operating different working practices, policies, procedures and using different systems and forms requires standardisation across the Service in order to provide consistency and efficiency across the organisation. Standardisation provides an opportunity to apply best practice and reduce costs. In 2016/17, the SRS has harmonised a range of processes and policies and managed to secure efficiency savings as part of that exercise. For example,
  2. Agile working, which underpins the new operating model, has been developing with laptops and other mobile devices. A new database employing "cloud" technology introduced in February 2017, enhances our capacity for mobile working. Introducing a new ICT platform involved transferring data from four legacy systems into a single database and creating archive regimes to ensure that any historical records were retained. The work was completed on time and within budget.
  3. The Service developed a single telephone contact number: 0300 123 6696 which went live in November 2016. The service is operated through the Vale of Glamorgan's call centre C1V. Calls are handled in English and/or Welsh. Calls previously managed by the Bridgend CBC contact centre are now handled by C1V, and calls from Cardiff will transfer to C1V in due course
  4. Currently, officers continue to use existing office facilities although at a reduced level. The "footprint" occupied by SRS officers will reduce further as the corporate accommodation policies of each partner council are implemented and the agile working model adopted fully.

Operational Performance

  1. Operational performance throughout 2016/17 has been reported both to the Joint Committee and to each partner Council through the legacy systems and performance gauged against the 2016/17 Business Plan. Despite significant change and an overall reduction in the resource available to the partner authorities, performance has exceeded, that recorded for 2016/17 and the previous reporting year in the majority of services delivered. This suggests that the new Operating Model, when fully resourced, is capable of delivering the required performance while delivering the savings sought by the Council.
  2. The targets and actions identified in the 2016/17 plan were achieved with all statutory plans being published on time, enforcement initiatives were completed and the change programmes identified for the period commenced on time.
  3. The SRS has also continued to support relevant corporate challenges at each Council. Officers participated in training and process reviews in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to ensure audits undertaken by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners were successful. The SRS is assisting Bridgend in a similar way in June 2017.
  4. The SRS has appeared before Scrutiny Committees at all three Councils providing evidence on matters relating to private sector housing, food hygiene, young people and legal highs, and protecting vulnerable individuals, along with updates on the implementation of the SRS. Work is being undertaken to review governance arrangements for the service to ensure full visibility of SRS activities and decision within the partner Councils. That work included a review of the Joint Working Agreement and proposals to update that agreement are being considered by the partner Councils.
  5. SRS officers have supported all three Councils statutory Licensing and Public Protection Committees through the year. The Committees have agreed a number of new policies including, an intended use policy which requires taxi drivers to undertake work primarily in the area of the licensing council. At Cardiff, SRS introduced an exceptional condition policy to improve the condition of the taxi fleet. Finally, SRS officers have reported on a number of incidents asserting inappropriate behaviour by drivers resulting in over 100 drivers appearing before the three Committees.

Significant Service Achievements

  • Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit
  1. 2016-17 was a hugely significant year for the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU). Unlike the rest of Shared Regulatory Services, the Unit operates right across Wales to tackle loan sharks and provide support to the victims of this nasty crime. Just over a year ago, future funding arrangements for the Unit looked uncertain, but recognising the important role of the UK's three Illegal Money Lending Teams (those based in England and Scotland as well as in Wales) in the wider Financial Inclusion Strategies, Westminster Government introduced new funding arrangements which took effect in April 2017. The Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 now gives the Financial Conduct Authority the duty to collect a levy from businesses operating across the credit sector so that HM Treasury is able to recover the cost of running the three national Illegal Money Lending Teams.
  2. Thirty seven reports of illegal money lending were made via the Unit's dedicated 24 hour Wales hotline (0300 123 33 11), and over the course of the year some 134 victims of loan sharks were provided with comprehensive support by the Unit's Client Liaison Officers. Together these victims have had some £357k of debt 'written off' and they continue to be supported to improve their financial capability going forward.
  3. During the course of the year, the Unit continued to make the headlines with twelve cases being investigated, culminating in two defendants receiving custodial sentences. One of these cases featured on BBC's The One Show in March 2017. As a measure of the extent of the problem being tackled by the Unit, the monetary value of the illegal loans associated with the cases investigated during 2016-17 was £641,000. This is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg however, with victims often unwilling to come forward for fear of reprisal.
  4. In order to increase the reporting of illegal money lending, WIMLU works closely with public agencies such as housing providers and third sector organisations whose staff will often encounter the victims of loan sharks through their daily activities. In 2016-17 alone, a total of 1,167 individuals in these organisations across Wales have been trained by the Unit in what to look for and how to report concerns.
  5. During 2016 -17, charities and other community based initiatives were invited to bid for funding to undertake projects to promote better understanding of the problem of illegal money lending. The successful organisations will receive a total of £48,000 of Proceeds of Crime Money and share the results of their projects at the end of the year to promote wider learning.
  6. Looking to the year ahead, the new funding arrangements and closer working relationship with the FCA brings the likelihood of the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit as an integral part of wider regulation in the financial sector; and this can only be good news for residents and reputable businesses in Wales.
  • Tackling the problem of stray or 'fly-grazed' horses
  1. 2016 -17 was another busy year for SRS in respect of stray and 'fly grazed' horses, with a total of 134 horses being seized during the 12 month period by our Animal Health and Welfare Officers.
  2. More than 70 of these horses were seized from private land during a day-long enforcement exercise in August 2016, alongside South Wales Police, the RSPCA and equine charities. The horses had been fly grazed on land in the Bridgend (and previously Wick) area over a protracted period and were preventing the owner and letting agent from renting out the fields to legitimate tenants. Of more concern was the increasing likelihood that with the onset of autumn and winter, grazing would be depleted to the point where the horses could not be sustained and based on previous experience of the area this would mean large numbers of horses straying from fields and posing a danger to residents and road users. While multiple claims of ownership were made for the seized horses, the individuals concerned were only able to identify positively a small number by means of the necessary documentation and microchips were present. The remainder of the seized horses were rehomed through recognised equine charities.
  3. The horse issue tends to manifest itself differently in the Cardiff area with a steady flow of calls about straying or tethered horses in a few locations in the city. Nevertheless, over the course of the year, some 48 horses were seized from the highway or from public or private land. A number of these were returned upon payment of reasonable costs to their owners, along with advice on equine care going forward. The remainder were rehomed through reputable equine charities.
  4. Given the straying horse problem encountered across the SRS region during 2016-17, the Service has once again been the primary user of the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014. Welsh Government has recently been conducting a review of effectiveness of the legislation, three years post implementation, and not surprisingly, the Shared Service has spent a good deal of time sharing its experiences of and opinions on, the legislation, with Welsh Government. It is hoped that improvements will be made to the legislation on completion of the review.
  • Food Service success
  1. 2016/17 has seen has seen a significant performance increase in relation to the food service. Through new ways of working and the implementation of a target regime the inspection programme has seen an increase of nearly 500 inspections in comparison to last financial year.
  2. The service has successfully supported three new members of staff through an environmental health qualification, this involved completion of portfolio work and oral examinations to demonstrate understanding of the necessary legislation. This financial year we are hopeful a further member of the food team will successfully obtain the qualification which will again further increase performance within the team.
  3. The food service has also received some striking media coverage in relation to non-compliances. With two significant prosecutions receiving noteworthy press attention.
  • Trading Standards interventions in the Car Trade
  1. In 2016 the Commercial Services Team (Trading Standards) received a large number of complaints in relation to two garage forecourts in Barry and Cardiff. The most common complaints for both premises included cars being sold in a dangerous/ unroadworthy condition, warranties not being registered by the traders following the sale of the vehicle, and misdescriptions of vehicles that had been insurance Category C and D losses. Because of these complaints full forecourt Inspections were arranged for June and November 2016.
  2. During the forecourt inspection in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan a total of 12 vehicles were examined by an expert vehicle examiner and he confirmed two vehicles offered for sale to be in a dangerous condition. Withdrawal notices were issued for both vehicles. Officers also noted that cars were being priced differently online to the prices displayed on the forecourt and that vehicles were mis-described and insurance losses were not recorded, or incorrectly recorded. During the inspection one vehicle was also seized by South Wales Police.
  3. In November 2016 officers from the Trading Standards team carried out a further forecourt inspection in Cardiff. During the pre-inspection checks officers found that six vehicles being offered for sale were shown to be category C or D insurance losses however the advertisements for these vehicles did not reflect this information. Another vehicle offered for sale was identified as having been scrapped by DVLA. During the inspection an expert vehicle examiner examined a total of ten vehicles. Two vehicles were identified as being un-roadworthy, one vehicle un-roadworthy and unsafe and one vehicle un-roadworthy and dangerous. Withdrawal notices were issued for these vehicles.
  4. As a result of the inspections both garage forecourts have been reported for formal action.
  5. Car dealers must ensure that the vehicles they sell are safe. The consequences of failing to do so could result in potentially fatal road traffic accidents. Both cases are awaiting legal proceedings.
  • Housing Enforcement
  1. Despite the many demands on Officer time through the introduction of the new Tascomi database the HMO Licensing it is a significant achievement that the neighbourhood Services Team based in Cardiff the team had their best ever licensing year based on performance, issuing 847 licences, which represents a 30% increase in performance on any previous total since the introduction of the Housing Act 2004. This activity carries represents a range of significant public health interventions to ensure that standards of fire safety and amenity are being maintained in the private rented sector.
  2. Across the SRS region we have utilised grant money from Welsh Government to ensure landlords and agents have been engaged with the Rent Smart Wales project. We have achieved this through targeted campaigns and use of media, resulting in an excellent take up in registration throughout the region. We have formed good working relationships with Rent Smart Wales staff and are working collaboratively to enforce the requirements of the legislation moving forward.
  3. Whilst we continue to engage with landlords and agents to improve conditions in the private rented sector we also will not hesitate use our enforcement powers where required. A significant case taken in to Court in March 2017 involved a property company in Cardiff where they pleaded guilty for a range of offences relating to safety in one of the properties they owned, including failure to maintain gas and electricity supplies to the premises and non compliance with an improvement notice. They were fined a total of £32,134 to reflect the seriousness of the offences.
  4. An appeal against the size of the fine was made but was dismissed, in pronouncing his judgement District Judge who heard the case rejected criticism of the local authority and instead stated that court rejected the argument that the notice and letters misled the defendant and proffered that the defendant had simply decided to not do the works in a timely fashion thinking they would only get a £5000 fine whilst the tenants lived in squalor.

Financial Performance

  • Provisional Outturn
  1. The Gross Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2016/17 are shown in the tables below for each of the elements within the budget. The service has achieved an overall underspend of £173k against the gross revenue budget in respect of Core and Authority Specific Services only. Information provided by Cardiff Council advocates that the overspend within Authority Specific Services can be offset by the level of income received by the Authority and balances held.
  • Implementation
  1. The table below summarises the outturn position for Implementation costs, which has resulted in a £63k underspend against a budget of £404k. The budget is allocated in line with the population split across the participating authorities.
   

Gross

Provisional

Outturn

   

Budget

Outturn

Variance

Authority

%

£000's

£000's

£000's

         

Bridgend

22.47%

91

77

14

Cardiff

57.23%

231

195

36

Vale of Glamorgan

20.30%

82

69

13

   

 

 

 

   

404

341

63

         
  1. The agreed budget includes the acquisition of the new SRS IT system plus the cost of implementation, and also the cost of creating the SRS Hub at the Civic Offices. As part of the provisional outturn position funding in respect of the following items, estimated at £102k has been moved to an earmarked reserve:-
  • £46k to cover the anticipated cost of setting up the SRS as a separate employer within the Cardiff & Vale Pension Fund as agreed by the Joint Committee on 20th December 2016.
  • £24k to fund a part year contract extension in respect of the IT project manager to enable completion of the final implementation stage of the new system, as agreed by the partner Authorities.
  • £17k in respect of the cost of setting up an SRS Hub at the Civic Offices as agreed by the partner Authorities.
  • £15k in respect of partially completed additional IT consultancy work.
  1. This element of the budget has been recharged based on actual costs incurred and therefore, there is no repayment due to authorities.
  • Core Services
  1. The approved gross Core Services budget for 2016/17 is £6.173m, and is showing a provisional underspend of £275k. This includes the net cost to the service of seizing 70 horses in accordance with the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 as reported to the December 2016 Committee.
  2. As with the Implementation budget, the Core Services budget is allocated in line with the population split across the participating authorities.
   

Gross

Provisional

Outturn

   

Budget

Outturn

Variance

Authority

%

£000's

£000's

£000's

         

Bridgend

22.47%

1,387

1,321

    66

Cardiff

57.23%

3,533

3,372

  161

Vale of Glamorgan

20.30%

1,253

1,205

    48

   

 

 

 

   

6,173

5,898

  275

         
  1. Employee costs achieved a £258k underspend which is predominantly the result of a delay in recruiting suitable staff or agency cover within the Food section. Two Core posts were temporarily seconded to the Rentsmart initiative and were not covered. Additionally, there were also a number of staff on maternity leave, which resulted in issues establishing suitable cover for specialist posts. In 2016/17, the Council's average for maternity is 1.5%, whereas within the SRS the figure is just under 3.5% of the workforce.
  2. The £9k Premises overspend relates to Works in Default within the Cardiff area, which is 100% recharge to Cardiff Council, plus financial support of the provision of temporary accommodation in respect of a Communicable Disease case in the area.
  3. The £82k underspend on Transport is predominantly due to car allowances being significantly below budget. The underspend is the result of the implementation of a new operating system within the service, where subsequent savings have been realised a year earlier than factored into the business case.
  4. Supplies and Services are predicting an £84k overspend, of which, £104k relates directly to the unbudgeted horse seizure as detailed above, plus £62k of capital expenditure which was funded via a revenue contribution to capital, and was incurred as a result of the purchase of equipment. These costs have then been offset by underspends across other headings within Supplies and Services.
  5. Income targets achieved a £28k over recovery of income which includes income from the sale of Primary Authority Services where assured regulatory advice and training was sold to businesses and the WG grant to partially offset the unbudgeted horse costs.
  • Authority Specific Services
  1. The approved £2.610m Gross Budget in respect of Authority Specific Services is showing a provisional overspend of £102k as detailed in the table below.
   

Gross

Provisional

Outturn

   

Budget

Outturn

Variance

Authority

 

£000's

£000's

£000's

         

Bridgend

 

   360

   278

     82

Cardiff

 

1,698

1,987

  (289)

Vale of Glamorgan

 

   552

   447

   105

   

 

 

 

   

2,610

2,712

  (102)

         
  1. The £82k underspend relating to Bridgend Council is the product of a vacant post, plus underspend on transport within the Licensing section, which has generated an underspend of £58k. A reduction in the number of dogs being presented to the Authority is recognised within the Kennelling and Vets section where there is a resulting underspend of £24k, and is in line with the national trend in numbers.
  2. The £289k overspend for Cardiff Council predominantly relates to a £198k overspend in the Licensing section. This is due to unbudgeted Employee costs, Disclosure & Barring Service costs, and the 3 year taxi survey has cost more than the allocated budget. HMO Plasnewydd and Cathays are projecting a combined underspend of £22k, which is due to underspends across all headings.
  3. Replacement vehicle acquisition costs have been included the IMLU projection. Cardiff Council have advised that the £101k overspend in the Illegal Money Lending Unit will be fully recovered by grant, in conjunction with a small top up from centrally held funds. The £5k overspend in Cardiff Port Health Authority will be met by its ring fenced funds. The £6k overspend within the Night Time Noise Service relates to activity in excess of budget. The Student Liaison service has a £1k overspend.
  4. The underspend of £105k relating to Vale of Glamorgan Council is due to expenditure being below budget across all elements of this budget. The Licensing unit has underspend of £61k which is the result of issues relating to staffing levels plus an underspend on Supplies and Services. A reduced uptake on the Vale's Kenneling and Vets Service has resulted in underspend of £18k and is consistent with a reduction in pressures felt within the Bridgend service provision. Pest Control has underspend of £15k which is due to lower than budgeted costs within both Transport and Supplies & Services. Additional Licensing has an £11k underspend, which is due to a lower than anticipated activity level throughout the year.
  • Net Position
  1. In accordance with the Joint Working Agreement (JWA), income budgets remain the responsibility of each Participant Authority and are shown in this report for completeness.
  2. All adjustments in respect of income from the sale of multi-year fees and charges, but linked to future periods have been administered by the legacy Authorities, and will be drawn upon in the year to which the income relates.
  3. The table below illustrates a provisional underspend of £139k at year end against a net budget of £6.059m, having taken into consideration the projected income received by the Participant Authorities. It has been prepared using income figures provided by the Authorities, and excludes implementation costs.
       

  

     

Provisional

Outturn

   

Net Budget

Outturn

Variance

   

£000's

£000's

£000's

         

Bridgend

 

1,351

1,229

122

Cardiff

 

3,267

3,411

(144)

Vale of Glamorgan

 

 1,441

1,280

161

   

 

 

 

   

6,059

5,920

139

         
  1.  A full summary of the projected net outturn position is illustrated in Appendix 1.
  2. The net position for Bridgend Council is an overall underspend of £122k against a net budget of £1.351m. Licensing income exceeded budget by £32k, this is then partially offset by Core income which under recovered by £58k.
  3. The net position for Cardiff Council is an overspend of £144k, against a net budget of £3.267m. Income received by the Authority is £16k below budget. Assumptions have been made that the overspend in Cardiff Port Health will be met by its ring fenced funds, and that any shortfall in IMLU grant will be met by centrally held funds. The change in performance of income from previous reports is directly linked to adjustments in respect of the purchase of multiple year licenses adjusted for at year end by Cardiff Council within both the Licensing and HMO sections.
  4. The Vale of Glamorgan Council is reporting an underspend of £161k against a net budget of £1.441m. This is made up of Core income being in excess of target by £48k, due to unbudgeted legal costs being recovered in the period which is then offset by income being below target within Pest Control where there is a £10k shortfall against target. Licensing Income was £30k below target.
  • Draft Statement of Accounts
  1.  The draft Statement of Accounts for the Shared Regulatory Service is attached to this report as Appendix 2. The draft Statement is to be signed by the s151 Officer by the 30th June 2107, and audited by the Wales Audit Office by the 30th September 2017.
  2. The Balance Sheet now holds net Tangible Assets of £95k, which consist of equipment and vehicle purchases, plus net Intangible Assets of £99k which relates to the purchase of the IT system purchased. These were 100% funded by revenue and purchased in year.
  3.  As at the 31st March 2017, the balance of Usable Reserves held by the SRS is £530k. This can be broken down as £252k retained from the 2015/16 underspend as detailed by the September 2016 SRS Committee, £102k to fund the Implementation costs slipped into 2017-18, the £173k provisional underspend from 2016-17 plus £3k Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Funds.
  4. The net surplus of £173k will be held within the Usable Reserves element of the Balance Sheet until the annual accounts have been signed off by the Wales Audit Office.
  5. The Joint Working Agreement (JWA) states that the treatment of any surplus of deficit balance held by the Joint Service requires agreement by the Joint Committee following completion of the audit of the accounts. Proposals for the distribution or recovery of funds from the legacy Authorities will be brought to the September 2017 Committee for approval.

THE NEXT STEPS

  1. In summary, the SRS has built upon a successful start. Services continue to be delivered in accord with the agreed standards, new ways of working have been developed and embedded into the day-to-day routine and the requisite financial savings have been delivered in Year 2.
  2. In 2017/18, the service's principal challenge is to implement fully the target-operating model to deliver high quality services and meet all our partners differing financial pressures. The Key Milestones for 2017/18 include:
  • Delivery of the SRS Business Plan 2017-2018
  • Implementation of the SRS Workforce Plan
  • A review of the partnership, governance and scrutiny arrangements and organisational structure for the SRS
  • Produce a financial projection for the delivery of the SRS for the period 2018 - 2020.
  • Introduce the Lalpac licensing system at Bridgend
  • Deliver a range of training events for elected members across the three Councils
  • Enhanced arrangements for delivering services with partner organisations

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The implications are contained in the body of the report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. Sustainability and climate change implications have been taken into consideration when drafting the SRS Business plans referenced in this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009. The report outlines achievements in 2015/2016.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Crime and disorder implications have been taken into consideration when drafting the Business plans referenced in this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. Equalities issues have been taken into consideration when drafting the Business plans referenced in this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Annual report demonstrates the partner Council's commitment to improving social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being and promoting sustainable development in line with the Well-being and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievements of its Well-being Outcomes contributes towards promoting well-being.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is a matter for the Joint Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. There is no implications for Ward members resulting from this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Scrutiny is undertaken at each partner Council.

Background Papers

There Shared Regulatory Services Business Plans 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and

2017/2018. The Joint Working Agreement executed on 10 April, 2015.

Contact Officer

Head of Shared Regulatory Services

Head of Financial Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services, Bridgend County Borough Council

Director of Environment, City of Cardiff Council

Director of Environment and Housing Services, Vale of Glamorgan

Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan

Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing Services

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