Top

Top

Agenda Item No 5

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Community Liaison Committee: 4 July 2017

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Nomination of Representatives from Town & Community Councils for the Public Services Board, Reshaping Services Programme Board & Strong Communities Fund Evaluation Panel

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To invite a Town and Community Councils' representative to join the Public Services Board as an Invited Participant in line with statutory guidance for the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
  2. To invite a representative of the Town and Community Councils to sit on the Council's Reshaping Services Programme Board and the associated Town & Community Councils and Voluntary Sector Project Team.
  3. To invite a representative from a Town and a representative from a Community Council to be a member of the Strong Communities Fund Evaluation Panel.

Recommendations

  1. That the Community Liaison Committee re-appoint the current representative or select a new representative from the 26 Town and Community Council representatives on the Community Liaison Committee to sit on the Public Services Board for the term of one year.
  2. That the Community Liaison Committee re-appoint the current representative or select a new representative to sit on the Council's Reshaping Services Programme Board and the associated Town & Community Councils and Voluntary Sector Project Team for the term of one year.
  3. That the Community Liaison Committee appoints one representative from a Town Council and one representative from a Community Council to be a member of the Strong Communities Fund Evaluation Panel for the term of one year.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To invite a representative from the Community Liaison Committee to the Public Services Board to ensure effective engagement and adhere to the Statutory Guidance for the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
  2. To ensure effective engagement between Town and Community Councils and the Reshaping Services Programme.
  3. To enable Town and Community Councils to have involvement in the evaluation of the Council's Strong Communities Grant Fund.

Background

  1. On the 2nd June 2015 the Community Liaison Committee considered an invitation from the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board (LSB) to appoint a Town and Community Council representative to sit on the LSB for a one year term. At the same time an invitation was extended for a representative to join the Council's Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board.
  2. On the 5th July 2016 an invitation was extended to the Community Liaison Committee to appoint a representative to sit on the newly created Public Services Board (PSB) which was established under the Well-being of Future Generations Act and replaced the Local Service Board. The appointment was for a twelve month period and this has now come to an end.
  3. At the same time the Committee were invited to confirm a representative to sit on the Council's Reshaping Services Challenge Group and Programme Board for twelve months.
  4. In 2017, the Council established a Strong Communities Grant Fund. This fund will provide funding to a range of community based organisations to pursue activities consistent with the Council's Corporate Plan. In order for bids to be evaluated in an involving and inclusive way, the Council has determined that bids will initially be reviewed by an evaluation panel with multi-organisational representation, including one representative from a Town Council and one representative from a Community Council. The evaluation panel will consider bids and make recommendations to the Council's Cabinet.

Relevant Issues and Options

The Public Services Board

  1. The Well-being of Future Generations Act came into force on the 1st April 2015. The Act requires that all public bodies consider the economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects of all decisions we make. The Act formally establishes statutory boards, to be called Public Services Boards (PSBs), in each local authority area in Wales.
  2. The Act also specifies that the PSB must include the following four statutory members: the Local Authority, the Local Health Board, The Welsh Fire & Rescue Authority, and the Natural Resources Body for Wales. Statutory members are collectively responsible for fulfilling the board's statutory duties; unanimous agreement of the statutory members is required in order for the board to fulfil its statutory duties.
  3. The statutory duties placed on the PSB that contribute to the achievement of the national well-being goals as set out in the legislation are: to assess the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in their areas, to set local objectives that are designed to maximise their contribution within their areas to achieving those goals, and that statutory members, in exercising their functions, take all reasonable steps to meet these objectives i.e. through the well-being plan.
  4. In addition to statutory members, PSBs are required to invite certain other persons or organisations to participate in the board. The board must invite specified statutory invitees to participate in the board's activity. These invitees are not required to accept the invitation; however, if they accept the invitation they do not become statutory members of the board but become "invited participants". These invitees include: Welsh ministers, the Chief Police Constable for an area, certain Probation Services, and at least one body representing the relevant voluntary organisations.
  5. Further to the "invited participants", the PSB is required to engage with key partners in the Vale of Glamorgan who have a material interest in the well-being of the area, who deliver important public services, in the preparation, implementation and delivery of the work of the board. These key partners are referred to within the Act as 'other partners'.
  6. At the first PSB meeting post the local government elections, the PSB is required by legislation to issue an invitation to partners requesting their continued participation in the PSB. This was done on the 13th June 2017 and it was also agreed that an invitation should again be extended to the Community Liaison Committee to nominate a representative to participate in PSB meetings.
  7. Town and Community Councils are named in the Act, in relation to the PSB as 'other partners' which the Board should engage with as appropriate. It would therefore be appropriate for a representative to participate in the PSB and help shape the work and priorities of the PSB.
  8. The PSB must publish a well-being plan in 2018. The Well-being of Future Generations Act places a duty on Community and Town Councils with a gross income or expenditure of at least £200,000 for each of the three financial years preceding the year in which the local well-being plan is published to take "all reasonable steps" towards meeting the local objectives set out in the area's local well-being plan.
  9. A Community or Town Council which is subject to this duty must also publish a report annually detailing its progress in meeting the objectives contained in the local well-being plan. The statutory guidance issued by Welsh Government encourages Community and Town Councils which are subject to the duty to liaise with PSBs on the objectives outlined in the local Well-being Plan.
  10. All community councils are 'other partners' of their PSB regardless of whether they are subject to the specific duty. All community and town councils have therefore been consulted on the assessment of local well-being and will be consultees to the local well-being plan. This will be regardless of whether they are under a duty to take reasonable steps to meet the local objectives.
  11. Although the Vale of Glamorgan PSB will be ensuring effective engagement with all Town and Community Councils it would still welcome a representative participating in the PSB which will meet a minimum of five times a year.
  12. The current representative, Penarth Town Councillor Mike Cuddy has played an active role in the PSB, regularly attending meetings and workshops and contributing to the drafting of the Well-being Assessment and the work of the PSB.
  13.   A copy of the terms of reference listing all the members of the PSB is attached as Appendix A.

Reshaping Services Strategy and Programme

  1. In response to the challenging financial climate the Council has developed a strategy for transformational change called Reshaping Services. The strategy was approved in 2014 and is a proactive strategy seeking to reshape the way in which the Council works in order to mitigate the impact of cuts and assist in continuing to provide priority services. The Reshaping Services Strategy provides a framework for the Council to work with over the next three to five years and aligns to our duties under the Well-being of Future Generations Act and in particular the five ways of working, involvement, integration, prevention, looking to the long term and collaboration.
  2. A Programme Board is responsible for managing the overall Programme in all its aspects and reports to the Council's Cabinet. The Programme Board comprises the Managing Director (in the Chair), the Leader, Corporate Management Team, Chief Executive of Glamorgan Voluntary Services and a representative from the Town and Community Councils.  The Sponsor for the Programme is the Managing Director and individual Directors or Heads of Service are undertaking the role of Project Sponsor for individual service reviews / project teams. 
  3. The service reviews / project teams are supported by officers from a number of service areas, with additional external expertise being brought in as required and when deemed necessary.
  4. In recognition of the important role that Town and Community Councils have in representing local communities, the Council believes they can play an important role in informing the development of the Reshaping Services agenda with regard to concepts such as demand management and the way services are delivered at a very "local" level.  Town and Community Councils can also assist with communication and engagement activities, for example raising awareness of changes being made to public services.
  5. As members of the Committee will be aware Town and Community Councils have also been identified as potential providers of some services and have already played a significant role in the creation of community libraries, for example. A project team to further progress the development of the role of Town & Community Councils and the Voluntary Sector has been established. To date, the project team has revised the Council's approach and process for managing Community Asset Transfers and has provided a useful mechanism for identifying and developing opportunities for Town and Community Councils to become further involved.
  6. Over the past two years, Penarth Town Councillor, Mike Cuddy, has represented the Town & Community Council sector on the Reshaping Services Programme. Cllr Cuddy has regularly attended and contributed to the Programme Board and the Town & Community Council and Voluntary Sector Project Team.
  7. In recognition of the on-going contribution of Town and Community Councils to the Reshaping Services Programme the Council is requesting that the committee nominate a representative to be appointed for a one year term on the Council's Programme Board and the associated project team.  In nominating a representative from the sector, it is proposed that the criteria attached at Appendix B to the report be used by the Community Liaison Committee as was the case previously.

Strong Communities Fund

  1. The purpose of the Strong Communities Fund is to enable community groups, the voluntary sector and town and community councils to apply for revenue and capital funding that promotes initiatives within the Vale of Glamorgan consistent with the Council's vision of 'Strong Communities with a bright future'. The new approach will streamline the way in which community grant funding is managed by the Council. Eligible schemes would include those which are seeking funding to:
  • Improve the resilience of organisations/groups or their activities by funding activities which add value to their current work and reduce their reliance on grant funding in the future;
  • Provide seed corn funding towards initiatives that can demonstrate longer term sustainability;
  • Undertake consultation, feasibility, design and other specialist work to develop proposals for future activity and funding bids;
  • Meet the capital costs of schemes by purchasing plant, machinery, equipment or other assets or undertaking maintenance work that would enable viable services to be provided, for example, through increased income generation potential.
  1. The Strong Communities Fund brings together the Voluntary Action, Small Community Grants, Community Action Self Help and Christmas Grants schemes to provide a more co-ordinated approach to funding. This will total £142,000 per annum for the next three years from 2017/18. In addition, Section 106 Community Facilities funding and where appropriate other Section 106 funding, for example, community transport or public open space would be added to the grant fund. The Section 106 funding will vary year on year and by area, depending upon the completion of relevant development works. The Council has also gained funding from an independent grant-making Foundation for a total of £20,000 per annum for the next three years. In a commitment to ensuring the amount of funding available to the Strong Communities Fund, it is proposed that any underspend in each of the three years will be carried forward into the next year, thus increasing the size of the funding available. The Council has also committed to bring forward the underspend from related grant schemes from 2016/17. As such, there will be total funding of £286,645 available for the fund in 2017/18.
  2. The Committee will note that a threshold was previously applied to the Community Action Self Help scheme for Town and Community Councils relating to their level of precept which restricted the availability of funding available for larger Town and Community Councils. In future there will be no threshold on the level of Town and Community Council precept applied to the Strong Communities Grant Fund. In some communities where there are limited numbers of appropriate community groups, Town and Community Councils will have the opportunity to bid for revenue funding. However, bids will only be accepted where they can demonstrate that the application is a collaborative one, whereby that Town or Community Council is working in partnership with a community/voluntary group. In addition, all applications received to the fund will be considered in terms of the level of resources the bidding organisation has access to, as well as the need to ensure equitable distribution across all appropriate applications from Town and Community Councils.
  3. Bids for this funding would be sought from the following categories of organisation:
  • Community led organisations
  • Third Sector Organisations
  • Town & Community Councils
  • Consortia of the above, including those which have established formal governance arrangements such as social enterprises
  1. Bids against the main fund of £142,000 would be invited up to the maximum funding available. Included within this amount, bids of a specifically innovative nature would be invited up to a maximum of £1,000 per application. These could, for example, relate to time limited pieces of work on consultation or development work that is required to inform a project or to provide starter funding for potential larger future schemes. This approach would enable the Fund to provide funding to a range of projects in terms of scale throughout the year and the Evaluation Panel will remain cognisant of the need to fund as wide a range of schemes as possible. Proposals which demonstrate they are leveraging other sources of funding (actual or "in-kind") will be encouraged.
  2. The evaluation of bids to the fund would be undertaken in line with a series of weighted criteria, which will include;
  • Linkages with the Council's Corporate Plan
  • Consistency with the Council's Reshaping Services programme
  • Consistency with the well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act
  1. A more detailed set of evaluation criteria is being developed and will be promoted via the Council's website and other media during the summer of 2017. The Clerks of all Town and Community Councils will be informed of the Strong Communities Grant Fund and the mechanisms for applying as part of this publicity campaign.
  2. An Evaluation Panel will be responsible for evaluating bids and making recommendations to Cabinet for the award of funding three times per year. A scoring matrix is being developed for use by the panel to evaluate bids received and to provide the basis for making recommendations to Cabinet for decision on the allocation of funding.
  3. The Evaluation Panel will comprise of:
  • Leader of the Council
  • Cabinet Member with responsibility for Regeneration
  • One representative from a Town Council
  • One representative from a Community Council
  • One representative from each of any donors of recurring third party funding
  • One representative from the voluntary sector
  • One representative from a member organisation of the Public Services Board
  1. The panel will be responsible for identifying innovative uses and combinations of the available funding to maximise the opportunities in order to enable the maximum value to be derived for schemes that meet the criteria. Terms of reference for the Evaluation Panel and its operations will be developed in due course in addition to a standard application form, evaluation criteria and guidance for applicants. The Panel will be supported by Council Officers.
  2. Further information on the operation of the Strong Communities Fund can be found in the report to the Council's Cabinet (3rd April 2017) which is available at:

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2017/17-04-03/Reports/Strong-Communities-Final-Report.pdf

  1. The Committee are requested to nominate one representative from a Town Council and one representative from a Community Council to join the panel for a term of one year.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act is about sustainable development. The Act sets out a 'sustainable development principle' which specifies that the public bodies listed in the Act must act in a manner which seeks to ensure the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In meeting their sustainability duty, each body must set objectives that highlight the work the body will undertake to contribute to meeting the seven Well-being Goals for Wales.
  2. The Council's Reshaping Services Programme and Strong Communities Grant Fund are both examples of the way in which the Council is seeking to ensure sustainable communities in the Vale of Glamorgan are supported in the future, with particular emphasis on the provision of priority services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are no specific legal implications as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no specific crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no specific Equal Opportunities implications as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Council's Corporate Plan reflects the authorities' duties and commitments to promoting sustainable development. The Corporate Plan is based around four well-being outcomes which provide a framework for the plan together with eight well-being objectives. Through the objectives the Council demonstrates its commitment to improving social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being and the promotion of sustainable development. In delivering these objectives the Council contributes to the seven Well-being goals for Wales and ensures that the needs of people of all ages and future generations are at the forefront of service delivery.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for decision by the Community Liaison Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Due to the corporate nature of this report, no specific Ward Member consultation has been undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Performance & Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

Statutory Guidance for the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 SPSF4 - Collective role (Community Councils)

Strong Communities Grant Fund (Cabinet, 3rd April)

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2017/17-04-03/Reports/Strong-Communities-Final-Report.pdf

 

Contact Officer

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Improvement

Officers Consulted

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Improvement

Tom Bowring, Operational Manager, Performance and Policy

Helen Moses, Strategy and Partnership Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director

1

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook