Democratic Services Executive Summary. Quality Descriptors Description Outstanding, sector leading

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1 APPENDIX 1 Democratic Services Executive Summary 1. Democratic Services Assessment 1.1 Overall performance is assessed as very good 1.2 Capacity for improvement is assessed as very good Quality Descriptors Description Excellent Outstanding, sector leading Very good Major strengths Good Important strengths with some areas for improvement Satisfactory Strengths just outweigh weaknesses Weak Important weaknesses Unsatisfactory Major weaknesses 1.3 Examples of major strengths within the service during 2014/15 include:- Successfully handled an unprecedented 4 electoral events over a 12 month period; All of the priorities for 14/15 were effectively implemented with the exception of priority 3; Legal Services provided pan-ayrshire legal leadership for the integration of health and social care, enabling all key governance to be in place ahead of any other authority; Communications achieved huge positive media coverage for the Council, at the same time as expanding internal communications and support for awards and submissions; The embedding of an Information Governance team gave assurance in relation to Data Protection and information processes, and enabled the Council to get its Records Management Plan lodged in time; Development of the Local Government Benchmarking Framework The award of Healthy Working Lives Gold accreditation; All key Council governance documentation fully reviewed and approved; Ensuring that the strongest possible LGA Most Improved Council, Recognised for Excellence and MJ Awards submissions were lodged; Community and Neighbourhood Planning teams identified to visiting Northern Irish delegation as exemplars of best practice. 1.4 Areas for Improvement or Development- Development of corporate policy support for the Council; Refreshing and embedding our approach to equalities; Develop services provided to Elected Members including a cost reduction approach through the use of electronic systems; To undertake preparatory work to pave the way for an Electronic Records Management System (EDRMS);

2 Further embedding knowledge of Data Protection across the Council; Transformational Change aligning the work of the Change team with the most crucial transformational areas 2. Financial performance 2.1 The Democratic & Administration Service was underspent by 0.221m (5% of the annual budget) for the year. The main reasons for the final underspend are:- Policy, Performance & Community Planning Underspend of 0.193m mainly within employee costs. Included in this underspend is 0.065m relating to Information Compliance Team and 0.148m within Policy and Performance due to delay in filling posts. Communications Overspend of 0.023m due to expenditure relating to Recognised for Excellence Committee and Members Services Underspend of 0.020m within employee costs due to delay in filling posts. Change Programme Underspend of 0.034m within employee costs relates to one vacancy and one member seconded to another team. 3. Democratic Services - Priorities for 2014/15 This section provides a summary of progress against the Service s identified priorities for 2014/15. Priority 1 Co-ordinate the alignment of the resources of different public sector agencies to best meet the needs of individual areas through the development of capacity within communities and the roll out of Neighbourhood Planning Forums Six community based workshops were completed in March 2015 which were all aimed at gaining an understanding of the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the Neighbourhood Planning Approach. Terms of Reference for a Transition Programme Board have now been drafted and the new group will meet 6-weekly to ensure all work streams are progressed. Analysis of the community workshop comments has also begun and these will be published on the CPP website pages. A long-list of options for governance arrangements around six proposed Neighbourhood Partnerships will be generated for stakeholders. All workshop participants will be surveyed online to help determine the weightings for proposed functions for Neighbourhood Partnerships. This information will be used to filter and refine three or four workable options for both the CPP and wider stakeholders to consider as part of the appraisal process.

3 Priority 2 Deliver the 2014 European Parliamentary Elections and 2014 Referendum on Scottish Independence in line with statutory provision During 2014, accurate and transparent electoral events were held with regard to the European Parliamentary Election, the Scottish Independence Referendum and also the North Coast and Cumbraes By Election. Planning is now underway for the UK Parliamentary Election being held on the 7 May Priority 3 Develop services provided to Elected Members including a cost reduction approach through the use of electronic systems The need for Democratic Services to prioritise the delivery of an unprecedented four electoral events in a 12 month period, at a time when there were vacancies in key staff came at the cost of slippage in this priority. This notwithstanding, the CMIS system, which underlies paperless meetings, has been partly implemented. Further work is now being undertaken to identify the most effective means of facilitating the move from hard copy to electronic agendas and papers, thus reducing printing costs. During 15/16 a review of services provided to members will also be undertaken to ensure that members are supported as effectively as possible. Priority 4 Implement an effective and proactive Information Governance and Data Protection regime within the Council During 14/15 the Information Governance Team was recruited and embedded into the Service. The remaining post to pave the way for the development of an Electronic Document Records Management System will commence in July A key role of the team is to promote good governance and assurance in information management, and to ensure that Services are equipped with the knowledge and skills in areas such as Records Management, Freedom of Information and Data Protection. To develop this, the Information Management Governance Group was refreshed with more senior representatives, a Data Protection Advisory Group created, and a revised Data Protection Policy produced. The Council's Records Management Plan was approved by Cabinet on 24 March and was submitted to the National Records of Scotland for approval by the deadline of 31 March. Information governance training for Senior Information Risk Owners and Information Asset Owners will be arranged in the next quarter. The records retention schedules for IT Services, Risk Management and Insurance and Corporate Procurement were approved during the quarter. Over half of Services' schedules have now been approved.

4 The team also ensured that the Council met its statutory obligations in responding to requests made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the Data Protection Act Priority 5 Deliver effective communications (internal and external) to support the integration of Health and Social Care The Service chaired the pan-ayrshire Communications Workstream, which was one of the pan-ayrshire workstreams which paved the way for North Ayrshire Integration Joint Board to be successfully created as Scotland s first Integrated Joint Board. Work is currently underway to develop a logo/brand for the partnerships. Priority 6 Provide the support and challenge necessary to drive the Council s transformation from Good to Great and to address the identified funding gap. A Transformation Board was formed in late 2014 with the responsibility to oversee the current portfolio of transformational activity as well as new transformational programmes/projects and activity aimed at budget savings. A pilot of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology was held during 2014, with a Day of Success held in November 2014 to give the LSS improvement teams the opportunity to feed back to the ECMT the excellent work and benefits achieved through the pilot. Further training has been undertaken in order that North Ayrshire Council can expand this improvement methodology into other areas of the Council and a second phase of improvement projects is currently being agreed. A stocktake of the Council s transformation work was undertaken in 2014, enabling the Service to re-focus its work on the most important areas of transformation. Priority 7 Assess & refine the Performance Management Strategy to develop further the culture of performance across the Council, including selfassessment and robust benchmarking The refreshed Performance Management Strategy was presented to Cabinet for approval on the 20 April The Performance Management Strategy focuses on continuing to support and underpin the Council s Good to Great journey by embedding a high performance management culture across the Council. The Strategy has been completed following the work on the Council Plan and revised Directorate Planning guidance. The Strategy will be underpinned by the Performance Management Forum work plan and progress will be reported six monthly to the Extended Corporate Management Team and Committee.

5 Work on developing different levels of performance reporting is being informed by the Council Plan scorecard. The Corporate Management Team are currently being consulted on the Council Plan scorecard which includes the Strategic Priorities and the Good to Great themes. The Council has been involved with the Improvement Service in the creation and continued development of the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) and we have embraced the framework to support our improvement journey. The most recent LGBF report, which outlines performance against indicators for 2013/2014, shows that North Ayrshire Council has improved both performance and rank (against other Scottish Councils) across all categories of indicators. We now publish the details for the benchmarking comparisons on our public website and the report will be discussed at a future Performance Management Forum with a view to agree actions to further improve our performance in the LGBF indicators. During 2014/15, officers within the Council contributed to a submission of our excellent work and our impressive journey to greatness this was submitted to Quality Scotland for the Recognised for Excellence (R4E) accreditation. Following the submission, a site visit was conducted by assessors from Quality Scotland in March 2015 which involved a number of interviews and focus groups with Council employees and elected members. We await the result of our submission and site assessment and hope to be accredited with the award in June Priority 8 Provide a comprehensive and efficient legal service to the Council including supporting the integration of Health and Social Care As part of the budget setting process, Council agreed to a post of Employment Solicitor, which has now been appointed. This enables a comprehensive legal service to be provided. As regards efficiency, a customer satisfaction survey was carried out in The numbers very satisfied and satisfied with the efficiency and timing of the Service is 93.22% compared to 83.63% in For the overall standard of service the numbers very satisfied and satisfied are 91.53% in 2014 compared to 83.64% in During 14/15, Legal Services led the pan-ayrshire workstream on Integration of Health and Social Care, whose primary role was to prepare the governance for the establishment of the Integration Joint Board (IJB). The Integration Scheme was approved by Ministers in January 2015 and all the key governance documents were approved at the first meeting of the IJB on 2 April As this was the first IJB to be established in Scotland, much of the Service s work has been used nationally. Priority 9 Review the budget, governance and accommodation for the Civil Contingencies Team

6 It has been agreed that the accommodation will remain at Prestwick in the interim, and that all three Councils will contribute equally to this shared service from 1 April This results in a reduced contribution for NAC. The pan- Ayrshire Steering Group are presently examining the potential of this being run on a Lead Council model from 1 April Changes to the staffing structure have also been agreed and will be taken forward in 15/16. Priority 10 Undertake and embed a restructuring of the Service This was completed in 14/15, following finalisation of the Council s 3 year budget. The Service now consists of five teams of Democratic Services (Committee Services, Information Governance, Community and Neighbourhood Planning, Elections and Council Officers, Policy and Performance), Legal and Licensing, Communications (Communications, Marketing and Member Services), Change and the shared Civil Contingencies Team. The restructuring has allowed resources to be directed to areas of increasing demand. Priority 11 Retain Healthy Working Lives (HWL) Gold accreditation During 2014/15 the Council obtained Gold standard for Livewell/Healthy Working Lives. The Service also coordinated the installation of defibrillators at key locations throughout North Ayrshire. The annual review for the Gold re-accreditation process takes place at the end of June The Livewell group have continued to promote a wide range of activities throughout the year to meet the review criteria. This includes preparing the Employee Wellbeing Survey for launch in May 2015 and gathering wider evidence of activities that supports the Healthy Working Lives approach; this includes the defibrillator training programme and the promotion of Equalities Awareness Training both of which will be submitted as evidence for the review.

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