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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 17 June 2013

 

Report of the Leader

 

Collaborative Working CCTV Proposal

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet of the proposal currently being developed for working with Bridgend County Borough Council with regards CCTV monitoring.

 

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the content of the report.

2.         That Cabinet refers this report to Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee for consideration and that Committee provides comments to Cabinet.

3.         That a visit to Bridgend County Borough Council’s CCTV monitoring facility is arranged for Cabinet and Members of the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

4.         That the business case for the provision of CCTV monitoring services be further developed and reported to Cabinet in due course.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that Cabinet is provided with an update regarding collaborative working proposals for the CCTV monitoring service.  

2.         To ensure that due consideration is given to all aspects of the proposal.

3.         To provide Members with an opportunity to visit the proposed location for CCTV monitoring.

4.         To ensure that a robust business case underpins any future arrangements for this service.

 

Background

2.         As part of this Council’s agile approach to collaborative working, the Council has a Memorandum of Understanding with Bridgend County Borough Council to explore collaborative working arrangements that improve services for residents and/or deliver financial savings. A Programme Board co-chaired by the Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Chief Executive of Bridgend Council oversees the delivery of projects.

3.         One of the projects under consideration as part of the Partnership with Bridgend Council is CCTV monitoring services. The scope of the project excludes the strategic management of CCTV which would remain with the Council and be overseen by the Community Safety Partnership.

 

Relevant Issues

4.         The CCTV monitoring service is currently provided by Contact OneVale within the Corporate and Customer Services Directorate. The monitoring station is co-located with the contact centre at Barry Leisure Centre.

5.         As part of the project to consider the potential for collaborative working with Bridgend, an options appraisal has been completed which has considered a range of different approaches to joint working in this area. The options appraisal was developed by officers of both Councils and involved contact with South Wales Police and the Community Safety Partnership. Options considered were a reciprocal arrangement for business continuity purposes and a single location service.

6.         Based on the work undertaken to date it is proposed that a single location service is the most effective and efficient approach for this service. The technical costs associated with the proposal are the same for each option and the financial and non-financial benefits are greater with a service provided from a single site.

7.         Due consideration has been given to which council should be the ‘host’ for the single location service. Market testing for the cost of systems integration revealed no significant differences in locating the shared control centre at either of the existing centres.

8.         Analysis of the services offered at each existing location revealed that Bridgend Council’s control centre provides a much broader range of services, offering emergency out of hours telephone contact, lone worker, lift monitoring and bollard management for example. This contrasts with the control centre in Barry which is entirely focused on CCTV monitoring and interaction with South Wales Police.

9.         It would be significantly more difficult, from an operational and technical perspective, as well as more expensive to relocate these services to Barry. In addition, the Bridgend service currently employs 9 FTE compared to 3 FTE at the Vale of Glamorgan. Location of the service in Bridgend will, overall, mean less staff disruption.

10.      The control room in Bridgend is currently operating in a self contained environment which provides for a high level of flexibility and access control. While the Barry centre complies with statutory requirements, location in a shared office environment with Contact OneVale leaves little flexibility for development where office space is restricted.   

11.      For these reasons the proposal is to locate the shared control room at the existing Bridgend site.

12.      Technical integration and staffing are the two main work streams associated with the project.

13.      In order to create a single location service, the two CCTV networks will need to be integrated. An exercise has been undertaken with existing systems suppliers and ICT departments of each Council to confirm the feasibility of technical integration between the two CCTV monitoring systems.

14.      In order to confirm the financial viability of integration a further market testing exercise was been undertaken to establish the potential cost of delivering the preferred solution. Responses from suppliers indicate estimated capital costs of £100,000 to deliver the depth of systems integration required.

15.      There is a further revenue cost estimated at £10,000 per annum for third party line rental cost to connect the two systems. However, it is anticipated that the savings generated through the creation of a single maintenance agreement will be sufficient to meet line rental costs.

16.      Regarding staffing it is proposed that there would be a single employing authority which would be Bridgend County Borough Council. As such, the staff currently employed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council would become the employees of Bridgend Council.

17.      A new staffing structure would be implemented after all staff are employed by Bridgend Council to ensure the commissioned service is fit for purpose and fit for form. This would follow a six month transition period whereby staff from both councils would have sufficient opportunity to share local knowledge and technical skills. This would place each member of staff on an equal footing when any proposed restructure was enacted.

18.      The benefits of the project have been identified as follows.

19.      Service and Efficiency Savings: The pattern of activity creates a natural inefficiency in monitoring operations which can only be part resolved by the use of in fill tasks. This inefficiency would be used to absorb some of the additional monitoring activity and allow for the combined staffing resource to be reduced. This is anticipated to deliver income/ savings totalling £75,000 per annum for both authorities based on current combined operational costs.

20.      Productivity.

  • Improved productivity through monitoring of wider geographic area;
  • Improved monitoring of single cross authority incidents;
  • Improved monitoring of cross authority criminal and community safety activity.

21.      Operational Flexibility: Monitoring activity over a wider geographic area will allow for greater flexibility to direct monitoring resources to priority incidents, irrespective of local authority boundaries.

22.      Business Continuity and Technical Resilience: Neither operation currently has a business continuity solution in the event that existing premises become inaccessible. The proposed solution provides for a business continuity workstation to be maintained at Contact OneVale to be used in the event that the Bridgend control room becomes inaccessible.

23.      Improved Access for South Wales Police: South Wales Police currently must attend separate control rooms to access CCTV recording for evidence. This solution will allow for evidence for each authority to be produced at the main control room or from the business continuity workstation in Barry. In addition, South Wales Police will have access to 2 RIPA suites with the ability to view images across the combined CCTV network. There is an additional benefit of enhancing the service provided to South Wales Police through a single co-ordinated service.

24.      Sustainability: The integration of monitoring activities for both local authority areas will help maintain an efficient and sustainable service. The combined operation may provide Bridgend Council with additional opportunities to work with, and provide monitoring services for, other neighbouring authorities.

25.      In order to further develop this proposal it is proposed that Cabinet and Members of the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee are able to visit the proposed Bridgend facility to meet with Members and Officers from Bridgend Council to discuss the proposal in further detail. Concurrently it is proposed that a formal tender process to be completed for the provision of technical integration works to determine the actual cost of this work.

26.      The business case should be developed further to take into consideration the views of Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee and also to refine the financial details and legal implications of the proposal. A more detailed report resulting from this work would then be presented to Cabinets in both local authority areas if the business case is robust.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

27.      This proposal is being developed as part of the budget savings proposals endorsed by Council on March 6th 2013 in order to meet the Council’s Financial Strategy to 2016/17.

28.      The total capital investment required for this project comprises the cost of technical integration (estimated at £100,000) and potential redundancy costs. Potential redundancy costs will be dependant upon the specific member(s) of staff involved and current estimates range from a minimum of £25,000 to a maximum of £100,000. It is proposed that the capital costs would be apportioned between the two councils on the basis of the proportion of benefit received.

29.      The revenue cost for the Vale of Glamorgan Council is calculated at £27,000 per annum plus the existing maintenance contract budget.  The charge for services commissioned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council from Bridgend Council has been calculated on the basis of an apportionment of the number of cameras on the combined network and the total number of hours monitored.  No consideration has been given to reducing the current number of hours cameras are monitored and the proposal has been prepared on the basis that the current service level will be maintained for the Council. The proposal therefore provides a saving to the Vale of Glamorgan Council of £48,000 per annum after the repayment of a proportion of the total capital investment.

30.      The £27,000 monitoring charge represents income for Bridgend Council following the repayment of a proportion of the total capital investment.

31.      At the minimum investment level (£125,000), this proposal pays back the initial investment in year 3. At the upper level of investment (£200,000), the proposal pays back in year 5.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

32.      There are specific sustainability benefits for this proposal outlined above.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

33.      Should the business case be robust and appropriate approvals gained, it is proposed that a legal Partnership Agreement based on Section 101 / 102 of the Local Government Act 1972 should be entered into between the two councils for the commissioning of the service and formalise the provision of services and basis for cost apportionment.

34.      It is proposed that the initial contract should be for a minimum of 5 years to ensure operational stability and security of service delivery.

35.      There are specific implications for staff as a result of this proposal and there are a number of pieces of legislation which can apply, such as the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE).  Legal advice will continue to be sought in regards to these aspects as appropriate during the course of the project. 

 

Crime and Disorder Implications

36.      South Wales Police have welcomed the operational alignment between the authorities’ CCTV monitoring operations along the Central Basic Command Unit boundaries and the merging of CCTV functionality.

37.      South Wales Police have confirmed that they do not believe that the proposal would have any negative impact on crime and disorder while emphasising the need to retain the local knowledge of camera operators.

38.      Once the business case has been further developed, it is proposed that further consultation is undertaken with South Wales Police and the Community Safety Partnership and, if the proposal proceeds, that these stakeholders will be engaged during the development of any new service arrangements.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

39.      There are no specific Equal Opportunities implications associated with this report.

Policy Framework and Budget

40.      This is a matter for decision by Cabinet. The consideration of this proposal is sought from Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

42.      Trade Unions and staff have been provided with updates on the progress of this project and have been briefed on the contents of this report.

43.      South Wales Police have provided comments on the proposals as outlined above.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

44.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

45.      Collaborative Working Projects Update, Cabinet, 21st January 2013 and 3rd June 2013.

46.      Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2013/14 and Financial Strategy to 2016/17, Council, 6th March 2013.

47.      Memorandum of Understanding between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend County Borough Council, Cabinet, 1st December 2010.

Contact Officer

Tony Curliss

Officers Consulted

Sian Davies

Alun Billinghurst

Evelyn Morgan

Mike Walsh

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies

 

 

 

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