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Agenda Item No. 3

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 22nd July, 2014

 

Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 23rd July, 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Regionalising Regulatory Services Project

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide an update for Members on progress being made to create a shared regulatory service between Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Councils and provide an opportunity to make any comments on the report prior to it being reported to Cabinet and Full Council.

Recommendations

The Committee is asked to:

 

1.         Consider and discuss the information within the attached report;

2.         Explore issues consistent with its challenge and support role;

3.         Determine whether it wishes to make any comments or recommendations relating to the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.&2. To undertake pre-decision scrutiny of the proposals to create a shared regulatory service with Bridgend and Cardiff Councils.

3.      To provide the Committee with an opportunity to provide Cabinet with any comments or recommendations for their consideration when reviewing the proposals to create the shared service.

Background

2.         In July 2013, the Cabinets of Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend Councils received a report proposing that a single shared service be created comprising the Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing functions of each Council under a single management structure.

3.         The project was identified as an opportunity for the Councils to create a new and innovative service on a regional basis that can deal with changing customer demands at a time of reduced levels of funding.

4.         Funding has been secured from the Welsh Government’s (WG) Regional Collaboration Fund (RCF) to develop proposals for the project. The RCF aims to encourage regional collaboration across public services by assisting with upfront costs which could otherwise be a barrier to joint projects.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Since July 2013, detailed work has been undertaken on developing the proposals for the shared regulatory service. A report will be presented to the Cabinet of each of the local authorities in September 2014 which will seek approval to create the shared service. A draft copy of the Cabinet report is attached at Appendix 1.

6.         Part of the RCF grant in 2013/14 was used to support the development of the project. WS Atkins Limited (Atkins) were appointed to produce a Target Operating Model, supporting Business Case and Implementation Plan for the Regionalised Regulatory Service, which can be found at Appendix A to the draft Cabinet report.

7.         As set out in Appendix 1, it is recommended that a formal collaboration is entered into between the three local authorities with an integrated service operating under a single management structure. (This is described as the "collaborate and change" option). It is considered that this option provides the best opportunity to reduce costs and maintain a resilient service. The business case for adopting this model is set out in the Appendix A. To ensure the proposals meet the changing circumstances in each Council since the work was completed, Members will also need to refer to Appendix B of the Cabinet report which sets out the most up to date analysis.

8.         The financial, Human Resources and legal implications are contained in the draft Cabinet report, along with the proposed governance arrangements.

9.         The report is being presented to scrutiny committees in each local authority prior to its consideration by Cabinet, in order to allow Cabinet to take any comments or recommendations into account when making its decision. The comments and recommendations of each local authority’s scrutiny function will be collated into the final Cabinet report and presented in full to the Cabinet of each local authority.

10.      In order to assist Members in their consideration of this matter, the Council’s Senior Management and Officer representatives on the project in areas of finance, legal and HR have been invited to attend the meeting. Members will note that the Head of Service for Regulatory Services is not attending the meeting. This is in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest that could arise, due to the implications for individuals associated with the change to a new operating model.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      The financial implications of this project are described in detail in the draft Cabinet report at Appendix 1 and associated appendices.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.      There are no direct sustainability or climate change implications as a result of this report. The creation of the shared service would involve the rationalisation of office accommodation and the innovative use of information technology to improve efficiency and reduce the impact of the service on the environment.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      The legal implications of the proposal are outlined in detail in the draft Cabinet report at Appendix 1.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.      There are no specific crime and disorder implications associated with this report. It is anticipated that the creation of the shared service would enhance the ability to prevent, detect and manage relevant activity across the three Council areas.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.      The equalities implications are set out in the draft Cabinet report at Appendix 1.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      This proposal is consistent with the corporate plan objective to explore opportunities for working collaboratively within the Vale and regionally which will lead to improved services for customers, support innovation and deliver savings.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.      The proposals contained within the draft Cabinet report at Appendix 1 would require Executive and Council decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      This draft Cabinet report has been subject to consultation with the Shadow Joint Committee for the Regionalising Regulatory Services project.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Housing and Public Protection, Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Report of the Leader: Regionalising Regulatory Services Project, Cabinet, 29 July 2013

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Rees, Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, Tel: 01446 709413

 

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Head of Finance

Head of Human Resources

Head of Legal Services

Head of Strategic ICT

Group Estates Officer

Finance Support Manager

Business Improvement Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

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