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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 27 July, 2015

Joint Report of the Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance & Community Safety

Building Cleaning & Security Review

Purpose of the Report

1.    To provide Cabinet with an update on the pre-decision Scrutiny consideration of the proposed changes to the cleaning and security services provided at corporate office buildings and seek approval to effect these changes.

Recommendations

1.    That Cabinet approve the proposed changes to cleaning and security services provided at the corporate buildings as outlined in the report of 1st June 2015 (minute C2788) and as subsequently updated in this report following the recent consideration by Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment).

 

2.    That Cabinet delegates authority to the Director of Visible Services & Housing, in consultation with the Leader, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance & Community Safety and the Managing Director to:

  • conclude the necessary consultation and engagement activity required to effect the changes;
  • respond as appropriate to such engagement and consultation, and
  • report back to Cabinet should there be any material changes to the proposals resulting from the consultation process, and
  • progress the implementation of proposals following the conclusion of all necessary consultation and engagement activity.

3.    That a further report be provided to Cabinet and referred to Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment) following the implementation of the proposals describing the outcome and the future strategy of the Building Cleaning and Security service as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services Programme.

 

4.    That Cabinet approve that appropriate redundancy and any associated pension costs are progressed in accordance with the provisions of the Council's Early Retirement/Redundancy scheme and be funded from the Early Retirement and Redundancy fund.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.  To enable Cabinet to consider the comments of the Scrutiny Committees in reaching a final decision on the proposed changes to cleaning and security services in order to realise financial savings contained in the Council's Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16.

 

2. To ensure that the process for implementing the required changes is undertaken efficiently and effectively in accordance with the Council’s policies and procedures.

 

3. To provide Cabinet and the relevant Scrutiny Committees with an update on the implementation of the proposals, and; to establish the future viability of the Council’s internal Building Cleaning and Security service and how these services could be provided as part of the Reshaping Services programme.

 

4. To finance one-off expenditure.

Background

2.    Cabinet received and approved a report outlining proposals to change the level of office cleaning and security provision at Council office buildings on 1st June 2015 (minute C2788) as the basis for referral to Corporate Resources and Economy & Environment Scrutiny Committees for their consideration prior to reaching a final determination on the proposals.

 

3.    The above report described the way in which the service is currently operated and commissioned at corporate office buildings, the service's line management arrangements and the recent trading position. The report set out proposed future levels of service provision at the Council's corporate office buildings in order to deliver financial savings. The report identified the number of affected staff within the existing level of service provided, indicated the potential implications the proposals may have for building users and the way in which the required staffing and operational changes would be implemented and managed.

 

4.    At the Cabinet meeting of 13th July 2015, Cabinet noted the comments received from the relevant Scrutiny Committees (minutes C2839 and C2840) and these comments will be acted upon should the proposed changes to service provision now be formally approved by Cabinet. This report therefore seeks approval to implement the proposals as outlined in the Cabinet report of 1st June 2015 and subsequently updated in this report.  

Relevant Issues and Options

5.    In response to the comments received from the Scrutiny Committees, it is proposed that the changes to cleaning and security services should now progress as previously agreed by Cabinet with the exception of: staffing arrangements relating to security at the Civic Offices car park (where it is proposed an element of service provision should be retained) and; changes to the security hours operated at Provincial House (to bring "out of hours" security coverage in line with revised service operating hours).

 

6.    It is proposed that a car park attendant role would be retained for the Civic Offices at a reduced number of hours than operated currently. This role would operate between the revised hours of 7.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Thursday (a reduction from the current staffed hours of 7am to 5pm) and 7.30am to 3pm on Friday (a reduction from the current staffed hours of 7am to 5pm). It is considered that this would ensure the efficient operation and security of the car park during the peak times of the working week for visitors, deliveries and staff. The role will also provide resilience to the Premises Assistant (porterage/security) resources deployed at the Council's headquarters. Outside of the revised working hours, the car park would be unsecured (as is currently the case).

 

7.    As requested by Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment), it is proposed that a specific review of the car parking arrangements at the Civic Offices and Barry Leisure Centre will be undertaken in the future and reported to Cabinet and referred to Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment and Corporate Resources).

 

8.    Since the report of 1st June, it has become apparent that the services operated by the Open Learning Centre at Provincial House no longer require this building to be staffed until 9.10pm on Wednesday evenings. As such, it is proposed that the security arrangements for Wednesday in this building be brought in line with those on other days where courses do not operate out of hours and as such this building would close at 7.10pm Tuesday - Friday.

 

9.    A report will be presented to Cabinet and referred to Scrutiny Committees following the implementation of the proposed changes to security and cleaning services to describe the results of the staff consultation exercise, any subsequent recruitment/assimilation activities and to review the impacts (if any) of the changes to service provision.

 

10.    As previously reported to Cabinet, there are a number of external groups who use the Council’s buildings, particularly the Civic Offices, at certain times out of hours, which may no longer be possible given the reduced opening hours of the building. It is proposed that each of the affected groups will be written to in order to provide sufficient notice to make alternative arrangements or with a view to accommodating them within the revised opening hours if possible.

 

11.    If approved, these proposals would result in changes to the Cleaning and Security Service which has undergone significant change in recent years. A fundamental review of the way in which this service operates, including the way in which costs are managed, will be required. As part of the Reshaping Services programme, Cabinet have previously approved a tranche two project to review the Cleaning and Security Service. For 2017/18, the Council’s approved Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 outline an indicative saving of £200,000 associated with this tranche two Reshaping Services project. The future strategy for the service will therefore need to take account of this savings target. It is proposed that this review considers the service as a whole and analyses the potential impact on current service users and staff should the Council decide that provision be ceased or delivered in an alternative way, including the potential to deliver the service in conjunction with other complementary services. The impact on overheads and the reduction/re-allocation of these within the Council following savings being realised will also need to be reviewed as part of this work.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

Human Resources and Employment Implications

12.    The report to Cabinet of 1st June 2015 outlined in detail the important human resource and employment relations implications associated with the implementation of the changes in service provision. The implementation of the proposed changes will continue to require a clear communication and engagement strategy with staff and the recognised trade unions from across the Council. Since May 2015, the Director of Visible Services & Housing has led a series of engagement meetings with the trade unions and staff to keep them updated.

 

13.    The timeline below provides Cabinet with an outline of the activities that would be followed in the coming months to ensure the continued engagement of staff and trade unions and the meeting of all statutory and local consultation requirements.

 

Key Activities Description
Timescale
Cabinet Report Cabinet Determination following pre-decision Scrutiny. July 2015
Staff and Trade Union Consultation Meet formally with staff and Trade Unions.

 

30 day consultation (minimum) begins to include potential selection proposals.

 

Canvass for voluntary redundancies (as appropriate).

 

End of consultation.

July 2015

 

 

July 2015

 

 

 

July 2015

 

 

August 2015
Consultation Evaluation Evaluation of consultation feedback and proposals refined as appropriate. August 2015
Staff Correspondence Letters issued to all staff at risk. September 2015
Selection Process

Selection process takes place.

 

Outcome of selection process known.

September 2015

 

End September 2015
Avoiding Redundancy/Redeployment Avoiding Redundancy/ Redeployment procedures implemented as required. October 2015
Notice Periods Staff given notice (if required). October 2015
Implementation of changes Changes to working practice implemented. November/December 2015

14.    The above timeframe provides an indicative project plan, which may be subject to change as determined by the response to the consultation and the outcomes of each key activity as set out above. As per the recommendation in this report, any material changes to the proposals emerging from the consultation exercise would be reported back to Cabinet.

 

15.    As part of the consultation arrangements, the service will progress these proposals in accordance with the Council's agreed policies and procedures, in particular the Change Management and the Avoiding Redundancy policy and procedures. Where possible, opportunities to mitigate the displacement of staff will be fully explored through matching existing staff to appropriate posts or redeploying to suitable existing vacant positions within the Service and the wider Council. The report to Cabinet in June 2015 provides an indication of the extent of current vacancies within the service area. The Council will also continue to work with partner organisations to determine whether the potential exists to support staff in acquiring employment in other organisations if required.

 

16.    The Council is committed to offering voluntary redundancy opportunities to staff in circumstances where change of this scale is being proposed. This will be progressed using an agreed set of criteria and discussed with Trade Unions and staff throughout the process.

Financial Implications

17.    Implementation of the proposals for both the security and cleaning functions as described in this report is estimated to realise a total budget saving of £309k. Based on the project plan, these savings would be realised from 1st December 2015, which will equate to an estimated budget saving of £120k in the 2015/16 financial year and the remaining £189k in 2016/17. This will contribute to the £500,000 saving target across the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years as set out in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 for ‘a review of council wide property costs, including running costs’, as formally approved by Council on 4 March 2015 (minute 941). The remainder will be realised from further property related savings initiatives.

 

18.    As reported to Cabinet previously, due to the nature and scale of the changes proposed, provision for potential redundancy payments is required and is estimated at between £40,000 and £62,000 for the Cleaning Service and between £84,000 and £227,000 for the Security Service. These figures also contain provision required to meet the potential pension strain (actuarial) costs. It is not possible to provide a precise estimate of these costs as they will be dependent upon the individual members of staff involved. As such, the estimated range for these costs is based on the varying ages and lengths of service of staff within the service area. It is proposed that these costs be met from the Council’s Early Retirement and Redundancy Fund.

 

19.    The Building Cleaning & Security trading account is likely to be adversely affected from the reduction in income levels that will occur from the proposals above. Employee expenditure makes up the majority of the cost of the service. However, there are other items of expenditure such as transport and other overheads which also need to be reviewed. A reduction in staff numbers may not necessarily lead to an equal reduction in transport costs or overheads. Every effort will continue to be made to reduce management overheads, for example by not filling vacant posts. However, central overheads such as Finance, HR, ICT, Legal and Office Accommodation are unlikely to reduce significantly. The overheads for the security service have been allocated over the remaining buildings and this has been factored into the calculated savings. The cleaning service however has a wider client base and overheads may have to be spread over the remaining clients which may increase the cost of services to these users. Due to the recent pay awards, charges to users for building cleaning have already increased by 10% in 2015/16 and therefore this will have to be monitored very closely. This will be progressed as part of the tranche two Reshaping Services project.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

20.    There are no direct sustainability and climate change implications associated with this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

21.    Given the nature of the proposals there are a number of employment law implications that arise and advice in regards to these issues has been sought and will continue to be taken into account as appropriate.  

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.    The proposed changes to the cleaning service are unlikely to have associated crime and disorder implications. However, there are likely to be a number of implications associated with the removal of 24 hour security at a number of corporate buildings.

 

23.    The risk of there being an increased number of security incidents following implementation of the proposals is mitigated by there being daytime presence (staff and/or security) at all corporate buildings and intruder alarms being at the standard required by the Council’s insurance providers. Where required, work has recently been completed to ensure this is the case.

 

24.    The number of recorded anti-social behaviour incidents has historically been highest at the Town Hall site, specifically at the Library. This has been considered and is reflected in the proposed future service provision at this location. A breakdown of number and nature of incidents recorded at each site can be found in Appendix F of the report to Cabinet 1st June 2015.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

25.    An Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) has been developed and can be found in Appendix B of the report to Cabinet 1st June 2015. The EIA will be regularly reviewed and revised throughout the consultation and implementation phases of the project and reported back to Cabinet as required and before a final determination is made of these proposals.

Corporate/Service Objectives

26.    The proposals contained in this report contribute to the savings approved as part of the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 and will be progressed via a project contained in the Reshaping Services programme.

Policy Framework and Budget

27.    This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.    As described above, these proposals have been subject to pre-decision scrutiny by Scrutiny Committees (Economy & Environment and Corporate Resources).

 

29.    These proposals have been recently discussed with the recognised Trade Unions, Service Users and with employees within the Service.

 

30.    A full programme of communication, engagement and consultation will be carried out as described in the report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

31.    Corporate Resources (lead Committee due to the contribution made to the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16, the Council’s corporate change programme, Reshaping Services and the Facilities Management service being a part of the Resource Directorate).

 

32.    Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee (due to the potential implications and impact on the Council’s Building Cleaning and Security Service).

Contact Officer

Tom Bowring- Business Improvement Manager

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Director of Visible Services & Housing

Head of Finance

Head of Human Resources

Operational Manager, Human Resources

Facilities Manager

Operational Manager - Building Services

Building Cleaning & Security Manager

Accountant (Visible Services)

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director Visible Services & Housing