Issue - meetings

Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements Review - Preferred Option for Breckland and South Holland District Councils

Meeting: 24/02/2021 - South Holland District Council (Item 81)

81 Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements Review - Preferred Option for Breckland and South Holland District Councils pdf icon PDF 359 KB

To set out the recommendations from Stage One of the Review of the future of the Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements between Breckland and South Holland District Councils (report of the Head of Paid Service and Strategic Advisor enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Paid Service and Strategic Advisor, which set out recommendations from Stage One of the Review of the future of the Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements between Breckland and South Holland District Councils.

 

At a meeting of the Joint Strategy Board on 11 January 2021, recommendations 1 – 3 within the report had been endorsed.  The Cabinets at both authorities had met (South Holland District Council on 26 January 2021 and Breckland Council on 1 February 2021) and recommendations 1-4 within the report had been supported.  Finally, the Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel at South Holland District Council, and the Overview and Scrutiny Commission at Breckland Council had both met separately on 9 February 2021, and recommendations 1-4 within the report had been supported.

 

Additional recommendations (5-9 within the report) had been identified and included within the report, following observations and comments from the Cabinet and scrutiny meetings, and following on-going governance arrangements of the Review Programme.

 

The following points were raised:

 

·         The Leader wished to re-iterate the fact that there were no negative reasons for the ending of the relationship between the two authorities.  As explained at previous meetings, the reasons were – 1) A return to place-based working – the difficulties of shared working across two separate counties had been highlighted by the Covid pandemic; 2) Local Government reorganisation; and 3) the recent retirement of the Joint Chief Executive.

 

·         The Chairman of the Performance Monitoring Panel confirmed that the proposals had been considered by a number of different committees, and there had been plenty of opportunity for a thorough debate.  The reasons for, and the process of separation had been made clear, and scrutiny had been satisfied with the explanations and processes.

 

DECISION:

 

Recommendations from Cabinet to Full Council:

 

1)    That the preferred option for the future of the integrated shared management structure and joint working arrangements between the two Councils, as set out in paragraph 1.9 of the report, be approved;

 

2)    That clause 8 of the Memorandum of Agreement between Breckland District Council and South Holland District Council be activated, and that any extension or shortening of the timeframe set out in clause 8.6A be authorised, by mutual agreement between the two parties, so far as may be considered appropriate by the Leaders, following consultation with their respective Cabinets;

 

3)    That the interim structures to support and enable the achievement of the preferred option for both Councils be approved for consultation;

 

4)    That subject to there being no material changes to the senior management structure following consultation with officers, delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Leader to implement the said structure.

 

Further recommendations to Full Council in support of above recommendations:

 

5)    That in respect of any Chief Officer or Deputy Chief Officer post that remains to be filled following the introduction of the new structure at appendices 3 and 4, South Holland  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81


Meeting: 09/02/2021 - Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel (Item 14)

14 Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements Review - Preferred Option for Breckland and South Holland District Councils pdf icon PDF 304 KB

To set out the recommendations from Stage One of the Review of the future of the Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements between Breckland and South Holland District Councils (report of the Head of Paid Service & Strategic Advisor enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Paid Service and Strategic Advisor which set out the recommendations from Stage One of the Review of the future of the Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements between Breckland and South Holland District Councils.

 

The Head of Paid Service and Strategic Advisor provided members with an overview of the report’s content.  Members were then provided the opportunity to feed back, and the following issues were raised:

 

·         As many staff and members were currently working remotely, could the Authority consider the option of a partnership with another authority further afield, given the advantages and efficiencies of working remotely?

o   Officers responded that there were clearly strong arguments for being in partnership with another organisation however, as the difficulties in responding to the Covid pandemic for the two authorities across different counties had demonstrated, if the partnership was not relatively local, it made the partnership less meaningful.  However, as a result of having to work differently, there had been additional learning that could be taken forward.

·         Members responded that with regard to remote working, it was important to evaluate how the current arrangements had worked, and to learn from both the negative and positive aspects of this, should this way of working continue.

 

·         Members felt that it was not clear where the figures quoted within the report had come from.  It was felt that it was weighted towards the preferred option, with not much background – how had the weightings been arrived at?  How could the Authority measure its ambitions within a new partnership when the type of partnership was not yet known?

o   Officers stated that there had been a lot of work undertaken that supported the report, and this process was explained. Initially, an appraisal had been undertaken by the Directors individually within both organisations, which had then been considered by them, together with the Head of Paid Service and Strategic Adviser, to compare and contrast the information and to provide some substance.  Each option had been ranked against criteria, as either high, medium or low, and these had then been converted to the final scoring of 3, 2 ,1.  This information has been brought together with political weighting, initially undertaken separately by the Cabinets at each authority, with an agreed political weighting and consensus then being arrived at during a joint meeting of both. The purpose had not been to assess a particular partnership or stand-alone model, rather to evidence what was required, and what it would be expected to deliver.  This was done by looking at what had already been achieved by the current shared arrangements, case study information from across local government, and the organisations’ aspirations with regard to taking the preferred option forward.  With regard to the quantity of data currently available, this could not be elaborated upon until a detailed business case stage was arrived at.  At the current stage therefore, the report could only include assumptions of what could be achieved, to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14


Meeting: 26/01/2021 - Cabinet (Item 57)

57 Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements Review - Preferred Option for Breckland and South Holland District Councils pdf icon PDF 303 KB

To set out the recommendations from Stage One of the Review of the future of the Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements between Breckland and South Holland District Councils (report of the Head of Paid Service & Strategic Advisor enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Paid Service & Strategic Advisor which set out the recommendations from Stage One of the Review of the future of the integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements between Breckland and South Holland District Councils.

 

The following additional, fourth recommendation was tabled at the meeting, and members were advised that this additional recommendation would also be considered at Breckland Council’s equivalent Cabinet meeting. The additional recommendation would allow for decisions to be taken more swiftly, once the staff consultation period had ended:

 

·         It is recommended that, subject to there being no material changes to the senior management structure following consultation with officers, delegated authority is given to the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Leader, to implement the said structure.

 

The following issues were addressed:

 

·         The Leader wished to make it clear that there were no negative reasons for the proposed ending of the partnership between South Holland District Council and Breckland Council.  The partnership had been innovative and successful, and was coming to an end for a number of reasons: 1) the challenges that had arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, working across two counties; 2)  the retirement of the Joint Chief Executive towards the end of 2020; and 3) the national agenda around Local Government Reorganisation, and the benefits of working with authorities within the same County.   These issues had provided the driving force for the need to undertake a strategic review.

·         Concern was raised that the proposed structure chart at Appendix 3 to the report showed Planning moving from being a Place-based function to Strategy and Resources (under Strategic Growth). In response, it was stated that this was only an interim position.  A draft, interim structure had been produced which delivered structure proposals in line with the political weighting to the evaluation criteria, within the financial constraints, and which accommodated staff’s wishes, as far as possible, whilst the Authority was in negotiations with potential partners in the future.  

·         In response to a question regarding savings achieved by the South Holland/Breckland partnership, it was confirmed that in the first 5 years of the partnership, there had been savings of approximately £4.4 million with ongoing savings of £0.5 million per year.  Over the life of the partnership, until the present time, on average £740,000 of savings had been delivered each year, totalling around £7.4 million over the life of the partnership.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

·         It was noted that, should one authority arrive at a new partnership before the other, assistance would still need to be provided between the authorities - Recommendation 2 of the report was in place to give a degree of flexibility and partnership working to address the situation when the partnership ended.  It was noted that this agreement reflected the fact that the Breckland/South Holland partnership was ending in a positive way in its continued support for each authority.  The Leader had made it clear to prospective partners within Lincolnshire that whatever future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57