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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 26 January, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services

Transport Savings Programme Update

Purpose of the Report

1. To provide an update to Cabinet regarding the commencement of the Transport Savings Programme, following consideration of the Transport Savings Programme update report by Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

 

2. To request Cabinet approval for the tendering of an external support partner to assist in delivering the fleet and vehicle maintenance and procurement elements of the Transport Savings Programme.

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet approves the Transport Savings Review Report and the formation of the Transport Savings Programme.

 

2. That Cabinet is provided with quarterly update reports from the Transport Savings Steering Group that outline initiatives introduced, progress of initiatives and savings achieved against savings anticipated.

 

3. That Cabinet approves the request to procure an external support partner to assist in delivering the fleet and vehicle maintenance and procurement elements of the Transport Savings Programme.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To provide the Council with a robust mechanism for reporting the work undertaken on the Transport Savings Programme.

 

2. To introduce appropriate monitoring arrangements to ensure that transport savings proposals are actioned, monitored and achieved and to also address a recommendation of the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

 

3. To provide the necessary authority to procure a suitably specialised external partner to assist the savings programme.

Background

3. A requirement to review significant areas of current spend, including arrangements related to vehicle transport was highlighted via the Council’s 2012 / 2013 medium term financial plan. The diagnostic review project was sponsored by the Director of Visible Services and Housing and project managed by the Senior Business Improvement Partner. As a result of a competitive tendering process to obtain the services of an experienced transport change partner, Edge Public Solutions were selected to perform the diagnostic review, supported by a member of the Council’s Business Improvement team.

 

4. The diagnostic review document provides a detailed assessment of the current transport arrangements and scope for improvement across the service areas detailed within the scope, culminating in a series of recommendations for improvement. Prior to the transport review being undertaken £690,000 of savings had already been highlighted by service managers, spread across financial years 2014 / 2015 and 2015 / 2016. The further recommendations provided by Edge identifies an estimated £900,000 of additional savings, considered by the review to be achievable by 2016 / 2017.  The review document also provides both an assessment of the existing transport related savings plans identified by the Authority and a high level roadmap for savings and process improvements.

 

5. A Transport Savings Programme Update was reported to Cabinet on the 8th September 2014. Cabinet approved the contents of the report and agreed the recommendation that the diagnostic report form the basis of a council-wide Transport Savings programme, pending the comments of Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Relevant Issues and Options

6. Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources), upon receiving a presentation of the diagnostic review on October 15th, endorsed the recommendations of Cabinet relating to the Transport Savings Programme Update, thereby approving the setup of a Transport Savings programme to enable the tracking and reporting of savings targets. In addition, the Transport Savings Update Report was provided to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for Information purposes.

 

7. Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) also recommended that Cabinet be requested to consider quarterly programme monitoring reports that would enable the introduction, progression and contribution of initiatives to savings targets to be reported.

 

8. As part of the original governance arrangements for the diagnostic review, a governance structure was put in place to provide governance to both the initial diagnostic review phase and to the programme required to implement any agreed recommendations. In the first instance the governance consisted of the setting up, and regular meetings, of a Transport Savings Steering Group Board, consisting of a mix of Directors, Heads of Service and Operational Managers from relevant Service Areas (namely Visible Services and Housing, Education, Social Services, Development Services and Resources). It is expected that the amalgamated progress reports produced via the Transport Savings Steering Group will form the basis of the quarterly reports to Cabinet.

 

9. Upon review by the Transport Savings Steering group, it was assumed that the majority of the projects contained within the proposed programme (Vehicle Telemetry, Driver / Staff Travel, Education, Social Services and Community Transport Arrangement, Integrated/Passenger Transport Unit) would be undertaken using existing resources with the Authority, utilising the expertise of internal working groups, led by nominated project managers and project sponsors. The Steering Group have nominated existing managers to form the required project teams. In turn, the individual projects team are supported by the Transport Savings Programme team, consisting of the Senior Business Improvement Partner, the Visible Services Accountant and the Fleet Manager.  The project sponsored by the Director of Visible Services and Housing who chairs the Programme Team Meetings.

 

10. As a result of the nomination of project sponsors, project managers and project team members, individual programme work streams have now been setup to create and review project briefs, project plans and indicative resource profiles in order for the recommendations called for by the review to be appropriately resourced and actioned.

 

11. The programme team (consisting of a Business Improvement Partner, Visible Services Accountant and the Fleet Manager), guided by the project sponsor (the Director of Visible Services) will be responsible for monitoring and reporting the actions and savings achieved by the individual projects against a baseline assessment.

 

12. As part of the resource review by the Transport Savings Steering Group, several of the projects identified (Garage and Fleet Improvement, Education/Social Services and Community Transport) would likely require additional expert resource if the recommendations contained within the report are to be implemented effectively and the required savings to be realised in a timely manner. 

 

13. A detailed implementation plan will be issued to Cabinet at one of the future Cabinet meetings, upon completion of the individual project plans by Project Managers.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14. As per the previous report to Cabinet, the steering group is of the view that gaps in specialist expertise relating to garage and fleet improvement could potentially hamper attempts to improve the current service to its full potential. Similarly, it has also been identified that the authority could benefit from specialist transport procurement expertise relating to both the purchase, maintenance and disposal of vehicles over their useful life and secondly, the development of cost effective transport contract arrangements via electronic tendering frameworks. It is therefore recommended that expert advice is procured on a short term basis in order to ensure the recommendations relating to garage / fleet improvement and transport procurement / contractual arrangements can be fully implemented.

 

15. It is proposed that the services of an external support partner be procured for a 12 month period, providing management/procurement consultancy support one day per week. It is estimated that procuring an external partner on such a part time basis would cost in the region of £50,000.  Any procurement of services would be made via the Council's corporate procurement policy. External support arrangements would be funded via the Visible Services Reserves.

 

16. The current savings targets for the Authority from 2015/16 to 2017/18 include transport related savings totalling £1.325m.

 

17. A revised project plan including details of all themes, recommendations and project managers is attached at Appendix A.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

18. There are no direct sustainability and climate change implications associated with this report. However, any attempts to improve the efficiency of both the fleet services and current transport procurements arrangements will have a positive impact on the Council’s future carbon emissions.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

19. None directly attributable to the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

20. There are no specific crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

21. The implementation programme will require the project sponsor to assess any possible impacts on equality prior to recommendations being progressed.

Corporate/Service Objectives

22. Requirement to make financial savings links directly to the current Medium Term Financial Plan (2013 / 2014 to 2016 / 2017).

Policy Framework and Budget

23. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

24. Individual ward members have not been consulted as the report affects all wards.  As part of the review process the trade union secretaries were invited to a meeting where the scope of the project was outlined.  The trade unions have recently been advised of the broad outcome of the review and will be consulted in more detail when the final review document is agreed by Cabinet.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

25. Corporate Resources

Background Papers

September 8th 2014 Transport Savings Review Cabinet Report

High Level Project Plan

Contact Officer

James Rees, Senior Business Improvement Partner

Officers Consulted

Accountant - Building and Visible Services

Legal - Committee Reports

Director of Development Services

Head of Finance

Head of Business Management and Performance

Head of Performance and Development

Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing