Agenda Item No 14

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 5 November, 2018

Report of the Cabinet Member Social Care, Health and Leisure

Memorandum of Understanding between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum

Purpose of the Report

  1. To enable Cabinet to consider and approve the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum.

Recommendation

  1. That Cabinet approves the Memorandum of Understanding, to be signed on behalf of the Council by the Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure who is the Older Peoples Champion.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To enable the Council and the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum to sign the Memorandum of Understanding which details how the two organisations will work together. 

Background

  1. The Vale 50+ Strategy Forum (formerly the Vale Older People's Strategy Forum) was first established in 2004 and its remit, profile and influence has grown over the years.  The establishment and running of the Forum was initially funded through a Welsh Government grant and the purpose was to provide a local voice for the needs of those people aged fifty plus. Similar forums were established across Wales. The grant from Welsh Government ended in 2011 when the funding was incorporated in to the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) allocated to local authorities. Since 2011 the Vale of Glamorgan Council has continued to support the Forum and the Older Peoples Strategy.
  2. The Forum developed and agreed a constitution when it was formed in 2004; this has been regularly reviewed and revised to reflect changes in how the Forum works. 

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Forum has a strong association with the Council and both organisations value the relationship and recognise the mutual benefits of working together.
  2. To date, the relationship between the Forum and the Council has not been detailed in any document. The draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), attached as Appendix A, is the first MOU between the Council and the Forum and is intended to clarify the relationship between the two organisations.  This will benefit both organisations and also partner organisations working with the Forum as it clearly sets out the responsibilities and commitments that underpin the relationship between the Council and the Forum.
  3. The Forum has an Executive Board and a range of Task Groups which support the work of the Forum.  The Forum is a member of Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) and benefits from the advice and support that GVS offer. 
  4. The professionalism of the Forum is respected by the Council and other partners and their views are sought on a range of topics from public transport to health services.  The Forum has a good reputation locally and nationally for engaging with the local community and for participating in consultations about policy development and service improvements. 
  5. The Council and the Forum have agreed a number of shared values and guiding principles that reflect the relationship between the Council and the Forum. These are detailed in the MOU which also sets out the responsibilities of the Council and the Forum against a number of headings:
  • What we do
  • Conduct
  • Regional and Partnership Working
  • Promoting the Forum
  • Health and Safety
  • Data Protection
  1. In working together the Council and the Forum will consider how they are maximising their contribution to the seven national well-being goals as  detailed in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015), for example a healthier Wales and a more equal Wales. Both organisations will be mindful of each other's priorities and the contribution they can make to achieve them.
  2. The organisations recognise the benefits of a good working relationship and the need to work together to meet the needs and aspirations of older people. It is important that the Forum has an independent voice and that both organisations are mindful of doing anything to the detriment of each other's reputation.  The MOU recognises that, although it is important that the two organisations work closely together and are respectful of each other's roles, there will be differences of opinion from time to time.
  3. The Executive of the Forum have worked closely with officers from the Council's Strategy and Partnership team to develop this MOU and to draft a range of policies and documents to provide a more robust governance framework for the Forum.  At the recent AGM the Forum agreed the draft MOU as well as the following documents:
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Safeguarding policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure
  1. These new policies together with the MOU reflect the professional way in which the Forum operates and how, whilst the Council provides advice and support, the Executive and wider Forum membership also recognise their responsibilities.
  2. The process of drafting the MOU has provided an opportunity for Council officers and members of the Forum to discuss what is important about the relationship. Forum members highlighted the importance of having a designated point of contact and regular interaction with officers from the Council. There was also discussion about how the organisations can work together to give older people a voice and ensure their needs are considered across a range of areas e.g. transport, leisure and social care.  It was also agreed that the Forum must be able to challenge and at times take on the role of a critical friend and that this will be respected. The Forum have also committed to continue their role as a consultee for the Council in the development of policies.
  3. It is proposed that the MOU is reviewed every two years or sooner, where there is an agreed need to do so.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. The Forum currently receives support from officers in the Strategy and Partnership team and has a small budget funded by the Council.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The MOU and the Council's work with the Forum is consistent with the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015). As detailed on pages 5 and 6 of the MOU the work between the Council and the Forum contributes to the achievement of the Council's Well-being Objectives which contribute to the achievement of the national Well-being Goals. The Act also sets out five ways of working that public bodies should follow in progressing their work towards the sustainable development principle (involvement, integration, collaboration, prevention and long term). The MOU is an example of partnership working and the involvement of the local community in the work of the Council and other local organisations. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are no direct legal implications associated with this report. The MOU is not a legally binding document, but rather, sets out a series of principles and commitments for both the Council and the Forum in how both parties will interact with one another.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no implications directly arising from this report.  Members of the Forum regularly work with Safer Vale and other partners to raise awareness about community safety issues and issues like elder abuse.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The work of the Forum helps to ensure that older people in the Vale have a voice and that their needs and aspirations are taken in to account across the Council and by other organisations providing services in the Vale of Glamorgan. The Forum has a specific Equality and Diversity Policy. A representative of the Forum sits on the Council's Equality Consultative Forum.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The work with the Forum, who provides a voice for older people living in the Vale of Glamorgan, contributes to the achievement of the Council's Corporate Plan.  The MOU provides a useful framework for this work and demonstrates the Council's commitment to ensuring the needs of older people are considered in all aspects of service delivery.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The draft Memorandum of Understanding has been developed in partnership with the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum.  A workshop was held in July and further discussions have taken place at Executive meetings and at the Annual General Meeting where Forum members agreed the MOU. 
  2. As part of the development of the MOU, relevant officers were asked for comments regarding health and safety, safeguarding, equalities, legal implications and information management. Their input has helped to frame the document and the policy documents recently adopted by the Forum.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Helen Moses, Strategy and Partnerships Manager 

Officers Consulted

Legal Services

Head of Finance

Operational Manager, Performance and Policy

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director

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