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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 13 April 2015

Report of the Leader

Service Planning 2015/2019

 

Purpose of the Report

1.          To present Service Plans 2015-19 for Cabinet approval. All the 2015/19 Services Plans were made available to view on the Council's website and copies were placed in the Members room.

Recommendations

1.          That Cabinet agree the Service Plans for 2015-19.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.          To confirm the Service Plans as the primary document against which performance for the relevant area will be measured and to meet self-assessment requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

Background

2.          Service Plans are the primary planning document of the Council and a key building block in its Performance Management Framework.  We annually review planning arrangements to ensure that the Council's plans continue to meet its statutory requirements and to continuously improve its approach to performance planning and monitoring. 

3.          A revised Service Plan template was rolled out in 2014 reflecting the new senior management restructure with fewer Directorate level plans being produced (6). Below this level, the Council's Performance Management Framework requires officers to develop Team Plans and undertake personal /team development reviews (PDRs/TDRs), better aligning the contribution of teams and individuals to corporate priorities

4.          The Service Plan structure addresses a number of key questions aimed at enabling services to produce more outcome focussed plans in line with statutory requirements. This is an area for improvement for most Welsh councils.

5.          The Council agreed with the Wales Audit Office to use the Service Plans as supporting evidence in meeting its obligations for self-assessment under the Local Government Measure. The plans inform our annual Improvement Assessment which provides a judgement as to whether the Council has discharged its duties and met the requirements of the Measure.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.          Service Plans for 2015/19 identify how each Directorate will contribute towards achievement of Corporate Plan, Improvement Plan and Outcome Agreement outcomes and incorporate key measures and milestones to demonstrate progress.

7.          The Council is currently consulting widely on proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 and these will be reflected within relevant Service Plans once approved by Council in May 2015.

8.          Directors have ensured that all Service Plans have been signed off during February and March by the relevant Cabinet Member.

9.          All Service Plans have been discussed at the relevant Scrutiny Committees and are now being presented to Cabinet for final approval. The outcome of Scrutiny Committee discussions were as follows:

·             The Resources Directorate Service Plan was noted by the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee on 17th March 2015 with no specific recommendations put forward to Cabinet.

·             The Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee (17th March 2015) made two formal recommendations which were to endorse the Social Services Plan and to offer its thanks to the staff for a very thorough Service Plan. However, they did raise an issue regarding the wording of Action SS/AO61 shown on Page 51 of the Service Plan. This action has since been amended by the Head of Adult Services.

·             The Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee (16th March 2015) made a formal recommendation to endorse the Learning & Skills Service Plan and considered it a good comprehensive document.

·             A formal recommendation was made by the Economy & Environment Scrutiny Committee on 10th March 2015 to endorse both the Visible Services and Development Services Service Plans.

·             The Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee (11th March 2015) formally endorsed the Service Plans for Housing and Building Services and Development Services.  They also recommended that Cabinet simplify the layout of future Service Plans.

10.       In response to the recommendation from the Housing & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee, the structure of Service Plans are reviewed annually as outlined in paragraphs 2 to 5 of this report in order to ensure the Council continues to meet its obligations for improvement planning under the Local Government (Wales) Measure. Our agreement with the Wales Audit Office to use the Service Plans as supporting evidence in meeting our obligations for self-assessment under the Measure requires that they include (as a minimum) a comprehensive assessment of how services have performed, what has been achieved during the year linked to the customer/citizen, our areas for improvement and an improvement action plan.  Outlining how services will address the implications of service improvement activities on sustainability, equalities, collaboration and consultation also remain key requirements of the Measure. The Service Plans inform our annual Improvement Assessment which provides a judgement as to whether the Council has met the requirements of the Measure.

11.       All the 2015/19 Services Plans were made available to view on the Council's website and copies were placed in the Members room. Key areas of note within each Service Plan are:

·             Our Service Plan 2015/19: This sets the context for the Directorate's Service Plan and identifies its key challenges over the coming years.

·             Our Service Self-Assessment: This highlights how the Directorate is performing and what has been achieved during the previous year and informs areas for improvement in the coming year. Much emphasis continues to be placed on strengthening our use of benchmarking/comparative data as well as highlighting good practice where relevant. In addition, in terms of what has been achieved, a more consistent approach continues to be encouraged in identifying the outcome/impact for the customer/citizen. These issues have previously been highlighted as an area of development by the Wales Audit Office in its Annual Improvement Report of the Council (2013/14).

·             Our Service Outcomes and Objectives: This section affirms each Directorate's service outcomes and objectives (including its contribution to corporate priorities), having considered its key service challenges and the self-assessment.

·             Appendix 1 contains the Directorate's Service Improvement Action Plan for 2015/16 in response to the self-assessment.

·             Appendix 2 which contains the Directorate's performance measures is currently incomplete as end of year data for 2014/15 is not yet available at the time of reporting to Cabinet.  Following a review by officers, performance measures and service improvement targets for 2015/16 onwards will be presented to all Scrutiny Committees for internal challenge during May 2015 and thereafter to Cabinet for approval.

·             Appendix 3 details each Directorate's workforce requirements and addresses structural requirements, succession planning and employee development issues.

·             Appendix 4 provides a breakdown of the savings required for each Directorate over the next three years.

12.       Directorates will now develop Team Plans to underpin their respective Service Plans in line with the Council's Performance Management Framework.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.       Budget levels have been taken into consideration when drafting the Service Plans.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.       Sustainability and climate change implications have been taken into consideration when drafting the Service Plans.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.       The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.       Crime and disorder implications have been taken into consideration within relevant Service Plans.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.       Equalities issues have been taken into consideration when drafting the Service Plans.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.       The Corporate Plan outlines community leadership as a priority for the Council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievement of its priority outcomes contributes towards effective community leadership. Service Plans are a key building block in the Council's Performance Management Framework and identify how each service will contribute towards achieving key aims and objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.       This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.       Plans have been written collaboratively with Directorates involving relevant Members. Directors are responsible for ensuring that their Service Plan is approved the relevant Cabinet Member(s).

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.       All

Background Papers

Appendix A: 2015/19 Service Plans for Development Services, Resources, Social Services, Learning & Skills, Housing & Building Services and Visible Services.

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Corporate Performance Manager

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Performance and Development

All Directors

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director

 

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