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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 10 March, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

Communities First: Transfer of Services from an External Contractor

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To establish the way forward for the continued delivery of a project within Communities First which is currently delivered in partnership with a contractor, and set out the employment implications of doing so. A separate report to this meeting under Part 2 gives considerably more detail, which would potentially identify the individuals involved in this small team.

Recommendations

That the Council commences in house delivery of the specific project as part of the Communities First programme, as set out in the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

In order to continue to deliver the Communities First Delivery plan as agreed with Welsh Government, in view of the contractor's termination of its delivery contract.

 

Background

2.         The Council delivers, as lead body, the Communities First programme in parts of Barry.  This forms part of the Welsh Government Communities First Programme across Wales, aimed at tackling poverty.  It is managed within the Economic Development Unit, and steered by a Cluster Board made up of community, voluntary and business representatives.  It delivers against three themes; Prosperous Communities, Learning Communities and Healthy Communities.  The Council receives 100% grant from the Welsh Government, plus a contribution to management costs. The current programme is funded until March 2016, although an indication has been given by Welsh Government that this will be extended in due course.

3.         One of the themes is currently delivered by an external contractor. Further detail on this is given in the part 2 report to this meeting.

4.         Under terms of the contract, the contractor may give six months' notice to terminate the arrangement.  On 19th November 2013 it gave such notice.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The project is delivered by two officers, employed wholly on the project by the contractor but based in the Council's Communities First Offices.  The project is an integral part of the Communities First Delivery Plan which is agreed with Welsh Government as the basis for grant payment, with clear outcomes expected.

6.         The Council has three main options.  Firstly it could re-negotiate the Delivery Plan with Welsh Government to exclude the project.  This would leave the integrated Communities First programme failing to address one of the three themes, and may not be approved in any case.  Secondly, the Council could contract another agency to deliver.  However, the arrangement reflected only the historic role of the contractor in delivering the project in Barry.  It has not proved ideal in management terms to subcontract just a small part of the Communities First programme.  Thirdly, and this is my recommended option, the Council could continue to deliver the specific project itself.

7.         All options have implications for the staff currently employed by the contractor. With regard to the second and third options, this Council is of the view that the TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, as amended, may apply.  These regulations provide protection to employees in regards to security of employment and their terms and conditions.  If option two were to be adopted then it is considered that the incoming provider would need to engage the existing staff delivering the project.  If option three were to be adopted then it is considered that the existing officers would become employees of the Council, their terms and conditions transferring from their current employer to the Council.  They would be entitled to access to the Council's pension scheme. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         Continuing to deliver the Project will have no financial implications as it is 100% grant funded.  Delivery in-house will result in two officers transferring to the employment of the Council from the contractor.  Grant available will cover redundancy costs arising from employment of these individuals.  The officers are employed on temporary contracts which end after the six months' notice expires.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         The Communities First project as a whole supports communities out of poverty and into employment, and promotes healthy lifestyles.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.      In broad terms, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 as amended protects employee terms and conditions when the business or undertaking for which they work transfers to a new employer. 

11.      In addition to the TUPE there will be other considerations in respect of employee relations together with potential commercial matters which will necessitate input from the Council's legal department.  In regards to these issues advice has been taken and will continue to be taken as appropriate.   

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      There are no Crime and Disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      There are no Equal Opportunities implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      Delivery of the Communities First programme delivers against Corporate Plan Action R11: 'Establish and Implement a Barry Communities First Cluster to deliver improved Health and Wellbeing of people in the Communities First area'.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      This is an executive decision for Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      Ward members for all areas covered by the Communities First Cluster have been consulted on this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      Economy and Environment

Contact Officer

Bob Guy, Operational Manager, Countryside and Economic Projects

 

Officers Consulted

Cluster Manager, Barry Communities First.

Committee Reports, Legal

Head of Finance

Head of Human Resources

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

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