Business Plan 2015/18

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1 Business Plan 2015/18

2 BUSINESS PLAN 2015/18 FORWARD In May 2015 a new Government will be ushered in. However, whatever the outcome the same challenge remains, to tackle local government's projected 12.4 billion funding gap by 2019/20 by radically transforming our services. Local government is playing its part in delivering solutions to this funding gap. Many local councils in the East have already successfully delivered savings, whilst continuing to provide quality services for their communities. We have taken up the challenge to deliver services differently, generating and piloting a great deal of innovative ideas for reforming the sector. However there is still much more that can and must be done. We must strengthen our ask of the new government to support us in this venture. In particular in providing our councils with more freedom in how public money is spent in their areas, whilst recognising that the solution to devolution in England will be different in different areas. At the East of England LGA we are committed to improving the sector and seeking out new ways of working, and will continue to work with you and support you in your endeavour s. This priority forms the context of our business plan for the next three years. I hope you share with me the recognition of the added value that the East of England LGA can and does deliver to you and your council. Cllr Tony Jackson Chairman of the East of England LGA Leader of East Herts Council 2

3 BUSINESS PLAN 2015/18 1. Introduction and objectives The East of England LGA is a politically -led, cross party organisation which works on behalf of the 52 local councils in the East of England to harness their collective strength to shape and serve their communities and localities. It is a voluntary body funded by subscription. Our organisational objectives are to be : a provider of innovative solutions and a catalyst for collaborative working; bringing together partners to harness their collective strength and knowledge. a highly respected and influential advocate for our members; promoting their leadership of their locality, as well as fighting for them to get the resources, powers and freedoms necessary to perform that role successfully. an invaluable resource of specialist expertise and capacity; providing a dvice and support to councils on key issues. The business plan sets out the over-arching themes for the year that set all of our work into context. It describes the ways in which the East of England LGA will work with its member councils and partners. It is intended that this plan will be reviewed and refreshed as part of the annual review of the Association. 2. Context The East of England LGA business plan comes at a time of tough and complex pressures on the sector and it must continue to undertake its role against the backdrop of these challenges: The prolonged austerity ensures that local councils will need to go beyond efficiencies and look to redefine their role and purpose in order to secure outcomes for communities. In the wake of the Scottish referendum, there are stronger calls by local government in England for more devolved power in the form of further decentralisation, financial freedoms and local responsibility for strategically important matters such as local taxation, skills and infrastructure. The devolution debate is complex, and poses both opportunities and risks for our member councils. As the UK s economic outlook improves making the case for growth will be crucial if local councils, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships, are to fulfil the ir potential, especially within the current focus on city regions. Local councils are seeing a generational challenge of rising demand and declining resources. If new and innovative solutions are not found, there is a risk of both serious public service failure and of individual councils becoming financ ially unsustainable 3

4 BUSINESS PLAN 2015/18 3. Themes for In addressing the contextual challenges outlined above our core subscription offer will focus on five priority themes: Cross Cutting Areas, Adult Social Care, Children s Services and Health; Economic Development and Growth; Europe; and Resources (including Employers Services). Cross Cutting Areas Ensure councils are self-aware and ensure that any councils or services facing difficulty are supported by the sector. Councils develop new and better ways of working to meet current and future challenges to service delivery. Enable councils to shape the views of Ministers and partners and are recognised nationally for the work they do Councils understand, influence and make the m ost of partner bodies, such as the Local Government Association (LGA). Use all opportunities to promote the work of East of England councils and to collectively demonstrate councils leadership role and new ways of working in key areas. Councils are able to shape the local debate around devolution and localism. Adult Social Care, Children s Services and Health Support our members in the high-cost areas of adult and children s services, to share good practice, prevent duplication and provide peer support. Ensure our members are supported through a programme of self -regulation to prevent external intervention or service failure. Coordinate external activity to ensure that the East of England makes the most of divested national programmes and funding. Economic Development and Growth Support our members and their partners with growth and developing more competitive local economies through collaborative working and champion the central role of local councils in economic growth. Local councils are supported in meeting new and existing housing pressures. Support Members to identify innovative models and efficiencies in environment and waste; the third largest local government spend element after social services and education. Support and foster developing cross-tier waste partnerships to provide more integrated waste collection and disposal services Europe Local councils and their partners understand and influence European policy. The East of England benefits from an increasing level of European funding. Maintain and develop effective working relationships with MEPs and Committee of the Regions Members, providing advice and briefings as appropriate. 4

5 BUSINESS PLAN 2015/18 Resources Enable our members to realise savings through supporting innovative efficiency and service re-design programmes. Expert and independent employers advice and support is provided to councils when necessary, and councils have constructive relationships with regional trade union bodies and influence national terms and conditions. Councils have an intelligent approach to procurement. Councils work together to meet the financial challenges facing the sector by learning from each other, new and innovative ways of working and using their collective power to influence national policy. 4. Talent Bank Our Talent Bank has been developed to support our subscription offer, outlined above, by providing additional in-depth support in priority areas. It enables councils to draw upon specialist expertise and additional capacity from a pool of quality associates. This is a paid-for service with associates provided on a flexible day-to-day rate, or project package basis and is part of our strategy to increase the sustainability of the East of England LGA. This adds value to our overall offer and keeps subscription costs down by providing opportunities to generate income. The areas supported by the Talent Bank are: Asset Management and Housing The asset management and housing service helps councils to optimise their occupation and use of property assets, maximise financial and service benefits, and supports them to address the range of housing challenges that they face through research, market analysis, forecasting of future service demand and the development of appropriate local solutions. Commercialisation The commercialisation service enables councils to assess the various options they could have for generating income through the establishment of new or improved trading models, as well as through the development a more commercial attitude and culture. It also supports them to develop and implement these new models of working. Human Resources (HR) and Organisational Development (OD) Services The service delivers HR and OD advice and support on-site to individual and groups of councils, ranging from major restructures to bespoke training programmes. Procurement Services The Procurement Service provides a range of support to help councils in this area including our well-respected training programme and our "Procurement Challenge" process. 5. The way we work The way we work is supported by the following set of principles: 5

6 BUSINESS PLAN 2015/18 We are a cross-party, politically led organisation with our members at the heart of decision making and development. We harness the expertise, experience and resources of our member councils We seek new opportunities for extending and strengthening the influence of councils. We work in partnership with the national Local Government Association and seek mutually to reinforce our respective work on local government s overall behalf. We recognise the different spatial levels that councils operate at, individually, at county and LEP level and regionally, for different objectives and purposes. We work across the public sector to support integrated working. We focus on the delivery of activities that offer good value for money and are effective. 6. Governance and staffing The 52 local councils in the East of England are all members of East of England LGA. The organisation is governed by the Leader or elected Mayor of each of the 52 councils in the region. The full assembly of the 52 leaders meets twice a year. This is a forum for discussion on common issues, but importantly provides a platform for all leaders to meet and hear from Ministers and other policy makers on key issues. Day to day management is provided by a management committee of five Leaders who are representative of the political proportionality of the region. A smaller Chief Executive s group also comes together quarterly to bring together the county and unitary councils plus one representative from each district area to tackle the strategic issues facing councils across the East of England. A series of networks also bring together the Lead Members around the key priority areas who come together to share experience and work collaboratively by thematic area. These networks are also supported by officer groups. A structure chart is included as Appendix A. The organisation is staffed by a small core of highly experienced and committed officers. Additionally, member councils can draw upon specialist expertise from the existing associate pool of high quality associates in the East of England LGA Talent Bank. 7. Communications and advocacy The Business Plan is underpinned by a strong communications, marketing and advocacy strategy which assist us to: Provide two way communication between the East of England LGA and our member councils to ensure that the support we provide is relevant and appropriate Ensure awareness and understanding amongst our member councils of the role, services and added value of the East of England LGA Be an influential advocate and to enhance the reputation of local government in the East of England for innovation, achievement, independence and resilience Enable the sharing of knowledge, ideas and good practice 6

7 BUSINESS PLAN 2015/18 Continue to work with partners, including the Local Government Association, to collaborate on issue led campaigns and to strengthen the voice of local government. 8. Delivery The business plan is supported by a detailed Action Plan outlining intended outcomes, activities, responsibilities, timescales and resources, providing a framework for monitoring and evaluating progress against key priorities and objectives. Progress against the action plan will be reported to the East of England LGA Management Committee on a quarterly basis. The plan will be reviewed annually, alongside the Business Plan. 7

8 ORGANISATION STRUCTURE Elected Member Network (LM = Lead Member) Officer Network External Officer Network East of England LGA Assembly of Council Leaders East of England LGA Management Committee East of England Strategic Authority Leaders East of England Chief Executives Group Improvement Panel Adult Social Care and Health LM Health and Wellbeing Chairs Children s Services and Education LM Economic Development LEP LM Networks European and International Panel Finance and Resources LM Employers Panel & subgroup Directors of Adult Services Health Integration Leads Directors of Children s Services Directors of Environment & Transport Finance Directors Heads of HR Procurement Officers Practitioner Groups

9 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 Themes Outcomes Actions Org. Objective Cross Cutting Local councils work together so they Local councils continue to be members of are better-placed to take strategic the East of England LGA. decisions, learn from each other, identify and test new and innovative ways of working. EESAL and CEXs Meetings delivered with representatives from government and partner bodies when necessary. Performance Target All 52 councils in membership and invoices paid Proportion of council leaders and CEXs attending (65%) Performance Monitoring From Customer satisfaction survey From attendance lists Local councils are self-aware and ensure that any councils or services facing difficulty are supported by the sector. Part of the self-improvement offer is delivered by East of England LGA. Quarterly meetings of the Improvement and Efficiency Panel. Number of councils receiving support Proportion of members attending (60%) From attendance lists Local councils shape the views of Ministers and partners and are recognised nationally for the work they do. Host two Assembly meetings per year with relevant and high profile keynote speakers secured. Case studies promoted nationally through relevant media. Proportion of council leaders attending (60%) Number of case studies promoted From attendance lists Freq: Bi-Annual Local councils understand, influence and make the most of partner bodies, such as the Local Government Association (LGA). Chairman attends and provides feedback from LGA Executive meetings. Annual reception at LGA conference. Proportion of meetings covered Proportion of council leaders and CEXs attending (65%) Freq: Bi-Annual From records From attendance lists 9

10 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 The political and executive leadership of the LGA meets with local councils in the East. Senior LGA Representatives visiting region twice per annum Local councils are able to shape the local debate around devolution and localism. Supporting councils and partners to explore options for local devolution and increased localism. Number of councils engaged Local councils develop new and better ways of working to meet current and future challenges to service delivery. Three events are held on innovation and new ways of working. An investment fund of 350,000 is available to member councils and their partner organisations. Minimum of 6 projects take up the Investment offer Freq: Bi-Annual Freq: Quarterly A project pump priming fund of 200,000 is available to support member councils and their partner organisations A Networked Councillor programme is delivered to look at the role of technology to connect with constituents. Projects deliver innovation or new ways of working Project targets met Taken from the business case for the projects Freq: Quarterly Adult Social Care, Children s Services and Health Local councils are supported in the high-cost areas of adult and children s services, to share good practice, prevent duplication and provide peer support. Deliver a series of Regional Health Integration challenge events. Quarterly meetings of the Adult Social Care and Health and Children s Services Lead Members network with links to senior officers groups. Proportion of Lead Members attending (60%) Network meetings have a lead senior officer From Attendance lists 10

11 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 Links to the East of England adult and children s services improvement programmes. Improvement leads attend meetings Quarterly meetings of East of England Integration network and associated activity supported. Proportion of councils attending (60%) From Attendance lists Economic Development and Growth Local councils and their partners in Local Enterprise Partnerships have access to helpful economic and population data. Support to councils around workforce planning in adult social care and children s services. Manage the East of England Forecasting Model to provide data on the scenarios that are most important to local councils, LEPs and other partner organisations. Disseminate findings through local and regional events. Number of councils engaged Forecasts are generated EEFM is promoted at a minimum of 2 regional events Local councils increase growth and develop more competitive local economies through collaborative working and championing the central role of councils in economic growth. Host two events for Economic Development lead members and officers. From attendance lists Local councils are supported to identify innovative models and efficiencies in what is the third Hold one event for Environment and Waste lead members and officers. 11

12 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 Europe largest local government spend element after social services and education. Local councils and their partners understand and influence European policy. At least one partnership is supported to deliver savings in environmental waste management through Talent Bank. Support the quarterly meetings of the European and International Forum in bringing Councils together with MEPs. Case Study of project is generated Proportion of members attending (60%) From attendance lists Bi-Monthly policy snapshots sent to member councils Number complete The East of England benefits from an increasing level of European funding. Bi-monthly funding monitors to highlight specific funding opportunities. Number complete Holds Government to account in its administration of EU Structural Funds. Resources Additional, short-term capacity and expertise is available to local councils. Local councils have constructive relationships with regional trade union bodies and influence national terms and conditions. Deliver annual EU funding master class. Promote and coordinate the Talent Bank. Support Regional Council as a means of unions and councils to take action on important issues. At least 1M turnover and 150,000 gross surplus. Freq: Monthly Interventions of Joint Secretaries Freq: Bi-Annual 12

13 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 Canvass local authority views and present them to the National Association of Regional Employers/LGA. Proportion of council responses (90%) Freq: Bi-Annual Expert and independent HR advice and support is provided to local councils when necessary. A full-time HR Helpline and survey service for timely advice on employment issues and examples from other councils. Responding to at least 200 enquiries. Expert employers advice is delivered to councils, working on strategic HR and OD issues like shared services and TUPE, with complex projects delivered through Talent Bank. Number of successfully completed projects In-house training programmes delivered to councils through Talent Bank, for example in management development, bullying and harassment, job evaluation and coaching. Number of successfully completed projects 80% evaluation forms rated good or above Freq: Bi-Annual Local councils are supported to share practice and represent the interests of local government as employers. Four meetings of the Employers Group (3) and Employers Forum (1) to discuss issues, and quarterly meetings of the Heads of HR group. Proportion of members and officers attending (60%) From Attendance lists Local councils realise savings through Talent Bank s efficiency and service re-design programmes. At least two partnerships are supported in delivering ambitious and collaborative asset management projects through Talent Bank. Case Studies of projects are produced 13

14 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 Deliver annual master class in asset management to share approaches At least 5 projects are supported with commercialisation of services through the Talent Bank. Deliver annual master class in commercialisation to develop skills in this area with in the sector. Case Studies of projects are produced Local councils have an intelligent approach to procurement. Carry out three major procurement projects in councils through Talent Bank. Case Studies of projects are produced Bi-annual Procurement East Networks are held to share practice and prevent duplication. Proportion of officers attending (50%) From Attendance lists Maintain a contracts database and extend to other public services. Deliver annual master class in procurement. Maintain a minimum 90% participation across all councils Local councils work together to meet the financial challenges facing the sector by learning from each other, new and innovative ways of working and using their collective power to influence nationally. Quarterly meetings of the Finance and Resources Lead Members and Director of Finance Group. Proportion of members (65%) and officers attending (55%) From attendance lists 14

15 ACTION PLAN 2015/16 Organisational Objectives Key: Delivering innovative solutions/collaborative working Advocate for councils Resource for specialist expertise and capacity 15

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