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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 7 April, 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Joint Local Service Board

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To recommend the establishment of a Joint Local Service Board (LSB) for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet approve the establishment of a Joint LSB with Cardiff Council having the role and membership as set out in paragraphs14 and 15 of this report.

2.         That Cabinet approves that the functions of the Vale LSB, Cardiff Partnership Leadership Group and Cardiff Partnership Board be assumed by the proposed Joint LSB.

3.         That the Managing Director is given delegated authority, in consultation with the Leader, to agree:

a) future changes to the membership of the Joint LSB;

b) the Terms of Reference for the Joint LSB once this has been developed in due course;

c) the priority areas for collaboration for the Joint LSB to focus on.

4.         That Cabinet receives a report on progress once the Joint LSB has been established.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1- 4   To enable the Cabinet to consider the recommendations contained in this report, approve the establishment of a Joint Local Service Board with Cardiff Council and receive reports on progress.

Background

2.         Local Service Boards (LSBs) were established by the Welsh Government (WG) in each local authority area to bring together leaders of local public and third sector organisations to take collective action to ensure public services are effective and citizen focussed.  The purpose of LSBs is to:

·               oversee the development of the statutory Single Integrated Plan (Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy and Cardiff What Matters Strategy)[1];

·               improve the quality of life and joined-up service delivery for citizens in their areas;

·               provide the leadership to ensure that difficult issues across public services are confidently managed not avoided or ignored;

·               stimulate integration, co-ordination and co-operation between local, regional and national public sector organisations;

·               set an example of innovative, citizen-focused leadership at the heart of the local partnership and delivery system;

·               ensure an effective whole system response to the needs of citizens by pooling resources;

·               "unblock blockages" by removing bureaucracy or other obstacles;

·               agree strategic priorities for multi-agency working to support the agenda set out in Programme for Government and respond to clearly evidenced local needs;

·               achieve improvements by ensuring appropriate systems are in place and that managers and front line staff across agencies are working together effectively and that agreed priorities are reflected in individual organisations’ corporate plans;

·               review and report annually on progress – to the public, Welsh Government, democratically elected members, and LSB member organisations.

3.         LSBs are currently not formal institutions and should therefore not be seen as distinct delivery mechanisms in themselves. They do not replace the statutory responsibilities of local authorities or the established accountabilities of public bodies and other partners, whether devolved or non-devolved. LSB members are accountable for delivery of services within their own organisations and their contribution to the integrated plan. However, under the provisions of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, LSB members are required to subject themselves to scrutiny and give an account of themselves. Once a single integrated plan has been agreed, the commitments of individual service providers should also be included within their own corporate plans.

4.         In order to ensure that collaborative working is an effective driver of public service reform, the WG is now likely to put the single integrated planning framework (including LSBs) on a statutory footing through the introduction of the Future Generations (Wales) Bill in summer 2014. It is currently governed by a number of pieces of legislation, but placing it within this Bill will simplify and rationalise the current legislation and local strategic planning system and clearly define its place within the governance framework.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The WG’s statutory guidance “Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery†highlighted that “partnership working has become embedded in the public service in Wales and there is good evidence that this has led to the development of relationships of trust between organisations. However, as these local partnerships have developed they have given rise to too much complexity and duplication….For regional scale organisations, such as local health boards and the police, the costs of servicing a large number of partnerships have been very significant indeedâ€.

6.         The introduction of the WG Regional Collaboration Fund (RCF) in 2013 provided an opportunity for further development to be independently facilitated to review existing partnership arrangements in both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The project bid was subsequently awarded RCF funding from WG in 2013/14 to consider whether there was further scope to refine partnership working across the two LSBs. The aim was to reduce duplication of effort across a number of partner organisations and to develop joint delivery mechanisms for shared priorities.

Current Partnership Arrangements

7.         In Cardiff, the LSB functions to date have been undertaken by the Cardiff Partnership Board (CPB) which has included representation from Cardiff Council, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, South Wales Police, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Cardiff Third Sector Council, Wales Probation Trust and the Welsh Government.  The LSB has taken direction from the Cardiff Partnership Leadership Group, chaired by the Leader of the Council, with delivery supported by a number of city-wide thematic Programme Boards and a Neighbourhood Programme Board.  The partnership structures and membership can be seen in Appendices 1-2.

8.         In the Vale of Glamorgan the LSB is structured in the form of a LSB and an Implementation Group.  The LSB is chaired by the Leader of the Council and includes representation from the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, South Wales Police, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services, Wales Probation Trust, Cardiff & Vale College, Natural Resources Wales, RWE nPower, Wales Ambulance Service and Welsh Government. The Implementation Group takes direction from the LSB and includes representation from partners and all Council Directors.  The group is chaired by the Council’s Head of Performance and Development and provides an essential link to the key partnerships in the Vale who deliver on the priority outcomes within the integrated plan.  The partnership structures and membership can be seen in Appendices 3-4.

Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Delivery Plan for Joint Working

9.         Following the successful submission to the WG to undertake a Joint LSB Project, BDO were jointly commissioned to undertake the work. The following scope was agreed by both Partnerships:

·               Work with elected members and officers to identify areas of partnership working where regional collaboration will either add value to outcomes, or create efficiencies in providing services.

·               Identify means for joint delivery of partnership priorities.

·               Identify performance measures for regional partnership collaboration.

10.      The project was delivered via a series of stakeholder interviews, individual Partnership workshops and two joint Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Partnership workshops.  The summary of findings included:

·               There are significant areas of commonality between both integrated strategies– What Matters in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy, providing a strong foundation for further collaboration.

·               Interviews and workshops have revealed almost no appetite for a shared regional strategy, but most Board members agreed that these documents, and the 17 strategic priorities within them, should be used as the basis for agreeing shared regional priorities.

·               Board members from all organisations felt that both Boards were particularly Council-centric in actions and responsibilities. There have been positive moves forward in this regard. For example, the sharing of formal roles such as Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) in Cardiff and the co-location and use of joint systems by SWP and council staff in the Vale of Glamorgan. However, both Chair positions and the majority of partnership administration are currently undertaken by the Councils.

·               Board members across both Partnerships had differing views over whether collaboration should be increased through joint projects or through governance structures in the first instance, but agreed that shared governance was not an end goal in itself.

·               All stakeholders interviewed believed that there would need to be a compelling rationale behind any partnership initiative in order to drive it forwards and be successful –financial pressures and organisational difficulties mean there has to be a payback (either financial or improvement in outcomes) to justify any projects.

11.      Further details of the methodology and findings of the project can be found in Appendix 5 – Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan LSBs - Delivery Plan for Joint Working.

12.      At the Joint Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Workshop held on 10th December 2013, partners agreed to the establishment of a Joint Local Service Board, subject to the subsequent agreement of the statutory partners via their formal decision making processes.  It was agreed that:

·               The Joint LSB will provide strategic oversight and direction to the collaboration between Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan;

·               It will set the vision for the collaboration agenda and agree the high level priorities, and;

·               It will act as the enabler of collaboration within individual organisations and oversee progress towards regional priority outcomes.

13.      The new Joint LSB membership will consist of the statutory partners required to be involved in community planning through Local Service Boards and will include:

·               Leaders/Political representatives and Chief Executives from Cardiff Council and Vale of Glamorgan Council;

·               Chair and Chief Executive of Cardiff & Vale UHB Board;

·               Senior Police & Crime Commissioner and South Wales Police representatives;

·               Senior Wales Probation Trust representative;

·               Senior South Wales Fire & Rescue Service representative;

·               Chief Officers of Cardiff Third Sector Council and Vale Centre for Voluntary Services

·               Senior Welsh Government representative

14.      The intention is that the Joint LSB will initially replace the current Cardiff Leadership Group, Cardiff Partnership Board and Vale of Glamorgan LSB.  Further rationalisation of existing partnership structures and meetings may then be considered at a later date by the Joint LSB.

15.      As part of the workshop discussions, there were a number of joint priorities identified whereby there could be opportunity for the establishment of joint delivery arrangements.  These areas included health and wellbeing; integrated health and social care, community safety, the environment and economic regeneration (see Appendix 5).  Whilst there is agreement from both existing Partnerships that there should be shared outcomes developed and greater joint working developed, these areas for collaboration should be agreed once the formal decision making processes have been concluded and the Joint LSB is in place. 

16.      In addition, in the short-term at least, the Partnerships wish to retain some local delivery structures – the Neighbourhood Programme Board in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Implementation Group – to ensure that there remains a focus on local need and priorities. 

Next Steps

17.      Following agreement by all statutory partners of the Delivery Plan for Joint Working and the establishment of a Joint LSB, a work programme will be agreed between partners and shared with the Cabinets and Boards of the respective partner organisations to ensure that the priorities are embedded within business plans, performance management arrangements and Directorate budgets as appropriate.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

18.      There are no direct financial implications arising from this report. However it is anticipated that the new Joint LSB will provide a platform for greater collaborative working and realisation of efficiencies between partners.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

19.      There are no direct sustainability or climate change implications as a result of this report. However, the priorities identified and to be worked on by the Joint LSB would consider sustainability and climate change opportunities and implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.      The recommendations propose that the Authority establish a Joint Local Service Board with Cardiff Council. Local Service Boards (LSB) are not separate legal entities, they are voluntary not statutory arrangements. It should be noted that LSBs do not replace the statutory responsibilities of local authorities or the established accountabilities of public bodies.

21.      Consideration should be given to the governance arrangements for the proposed Joint Local Service Board. In particular,  whether any further  governance arrangements should be put in place so that all members are clear as to the role of the Local Service Board, its members and  the extent of its decision-making powers.

22.      The proposed Joint Local Service Board should take legal advice on any joint delivery arrangements or other forms of collaboration as and when considering these opportunities.

23.      The body of the report refers to the Future Generations Bill. It is understood this Bill  will be introduced in summer 2014 and as the Bill progresses consideration will need to be given as to how the Bill affects, if at all,  the proposed Joint Service Board. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

24.      There are no specific crime and disorder implications associated with this report. However, the priorities identified and to be worked on by the Joint LSB would consider sustainability and climate change opportunities and implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

25.      There are no equal opportunities implications as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

26.      This report is in line with Objective CL4 of the Corporate Plan 2013-17, which states that the Council will '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

27.      This is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.      Comprehensive consultation with the current members of both Cardiff and Vale LSBs was conducted as part of the work carried out by BDO Ltd into the feasibility of a joint LSB.  Full details are contained in their report (Appendix 5).

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.      Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

·               'Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery' Welsh Government Guidance on Integrating Partnerships and Plans, Version 2, December 2012

·               Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy

Contact Officer

Huw Isaac

Head of Performance & Development

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director

 

 

 



[1] Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery – Welsh Government Guidance on Integrating Partnerships and Plans, Version 2, December 2012

 

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