Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 18TH JANUARY, 2012
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 20TH DECEMBER, 2011
" A COMPACT FOR CHANGE BETWEEN THE WELSH GOVERNMENT (WG) AND WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT (WLG) (CX) -
The Head of Performance and Development introduced the report by referring to the Simpson Report which had included as one of its main recommendations a Compact between the WG and WLG setting out how the actions to ensure collaborative working would be implemented. He stressed the potential significance of the ramifications of the proposals and the effect on how services were run, together with the need to consider carefully the impact on the Vale and its inhabitants. The Compact itself was divided into two sections consisting of a preamble in which the principles underpinning the Compact were set out and the Implementation Contracts which detailed the specific services the Compact would cover. The Implementation Contracts, which included major initiatives such as the Education Consortia and Social Services Regional Commissioning, covered areas where there had already been significant progress and the Council had endorsed those specific proposals in its response to the initial Simpson Report.
Concerns were expressed, however, as follows:
· Page 2 of the Compact, paragraph 3 'there may be occasions when the case for change may be less strong or broadly neutral for one partner in collaboration than another. Relative scale of benefits should not be a reason to avoid working together where the outcome for public services would meet the criteria above'. Whilst accepting the principle that even if the benefits for the Vale itself were, at best, neutral, collaboration would be welcomed where it was benefited, where collaboration would mean either a reduction in service quality or increasing costs for the Vale then the Vale citizens would be rightly critical.
· Page 2, paragraph 4 'there is a shared expectation of future collaborative working will be aligned to this footprint'. 'This footprint' referred to the 'regional footprint' that the Minister for Local Government and Communities announced in the summer and which created a Cardiff and Vale region for collaboration. The Council's concerns with that approach had previously been expressed to the Minister and Members took the view that it was disappointed to note that the Compact formalised what the Council considered to be an ill advised and unnecessarily restrictive approach.
The Leader then addressed the Committee on the two matters of concern referred to above. He reiterated the views expressed, indicating that whilst it was pleasing to note that the document had been substantially revised from the original draft in an effort to address the concerns previously raised, residents of the Vale should in no way be disadvantaged by the terms of the Compact and that existing successful collaborative working arrangements with local authorities other than Cardiff should be allowed to continue.
Following further discussion on the above, it was unanimously
(1) T H A T Cabinet be notified of the concern expressed above in relation to Page 2, paragraph 3, that any collaborative arrangement resulting in either a reduction in service quality or an increase in cost for the Vale.
(2) T H A T Cabinet be notified of the concern expressed in relation to Page 2, paragraph 4, that any collaborative arrangements should be restricted to a 'regional footprint' comprising Cardiff and the Vale.
(3) T H A T Cabinet be notified of the view that future collaborative arrangements should be on a voluntary basis or, if necessary, restricted to the area comprising the South Wales Police Authority rather than the Health Authority.
Reason for recommendations
(1-3) To make Cabinet aware of the unanimous views of the Committee."