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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 3 June 2013

Report of the Leader

Collaborative Working Projects Update

Purpose of the Report

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

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

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet note the content of the report.

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

3. That Cabinet endorse the programme management arrangements for the Regional Collaboration Fund.

4. That following agreement with the Chief Executives of Cardiff Council and Bridgend Council, the Managing Director be given delegated authority in consultation with the Leader to award a contract for project support to the Regulatory Services project following a procurement exercise.

5. That following agreement with the Chief Executive of Cardiff Council, the Managing Director be given delegated authority in consultation with the Leader to appoint project support to the Remodelling Social Care and Integration with Health Services project.

6. That the Managing Director be given delegated authority in consultation with the Leader to enter into Memoranda of Understanding for specific collaborative working projects as required.

7. That Cabinet approve the Outline Business Case with the South East and Mid Wales Legal Consortium.

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.

3. To ensure that Cabinet is content with the proposed arrangements for managing the Regional Collaboration Fund programme.

4. To ensure that a contract can be awarded efficiently and effectively for this project.

5. To ensure that appropriate resources are put in place to support the delivery of this project.

6. To ensure that, where required, projects have documented terms of reference.

7. To allow the work of the South East and Mid Wales Legal Consortium to proceed with the development of a full business case.

Background

3. In January 2013 a report to Cabinet provided an update on the collaborative working initiatives the Council was involved in and the associated governance arrangements and structures in place to support collaborative working at both national and local levels.

4. The report outlined the details published by Welsh Government in July 2011 of their preferred partnering arrangements for collaborative working which set 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. To support the development of collaborative working projects, the Welsh Government Minister for Local Government and Communities established the Regional Collaboration Fund. This revenue funding has been made available to Local Authorities on the regional footprint basis, following a bidding process and is for a maximum of three years. This report provides Members with an update on the bids submitted to the Regional Collaboration Fund.

Relevant Issues

Regional Collaboration Fund

6. The council, in conjunction with partners, submitted a series of bids to the Fund for up to three years as illustrated in the following table.

Project

Partner Organisations

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Remodelling Adult Social Care Services

Cardiff Council,

Cardiff & Vale University Health Board,

Vale Centre for Voluntary Service,

Cardiff Third Sector Council.

£650,000

£750,000

£650,000

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

Bridgend Council,

Cardiff Council.

£250,000

£250,000

£250,000

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

Cardiff Council,

Energy Saving Trust.

£100,000

£40,000

£40,000

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.

£140,000

£140,000

£140,000

Alcohol Treatment Centre

Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, South Wales Police,  

Cardiff Council.

£270,000

£270,000

£270,000

Local Service Board

£50,000

-

-

Transport

Cardiff Council

£25,000

-

-

Total

£1,485,000

£1,450,000

£1,350,000

7. The Welsh Government has confirmed funding for 2013/14 for all projects with the exception of the Transport bid which is currently being reviewed by the Welsh Government and a decision on funding is expected shortly.

8. Bids were 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.

9. Appendix A provides a description of the purpose of each project.

Regional Collaboration Fund Programme Management

10. In order to effectively manage the Regional Collaboration Fund, a Senior Responsible Officer and Project Manager have been identified for each project. The Senior Responsible Officer is responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered as specified and the targets identified are achieved. This will involve regular liaison between Members and Officers from both Local Authorities. The Senior Responsible Officers are also responsible for the provision of a quarterly and annual report to the Welsh Government on project progress.

11. An officer in each Council has been identified to provide overall co-ordination of the programme of all Regional Collaboration Fund projects and will be responsible for liaising with project teams, Members, senior management of all partner organisations and the Programme Board.

12. A Programme Board is proposed to oversee all Regional Collaboration Fund projects. The Programme Board will be co-chaired by the Leaders of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Cardiff Council and be attended by the Cabinet Members from each council with relevant portfolios as well as the Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Chief Executive of Cardiff Council and other partners as required. Senior Responsible Officers and/or Project Managers will be asked to attend to provide updates as required. The Programme Board will meet three times per year with the first meeting being scheduled for July 2013.

13. In order to oversee the delivery of the Regionalising Regulatory Services project which also includes Bridgend County Borough Council, a separate meeting with Leaders, Cabinet Members, Chief Executives, Managing Director and Service Managers will be held.

Collaborative Activities

14. In order to provide Cabinet with an overview of the wide range of initiatives currently underway, a compendium is being maintained of all collaborative working activity involving the Council. The compendium 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.

15. Since the January 2013 report to Cabinet, a number of projects have further developed.

16. In April 2013 the shared internal audit service with Bridgend Council was formally created with the signing of a five year partnership agreement between the two councils. All internal audit staff are now employed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

17. Work is continuing with Bridgend to develop a business case examining the potential benefits of a joint Youth Service.

18. The ODSI Board ratified proposals in January 2013 to create a virtual Emergency Planning team on a regional basis. This will provide the resilience of a regional service that can direct resources to specific local incidents as required, whilst also maintaining a locally based team to provide flexibility and local knowledge to the Council.

19. Local Government has been working with Welsh Government to design and implement a new model for the delivery of student finance based on an all Wales service. The all Wales service will be delivered from Llandudno Junction through a phased implementation from 2014-15.

20. The South East and Mid Wales Legal Services Consortium has been exploring opportunities for shared legal services and achieving cost and efficiency savings through combined procurement opportunities. A strategic outline case has been finalised and agreed.   The draft outline business case (“OBC”) has also been finalised and agreement from participating Local Authorities is awaited. A copy of the draft OBC save for the appendices (given that they contain sensitive data relating to the member authorities) is attached at Appendix D. Should members require a briefing on the data contained in the appendices please contact the Head of Legal Services. Of particular significance are the following provisions of the OBC:

  • It has been concluded that the option that best satisfies the needs of the partner authorities is the development of a formal shared legal services model.
  • A baseline framework for a formal collaboration has been defined, which comprises a number of work streams:-

- A memorandum of understanding has been signed that sets out a process for inter-authority working.

- Strategic planning for a regional shared legal service, utilising data currently being gathered through a client consultation survey, which will provide an indication of anticipated demand for legal services over the next 3 years.

- Development of centres of excellence, with a “pilot” being considered with regard to magistrate court prosecutions.

- Feasibility study into the options available for a reduction in external expenditure on legal services, focusing initially on legal work relating to insurance claims.

- Reduction in on-line legal library/research costs through joint procurement.

- Continued investigation into further opportunities for collaboration both within the regional legal services and with other prospective partnership ventures such as the Trading Standards service.

- Utilisation of sub-regional groups for collaborative initiatives where this maybe more appropriate/practical.

- Explore opportunities for financial support for regional shared legal service initiatives.

- Strategic planning to enable the possibility of “pooling” of future vacancies across the region.

  • In addition to the framework identified above a number of opportunities for development in the future have been identified, including:

    - A procurement framework for externalised work. Some of the Authorities (including this Authority) are currently utilising a contract that has been set up for the South West Wales region, this however is due to expire in April 2014.

    - Research into extranet provision/development of a dedicated website.

    - Further development of the special interest groups which have been established in the last year.

    - Software appraisal of case management, time management and court bundling.

     

    Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

    21. Regional Collaboration Fund grants approved by Welsh Government to date amount to £1.46million for 2013/14. Grant conditions are yet to be received by the Council.

    22. The funding for projects will be managed by the lead authority for the project. The Vale of Glamorgan Council will manage the funding for the Remodelling Social Care and Integration with Health Services project (£650,000) and Regionalising Regulatory Services project (£250,000). All other projects’ funding will be managed by Cardiff Council.

    23. Generating financial savings from collaborative working is one of the key drivers for engaging in these types of projects. Where appropriate, the Regional Collaboration Fund projects have identified specific savings targets.

    24. The Regionalising Regulatory Services project has identified the need to engage external support in the development of a Target Operating Model, business case and implementation plan to support the development of the joint service. These deliverables will build on the significant work undertaken by officers from the three councils to date. External support requirements will be agreed with the Chief Executives of Cardiff Council and Bridgend Council.

    25. A tender process using a Government Procurement Service framework will be used to procure this support and funded from part of the Regional Collaboration Fund grant.

    26. The Council is responsible for the management of funding to the Remodelling Social Care and Integration with Health Services project. As such, the Council will be required to appoint support to this project, including staffing and external support following agreement of requirements with the Chief Executive of Cardiff Council.

    27. 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.

    Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

    28. 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)

    29. There are no direct legal implications associated with this report. However, some collaborative projects will need to be underpinned by legal agreements. Memoranda of understanding will also be entered into to define and document the terms of reference of some collaborative working projects. In addition, the Vale will need to ensure that it can meet its statutory responsibilities in any joint working.

    30. Utilising a Government Procurement Service framework for the Regulatory Services procurement exercise will ensure compliance with Council Standing Orders and European Union procurement legislation.

    31. 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.

    32. 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

    33. 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)

    34. 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 in line with the Council’s policy and the Welsh Government’s requirement as part of the grant conditions.

    Policy Framework and Budget

    35. This is a matter for decision by Cabinet.

    Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

    Relevant Scrutiny Committee

    37. Corporate Resources

    Background Papers

    38. Update on Collaborative Working, Cabinet, 21 January 2013.

    Contact Officer

    Sian Davies

    Officers Consulted

    Corporate Management Team

    Responsible Officer:

    Sian Davie