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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting 28th March 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board Response to the Welsh Government Consultation: "Shared Purpose - Shared Delivery"

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Cabinet of the Local Service Board response to the Welsh Government consultation document 'Shared Purpose - Shared Delivery'.

Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet consider and approve the response on behalf of the Council.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             That the Council endorses the response as the views of the Council as well as the Local Service Board.

 

Background

2.             The Welsh Government has issued a consultation document 'Shared Purpose - Shared Delivery' (Appendix I) and has requested responses by the 30 March 2012.  The new guidance is intended to integrate local service planning, streamline partnership working and strengthen the strategic role and accountability of the Local Service Board.

3.             The Guidance is intended to replace existing statutory guidance deriving from a number of pieces of legislation: Community Strategies (Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009), Children and Young People's Plans (Children Act 2004, Children and Families Measure 2010), and Health Social Care and Well-being Strategies (NHS Wales Act 2006). Community Safety planning is non-devolved (Crime and Disorder Act 1998) so the guidance is advisory only for Community Safety planning in Wales.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The Local Service Board (LSB) is the overarching strategic partnership in the Vale.  It is chaired by the Leader of the Council and membership includes senior representatives from key organisations operating in the Vale e.g. South Wales Police, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff and Vale College.

5.             The Welsh Government has identified the outcomes Wales should work towards and the priority areas for action in the Programme for Government.  These high level outcomes can only be achieved through multi-agency working and according to the draft guidance need to be reflected in single integrated plans produced by Local Service Boards. A single integrated plan would replace the four existing statutory plans and strategies and would be underpinned by clear lines of accountability and performance management arrangements. A single integrated plan should be in place by April 2013.

6.             The view of the Welsh Government is that the LSB should:

·               Agree strategic priorities for multi-agency working to support the agenda set out in Programme for Government and respond to clearly evidenced local needs.

·               Achieve improvements by ensuring appropriate systems are in place and that managers and frontline staff across agencies are working together effectively and that agreed priorities are reflected in individual organisations' corporate plans.

·               Ensure partnership and delivery structures are fit for purpose and accountable.

·               Challenge where there is underperformance or coasting and implement changes that reflect evidenced best practice to improve outcomes for the local population.

·               Review and report annually on progress; to the public, Welsh Government, democratically elected members, and LSB member organisations.

7.             The consultation document details what needs to be included in a single integrated plan in terms of a long term vision, analysis of local need, a 3-5 year action plan, an information strategy and an engagement strategy.  The plans should also include information about LSB governance, performance management and scrutiny.

8.             In the section on scrutiny (page 17), reference is made to the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 which gives new powers to local authority scrutiny committees to scrutinise other public service providers in their area in addition to Council services. The Measure also contains provision for setting up joint scrutiny committees with other Councils.  The consultation document recognises the important contribution of scrutiny but at this stage some of the detail is still unclear and further guidance is required.

9.             The Vale LSB has already implemented much of what the Welsh Government are proposing:

·               A new Community Strategy 2011-21 was approved by the LSB last year which brings together the plans and strategies of all the key partnerships in the Vale into one integrated strategy with ten agreed priority outcomes.  The integrated strategy was informed by a Unified Needs Assessment undertaken on behalf of the LSB by the Local Government Data Unit.

·               Performance management arrangements have been established with the key partnerships including a reporting cycle to the LSB and an annual report.

·               A review has recently been undertaken to rationalise the number of sub-groups sitting under the key partnerships.

10.        In drafting the response comments were requested from all LSB partners as well as members of the Children and Young People's Partnership, Safer Vale, the Public Health and Wellbeing Board and the Cardiff and Vale Integrated Health and Social Care Board, the Learning and Skills Partnership, the Regeneration Partnership, Communities First Partnerships.  A report was taken to all five Scrutiny Committees and the views of relevant Council officers were also sought. 

11.        Key points raised in the LSB response attached as Appendix II are:

·               More information around the scrutiny proposals is required and linkages with other developments e.g. the Police Crime Commissioner and Panel. Although arrangements for improved governance and accountability are welcome, the capacity of Members, partners and officers cannot be overlooked.

·               Concern that the time, capacity and skills required to support this work could be underestimated, for example to regularly undertake needs assessments across partners and analyse data and develop an Information Strategy.

·               Whilst the single integrated plan can reflect Welsh Government priorities and assist in their delivery, the work of the LSB should be determined primarily through local needs assessments and engagement with the local community.  A regional LSB is not supported.

·               More information about the requirements of an Annual Report and the target audience is needed.  The view of the LSB is that it should be a user friendly report demonstrating what has been achieved and future direction.

·               The guidance needs to take account of the different planning cycles of partners.

·               Decisions about partnership structures should be taken locally whilst recognising the need for regular review and monitoring of performance.

·               In response to whether the LSB should be put on a statutory footing it is felt that there are other more important factors for successful partnership working e.g. trust and agreement about the priorities.

·               Further information is required about the implications for the local authority of linking the Outcome Agreement to the Single Integrated Plan.

·               The requirement for separate Information and Engagement Strategies may be an unnecessary burden if guidance is too prescriptive.

12.        The deadline for comments to Welsh Government is the 30th March and it is not the intention that the Council will submit a separate response to the LSB as pertinent issues have been included in the LSB response. 

13.        As one of only five LSB s to have already produced an integrated plan Welsh Government have invited the LSB to participate in a learning exercise to review how the plans have been developed and to identify and disseminate best practice.  This exercise should also provide an opportunity for feedback on any particular strengths or weaknesses in the current approach in the Vale.

14.        Although the LSB has already put in place a significant amount of what is being proposed there is still a great deal to be done to enhance partnership working and further align the work of different partnerships  Work will need to be undertaken to develop an information strategy and an engagement strategy in line with the guidance.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

15.        The LSB Development Grant from the Welsh Government will continue until 2014/15. In 2011/12 this was £50,000 for the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board. The terms and conditions of the grant have been reviewed with a greater focus on capacity and capability for needs analysis, service commissioning, outcomes planning and performance management.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        The Guidance is intended to replace existing statutory guidance deriving from a number of pieces of legislation: Community Strategies (Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009), Children and Young People's Plans (Children Act 2004, Children and Families Measure 2010), and Health Social Care and Well-being Strategies (NHS Wales Act 2006). Community Safety planning is non-devolved (Crime and Disorder Act 1998) so the guidance is advisory only for Community Safety planning in Wales.

17.        A single integrated plan can be used to meet statutory responsibilities in relation to the development of plans and strategies under the following legislation:

·               Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 - Part 2: Community Strategies and Planning (Ss37-46)

·               Children Act 2004 (Part 3: S26) (which includes plans required in accordance with the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 (S2) and the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 (Part 1))

·               Childcare Act 2006 (Ss 22 and 26)

·               NHS (Wales) Act 2006 (Part 3:S40)

·               Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Part 1: S5)

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.        The guidance is advisory for Community Safety planning in Wales.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.        The proposals are intended to improve accountability and integrated plans will include an analysis of trends and local patterns of need and an engagement strategy.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        The Corporate Plan includes the following Improvement Objective 'to promote through partnership working greater cooperation with other organisations that deliver services in the Vale, thereby improving the quality of life of its citizens.'

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        The Council has contributed to the response of the LSB to the consultation and will not be providing a separate response. 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        The views of LSB partners, the key partnerships and relevant officers in the Council as well as all Scrutiny Committees were sought to inform the response of the LSB to the consultation.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.        All Scrutiny Committees.

Background Papers

Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy 2011-21 'Planning and Working Together'

Programme for Government 2011-16 - Welsh Government

 

 

Contact Officer

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

O1446 709760

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

 

Responsible Officer

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

 

 

 

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