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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 9th October 2013

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Welsh Government Consultation Document re Scrutiny of "Designated Persons"

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To afford Members the opportunity of commenting on the above Consultation Paper.

Recommendations

1.         That any comments made by the Committee be submitted to Welsh Government.

2.         That the Committee be kept informed of progress on this matter.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To afford Members the opportunity to respond to the Consultation Paper

 

2.         To keep Members informed.

Background

2.          In April 2013, the First Minister established the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery to examine the current arrangements relating to the provision of public services in Wales.  The Welsh Government sees this as a step towards achieving its vision of a public service landscape which delivers efficient public services based on collaborative arrangements to meet the various and changing needs of Welsh citizens.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.          The attached Consultation Paper on the proposed first Designated Persons Order reflects Welsh Government's approach to ensuring all public organisations with responsibility for service delivery are subject to a scrutiny process which examines the services provided in one geographical area, from the "holistic perspective" of the quality of life for its inhabitants. 

4.          The Welsh Government considers local authorities to be well placed to lead on this scrutiny process and the Consultation Paper proposes the list of organisations (i.e. "Designated Persons") which, in the first instance, will be subject to scrutiny by Principal Councils.  Various requirements would be placed on the "Designated Persons" in terms of attendance at meetings of Scrutiny Committees and the provision of evidence to such.

5.          Given the requirement for all Local Service Boards in Wales to produce a Single Integrated Plan (SIP), the organisations proposed to be designated are those currently engaged in the production of the SIP. 

6.          The relevant bodies under consideration in the first designation phase are:

·         Local Health Boards

·         NHS Trusts

·         Fire and Rescue Authorities

·         National Park Authorities.

7.          The Consultation Paper also refers to the role of Town and Community Councils as named community planning partners.  Given those Councils' existing "democratic mandate", the Consultation Paper invites views on whether, and how, they could contribute to local scrutiny and if it is necessary to designate them under the first phase.

8.          In addition, acknowledging their importance in delivering better outcomes for communities across Wales through single integrated planning, the Consultation Paper proposes two significant additions to the above list:

·         Registered Social Landlords

·         Third Sector Organisations delivering services to the public and who meet the criteria set out in the Consultation Paper, "What do we mean by a Designated Person?".

9.          Annex A to the Consultation Paper contains specific questions which the Committee is asked to consider.  Responses are required to be submitted by 21st November 2013.

10.        The Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board (LSB), whose members include several of the organisations listed as "Designated Persons", will consider the matter in its next meeting on 17 October.  The LSB's views will be taken into consideration in the Council's response to the Consultation Paper.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.        The resource implications of increased requirements on the part of local authorities in the field of scrutiny will need to be kept under review and the Committee informed accordingly.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.        There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        The Council is required to comply with the provisions of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 with regard to the scrutiny of "Designated Persons" once this provision comes into force.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.        There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        The Measure makes arrangements for changes to the political structure of local government in Wales and the way in which local government operates.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.        The terms of reference of the Democratic Services Committee include "To have regard to Welsh ministerial guidance when exercising its functions".

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.        No consultation has been necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.        Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011

Welsh Government Consultation Document: Designated Persons Order No. 1

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, Tel: (01446) 709408

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Performance and Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services