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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 14 December, 2015

Report of the Leader

Reshaping Services Programme Update

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide Cabinet with an update on the progress of the Reshaping Services Programme.

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet note the content of this report.
  2. That a copy of this report be sent to all elected Members, Clerks of Town and Community Councils, members of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee, Community Liaison Committee and the Local Service Board for their information and in order to provide an update on the progress being made on the Reshaping Services Programme.
  3. That Cabinet approves the proposal to rename the Town & Community Council Project to "Town & Community Council and Voluntary Sector" Project.
  4. That Cabinet approves the inclusion of a new project to develop digital working opportunities.
  5. That the detailed service reviews described in this report are reported back as required to Cabinet for approval prior to implementation.
  6. That quarterly progress reports are brought to Cabinet from 2016 to provide updates on the progress of the Reshaping Services programme.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To provide Cabinet with an update on the progress of the Reshaping Services programme.
  2. To provide these Committees, groups and the Local Service Board with an update on the progress being made on the Reshaping Services programme.
  3. To formally reflect the value and contribution of the role that the third (not for profit) sector has in the programme and in particular this project.
  4. To ensure that current activity relating to digital opportunities across the Council is coordinated and consistently managed to maximise the potential benefits in this area.
  5. To ensure Cabinet approve any proposed changes resulting from Reshaping Services projects as appropriate.
  6. To ensure Cabinet are kept informed of the progress being made on the programme.

Background

  1. Cabinet approved the Reshaping Services strategy on the 3rd November 2014 and that report and strategy is referenced in the background papers to this report. The Strategy was developed following a programme of consultation and engagement with key stakeholder groups, including briefing sessions for elected members and officers.
  2. The aim of the strategy is 'to reshape the Council to enable it to meet the future needs of citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan within the context of unprecedented financial challenges.' The objectives are:
  • To identify alternative ways of delivering services which provide better outcomes for citizens and/or more efficient means of delivery.
  • To meet the future financial challenges while mitigating the impact of cuts on service users.
  • To develop the Council and its partners to ensure they are able to meet future challenges.
  1. The Reshaping Services strategy provides a framework for the Council to work within for the next three to five years. The programme is the Council's proactive response to central government's austerity drive that has created a period of unprecedented financial pressure in the public sector. The Council's budget has been under pressure for a number of years with £35million in savings identified between 2010/11 and 2015/16. Further substantial savings will be necessary in future years. Failure to deliver the required level of savings will not be an option for the Council. According to many analysts the period of austerity is likely to continue for councils and the public sector.
  2. The Council's traditionally low funding base (20th out of 22 local authorities in terms of funding per head of the population) means the authority is well-versed in working together to find savings and has a long-established track record of achievement in this respect.
  3. The scale of the challenge that now faces the Authority though means that a "business as usual" approach, however well managed will not be enough. A strategy that consists solely of incremental cuts to budgets will simply lead to a steady decline in the quality and availability of public services, dissatisfaction among those who use the service and poor staff morale.
  4. The challenge is therefore to consider alternative delivery models for services across the Council. This is essential to mitigate the impact of cuts and assist in continuing to provide priority services.
  5. Cabinet approved the proposals for the management of the Reshaping Services change programme in January 2015 and that report is referenced in the background papers to this report. Since then work has commenced in line with the process described in that report. Where appropriate, reports have been presented to Cabinet (and other Committees) throughout the year on specific Reshaping Services activity. This report provides Members with an update on the progress of the programme as a whole.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. As approved by Cabinet in January, the Reshaping Services programme comprises three inter-related project workstreams as follows:
  • Service Specific Workstream Projects
  • Corporate Workstream Projects
  • Programme Activity

Service Specific Workstream Projects

  1. The Reshaping Services programme will undertake on-going reviews of Council services via a "challenge process". Each service area across the Council will be subject to challenge on a regular basis throughout the duration of the programme.

The challenge process is summarised below.

Stage One

  • Service Area Baseline Assessments completed for all service areas.
  • Challenge group sessions.
  • Scrutiny and engagement on identified opportunities.
  • Initial proposals to Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees.

Stage Two

  • In-depth assessment of opportunities in tranches of projects.
  • Approval and scrutiny of business cases.

Stage Three

  • Implementation, monitoring and review.
  1. As reported previously, stage one of the challenge process was completed in the autumn of 2014 and was overseen by the challenge group which comprises the Leader, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder of the service area. The challenge group is supported by the Managing Director, Head of Finance, Head of Human Resources, Head of Performance & Development, the relevant Service Director and Executive Director of the Vale Council for Voluntary Services.
  2. Following the first round of the challenge process, Cabinet approved proposals for those services which should proceed in the first two tranches of projects to stage two of the process (a more in-depth assessment of the service's potential to be reshaped). Tranche one is targeted at delivering savings in 2016/17 and tranche two in the 2017/18 financial year. The services making up these tranches were identified on the basis of:
  • their alignment with the evaluation criteria contained in the Reshaping Services strategy;
  • the opportunities for alternative ways of working highlighted in the baseline assessments and during challenge meetings;
  • a financial appraisal of the scale of potential savings; and
  • an assessment of the potential impact of changes to the service. (The impact assessment was based on the consideration of the risk of undertaking - or not undertaking - the project, the potential impact on customers/partners, legislative limitations and the extent to which the proposal meets Council priorities).
  1. Cabinet also approved the proposal that existing projects which aligned with the Reshaping Services strategy should be included in the first tranches of projects, for example the transportation review and social services budget programmes. In addition, where reshaping activity was identified in service areas but excluded on the basis of the relative scale of the potential financial savings, these have been included in other projects in order that the opportunities are not foregone; examples of which include a review of allotment and public conveniences services.
  2. The projects included in the first tranches of the service specific workstream are as follows:
 

Tranche One

Tranche Two

Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion

Catering

Library Services

Transportation

Building Maintenance

Highways

Planning

Regulatory Services

ICT (to be run over tranches 1 and 2)

Property projects (corporate office building rationalisation and cleaning & security)

Social Services Budget & Collaborative Working Programmes

Learning & Skills Strategy and Resources

Parks & Grounds (Maintenance and client services)

Housing Services (Landlord responsibilities)

Building Services - Cleaning & Security services

Refuse & Recycling and Street Cleansing

Corporate Services

  1. The following describes the progress that has been made by each of the tranche one projects to date. As projects develop business cases and other forms of proposals for change, these will be reported to Cabinet, Scrutiny Committees and Council for consideration and approval as appropriate.
  • Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and Inclusion
  1. The overriding vision for Special Educational Needs (SEN) services in the Vale of Glamorgan is to facilitate the delivery of a responsive, high quality and cost effective service that meets the needs of pupils and which supports them, their parents, schools and the Council to maximise achievement and wellbeing.
  2. To date the project team have systematically evaluated the way in which the various inter-related elements of the service currently operate. The team is considering ways in which these elements could be reshaped in future to deliver services which meet the needs of pupils, manage within a period of increasing demand and deliver financial savings. In identifying opportunities for reshaping, the project team are engaging with a specially established advisory group of head teachers to inform the development of specific proposals. A sub-group has also been established to contribute to discussions on how funding for SEN is managed.
  3. The service is experiencing demand pressures which are resulting in current pressures on the revenue budget. Due to an increased demand from within the Vale for placements at Ysgol y Deri, fewer places are available for other authorities to purchase. This has resulted in a significant reduction in income leading to a shortfall between budget and projection of £400k in 2015/16 which is estimated to rise to £700k in 2016/17.
  4. Business case development is on-going and is initially focusing on the development of proposals relating to outreach services and the use of out of county placements. A pilot of an arrangement to make additional educational psychology resource available to schools on a chargeable basis is set to commence in January 2016 and will inform future developments in this area.
  • Catering
  1. The Catering Service is managed within the Learning and Skills Directorate and provides school meals and an internal vending service for staff. Last year, on average, the service served 4,439 pupils on a daily basis and provided vending at a range of council office buildings.
  2. Led by the Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources, the catering project team have taken part in a number of visits and training opportunities to inform the development of a high level options appraisal which has sought to identify the most appropriate model for future delivery of this service. This has included visiting Sandwell Council's "Mutual" Catering model and Plymouth's Catering co-operative, "CATERed".
  3. Positive initial discussions have also taken place with neighbouring authorities concerning the potential to work collaboratively across the region in this service area. The project team are also considering the potential to include other council services (such as cleaning) within any proposals.
  4. The project will now proceed to develop its full business case for Cabinet's consideration in 2016 and this will include details relating to the way in which the service could operate in the future and the nature of the legal/commercial model that could be adopted to support it.
  • Library Services
  1. The Library service has completed its restructure and has reduced opening hours. It has implemented several income generation policies on the costs of room hire and printing charges and these have not received any negative reaction from users. There has been no adverse feedback from the public to the reduction of opening hours and staff have adapted their rotas and breaks accordingly after consultation with them and trades unions. The service has recently completed its annual  return for the Welsh Public Library Standards and has achieved 17 of 18 of the core entitlements in full and one partially. It has also met all seven of the quality indicators and is the only authority in Wales to do so.
  2. Regarding  the recent Judicial Review judgment the Council has now received the written decision by The Honourable Mrs Justice Laing DBE to dismiss the application for Judicial Review brought on behalf of a Group campaigning against the establishment of a community library in Rhoose. Whilst the decision is welcomed it must be noted that the Group has been granted leave to appeal on a particular aspect of the decision. The Council is currently preparing a report on the future direction of the library strategy and Cabinet will make a decision, in particular whether to, or not proceed with the implementation of the Community Supported Library recommendation.
  • Transportation
  1. The establishment of the Council's Transport Savings Programme was approved by Cabinet in January 2015, following consideration of the Transport Savings update report by Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee in November 2014. The full report outlining the Transport Savings Programme is referenced in the background papers to this report. The programme is sponsored by the Director of Environment and Housing and is programme managed by the Senior Business Improvement Partner within the Resources directorate.
  2. The programme, governed via a Transport Review Board chaired by the Head of Visible Services and Transport, requires a fundamental review of the Council's transport and fleet arrangements and is being delivered via a transformational change programme targeted to produce significant cost savings, in excess of £1m in addition to the £690k transport savings already identified by departments. The programme consists of 5 crosscutting streams (Garage and Fleet Management, Vehicle Utilisation, Staff or "Grey fleet" Travel, Passenger Transport and the creation of an Integrated Transport (ITU), all project managed by staff that report to the Head of Visible Services and Transport on a monthly basis.
  3. A Garage and Fleet Management project stream has been developed in order to both assess the actual fleet needs and feed the identified requirements into the Council's existing Vehicle Replacement Programme. The project also required the implementation of improved management and technological controls within the Council's Garage depot, including the implementation of workshop productivity measures driven by the use of touchscreen technology in the workshop bays.
  4. The Vehicle Utilisation project supports the Garage scheme by providing a data suite regarding the council's current vehicle usage profile, enabling managers to determine the actual utilisation of vehicles via the introduction of a telemetry devices attached to all council fleet. Regular review meetings are held with managers across all areas that require the use of vehicles in order to ascertain current capacity and future requirements, with a view to achieve a targeted 20% reduction of fleet.
  5. A key recommendation of the Council's Transport Savings Programme required the setup of a corporate pool car scheme in order to reduce the cost of "grey-fleet" mileage. In April 2015, the Council introduced a 40 car pilot scheme across four key corporate sites.   As reported to Cabinet in September 2015, the Council pool car scheme is currently projected to save approximately £80,000-£100,000 per annum. During the pilot scheme an average monthly saving of £11,854 was recorded, and, whilst the reduction in the mileage rate paid can be attributed to £7,453 of this average monthly saving, an average monthly saving of £4,401 can be directly attributable to the use of pool cars across the authority.
  6. Savings have been limited by the current spot hire arrangement for the pool car fleet. The purchase of cars via a government reverse eAuction in October 2015, in order to support the scheme in the long term, will provide an estimated additional £6,000 per month to be saved.  This represents a projection that exceeds the £100,000 annual savings target required from the scheme. A full analysis of the pool car scheme can be found in the September 2015 Cabinet report referenced in the background papers to this report.
  7. The various passenger transport functions existing across different Council departments has led to the creation of a Passenger Transport Unit that now handles all management and administration of mainstream, ALN and community transport. Using Welsh Government support to implement the E-Bravo e-tender software in August 2015 in order to retender several school transport routes enabled the department to utilise a secure, EU compliant tendering tool. Usage of this tool will also provide the ability to run e-Auctions to further elicit savings during the retendering of transport contracts.
  • Building Maintenance
  1. The Building Maintenance Service is managed within the Housing Service and undertakes and commissions building maintenance work on the Council's housing stock and other public buildings.
  2. As the majority of the funding for this service comes from the ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account (HRA), there is limited potential to deliver savings for the Council's general fund. However, in order to evaluate the value-for-money offered by the service (to both HRA and general fund), a bench-marking exercise is planned to ascertain the services achievement of 'Value for Money' within the industry and establish if there are any potential savings prior to the investment of time and resource. Workshops have also been held with front-line staff in order to harness ideas for process improvements that can lead to customer service benefits and efficiencies.
  3. This service also employs the security and cleaning staff who provide these services to corporate office buildings. As such, the service has played an integral role in the property projects described below.
  • Highways & Engineering
  1. The highways and engineering service is managed within the Visible Services & Transport Service area and is responsible for providing services relating to the highways and related infrastructure across the Vale of Glamorgan.
  2. Work has commenced to identify a range of ways in which the service could operate in the future. To inform this work, the project team have undertaken a "soft market testing exercise" to find out from external organisations whether there was interest in working with the Council to deliver services and how this could operate in practice. Follow-up meetings and site visits have been undertaken to inform the project's development. The Head of Service has also been in on-going discussions with neighbouring councils to identify the potential for further collaboration, for example, building on the work of Civil Parking Enforcement with Bridgend Council.
  3. The outcome of the work so far has been to confirm that a range of possible options exists for the delivery of the Council's Highways & Engineering service. It has also been concluded that there may be potential in exploring this service along with a range of other services. Broadening the scope in this way has the following potential advantages:
  • Ease of management: there are savings targets associated with parks & grounds and cleansing in 2017/18 and running similar projects to the highways one will involve significant management time in this service area.
  • Services are complementary and often operate together and as such, considering one in isolation may create operational difficulties if any changes are made in the way they are delivered if these are not considered.
  • Should any model involve working with a partner, the "attractiveness" of the proposition may be enhanced with a wider scope of services.
  1. The project remains cognisant however of the requirement and timing of savings targets associated with individual services and as such these will have to be borne in mind in the development of any proposals. The scope for the project has therefore been broadened to initially include: Highways & Engineering, Cleansing (Waste Management functions excluding refuse and recycling), Parks & Grounds, Transport (road safety and passenger transport), Garage/Fleet, Leisure, Country Parks and Public Rights of Way. The project will consider whether this scope is appropriate and make suggestions for any exclusions (and any further potential inclusions) as part of future reports.
  2. Due to the various options available for the future delivery of these services and the need to understand in detail the implications associated with each, the project has sought to engage external expertise to support the development of an initial high-level options appraisal. The consultancy firm, PeopleToo, have been commissioned to undertake this work over a four week period in December 2015. The focus of the assignment is to review a series of potential models for future service delivery and provide an options appraisal which will include details about the benefits/disadvantages of each, a high level assessment of the financial costs and savings anticipated via the adoption of each model (considering the level of local budgets) and provide a recommendations report. The commission has been specifically designed to provide the Council with information that will support decision making on which models should be appraised in detail as part of future business case(s) and those which, for a variety of reasons, could be discounted. The work will include specific, local financial modelling to support the Council's decision making processes. This first phase of work will also include an evaluation of the way in which the Council could make changes to internal operations as a baseline to judge alternatives against.
  3. The project team have also identified a series of other savings that can be delivered in the short-term from within the Highways budget, including savings from a management restructure and contract arrangements and these are being actively progressed in parallel with the work described above.
  • Planning
  1. In September 2015, Members of the Council's Planning Committee considered a report regarding the Welsh Government's Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications and Site Visits) (Wales) Regulations 2015. These Regulations came into effect from 1st October 2015 and introduced a 15% increase in planning application fees and various changes to the fees payable for planning services, including the right to a refund if an application is not determined within a specified timeframe and the ability to charge a fee for submissions to relating to planning conditions.
  2. The changes introduced by the Regulations along with changes introduced to the fees levied by the Council were ratified by Cabinet and Council in September 2015 and the Council report is referenced in the background papers to this report.
  3. As a result of the changes above, the savings target associated with this project will be met, with additional income delivered in accordance with that identified in the Reshaping services programme. 
  • Regulatory Services
  1. Council approved the creation of the Shared Regulatory Service with Bridgend and Cardiff Councils in November 2014. The proposal for a shared service was developed as a way to address the dwindling resource base available to these services and set out to create an integrated service, operating under a single management structure, for the Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions. The Vale of Glamorgan Council is the host (employing) authority for the Shared Regulatory Service. The Council report, business case and associated papers supporting the creation of the shared service are referenced within the background papers to this report.
  2. In-scope staff were transferred from Bridgend and Cardiff Councils to this Council on 1st May 2015. The post-transfer restructuring consultation process was completed between June and September 2015 as part of the refining of the new staffing structure and the finalising of job descriptions. The process included three separate and sequential consultation sessions with staff in each of the three participating authorities and continuing meetings with the trade unions as part of the cross-Council Joint Trade Union Forum. The refined organisational structure reflects the range of constructive feedback from staff and the trade unions but critically remains congruent with the agreed operating and financial model for the new service.
  3. A key element of the consultation process was the design of the assimilation process for the new structure - i.e. the mechanism and time-table for matching and appointing existing staff to jobs within the new structure. The above process was agreed with the recognised trades unions in September and is being used to populate the new organisational structure, with more than 90% of posts now filled. The remaining posts will be filled by a mix of staff assimilation and recruitment. It is anticipated that this process will be completed by early in 2016.
  4. This process will result in a number of employees remaining "at risk" at the end of the process or requiring salary protection as part of the TUPE provisions. The implications and costs of this were anticipated as part of the business plan for the new service and will be managed sensitively as part of best practice change management principles.
  5. The shared service is making greater use of technology than the previous service delivery model as described in the business case. Over half of officers are now using mobile devices to work from a variety of different office locations, regardless of the nominated working base. A single shared ICT suite that incorporates mobile technology and enhances digital access channels for customers is being evaluated to deliver further benefits. Officers have developed a new website for the Shared Regulatory Service (www.srs.wales) which is being developed as new service delivery mechanisms are put in place.
  6. A Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee has been constituted with each of the three Councils represented by two elected Members. The Committee has met on three occasions in 2015 to oversee the delivery of the project and service and will meet in December 2015 to discuss the budget for the shared service in 2016/17.
  • ICT
  1. The ICT Service provides IT services including those relating to hardware and the wide range of software applications that are used by the Council's staff (excluding schools). ICT is a tranche two saving project within the Reshaping Services programme. Due to the risk and scale of work involved in delivering any changes to such an integral and essential service to the Council, work has commenced alongside tranche one projects in order to deliver savings within the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years.
  2. As the service enables the Council to deliver its services in a modern, cost effective way, the removal of the service in its entirety is not an option. The project is therefore identifying ways in which it can be designed and delivered to ensure that the Council receives the service that it needs at the best possible value.
  3. The ICT project has begun work on a three year plan for delivering savings. In the first year (2015/16) the service is working to deliver savings previously approved by Cabinet as part of the Council's Final Revenue Budget Proposals. A range of options for savings and alternative forms of service delivery are being investigated for years two and three and these will be reported to Cabinet in due course as the business case develops. The project has undertaken internal analysis of the systems in use across the organisation and the level of resources deployed to support these. Research has also been undertaken with external parties in order to identify potential opportunities for different models of service delivery for both the ICT service as a whole or on the basis of individual systems/functions (for example, investigating potential options for how the Council's main Finance, HR and Payroll system (Oracle) and its associated infrastructure are managed). Meetings have been held with the Heads of ICT in the four neighbouring councils to ascertain the potential there may be in collaborative working with other authorities. The project team has also met with the Shared ICT Service which is operated jointly by Torfaen and Monmouthshire Councils and Gwent Police and also with the Head of ICT for a small ICT Shared Service in South Worcestershire. Research into the potential for outsourcing and joint ventures is to be undertaken to inform the development of the business case.
  4. The ICT project has also begun investigations into the potential for making use of different software in order to provide more efficient ways of working and to deliver financial savings. For example, a workshop looking into the potential for using Microsoft Office 365 Cloud Based Services is scheduled and the Council was visited by the "Google Bus" in December which provided an opportunity to see how products from this alternative supplier work.
  5. It has become apparent during the research for Reshaping Services that the Council could benefit from a work stream focussed on a Digital strategy. By adopting a 'Digital First' culture, many processes and procedures could be radically altered to provide a more efficient method of communicating and working both internally and externally. Technology is becoming increasingly pervasive across all sectors and becoming integrated in many aspects of our lives. The Council needs a digital strategy because digital technology has the potential to transform the Council and the lives of residents while generating long-term savings. For example, 7 out of 10 people now own a smartphone in the UK, which offers opportunities to exploit this channel of communication and interaction with our customers.
  6. The Council has made inroads into developing its digital offer through arrangements such as the Customer Relations Board, Space Project and the Digital Inclusion Working Group. However, it is recommended that a new project be established and included within the corporate projects worksteam (described below) with the Head of ICT as the project manager and Managing Director assuming the role of the project sponsor. This would focus the various activities that are currently underway, draw linkages with and complement the ICT, Information Management and Printing Strategies and ensure a consistent approach to digital working and the potential benefits that could be delivered.
  • Property projects (corporate office building rationalisation and cleaning & security)
  1. Two property projects have been progressed to date which include corporate office building rationalisation (the "Space Project") and the cleaning & security arrangements at corporate office buildings.
  2. The Space Project team is currently working on proposals for the potential vacation of Provincial House offices at the end of its lease term in November 2016. A Cabinet report is being prepared for consideration in early 2016 and that report will set out proposals to relocate the services currently based in Provincial House.
  3. In order to deliver savings, Cabinet approved proposals to make changes to the level of cleaning and security at corporate office buildings in July 2015. The report outlining the approved changes is referenced in the background papers to this report.
  4. Following the approval of the proposals, the Council's management of change policies and procedures have been followed in relation to staffing issues. The changes have been introduced from December 2015 and as such will realise the savings identified for this project as planned.
  5. Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment) have requested a report in 2016 to describe how the changes have been introduced and the effect they have had on both staffing and service delivery and this will be prepared in due course.
  • Social Services Budget & Collaborative Working Programmes
  1. The Social Services directorate has an established budget management programme which meets monthly to coordinate all savings approved within the Directorate. The programme as a whole has an affinity with the Reshaping Services programme as individual savings are largely targeted at introducing new ways of working and managing demand in order to deliver cashable savings. The Social Services budget is under significant strain - with a particular emphasis on the rising demand (and associated cost) for domiciliary care for older people in adult services. The All Projects Summary Highlight Report from the Social Services Budget Programme meeting is reported to the Reshaping Services Programme Board meeting regularly, to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care & Health) with financial monitoring reports and is available on Staffnet for all elected members and staff to access.
  2. The Social Services Budget programme also contains a number of projects which are contributing towards a specific Reshaping Services target for the Directorate as part of tranche two of the programme. These projects include work that is underway in day services and respite services. The Council is currently working with Mutual Ventures and the Wales Cooperative Centre to evaluate the potential for day services to be provided offered by alternative forms of service delivery, such as cooperatives and staff mutuals. These reshaping projects have target saving reductions of 20% across these services.
  3. The Social Services directorate has an established programme to oversee the various collaborative activities underway in this area. The emphasis of the work of the Board is currently on the Intermediate Care Fund (ICF), Regional Collaboration Fund (RCF) and preparations for the implementation of the Social Services & Well-Being Act. These collaborative activities contribute towards the reshaping of Social Services, with a particular emphasis on the management of demand and promotion of independence.
  • Tranche Two Projects
  1. The report to Cabinet in January 2015 indicated that work on tranche two projects would commence in January/February 2016 in order that, as far as possible, savings resulting from these projects would be realised from the 2017/18 financial year.
  2. As described above, preliminary work to consider the reshaping potential of Parks & Grounds and the Cleansing element of Waste Management has commenced as part of the review of Highways. Preliminary work has also commenced within Corporate Services and also the Strategy & Resources service (within Learning and Skills).
  3. The work to reshape services within Social Services is described above and due to the challenging budget situation described in this report has commenced during 2015/16.
  4. The remaining projects (Housing Services - Landlord Responsibilities, Building - Cleaning & Security Services and Refuse Collection & Recycling) are due to start as planned in early 2016.
  • Future Tranches of Projects
  1. It is proposed that the challenge process be run again during 2016 in order to identify future tranches of projects.

Corporate Workstream Projects

  1. The challenge group identified a series of opportunities that would benefit from a corporate-wide response and these are being progressed as corporate workstream projects. The following describes the progress being made on these initiatives.
  • Town and Community Councils (TCCs)
  1. As a result of the challenge process and through consultation undertaken with TCCs and the voluntary sector, it has been identified that there is potential for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to work more closely with TCCs. The Council recognises that TCCs have an important role in representing highly local communities and could play an important role in informing the development of the Reshaping Services agenda. In January 2015, Cabinet recognised that there is much preparatory work required to investigate the possibilities that exist for the Council to work with TCCs and to develop the already positive relationships that exist between the Council and these organisations. For this reason, a specific corporate project has been established to progress work in this area.
  2. In addition to Council officers, the TCC project team includes a representative from One Voice Wales and a representative of Vale TCCs as nominated by the Community Liaison Committee at its meeting on 2nd June, 2015.
  3. This project has initially sought to focus on the development of relationships, to gain a greater understanding about the mechanisms involved in this area, to identify what services are currently provided by TCCs in the Vale of Glamorgan and the level of potential interest in providing other services. Work will then progress to develop specific proposals, for which savings targets will be established.
  4. TCCs have provided information regarding their current service offering and potential future interest in services and assets via an expression of interest process that was run over the summer of 2015. There was also interest from some TCCs in the potential to "cluster" with other TCCs in the potential operation of services/assets as a way of exploiting economies of scale or gaining access to other services/assets/expertise. To develop knowledge and understanding in this area, a seminar was held in September jointly facilitated by OneVoice Wales and the Council. Guidance is being developed to support TCCs in clustering should they wish to pursue such arrangements.
  5. The Council has a history of working with TCCs and community groups on community asset transfers (CATs). The project team is taking the opportunity to refresh the Council's guidance on CATs in line with the recently published national guidance and local experience. The guidance will be reported to Cabinet in early 2016 and following approval, will be used for future projects.
  6. A schedule of meetings has commenced with individual TCCs to discuss specific opportunities in areas and these will be reported to Cabinet as appropriate. A detailed update report on the progress of this project was presented to Community Liaison Committee in October 2015 and is referenced in the background papers to this report.
  7. During the development of this project the value of further potential involvement of the third (not for profit) sector has become increasingly clear. The Glamorgan Voluntary Service is represented on the Reshaping Services Programme Board and the Executive Director has attended meetings on TCCs as well as the programme as a whole. As such, it is proposed that the name of this project be changed to "Town & Community Councils and Voluntary Sector" Project to fully recognise this potential.
  • Demand Management
  1. The Reshaping Services strategy outlines how better demand management will be a key response to meeting the Council's financial challenges. The main approaches to demand management could be categorised as follows:
  • Changing expectations of what the Council should provide.
  • Using other providers such as the third (not for profit) sector to meet or mitigate demand.
  • Intervening early to improve outcomes and so reduce long-term dependency.
  1. The first step to managing demand is to gain an understanding of what drives demand, which includes examining people's expectations and choices, systems and processes and individual behaviour. Measures to reduce demand can then be planned and implemented. As this theme cuts across the work of all directorates and is a relatively new concept to the Council, a corporate workstream project has been established to progress further research in this area and to develop a corporate approach to demand management that can be used across all service areas.
  2. This project is initially undertaking research regarding the possible approaches to demand management in order to gain an understanding of its application in the public sector nationally and internationally. To date work has been undertaken to define four principles of demand management (changing expectations, partner engagement, early intervention and service redesign). These principles have been used as a way of analysing the projects which are underway in preparation for the Social Services & Well-Being Act in order to identify local examples of how demand management can work in practice. The lessons from these projects will be shared with other projects in the future.
  3. Work is also underway in the Council's contact centre, Contact OneVale, to identify instances of "failure demand" (demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for the customer). This work is initially concentrating on high-call volume services, such as those relating to waste management services, with action plans being developed to make changes to improve efficiency. Further projects will be developed in the coming months.
  • Effectiveness of Spend
  1. Delivering value for money is a key responsibility of the Council. Value for money comprises three inextricably linked elements: economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Securing "inputs" (goods or services) at the lowest cost demonstrates how the Council achieves economy. Converting these "inputs" into "outputs" through their proper use demonstrates efficiency. Ensuring that the outputs achieve the intended outcomes demonstrates effectiveness. Opportunities to deliver economy and efficiency savings were identified by service areas in their baseline assessments documents and many are being progressed as part of the Council's revenue budget savings. In the current financial climate, the Council recognises that it is more important than ever to ensure that the money that it spends achieves the outcomes intended.
  2. Two effectiveness of spend projects have been progressed to date as part of the Reshaping Services programme.
  3. The first project involves a review that has been undertaken in Economic Development. The review has identified opportunities for providing additional office facilities for commercial lets. These lets will provide additional incubator space to the market, will build on the success of the BSC at Barry Waterfront and provide valuable office space to new and emerging businesses. In addition, a move away from expenditure on printed publicity materials to a focus on digital and web content will allow further targeting of income opportunities and realise savings. Further work will now be undertaken to focus on whether the investment made by the service delivers the intended outcomes which include increasing employment, encouraging growth in existing business, increasing the number of new business start-ups and improving prosperity of the Vale of Glamorgan.
  4. The second effectiveness of spend project is considering the effectiveness of the way in which grant funding is spent. Reports to Cabinet were approved in July 2015 which proposed making changes to a range of grants in line with the project's principles and are referenced in the background papers to this report. The Council operates a fund to support Town and Community Councils develop capital schemes in local areas. A review of the approved schemes in the current year and update of conditions has allowed for savings to be identified in the region of £27k which has been used to provide a new fund to support improvements to community facilities this year as part of the Council's capital programme. The Council has reached an agreement with the Citizens Advice Bureau on funding for the next three years which will provide that organisation with financial stability, the Council with savings of £8,250 over the three year period and both organisations time to assess the impact of welfare reform. The Council's revenue grants to support Christmas activities by Town and Community Councils and to fund Christmas lunch for older people in the community have also been reviewed with total savings of £6,650 for 2015/16 being realised. A further report will be presented to Cabinet in due course on the levels of funding being offered to Community and Voluntary organisations, as well as a way forward in relation to future spending profiles and budget setting.
  • Income Generation
  1. A clear way of making up budget shortfalls is to charge for certain services and facilities. Detailed analysis is underway to identify services which should be charged for and the impact this would have. Opportunities for charging will include extending current service provision and recovering the costs through income. Services may also be able to identify additional sources of funding such as grant funding from Welsh Government and other grant making bodies as well as contributions from partner organisations for the delivery of initiatives.
  2. This project has been identified in order to maximise the potential in this area and to ensure that a consistent approach is adopted across the Council. Based on the prioritised list of income opportunities identified by the challenge group and further research, proposals are in development to increase income. Opportunities relating to advertising, filming and the recoupment of finance charges are currently being evaluated and will be reported in due course to Cabinet as appropriate.
  3. This project has also identified all those savings initiatives relating to income generation that are being progressed within individual service departments as part of the 2015/16 revenue budget. The project team are supporting these projects, identifying linkages and monitoring and reporting on their progress to the Programme Board.

Programme Activity

  1. The third element of the Reshaping Services programme is the corporate arrangements that have been put in place to manage the programme and ensure its efficient delivery. The activity undertaken in supporting the programme is described below.
  • Programme Management
  1. As approved by Cabinet in January 2015, programme governance arrangements have been implemented to manage the overall programme. A programme board has been established to manage the overall programme in all its aspects. Chaired by the Managing Director, members of the Programme Board are the Leader, Corporate Management Team, the Executive Director of the Glamorgan Voluntary Services, Penarth Town Councillor Mike Cuddy (TCC representative) and the Operational Manager - Performance & Policy who is undertaking the role of programme manager.
  2. The Programme Board has met throughout the year to monitor the progress being made by projects within each of the workstreams. A regular report (All Projects Summary Highlight Report) has been produced which summarises progress, illustrates the financial targets and provides a summary of progress by each project as well as documenting programme level risks and issues. The All Projects Summary Highlight Report is published on Staffnet after each Programme Board meeting in order to provide updates for elected Members and staff.
  3. Multidisciplinary project teams have been established for all Reshaping Services projects, comprising representatives from service areas and corporate services.
  4. Regular updates are provided to the recognised trade unions as part of the monthly Change Forum meetings and the Council's Joint Consultative Forum. In addition, more detailed consultation continues to take place on a tranche-by-tranche basis.
  • Organisational Development
  1. There is recognition that the issues raised by the Reshaping Services strategy are new to many elected members, council officers and partners. The programme is considering fundamentally different ways of delivering services and this will require a change in culture for the Council. In response to this challenge, a series of organisational development activities have been undertaken.
  2. The Council utilised Grant Thornton to provide all elected members with an overview of alternative delivery models in 2014.
  3. The Council commissioned Grant Thornton and Anthony Collins Solicitors to co-present a series of training sessions with the Programme Team aimed at council officers involved in Reshaping Services projects in June 2015. These sessions provided information relating to a range of alternative delivery models and introduced the approach to business case development which is modelled on the HM Treasury/Welsh Government Five Case Model.
  4. The Managing Director's two briefing sessions for all chief officers in 2015 have also provided updates on the Reshaping Services programme and have sought to provide a forum to share experiences and understanding of the issues raised by the Programme.
  5. As described in this report, specific organisational development activities (such as visits to other authorities, market testing and engagement of external expertise) have been undertaken by individual projects.
  6. Mutual Ventures and the Wales Cooperative Centre have also provided Cabinet Members with a briefing session on alternative delivery models, using examples drawn from the work undertaken to date in adult social services (day services) in the Council and elsewhere in the country.
  7. A process of staff engagement on a scale not previously seen in this Council has also been launched. During the summer of 2015 briefing sessions were run with all members of staff invited to attend. The briefing sessions sought to:
  • share an understanding of the current organisational challenges.
  • share plans to respond to such challenges (reshaping services).
  • discuss the implications for our employees.
  • seek help with the development of key engagement themes.
  1. Each of the 65 briefing sessions was facilitated by two chief officers and a session was also run for elected members in September 2015, presented by the Managing Director and Head of Human Resources.
  2. 70% (1760) of council staff attended the sessions together with trade union representatives and a total of 328 questions were posed. All questions have been considered, answered and published on Staffnet for the information of members and staff.
  3. At the briefing sessions, staff were asked whether they were interested in taking part in four workshops to develop key engagement themes of "keeping me informed", "developing my skills", "seeking my views" and "what I expect from my manager". A total of 575 volunteers expressed an interest in contributing to these workshops.
  4. A series of "mini-conferences" have been held during November to develop these engagement themes and smaller groups of staff are now preparing improvement reports based on the outputs. These reports will be presented to the Council's Corporate Management Team in January and February 2016, with a view to introducing agreed changes/processes from April 2016 as part of a revised "employee relationship/contract". This will be helpful in improving the resilience, flexibility and engagement of the Council's workforce congruent with the objectives of the Reshaping Services programme.
  • Communication & Engagement
  1. In addition to the communication and engagement activity undertaken via the Change Forum, staff briefing sessions and subsequent workshops, a range of communication activity has been undertaken to date. This has included the regular publication of the programme's All Projects Summary Highlight Report on the Council's Staffnet for the information of elected members and staff. Regular articles have also appeared in the Core Brief staff newsletter. Regular reports have been tabled at the Community Liaison Committee, the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee and the Local Service Board. A standing item has been added to the monthly Change Forum meeting with the Trade Unions. The inclusion of representatives from the Voluntary and Town & Community Council sectors on the Programme Board has proved invaluable in communicating and engaging with partners.
  2. It is recommended that this report be distributed to all elected Members, Clerks of Town and Community Councils, members of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee, Community Liaison Committee and the Local Service Board for their information and in order to provide an update on the progress being made on the Reshaping Services Programme. It is also recommended that from 2016, a quarterly report be brought to Cabinet on the programme in order to keep members fully apprised of progress.
  3. Where appropriate, direct communication activities have been delivered to staff in service areas where specific reshaping projects are underway and this has followed specific discussion with Trade Union colleagues.
  4. Consultation with Vale residents was undertaken during the development of the Reshaping Services strategy and the themes of the Programme are reflected in the consultation processes planned for the Council's new draft Corporate Plan and 2016/17 Budget that will be undertaken in December 2015 and January 2016.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The initial savings targets that have been set for the Reshaping Services programme to date are set out below.
Reshaping Services Savings Targets

Directorate

Service

Tranche

2016/17

2017/18

 

 

 

£000's

£000's

Managing Director & Resources

Effectiveness of Spend (Economic Development )

1

50

0

Managing Director & Resources

Planning

1

100

0

Managing Director & Resources

ICT

1

 0

550

Managing Director & Resources

Other Corporate Services

2

1,400

Learning & Skills

Additional Learning Needs

1

500

0

Learning & Skills

Catering

1

300

0

Learning & Skills

Strategy & Resources

2

400

Environment & Housing

Building Maintenance

1

200

 0

Environment & Housing

Highways

1

1,100

 0

Environment & Housing

Street Cleansing and Refuse Collection and Recycling

2

450

Environment & Housing

Parks & Grounds

2

650

Environment & Housing

Housing Services - Landlord Responsibilities

2

0

Environment & Housing

Building Cleaning & Security

2

200

Total

 

 

2,250

3,650

Total Reshaping Services Savings Targets

   

5,900

  1. In the above savings targets no specific savings (with the exception of an initial £50,000 allocated to the review of Economic Development) have been attributed to the Income Demand Management, Effectiveness of Spend and Town and Community Councils corporate projects to date.
  2. The targets above are subject to change as part of this programme and will be informed by the Medium Term Financial Plan and developing funding environment in which the Council operates. It is intended that savings in excess of the targets set out in this report will be identified as the programme progresses and will feed into future tranches of service reviews.
  3. The Cabinet report of January 2015 provided an indicative timetable for undertaking the development of business cases, for business case approval and scrutiny and to implement changes. The timescales set out in the report were indicative only as the time taken to develop proposals would depend on the service and complexity of the project. As described above, several projects are on-course to deliver the required savings in full, whilst in other areas, analysis and business case work is on-going. This reflects the assertion contained in the January 2015 report to Cabinet that the complexity and type of service would affect the time taken to develop proposals.
  4. The scale of change required for some services may have an impact on the timing and extent of savings that can be delivered by some projects. The specific challenges facing certain projects are described above. The progress of each of the programme's projects will be considered during the Council's budget setting process and will be reported as part of the Annual Revenue Budget Proposals. This consideration will include the total savings required from Directorates.
  5. As indicated above, it is proposed that future tranches of projects be identified in 2016 with a further series of challenge sessions.
  6. The report to Cabinet in January 2015 recognised that there will be costs associated with delivering the Programme. Costs will be incurred in areas such as project/programme management, developing capacity and capability and the procurement of specialist expertise. A financial reserve has been established to fund these costs. The Council has sought to minimise any costs by making use of a mix of internal and external resources, working with partners and identifying low-cost training opportunities.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The Reshaping Services Strategy is consistent with the Council's commitment to promote sustainability and to consider the needs of current and future generations. For example, the Council has established critical success factors for projects to consider when appraising different options for service delivery and these make reference to the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales).
  2. As indicated above the pursuit of alternative service deliver models will require a change in culture for the Council and the careful management of a range of change and workforce transformation programmes. There clearly will be employment relations and employment law implications specific to individual projects which will be considered as part of the stage two business cases. Human Resources are represented on the various project teams and the Head of Human Resources is a member of the Programme Board.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are no specific legal implications relating to this report. There will be legal implications specific to individual projects and these will be considered as part of the development of stage two business cases. Legal Services are represented on the various Reshaping Services project teams and the Head of Legal Services is a member of the Programme Board.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. These implications will be considered as part of each individual service review conducted as part of the programme.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. An Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) has been undertaken for the whole of the Reshaping Services Strategy and was reported to Cabinet in November 2014.
  2. It is a major undertaking to consider the equal opportunities implications of the change programme since each service has its own clientele and the "protected characteristics" of each clientele will have to be assessed in detail. As such EIAs will be developed as appropriate for those services subject to in-depth reviews as part of the business cases and monitored throughout each project's delivery.
  3. Elements of the Reshaping Services programme could present challenging equalities issues. These will require careful consideration and consultation as part of the detailed work to be undertaken in order that any potential inequalities are mitigated as far as possible. There are also potential risks associated with adopting alternative methods of service delivery. For example, projects to externalise council services may have impacts on the local workforce and economy and consideration of mitigating actions will be important as part of the development of business cases. Consideration of the needs of the different communities which make up the Vale of Glamorgan will continue to be given in how services are designed and delivered in order to provide a local response to issues but be balanced by the need to ensure that individual areas are not unfairly impacted by changes made.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Council's Corporate Plan for 2013-17 provides the overall set of objectives within which the change programme will happen. The Corporate Plan is currently being reviewed and the draft that will be consulted upon has taken into consideration the environment within which the Council is operating and includes specific references to the way in which Reshaping Services will support the Council in achieving its objectives in the future.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Due to the corporate nature of this report, no specific Ward Member consultation has been undertaken. The consultation activities undertaken and on-going are described in the body of the report above.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources is the lead scrutiny committee for the Reshaping Services programme.

Background Papers

  • Reshaping Services Strategy, Cabinet, 3 November 2014

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2014/14-11-03/Reshaping-Services-.aspx

  • Regionalising Regulatory Services, Council, 12 November 2014

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/council/2014/14-11-12/Regionalising-Regulatory-Services.aspx

  • Reshaping Services, Cabinet, 26 January 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-01-26/Reshaping-Services-A-New-Change-Programme-for-the-Council.aspx

  • Transport Savings Programme Update, Cabinet, 26 January 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-01-26/Transport-Savings-Programme-Update.aspx

  • Building Cleaning & Security Review, Cabinet, 27 July 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Building-Cleaning-&-Security-Review.aspx

  • Grants to Community/Voluntary Organisations 2015/16, Cabinet, 27 July 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Grants-to-CommunityVoluntary-Organisations-201516.aspx

  • Christmas Grants 2015, Cabinet, 27 July 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Christmas-Grants-2015.aspx

  • Corporate Pool Car Scheme Progress Report, Cabinet, 7 September 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-09-07/Corporate-Pool-Car-Scheme-Progress-Report.aspx

  • General Planning Matters, Council, 28 September 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/council/2015/15-09-28/General-Planning-Matters.aspx

  • Reshaping Services Programme and Town and Community Councils Project Team Update, Community Liaison Committee, 20 October 2015

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/community_liaison/2015/15-10-20/Update-on-TCCs-Reshaping-Services.aspx

Contact Officer

Tom Bowring, Operational Manager - Performance & Policy

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Head of Legal Services

Head of Human Resources

Head of Finance

Head of Performance & Development

Heads of Service for Tranche One and Two Projects

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director

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