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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet 21st January 2013

 

Report of the Leader

 

Collaborative Working Projects Update

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide Cabinet with an update on potential collaborative working initiatives involving the Council.

 

2.         To provide Cabinet with an update on bids submitted to the Welsh Government’s Regional Collaboration Fund.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the content of the report.

2.         That regular reports are brought back to Cabinet as the various schemes progress.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. & 2. To ensure that Cabinet is provided with a comprehensive view of collaborative working activities with which the Council is engaged.

     

Background

3.         The ‘Compact for Change between the Welsh Government and Welsh Local Government’ sets out a national agenda for new working and collaboration. The document was signed in December 2011 following the publication of the Simpson Review.

 

4.         To provide a structure for collaborative working, in July 2011 the Welsh Government published details of their preferred partnering arrangements for collaborative working by setting out a series of regional ‘footprints’. The Vale of Glamorgan’s ‘footprint’ places the Council in a collaborative working region with Cardiff Council. This does not restrict the Council’s collaborative working activity to working solely with Cardiff, but requires consideration to be given to the potential to work with Cardiff Council when considering joint working initiatives.

 

5.         A report to Cabinet on the 9th July 2012 updated Members on the current position with regard to the areas of work that this Council was undertaking in collaboration with other public sector bodies. These related to both the national agenda and those which were instigated as a local initiative. Cabinet resolved (minute C1759) that:

·      the previous administration's actions in relation to collaborative working as contained in the report be noted.

·      the Council's commitment to agile collaboration with other suitable partners as and when agreements can be reached be re-affirmed.

·      further reports be brought to Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees on any future possible collaborative initiatives, on a regular basis.

 

6.         This report is to further update Cabinet on progress since that date. The collaborative working agenda has developed rapidly in recent months particularly for those projects that form part of the ‘Compact for Change’ and are part of the national agenda. All Directorates of the Council are now actively engaged in a range of collaborative working activities with other local authorities and public sector bodies on both a local and national level.

Relevant Issues

7.         In order to manage and monitor the delivery of collaborative working throughout the Welsh Public Services at a national level a range of governance structures have been established

 

8.         The key structures established to take forward the public service reform agenda include the Partnership Council for Wales, Reform Delivery Group, Public Service Leadership Group, National Work Programmes and the Measurement Group.

 

9.         The collective political leadership for the reform agenda is provided by the Partnership Council for Wales.

 

10.      The Reform Delivery Group is a sub group of the Partnership Council and has been established to provide effective collective political accountability to drive forward and support the improvement of public services in Wales. Chaired by the Minister for Local Government and Communities, its key responsibilities are

·        assessing and approving action to make progress on the public service reform agenda in Wales, including implementation of the ‘Compact for Change’;

·        providing political leadership and authority for the strategic direction of the Public Sector Leadership Group; and

·        providing a report to the Partnership Council for Wales on the progress and pace of reform for discussion at its annual meeting.

 

11.      The Public Service Leadership Group has been established to provide national leadership for public service reform and collaboration and to drive the pace of improvement in public services of Wales.  The Group comprises representatives from a range of public services and geographical footprint areas and is chaired by the Minister for Local Government and Communities. Its key responsibilities are:         

·        ensuring coherence in the implementation of overall public service reform agenda in Wales, including oversight of the implementation of the ‘Compact for Change’ and building coherence with the reforms in education, social services, health and other areas;

·        sponsorship and mandating of national action to improve  the effectiveness and efficiency of public services; and

·        the development of effective regional leadership for collaboration, building on existing regional leadership structures and the Welsh Government’s geographical footprint for regional collaboration.

 

12.      National Work Programmes have been established each led by a senior public service leader to help drive forward public service reform. The Programmes are:

·        Asset Management (making more effective and efficient use of the multi-billion pound public service estate).

·        Procurement (transforming the way public services procure and commission good and services, currently worth £4.3 billion annually).

·        Organisational Development and Simpson Implementation (taking forward the recommendations from the Simpson Review and developing approaches to support change and broader organisational development across the Welsh public service).

·        Effective Services for Vulnerable Groups (promoting the mainstreaming of successful innovation and good practice to make a much greater impact and encourage further innovation, particularly in joining up services around vulnerable people and groups, especially those with complex needs. Also exploring ways in which people help to design and deliver services and shifting interventions from cure to prevention).

 

13.      The Measurement Group supports the Public Sector Leadership Group and leads the development of a measurement framework to help demonstrate and report progress. The measurement framework focuses on the four national programmes (outlined above). In addition, the Measurement Group is leading wider work to improve understanding of the performance of public services across Wales.

 

14.      Further information on the structures and the public service reform agenda may be accessed via the following link: www.wales.gov.uk/improvingpublicservices.

 

Regional Collaboration Fund

 

15.      To support the development of collaborative working projects, the Welsh Government Minister for Local Government and Communities has established the Regional Collaboration Fund. This revenue funding will be made available to Local Authorities on the regional footprint basis, subject to successful bids and be for a maximum of three years.

 

16.      Bids for funding are to be assessed against eligibility criteria including the ability to demonstrate the project’s ability to reduce costs or improve services, lead to a recognisable shift in the way in which services are delivered and tackle substantive service or organisational challenges. The indicative distribution of this funding for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff region detailed in the Final Revenue Settlement is £1.485m. Details of the Regional Collaboration Fund, including the pro forma for bid is provided in Appendix A. Bids are to be reviewed by the Reform Delivery Group at its meeting on the 30th January 2013 with decisions being communicated to successful projects in readiness for the 2013/14 financial year.

 

17.      A variety of potential areas of collaborative working have been considered when constructing bids for the Regional Collaboration Fund as follows:

 

Project

Partner Organisations

Total Estimated  Project Cost (project duration)

Remodelling Adult Social Care Services

Cardiff Council,

Cardiff & Vale  University Health Board,

Vale Centre for Voluntary Service,

Cardiff Third Sector Council.

 

£2,050,000 (3 years)

Regionalisation of Regulatory Services (Environmental Health, Licensing & Trading Standards).

 

Bridgend Council,

Cardiff Council.

£750,000 (3 years)

Local Development

Cardiff Council

 

£80,000 (1 year)

CYD CYMRU – Wales Together (Cymru Ynni Dyfodol / Wales Energy Future).

 

Cardiff Council,

Energy Saving Trust.

 

£180,000 (3 years)

Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Sexual Assault Referral Centre

Cardiff Council, South Wales Police, Cardiff and Vale UHB, Barnardos, NSPCC, Gwent Police, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Cardiff and Vale Victim Support, Home Office,

Cardiff Women’s Aid, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Forum, Crown Prosecution Service.

 

£420,000 (3 years)

Alcohol Treatment Centre

Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, South Wales Police,  

Cardiff Council.

 

£810,000 (3 years)

Total

 

£4,290,000 (over 3 years)

 

Remodelling Adult Social Care

 

The Remodelling Adult Social Care Services project is a significant new initiative that would build on the work each local authority is committed to in terms of changing the way adult social care services are delivered. New service models and care pathways will be introduced to meet people’s needs in a more flexible and integrated way, maximising their control and reducing demand for more intrusive forms of support; improving outcomes for individuals; and reducing the demand for core services, thereby increasing the potential for sustainable services in the long term. The challenge facing each partner is to increase considerably the scale and pace of service reform across all care providers, in part by creating additional change management capacity.

 

Regionalisation of Regulatory Services

 

This project would bring the Regulatory Services operated by the three Councils under a single management structure over a three year period.

 

A Regulatory Service operating across Cardiff, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan would provide an improved service to customers and key stakeholders. The project aims to make service efficiencies through the use of flexible and agile working, together with standard data handling and business planning processes.  A single service would improve intelligence and result in the application of more robust service data to help inform business and strategy planning as well as facilitating easier service accessibility and availability and complement the shared service access available in other Public Protection service functions. 

 

Local Development

 

The project will look to align strategic elements of land use and transport planning in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan; specifically how strategic land use and transport planning can be catered for by aligning long term priorities. The project will seek to ways to reduce dependency on the car and encourage more trips by sustainable transport modes.

 

CYD CYMRU – Wales Together (Cymru Ynni Dyfodol / Wales Energy Future)

 

This project aims to reduce energy bills for residents in Wales through a pilot between Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan of collective purchasing of energy. Those vulnerable to fuel poverty will be targeted for involvement during the initial phase of the project. The focus is that by bulk buying energy as part of collective, residents will be able to purchase energy for less.

 

Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Sexual Assault Referral Centre

 

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre delivers services for victims of sexual violence in Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan. Uniquely for South Wales Police interview facilities, forensic investigation, healthcare and psychological and social support are all provided on one site. This project seeks to reconfigure service provision for clients and their families and expand capacity to accommodate increasing demand, developing a multiagency service model, in line with evolving needs, that helps tackle sexual violence in communities and establishing a cross-regional adult and paediatric clinical forensic service to complement the locally delivered non-clinical elements of the SARC.

 

Alcohol Treatment Centre

 

This project is a proactive response to the pressures experienced by emergency services on Friday and Saturday nights caused by people who have drunk excessively. The Cardiff Alcohol Treatment Centre was set up as a pilot project in September 2012 and has created an immediate place of safety in Cardiff City Centre at night. In the first 3 months of operation, the Centre significantly reduced the impact on emergency services and admissions to the A&E department at the University Hospital of Wales. In addition to reducing harm, brief intervention therapy is also delivered at the centre which challenges the behaviour of individuals when they have sobered up. Patients are also sign posted for further specialist help if required. This bid submission would provide funding whilst other funding streams are sought.

 

18.      In order to meet the extremely tight time-scale for submitting bids (18th January 2013), the Managing Director has exercised her emergency powers in consultation with the Leader in submitting bids to the Fund. As such, the finalised list of bids submitted to the Fund will be reported verbally to Cabinet by the Managing Director at the meeting of January 21st 2013. This has enabled Officers to meet the Welsh Government’s time-scale whilst ensuring bids have been agreed with our partners, including Cardiff Council.

 

Collaboration Activities

 

19.      In order to provide Cabinet with an overview of the wide range of initiatives currently underway, a compendium of all collaborative working activity has been collated. It describes, by service area, the project’s purpose, the partners involved, governance arrangements and the project’s current stage of delivery. The compendium is included at Appendix B for those projects forming part of the national agenda and Appendix C for local initiatives.

 

20.      A number of joint projects are being progressed under the Memorandum of Understanding with Bridgend Council. A Programme Management Board comprising of senior officers including the Chief Executive of Bridgend Council and the Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, oversee the various projects and monitor progress.

 

21.      The Council continues as a member of the Connecting South East Wales Board, and plays an active part in two large-scale regional collaborative projects: Prosiect Gwyrdd in respect of waste management and the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) for Social Services.

 

22.      Prosiect Gwyrdd is a partnership between Caerphilly, Cardiff, Monmouthshire, Newport and the Vale Councils to agree a solution for treating waste after recycling and composting had been maximised for each area.

 

23.      SEWIC is a partnership between all ten South East Wales Councils to improve the provision and commissioning of social services in the region. Potential partners across the SEWIC region include local authorities and also wider key stakeholders such as the Health Service, Housing and the Third Sector. The SEWIC Board had agreed to take forward a number of major new projects which are included in the list in Appendix B and C of this report. The programme is intended to help to provide local authorities with an additional means of delivering service modernisation and cost effectiveness.

 

24.      The Council is a member of the Central South Education Consortium in partnership with Cardiff, Bridgend, Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf. The collaboration has developed in response to an explicit challenge from the Welsh Government to establish effective and resilient arrangements.

 

25.      There is a requirement to develop new models of service delivery in health and social services due to the future pressures on services. In order to determine whether closer collaboration would assist in this, Cardiff and Vale UHB, in agreement with both Vale and Cardiff Councils, is commissioning a report from an independent body to assess the potential for closer collaboration. The work will establish relevant UK experience to date of integration between health and social care and assess potential benefits from closer working. It will ensure key local stakeholders, including members, will contribute to the study and the report will provide recommendations with options for taking the work forward.

 

26.      A project is being set up to examine Trading Services and Environmental Health for Cardiff, Bridgend and Vale Councils being delivered as a single shared service. A bid to the Regional Collaboration Fund as outlined above has been submitted for this project.

 

27.      Other projects of particular significance are :

 

·      Proposals for the potential regionalisation of Community Safety and  Emergency Planning

·      The work being carried on Public Transport and Highways Services (a separate report to Cabinet will be tabled in due course to outline the developments in this area).

·      Work on Regeneration (a separate report to Cabinet will be tabled in due course to outline the developments in this area).

·      The work being carried out on Planning Services

·      Council Tax & National Non Domestic Rates

·      Student Finance

·      Shared Internal Audit Service

·      Shared Youth Services Service

·      Customer Relations & NHS GP Out of Hours Service/Communications Hub

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

28.      Whilst there are no direct resource implications associated with this report, generating financial savings from collaborative working is one of the key drivers for engaging in these types of projects. There are resource implications associated with collaborative working projects. To date projects have been managed within existing staffing levels. However, specific projects may require additional resources during their development and delivery and reports will be submitted to Cabinet outlining these requirements as required.

 

29.      In recognition of the potential requirement for resources, the Welsh Government Regional Collaboration Fund has been established and bids to this fund have been developed in conjunction with colleagues from Cardiff Council and other partners.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

30.      The principles of sustainability underpin the work on the collaboration agenda as the aim to provide better, more resilient services or cost effective services should assist in sustaining communities. Some of the projects have a specific environmental aspect such as the work with Bridgend on climate change.

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

31.      There are no direct legal implications associated with this report, however some collaborations will need to be underpinned by legal agreements. In addition, the Vale will need to ensure that it can meet its statutory responsibilities in any joint working.

 

32.      Under the Local Government (Wales) measure (The Measure 2009), the Council is obliged to consider from time to time whether the exercise of any of its powers of collaboration would assist it in the discharge of its duties:

 

  • To secure continuous improvement in the exercise of its functions.
  • To secure achievement of its improvement objectives.
  • To meet any performance standard required to be met by an order made by the Welsh Ministers.

 

If the Council concludes that the exercise is a collaborative powers and it would assist it to comply with the discharge of the 3 duties referred to; it must seek to exercise its powers so as to collaborate.

 

33.      The measure also contains reserve powers for the Welsh Ministers to direct collaboration when they consider that collaborative opportunities have not been taken, where there is clearly a business case for the same. Further more Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 empowers Welsh ministers to amalgamate 2 or 3 Local Authorities, if they are satisfied that it is necessary to achieve effective Local Government; before exercising this power Welsh Ministers must be satisfied that effective Local Government is not likely to be achieved by the Local Authority using the 2009 measure powers to collaborate.

Crime and Disorder Implications

34.      There are no specific Crime and Disorder implications associated with this report. However, individual projects will seek to tackle issues associated with crime and disorder as part of overall project objectives.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

35.      There are no specific Equal Opportunities implications associated with this report. However, Equal Opportunities issues will be considered as part of each individual project, specifically ensuring that Equality Impact Assessments are completed at the appropriate stages of each project’s life cycle.

Policy Framework and Budget

36.      This is a matter for decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

37.      There are no implications for Ward Members as a result of this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

38.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

39.      Update on Collaborative Working, Cabinet, 9th July 2012.

Contact Officer

Sian Davies

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies

 

 

 

 

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