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Agenda Item No. 5

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 16 JUNE 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 1 JUNE 2015

 

C2788            BUILDING CLEANING AND SECURITY REVIEW (L & HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – CORPORATE RESOURCES AND ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Cabinet was provided with an update on developments in the Building Cleaning and Security Service as part of the Reshaping Services project and changes to the cleaning and security services provided at corporate office buildings were proposed.

 

The Council operated an internal Cleaning and Security Service within the Visible Services and Housing Directorate. The services were provided to schools and the Council’s other public buildings, including council offices. The Council’s Facilities Management team undertook the 'client’ role (purchased services from the Cleaning and Security Service) and managed the budget associated with cleaning and security at office buildings. Schools chose to make arrangements under Service Level Agreements with the Cleaning and Security Service for cleaning in schools.

 

In recent years, the Building Cleaning & Security Service had seen a reduction in the number of school and office sites procuring cleaning services, reduced to 84 from 99 over a five year period. With a reducing number of clients, the Building Cleaning and Security Service was now apportioning overheads over a smaller number of customers and this was eroding its overall financial viability, necessitating a fundamental examination of the service. It was noted that the service scored highly in terms of customer satisfaction, measured by regular client surveys.

 

The report set out proposals to change the level of office cleaning and security provision at Council office buildings in order to ensure appropriate service levels and to achieve the approved savings contained in the Council’s Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2015/16 associated with building running costs. The report also proposed that the review of Cleaning and Security Services (which was to be undertaken as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services programme) should ascertain the long term viability of the service and, where appropriate, identify alternative ways of delivering these services.

 

The report related to the security and cleaning services commissioned by the Council’s Facilities Management team and provided by the Council’s internal Cleaning & Security Service at the following buildings: Civic Offices, Town Hall, Docks Office, Alps Depot, Court Road Depot, and Provincial House. The Council also operated from a wide range of other locations. A review of these assets was currently underway in order to identify opportunities for rationalisation and further efficiency savings and would be reported to Cabinet separately.

 

It was recognised that the changes being proposed in the report would have impacts for a range of stakeholders. Financial, equality and employment implications had and would continue to be fully considered and revised as appropriate. Details of these implications and the impact on Building Services provision and Users could be found in the relevant sections of the report.

 

The report stated that the implementation of changes would require a clear communication and engagement strategy with staff and the recognised trade unions from across the Council. To ensure a consistent approach was adopted to implement these changes, it was proposed that changes to both cleaning and security functions were progressed following a timeline of key activities as detailed in the report. As part of the consultation arrangements, the service would 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.

 

Implementation of the proposals for both the security and cleaning functions was estimated to realise a total budget saving of £308,037. Based on the project plan, these savings would be realised from 1 December, 2015 which would equate to an estimated budget saving of £120,000 in the 2015/16 financial year and the remaining £188,037 in 2016/17. This would contribute to the £500,000 saving 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 number 941). The remainder would be realised from further property related savings initiatives.

After the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety presented this item, the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services commented that this report was bad news for the Council. He further commented that he was not elected to cut jobs, but to do the very best for people and the community as a whole. He continued that the twenty four million pound cuts from central government over the next three years had come down to Wales, resulting in real cuts to employment and these were starting to affect the Vale of Glamorgan with more to come.

 

In agreement with his colleague, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that the report outlined recommendations that the Council did not want to do but had been forced to do by the cuts from Westminster. He further commented that the cuts from Westminster would mean further cuts to services that people relied on and it was very unpleasant that the Council was forced into this situation. He noted that cuts in one service resulted in additional costs rising elsewhere, citing the recently announced deficit of the NHS in England. The Cabinet Member continued that this was an example of austerity, forcing cuts to services that we rely on and local government was bearing the brunt, with another five years to come.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposals for changes to cleaning and security services provided at the corporate buildings as outlined in the report be approved as a basis for referral to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment) for consideration before reaching a final determination.

 

(2)       T H A T subject to resolution one above, delegated authority be granted 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:

·           undertake the necessary consultation and engagement activity as described in the report;

·           respond as appropriate to such engagement and consultation;

·           report back to Cabinet any material changes to the proposals resulting from the consultation process;

·           progress the implementation of proposals following the conclusion of all necessary consultation and engagement activity.

 

(3)       T H A T a further report be provided to Cabinet on the future strategy of the Building Cleaning and Security service as part of tranche two of the Reshaping Services Programme.

 

(4)       T H A T redundancy and any associated pension costs be approved to be funded from the Early Retirement and Redundancy fund.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable the proposals for changes to cleaning and security services as outlined in the report to be progressed following consideration by Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment).

 

(2)       To ensure that the process for progressing the changes as outlined in this report be undertaken efficiently and effectively in accordance with the Council’s policies and procedures.

 

(3)       To establish the future viability of the Council’s internal Building Cleaning and Security service and how these services could be provided.

 

(4)       To finance one-off expenditure.

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 1 JUNE 2015

 

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