Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 2 December 2013


Report of the Leader


Local Service Board Unified Needs Assessment


Purpose of the Report

1.         To present to Cabinet the draft Unified Needs Assessment (UNA) which will support the development of the new Community Strategy Delivery Plan 2014-18.


1.         That Cabinet note the draft Unified Needs Assessment and the work undertaken by partners to gather and analyse data.

2.         That Cabinet consider the key findings of the draft Unified Needs Assessment and any implications for the delivery of council services.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure Cabinet are aware of the key findings in the draft Unified Needs Assessment, the timetable for its endorsement by the Local Service Board and the further work planned.

2.         To ensure the key findings of the Unified Needs Assessment are taken into account in the provision of council services.


2.         The Welsh Government discussion paper on the Sustainable Development Duty and Collaborative Working places an increased emphasis on strategic needs assessments.  The paper also proposed that Well-being/Single Integrated Plans should be aligned to the local government electoral cycle. 

3.         A needs assessment for the Vale was approved in 2011 to underpin the Community Strategy 2011-21 - the Single Integrated Plan - and the Community Strategy Delivery Plan 2011/14.  The assessment was drafted by the Local Government Data Unit and built on the needs assessments undertaken/commissioned by a number of the key partnerships operating in the Vale.

4.         A new delivery plan will need to be drafted for 2014, and it was agreed by the Local Service Board (LSB) that it should be informed by a refreshed needs assessment.  This will ensure there is an up to date UNA and delivery plan to support the Community Strategy and should provide sufficient scope to enable the LSB to respond to any new legislation and requirements linked to the next electoral cycle.   


Relevant Issues and Options

5.         In June 2012 the LSB agreed to the forming of an LSB Business Intelligence Group (BIG) to strengthen the analytical capability of the LSB.  The Local Government Data Unit (LGDU) have been working with the group to help develop analytical intelligence capacity of the LSB and to undertake a new UNA.

6.         Membership of the BIG is comprised of officers and analysts from a range of LSB partner organisations including the Council, Cardiff and Vale UHB, South Wales Police, VCVS and Public Health Wales, ensuring all LSB partners have contributed to the drafting of the UNA. The UNA is currently still in draft but the Executive Summary which details the key findings is available at Appendix A.  The complete draft of the UNA is available at


7.         The draft UNA is structured around the ten priority outcomes in the Community Strategy and details relevant data as well as an analysis of need within the Vale. The Executive Summary highlights a number of key themes which have emerged through the UNA and which will be explored further.  These include the importance of early intervention, issues around an ageing population and the need for a more targeted approach for some of our more disadvantaged communities. Work will continue to gather and analyse relevant data to develop a robust evidence base to inform the work of the LSB and a new delivery plan.  To support this work and future monitoring of trends, the LGDU are ensuring the data sets are updated and populated onto InfoBase Vale.

8.         The draft UNA has been circulated to all the strategic partnerships for comments and has been available on the Council's website to enable comments to be made.  At the recent Local Service Forum, which was attended by around 100 stakeholders, a presentation was given on the UNA, and attendees were encouraged to consider the draft assessment and send in comments.

9.         Some of the key findings within the UNA include:

·           The population of the Vale of Glamorgan is predicted to increase by over 4.7% between 2013 and 2033, and the number of people over 65 will increase by almost 50%.  The increasing ageing population is predicted to result in an increased number of people suffering dementia and chronic health problems such as heart disease and strokes.

·           The UNA highlights specific geographical areas as having disproportionate levels of poor health, poor educational attainment and higher crime and disorder which are closely correlated with overall deprivation levels.  18 Lower Super Output Areas in the Vale of Glamorgan are amongst the 30% of the most deprived Lower Super Outputs Areas in Wales. 

·           There is a general increase in life expectancy in the Vale of Glamorgan, as in Wales in general, and a corresponding rise in healthy life expectancy and disability free life expectancy. In 2005-09 the average life expectancy in males was 78.1 (up from 76.6 in 2001-05) and 92.1 in females (up from 80.9 in 2001-05).

·           The gap in life expectancy between people living in the most and least deprived areas is increasing. In 2001-05 the gap in life expectancy for males was 6.9 years, in 2005-09 this widened to 7.5 years. Similarly for females, the gap in life expectancy in 2001-05 was 5.7 and by 2005-09 this had widened to 7.4.

·           The inequality gap for healthy life expectancy is even starker, with males in the most deprived wards living in good health on average 20.3 years less and females 18.7 years less than those in least deprived wards.    

·           Although smoking rates are improving, trends in consumption of fruit and vegetables are deteriorating and physical activity rates are static. Rates of obesity are also climbing steadily, with 56% of the adult population now being overweight or obese.   

·           Crime rates have fallen but one area of concern is anti social behaviour as from April to September 2013 there has been an increase in Stage 1 referrals by 72.2% against the same time period in 2012. This may be due in part to a greater awareness of reporting mechanisms within the community and the good weather over the summer period.  

10.      The UNA is due to be endorsed by the LSB on 12 December and will inform the drafting of the new Community Strategy delivery plan which will set out how we will respond to the needs identified.  Although the LSB will be asked to approve the UNA in December, work will continue to develop it further as more data becomes available and the analytical capacity across partners is developed. The key findings from the UNA regarding the ageing population, areas of deprivation and inequalities cut across all aspects of work, and will be priorities for partners in how they determine and target service delivery and for further data development and analysis.

11.      The UNA is a complex document, and further work will be undertaken prior to publication in making links between information and chapters, and the inclusion of maps to make it as accessible as possible.

12.      The UNA and the work of the BIG provide an important resource and strong evidence base to inform work undertaken in partnership, but is also an important resource for the planning of council services.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      The Community Strategy is a ten year strategy, and specific activities are reviewed and revised in light of changes to the resources available to partners and to reflect changes in legislation and government policy. The new delivery plan will need to take account of the UNA and available resources.

14.      The LSB Development Grant from Welsh Government will continue until 2014/15 and is £50,000 per year.  The grant is used to fund the LSB Support Officer post, the work of the LGDU with the Business Intelligence Group and some engagement activity.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.      One of the ten priority outcomes in the strategy is 'Vale residents and organisations respect the local environment and work together to meet the challenge of climate change'.  Information is included in the UNA on waste, water quality and energy use.

16.      The ten priority outcomes within the Community Strategy are consistent with the Council's commitment to promote sustainability and take account of the four essential principles of sustainability in terms of environment, economy, a strong, and healthy and just society and good governance.


Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.      Welsh Government's "Shared Purpose Shared Delivery" guidance document replaced previous statutory guidance deriving from a number of pieces of legislation: Community Strategies (Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009), Children and Young People Plans (Children Act 2004, Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010), and Health Social Care and Wellbeing Strategies (NHS (Wales) Act 2006).  The guidance includes a chapter on undertaking needs assessments and building a robust evidence base.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.      One of the ten priority outcomes identified is 'Residents and visitors are safe and feel safe and the Vale is recognised as a low crime area.' There is a chapter in the UNA and the Community Strategy specific to issues around crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.      An Equalities Impact Assessment of the Community Strategy was undertaken as part of the development of the Strategy and a further assessment of the new delivery plan will be undertaken.  The UNA includes data regarding inequalities, and further work will be undertaken through the BIG to gain a better understanding of the diverse needs and experiences of service users.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.      The Corporate Plan 2014-17 emphasises the importance pf partnership working and includes the following objective in the Community Leadership section: 'Explore opportunities for working collaboratively within the Vale and regionally which will lead to improved services for customers, support innovation and deliver savings.'

Policy Framework and Budget

21.      The Community Strategy was approved by Council in July 2011.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.      A wide range of partners have been involved in the drafting of the UNA and it has been available for comment on the Council's website. A wide range of stakeholders were invited to attend the Local Service Forum, including Town and Community Councils and Chairs of Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Vale of Glamorgan Unified Needs Assessment 2011

Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy 2011-21 and Delivery Plan 2011-14

Shared Purpose Shared Delivery - Welsh Government June 2012

Welsh Government discussion paper on the Sustainable Development Duty and Collaborative Working March 2013


Contact Officer

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

01446 709760



Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team


Responsible Officer:

Managing Director