Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................... 3
2. BACKGROUND ............................................................................................. 3
3. PURPOSE ..................................................................................................... 3
4. STRUCTURE OF THE MERTON PARTNERSHIP ........................................ 4
A) THE MERTON PARTNERSHIP ........................................................................ 4
B) THE EXECUTIVE BOARD ................................................................................ 7
C) THEMATIC PARTNERSHIPS ........................................................................... 8
D) DELIVERY GROUPS ...................................................................................... 10
E) COMPACT REPRESENTATION ..................................................................... 10
(F) AD HOC WORKING GROUPS....................................................................... 11
5. TERMS OF REFERENCE ........................................................................... 11
6. CONFLICTS OF INTERSET ........................................................................ 12
7. RESOLVING DISAGREEMENTS ................................................................ 12
8. MEETINGS .................................................................................................. 12
9. RESOURCING THE PARTNERSHIP .......................................................... 14
10. CONSULTATION, ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS .................. 15
11. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT .............................................................. 15
12. RISK MANAGEMENT ................................................................................. 16
13. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL MANAGEMENT ................................................. 16
14. PARTNERSHIP IMPROVEMENT PLAN ..................................................... 18
APPENDICES ...................................................................................................... 20
Appendix A - Current Merton Partnership members ........................................ 20
Appendix B - Merton Partnership Protocol for Standards and Behaviour ..... 22
Appendix C - Compact Principles ...................................................................... 24
Appendix D - Merton Partnership Scheme of Delegation ................................ 26
Appendix E - Guide to business meetings ........................................................ 28
1.1 This Handbook sets out the strategic, decision-making and operational
structure of the Merton Partnership, and identifies the roles and
responsibilities of partners. The information in this Handbook will be
reviewed and updated as the Partnership evolves.
1.2 To ensure that you have the most up-to-date version, please contact the
Chief Executive’s Department, London Borough of Merton, 9th Floor,
Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5DX, or go to:
2.1 The Merton Local Strategic Partnership (the Merton Partnership) was
established in January 2002. As Merton was not a Neighbourhood
Renewal borough and was not required to have a Local Strategic
Partnership, it was agreed that the initial year would be a pilot year, and
that its operation and membership would be reviewed 12 months later.
2.2 In subsequent years the Partnership has developed and evolved
significantly. Over time it adopted Merton’s first Community Plan and has
overseen its implementation (from July 2002) and refresh (June 2009), and
commissioned and adopted a Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy for the
borough (October 2004). It has negotiated a Local Area Agreement (LAA)
with central government for the period 2007-2010 and this has now been
refreshed to cover the period 2008-2011.
2.3 It was agreed that the Partnership would support the development and
implementation of the 2006-2015 Community Plan and the implementation
of the 2005-2010 Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy. An Executive Board
was established, to act as a co-ordinating body and key delivery
mechanism. The Executive Board now has responsibility for monitoring the
implementation of the LAA and the refreshed Community Plan.
3.1 The Merton Partnership was established as the overarching strategic
partnership for the Borough. Its aim is to work together with all partners on
issues that are key to the people of the Borough, including residents,
workers and visitors, as reflected in the Community Plan.
3.2 The Partnership’s primary objectives are to deliver the Community Plan,
Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy and, more recently, the Local Area
Agreement. This is achieved through:
promoting a network of public and other agencies committed to the
delivery of effective, efficient and high quality services, that will
provide optimum outcomes;
the establishment of set strategic objectives and operational plans,
including commitment of core resources and agreement to continuous
review of Partnership arrangements;
in particular, coordinating the development and implementation of the
Community Plan for Merton, ensuring that the needs of all parts of
Merton’s community, including black ethnic minority groups, people
with disabilities and other minority interests are taken into account;
coordinating the development and monitoring the implementation of
the Merton LAA
developing and overseeing the implementation of a Neighbourhood
Renewal Strategy for Merton. This will address areas of deprivation
and identify actions to improve the life chances and experiences of
those living in the most deprived neighbourhoods in the borough;
promoting collaboration between Partnership Members, particularly
relating to skill sharing, training, resource management, external
funding and bid development; and good practice; and
development and implementation of a Communications Strategy that
ensures effective communication between the work of the Merton
Partnership, Partnership Members and the local community.
4. STRUCTURE OF THE MERTON PARTNERSHIP
4.1 Merton’s Local Strategic Partnership is known as the Merton Partnership.
The Merton Partnership consists of senior representatives from the public,
private, voluntary and community sectors. Members are recruited on the
basis of their capacity to represent their organisations and not their
4.2 The members of the Partnership are attached at Appendix A. Membership
of the Merton Partnership and its Executive Board is regularly reviewed.
Invitations for additional representatives to join is by prior agreement
between the existing Members.
4.3 The partnership consists of a number of key groups:
a number of delivery groups; and
ad hoc working groups.
A) THE MERTON PARTNERSHIP
Roles and responsibilities
4.4 The Merton Partnership is the governing body of the Partnership. It acts as
a forum for discussion of strategic issues affecting the economic, social
and environmental well being of Merton’s residents and businesses,
meeting four times a year. Through this discussion it sets the strategic
direction and priorities for the Partnership, and provides governance to the
Executive Board in the production, revision and delivery of the Community
Plan, Local Area Agreement and Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy. In this
it aims to ensure that the work of the Executive Board reflects community
aspirations. The Partnership also leads on communication between the
Partnership and the wider community.
4.5 Members of the wider Merton Partnership aim to:
work proactively in the interests of better outcomes for Merton
residents and businesses and the interest of cordial partnership
provide leadership and be advocates for Merton;
share information, data, consultation initiatives, best practice and
resources freely and openly wherever possible;
consult and engage with all parts of the wider community to evaluate
the Partnerships work and continually assess its relevance to the
prioritise the work of the Partnership and only commit to those areas
of work which they can deliver, making time to prepare for and attend
meetings and follow up actions;
assist each other with key pieces of work in the interests of the profile,
re-sourcing and operation of the Partnership, and better service
provision in the borough;
work together towards the development of an integrated network of
public and other services, focusing on outcomes, minimising
bureaucracy and working towards the aligning of budgets for
appropriate projects and areas of work;
work with partnerships to develop and implement a Performance
Management Framework for the Community Plan, Neighbourhood
Renewal Strategy and other projects. As a general principle it will
monitor, evaluate and publicise its work;
promote clear and open decision-making, progressively integrated
across different partners. Governance arrangements will be reviewed
annually but changes to the documentation and rules may take place
between annual reviews with the agreement of the Partnership;
develop mutual trust and respect through a willingness to participate
in constructive debate and provide strong support; and
promote innovation, be open to change and identify and share good
4.6 Organisations on the Partnership (and Executive Board – see below) are
commit to a minimum two year term;
contribute to decision-making, commit resources and commit to
insofar as is practical align the objectives and processes of their own
organisations with those of the Merton Partnership and specifically to:
align their performance management systems with the Merton
Partnership and its overarching strategies, in particular the
ensure consistency between their business planning and the
overall aims of the Merton Partnership;
align existing planning and budget cycles as much as possible;
ensure decisions, commitments and deliverables are understood
and agreed by all members;
align consultation processes and share client base where
ensure distribution and communications of policy, strategic
directives and decisions; and
consider longer-term streamlining and co-ordination of budgets.
4.7 As the governing body of the Partnership, membership of the Partnership is
made up of senior elected or board-level representatives from key public,
private, voluntary and community umbrella organisations that are active in
Merton. The Chair of the Executive Board is also a full member of the
Partnership. There are also five places for representatives of the
community nominated through the Community Engagement Network.
4.8 Members of the Partnership (and Executive Board) are named
representatives of the participating organisations and networks and should
each supply one named substitute. This named substitute will normally be
the attendee in place of the named representative.
4.9 The Partnership is chaired by the Leader of the Council in light of the
Council’s Community Leadership role and his/her position as the senior
elected representative of the local community. The role of the Chair of the
Partnership is to facilitate informed debate and broker agreement between
the group on issues brought before the Partnership.
4.10 Full members of either the Partnership Board or the Executive Board
ideally should not also be CEN representatives at the same tier of the
Partnership, as this will reduce the opportunity for others to participate in
the work of the Partnership.
4.11 The Partnership is accountable to its member bodies, as well as to the
local community (including the business sector). Its meetings are open to
4.12 Formal monitoring of the work of the Partnership takes place through the
production of an Annual Report that is subject to review by the Overview
and Scrutiny Commission of Merton Council.
4.13 Following this review, the Annual Report is presented at an annual meeting
at which the work of the Executive Board and Thematic Partnerships is
presented and discussed with partner agencies and a wider partnership
4.14 Progress against Partnership objectives will also be subject to the
monitoring and scrutiny arrangements of individual partner bodies as well
as regulatory bodies such as the Government Office for London (GOL) and
the Audit Commission
B) THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Roles and responsibilities
4.15 The role of the Executive Board is to operationally manage the delivery of
the priorities and targets of the Merton Partnership, as set out in the
Community Plan, Local Area Agreement and Neighbourhood Renewal
Strategy. It does this through coordinating and monitoring the work of the
five Thematic Partnerships. In order to carry out this function the Executive
Board meets every two months.
4.16 Membership of the Executive Board is made up of senior executives from
the key sectors/agencies in the borough, all of which are represented on
the Merton Partnership. Membership of the Executive Board is based on
the ability to:
commit significant budgets and resources; and
make high-level strategy and operational decisions.
4.17 The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Executive Board are chosen and
appointed by the Merton Partnership for a term of two years.
4.18 The Chair of the Merton Partnership (or in his/her absence, the Deputy
Chair) also attends the Executive Board in an observer role.
4.19 One place on the Executive Board has been made available to a
representative of the community nominated through the Community
4.20 The Compact Board will nominate one member to represent Compact
issues on the Merton Partnership Executive Board.
4.21 The Executive Board is accountable to the Merton Partnership for delivery
of the priorities and targets of the Merton Partnership. Members of the
Executive Board will also be accountable to their own organisations.
4.21 Progress will be monitored through regular reports to the Executive Board
from the Thematic Partnerships on progress in delivering the identified
priorities, in line with the Partnership’s agreed Performance Management
Framework. The Executive Board in turn reports back to meetings of the
Merton Partnership on delivery.
4.22 Individual agencies and organisations on the Partnership will also monitor
their contribution towards shared priorities through their own internal
4.23 From time to time the Executive Board will be required to report to
regulatory bodies such as GOL and the Audit Commission on performance
against LAA targets.
C) THEMATIC PARTNERSHIPS
Roles and responsibilities
4.24 These bodies are tasked with coordinating delivery of the priorities of the
Merton Partnership, as identified in the Community Plan. They will
determine the need for, and the work programme of, any delivery groups
that report to them and will actively monitor and manage the work
programmes that take place. They will take responsibility for embedding
key targets and for pursuing specific pieces of work on behalf of the Merton
4.25 Each thematic partnership will be expected to carry out regular mapping
exercises to ensure that the set of established delivery groups are the most
appropriate for delivering these outcomes, and that as such the Partnership
is fit for purpose. The thematic partnerships will meet as and when
4.26 The main areas of work for the thematic partnerships are set out below:
Sustainable Sustainable housing
communities Environment (including street scene)
The economy (including adult learning and skills)
Safer and Preventing and reducing crime, anti-social behaviour
stronger and substance misuse
communities Community cohesion and active citizenship
Public safety (including fire safety, traffic safety and
Healthier Improving health outcomes
Communities Reducing health inequalities
Older people Independent living
Children and Education
Young Children’s social care
People Youth services
4.27 Membership of each thematic partnership may be drawn from all
organisations within the Merton partnership, and even beyond that where,
for example, there is a need for additional expertise.
4.28 However, the Chair of each thematic partnership is expected to be at Chief
Officer level or equivalent of one of the Partnerships member
organisations. A member of the Executive Board may chair a thematic
4.29 The Chair of each thematic partnership will act as a champion for their
particular theme and will provide high-level leadership for the delivery of
the related priorities and outcomes. The Chairs will be reviewed on an
4.30 Each thematic partnership will also include at least one elected member
from the Council (but not the Leader) and two representatives of the
community nominated through the Community Engagement Network.
4.31 Each Chair is supported by a nominated lead officer who has responsibility
for delivery in that particular area. The Leads will be reviewed on an
4.32 These thematic partnerships take direction from and are responsible to the
Executive Board for delivering relevant aspects of the Community Plan,
Local Area Agreement and Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy.
4.33 They will be expected to report their achievements against relevant
priorities and targets to the Executive Board on a regular basis, in line with
the Partnership’s agreed Performance Management Framework.
4.34 Thematic Partnership Chairs will be invited to attend Executive Board
meetings but will not be full, voting members of the Board. Thematic
partnership leads will be invited as appropriate.
D) DELIVERY GROUPS
Roles and responsibilities
4.35 The role of the delivery groups is to deliver the priorities of the Merton
Partnership, as identified in the Community Plan. Decisions about the
configuration and number of delivery groups that relate to each thematic
partnership will be determined by that partnership. The need for particular
groups may come and go depending on the delivery of individual targets
(i.e. once a target is met the need for that group may no longer be needed)
and the thematic partnership’s views as to the best arrangements for
delivery. Delivery groups will meet as and when appropriate.
4.36 Membership of each delivery group will be determined by the thematic
partnership and may be drawn from all organisations within the Merton
Partnership, and even beyond that where, for example, there is a need for
4.37 The Chair of the delivery group will be determined by the thematic
partnership. Delivery groups may include an elected member from the
Council and/or representatives of the community nominated through the
Community Engagement Network.
4.38 Delivery groups are accountable to their ‘host’ thematic partnership. They
will be expected to report their achievements against relevant priorities and
targets to their ‘host’ thematic partnership on a regular basis, in line with
the expectations of the Partnership’s Performance Management
E) COMPACT REPRESENTATION
Roles and responsibilities
4.39 The Merton Compact Board ensures that the COMPACT principles (see
Appendix B) are embedded in the partnership by:
monitoring compact implementation;
ensuring that partners work in a COMPACT way;
providing a scrutiny function; and
dealing with complaints in relation to the operation of the Compact
and identifying issues to be taken forward.
4.40 Membership of the Compact Board is set out at Appendix C. The Compact
Board will nominate a member to represent Compact issues on the Merton
Partnership Executive Board.
4.41 There will also be at least one member of the Compact Board on each
4.42 The Compact Board is accountable to the Executive Board of the
Partnership. It will present two reports per year to the Executive Board on
the implementation and embedding of the Compact principles.
(F) AD HOC WORKING GROUPS
Roles and responsibilities
4.43 In addition to the normal practice of commissioning work through the
thematic partnerships, the Merton Partnership and/or the Executive Board
may, from time to time, establish working groups to pursue particular
projects. Examples include the convening of working groups to develop
the Community Plan 2006-2015.
4.44 Formal project methodologies will be expected to be used (for example,
Prince II) at the start of the project.
4.45 These groups will be set up on a ‘task and finish’ basis, and will be
dissolved once the project has completed.
4.46 Membership of the working group, including the nominated Chair, will be
identified according to the project for which the group has been set up.
4.47 Working groups of the Partnership are accountable to the Executive Board.
The nominated Chair of the working group will be invited to the Executive
Board to report on progress on the respective project at agreed intervals for
the lifetime of the project. Decision-making in respect of dissolution of the
working group at the completion of the project (or beforehand) lies solely
with the Executive Board.
5. TERMS OF REFERENCE
5.1 The members of the Partnership, share a commitment to striving to work with
the Nolan principles which set standards in public life and the Compact
principles which outline the guidelines for working with the voluntary and
community sector. These are attached at Appendix C. The Nolan principles
were designed to apply in particular to individuals, but they provide a guide for
the Partnerships and its members.
5.2 The Partnership has also adopted a Code of Individual Conduct covering
standards of behaviour between individuals involved in the Partnership. This
is attached at Appendix D.
6. CONFLICTS OF INTERSET
6.1 It is each member’s responsibility to declare interests of relevance to the
agenda at the start of any meetings (including the Merton Partnership, the
Executive Board, Thematic Partnerships or any other meetings related to
the Merton Partnership), or immediately in the event that an issue is raised
during a meeting. The Chief Executive’s Office of the Council will maintain
a register of any such declarations.
7. RESOLVING DISAGREEMENTS
7.1 Any disagreement that has a direct connection with the work of the Merton
Partnership will be dealt with as follows:
insofar as is possible, conflicts should be resolved through discussion
in the group where they occurred;
where a resolution cannot be reached the conflict will be escalated to
the level above it;
the Chair of the tier of the partnership that a conflict has been
escalated to may nominate an individual or set up a specific sub-
group to investigate and resolve the dispute;
conflicts should be resolved outside of fixed partnership meetings as
far as is practicable, so as not to take up necessary meeting time;
if the conflict cannot be resolved at the Partnership, an independent
body will be asked to mediate. It has been agreed that the Chief
Executive of the London Borough of Enfield will be the independent
person for the purposes of any such conflict resolution;
7.2 Where there is a complaint or disagreement relating to Compact matters
attempts will be made to resolve these through discussion and agreement
at the Compact Board in the first instance. Referral to the Compact Board
may be through any member of the Board. In the event that the Compact
Board cannot resolve a disagreement the Chair of the Compact Board may
take the disagreement through to the Executive Board for resolution.
8.1 A general good practice guide to business meetings of the Partnership is
attached at Appendix D.
The Merton Partnership
8.2 The Merton Partnership meets quarterly in public. The Leader of the
Council chairs the Merton Partnership, in recognition of his/her elected
status and the Council’s Community Leadership role. The Leader of the
Council will invite nominations for the Deputy Chair who will be chosen on
the approval of the majority of the Executive Board. The Deputy Chair will
retain this role for a maximum of two years.
8.3 Merton Partnership meetings provide a forum for the discussion of strategic
issues related to the borough of Merton. Any stakeholders, including
officers within the Council or any other partner organisation and members
of the public, may propose agenda items. A forward programme will be
developed to reflect the strategic issues facing the Partnership.
8.4 Meetings of the Merton Partnership are arranged by officers of Merton
Council. Agenda items must be submitted via the Policy and Partnerships
Manager in the Chief Executive’s Department at Merton Council by the due
date. Approval of the final agenda for a meeting rests with the Chair.
8.5 The Executive Board will meet every two months, or more frequently by
agreement. The Chair of the Executive Board will be selected by the
members of the Merton Partnership every two years along with a Deputy
8.6 The forward agenda for the Executive Board will contain as standing items:
(i) introductions and apologies for absence;
(ii) an invitation to declare any conflicts of interest;
(iii) notes of the previous meeting;
(iv) a schedule for performance reports from the thematic partnerships, in
line with the Partnership’s agreed Performance Management
(v) policy updates (if any);
(vi) partnership issues (if any);
(vii) alternating updates of the Partnership Risk Register OR the
Partnership Improvement Plan;
(viii) any other items; and
(ix) date of the next meeting.
8.7 Other agenda items may be put forward by any member of the Executive
Board, for example on issues related to the Partnership’s strategy, policy or
resources. Final approval of items for the agenda lies with the Chair or, in
his/her absence, the Deputy Chair.
8.8 In any report submitted to the Partnership the lead body should state their
involvement in the issues.
8.9 Agenda items must be submitted via the Policy and Partnerships Manager
in the Chief Executive’s Department at Merton Council by the due date.
8.10 Where an item is placed for decision that decision will be taken by
agreement of the Board, by vote if necessary (please note that only
standing members of the Executive Board may vote in the event of a vote
being called). Where a decision is taken that decision is binding on all the
members of the Partnership.
8.11 The Chair may initiate and coordinate out of session decision-making, via
written (electronic or hardcopy) communication with all members.
9. RESOURCING THE PARTNERSHIP
Resourcing the Merton Partnership and the Executive Board
9.1 Merton Council will provide support services for the Merton Partnership and
the Executive Board. Seconded staff and other assistance from statutory
and other agencies will add to the capacity of the office and assist in the
effective support for the Partnership.
9.2 The Council will meet standard administration and accommodation costs
for the Partnerships and their meetings. Any additional work is reliant on
9.3 The office of the Assistant Chief Executive at Merton Council will oversee
the servicing and policy development aspects of the Partnership, in
consultation with the Chief Executive of the Council and the Chairs of the
Partnership and Executive Board. However, representatives, board
members or staff of any agency or organisation of the Partnership may
contribute to or propose policy changes to the Partnership for
9.4 Democratic Services at Merton Council are responsible for the timely
preparation and distribution of agendas and minutes, in addition to booking
meeting venues and refreshments.
Resourcing the Thematic Partnerships
9.5 Servicing of the thematic partnerships is the responsibility of the Chair of
each of the partnerships. Thematic partnership members will be expected
to contribute services and resources to ensure delivery against relevant
priorities and targets.
9.6 The Chair of the Executive Board will, when necessary, convene and chair
meetings with some or all of the chairs and/or key staff/members of the
thematic partnerships to ensure progress on the commitments of the wider
Partnership, or to discuss key issues of concern to the Partnership.
97 Officers from the office of the Assistant Chief Executive of the Council may
from time to time conduct bilateral discussions with Chairs of the thematic
partnerships to gather information and plan for further development of the
Resourcing the Delivery groups
9.8 Servicing of the delivery groups is the responsibility of the Chair of each of
the groups. Delivery group members will be expected to contribute
services and resources to ensure delivery against relevant priorities and
9.9 The Chair of the ‘host’ thematic partnership will, when necessary, convene
and chair meetings with some or all of the chairs and/or key staff/members
of the relevant delivery groups to ensure progress on the commitments of
the thematic partnership, or to discuss key issues of concern to the
10. CONSULTATION, ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS
10.1 The Merton Partnership is responsible for engaging the wider community in
the work of the Partnership. The Executive Board will convene an annual
event to which a wide range of partners and partnership members will be
invited to discuss the work of the wider Partnership. The Partnership will
also host a website that provides access to all Merton Partnership papers.
This will be managed through the office of the Assistant Chief Executive of
10.2 Responsibility for Communications for the Partnership will be delegated to
a member of the Executive Board (at the time of writing this is the Chief
Executive of the Merton Chamber of Commerce) supported by
communications personnel drawn from the various organisations and
agencies that are members of the Partnership. All partners will be
expected to contribute to the development and delivery of a
communications strategy for the Partnership.
11. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
11.1 The Partnership has an agreed Performance Management Framework that
details how performance against both the Community Plan and the LAA will
be managed and monitored throughout the year. This is reviewed and
11.2 Each Executive Board meeting receives a full update from one Thematic
Partnership detailing progress on its LAA targets and any other
performance issues and a report detailing progress on LAA stretch and
designated indicators across all thematic partnerships.
11.3 The Merton Partnership will produce an Annual Report that outlines
performance over the previous year. This report is submitted to Merton
Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission in order that the Partnership
is held to account. Following this scrutiny, the report is then completed and
published, usually in June following the end of the previous financial year.
12. RISK MANAGEMENT
12.1 The Partnership has adopted an approach to managing risk through the
creation of a risk register that categorises projects and actions as high
medium and low risk. Risks are identified through projects, reports and the
Partnership’s Improvement Plan (see 14, below).
12.2 Each risk is allocated a deadline for resolution, and a lead officer with
responsibility for managing the risk. The register is circulated for
monitoring and comment at alternate Executive Board meetings.
13. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL MANAGEMENT
13.1 This section explains the financial arrangements that apply to the Merton
Partnership, and is divided into two areas:
funding the work of the Merton Partnership; and
the financial arrangements for Merton’s LAA.
Funding the work of the Merton Partnership
13.2 The Merton Partnership is not in receipt of any significant external funding
and, at present, does not formally have control over a joint budget. Under
current arrangements, funding for Partnership projects and activities is
determined on an ad hoc basis and shared between partners as
13.3 A modest annual budget is available for areas of work that support the
Partnership’s objectives and priorities for improvement (as set out in the
Improvement Plan). Examples include building the capacity of the
Community Engagement Network, project support for development of the
Local Area Agreement, and raising the profile of the Partnership and its
achievements with the wider community and key stakeholders.
13.4 The annual budget is funded by the Partnership’s statutory agencies and
individual contributions are agreed annually as part of the budget setting
process (see 13.5, below).
13.5 In January of each year, the Executive Board will receive a report on the
proposed budget for the next financial year, the work areas the budget will
support, along with a breakdown of how the funding for the budget will be
shared between partners.
13.6 In May of each year, the Executive Board will receive a backward look at
expenditure incurred in the previous financial year, including the outputs
that the funding has produced.
13.7 In September of each year, the Executive Board will receive a report,
providing members on the mid-year position for that year’s budget.
13.8 The Partnership will, from time to time, receive funding from external
sources. For example, in 2005/06 and 2006/07 the Partnership
successfully bid for funding from the Learning and Skills Council. The
Partnership will seek to secure further external funding in future years.
13.9 Where the Partnership receives external funding to support the delivery of
a specific Community Plan and/or LAA objective the monies will be
allocated to the thematic partnership that is responsible for delivery. The
Chair of the thematic partnership has the authority to delegate the monies
to a delivery group of the thematic partnership if he or she considers this
appropriate. The thematic partnership will be accountable for proper use of
external funding and the annual budget report to the Executive Board will
include a summary of how external funding has been used and the benefits
that this has achieved.
13.10 External funding may also be received to meet the objective of building the
capacity of the Partnership. Decisions on how any such monies are
allocated are the responsibility of the Executive Board.
13.11 Any disputes that arise on the allocation of external funding within the
Partnership will be resolved through the Partnership’s dispute resolution
procedure (see 7 above).
Local Area Agreement
13.12 The information below applies to the first year of Merton’s LAA (2007/08).
Some changes to the financial arrangements are anticipated under the new
style LAAs, and this guidance will be updated as and when necessary in
order to reflect these.
13.13 The Partnership receives monies from Government to assist in the delivery
of LAA targets and as reward for the delivery of the 12 ‘stretched’ targets.
In law, Merton Council is the ‘accountable body’ for receipt and allocation
of funds when received from Government. These are set out below.
Pump Priming Grant
13.14 For the period 2007-2010 the Council has also been allocated pump
priming grant of £944,700 (i.e. £314,900 per annum for each of the three
years of the LAA) to be used exclusively to support the delivery of the
‘stretched’ performance targets. The grant will be paid to partners annually
at the start of each financial year.
Area Based Grant
13.15 Merton Council is in receipt of Area Based Grant (ABG). The ABG pools
together previously ring-fenced grants into a single funding stream to
increase flexibility in delivering shared outcomes. Local authorities are free
to determine how ABG will be used, and to negotiate with partner
organisations how priorities set out in LAAs are to be funded.
13.16 For the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07) the ABG grant
determinations reflect the allocations agreed by Government Departments
for 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11, thus enabling local authorities to
establish the constituent grant streams comprising ABG. The majority of
the constituent grants within ABG were previously ringfenced grants
awarded by Government departments.
13.17 For 2008/009 and 2009/10, the Merton Partnership’s Executive Board
agreed that the constituent grants of ABG should continue to fund existing
13.18 ABG is an unringfenced general grant. As such, there are no restrictions on
authorities’ ability to carry forward ABG. However, the Audit Commission
will continue to have a role in assessing whether authorities have invested
their resources effectively.
Performance Reward Grant
13.19 In return for achieving stretched performance over the 2007-2010 period,
Merton will receive Performance Reward Grant (PRG) equal to 2.5% of the
council’s net budget requirement to reinvest in the area. The net budget
requirement figure (in 2006/07) was £220,580,080 and the total potential
reward grant is therefore £5,514,502, equivalent to a maximum of
£459,541.83 per target.
13.20 If any target achieves less than 60% of the enhancement in performance,
no PRG will be payable in relation to that target or sub-target. If any target
achieves at least 60% but less than 100% then the PRG will be payable on
a pro-rata basis.
13.21 Whatever level of PRG is achieved, the grant will be paid in two equal
instalments, half in the first financial year beginning on 1 April 2010, and
half in the financial year beginning on 1 April 2011. Half of each instalment
will be paid as a capital grant and half as a revenue grant, with no other
restrictions on how the money is used.
13.22 The Executive Board will make recommendations on how the PRG will be
distributed once it is clear how much grant will be received. The final
approval for the distribution of monies will be the responsibility of the
14. PARTNERSHIP IMPROVEMENT PLAN
14.1 The Partnership will maintain an Improvement Plan. Actions within the
Plan are derived from ongoing experience of the working of the
Partnership, as well as specifically commissioned reviews and scrutiny of
the Partnership, usually external, for example from the Audit Commission.
14.2 The Plan will be managed by the office of the Assistant Chief Executive of
the Council, but responsibility for individual actions and targets may be
shared amongst members of the Partnership and/or Executive Board.
14.3 Progress against the Plan will be reported to the Executive Board at
alternate meetings – alternating with the Risk Register.
Current Merton Partnership members
Leader of Merton Council (Chairman) Merton Council
Deputy Leader of Merton Council Merton Council
Chair of the Merton Partnership Merton Council
Chair or non-Executive Director Sutton & Merton Primary Care Trust
Executive Director - Merton Sutton & Merton Primary Care Trust
Borough Commander Merton Police
Borough Manager Wimbledon Fire Station
Chair Merton Chamber of Commerce
Chair Merton Voluntary Services Council
Chair Merton Unity Network
Partnership Manager JobCentre Plus
TBC Merton College
Representative Merton Interfaith Forum
MP for Mitcham and Morden House of Commons
MP for Wimbledon House of Commons
GLA Member for Merton & Wandsworth Greater London Authority
CEN representative x 5 Various
Current Merton Partnership Executive Board members
Chief Executive Merton Council
Executive Director Sutton & Merton Primary Care Trust
Borough Commander Merton Police
Borough Manager Wimbledon Fire Station
Chief Executive Merton Chamber of Commerce
Chief Executive Merton Voluntary Services Council
Sutton and Merton Service Director South West London and St Georges
Mental Health Trust
Chief Executive London South Learning & Skills Council
Partnership Manager Job Centre Plus
Director Merton Unity Network
Principal Merton College
Managing Director Merton Priory Homes
CEN representative x1 Various
Compact Board representative Various
Chair / Leader1 Merton Partnership / Merton Council
Theme Chairs, Leads and Cabinet Members
Theme Chair Lead Member
Children and Director of Head of Cabinet member
Young People Children, Schools Commissioning for Children’s
and Families, Strategy and Services
Merton Council Performance,
and Families, Merton
Healthier Executive Director Healthier Cabinet member
Citizens of Service Delivery Communities Joint for Health and
for Merton, Sutton Commissioning Adult Social
and Merton PCT Manager Services
Safer And Joint chairs Safer Cabinet member
Stronger Chief Executive, Safer Merton for Community
Communities Merton Council Manager, Merton Safety and
Commander for Stronger
Merton Police Head of Policy,
Sustainable Chair of Merton Head of Cabinet member
Communities Chamber of Regeneration, for Housing and
and Transport Commerce Merton Council Community
Merton Partnership Protocol for Standards and Behaviour
The protocol will apply to all those representatives sitting on the Partnership when
conducting Partnership activities. It is acknowledged that individuals will also be required
to comply with any codes of conduct operational within the organisations that they are
representing on the Partnership
Achieve planned outcomes
Our priorities are evidence based and our decision making is transparent
Align, and where possible share, our resources to achieve joint outcomes
Monitor how well we have used our resources
Actively encourage ideas and innovation
Ensure that decision-making is transparent
Be committed to continuous improvement
Ensure that claims of improved performance are based on clear evidence
Establish accountability both across the Partnership (horizontally) and within each
Be open to scrutiny by elected members of Merton Council
We act in the interest of the public and demonstrate value
Focus on long-term as well as short-term issues
Act in the interests of the public good over individual interests
Demonstrate to the community how we are achieving publicly valued outcomes
Building partners’ capacity
We build capacity in our partnership
Be committed to developing individual partners’ skills to achieve our aims
Encourage partners to be confident working outside of their organisational culture
Be open to partners’ suggestions and help
Value and respect each other
We respect and value everyone’s contribution
Ensure that all partners are treated equally and there is no discrimination on the
grounds of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, sexuality or any other grounds
Respect the individuality, privacy and dignity of others
Ensure that all partners contribute openly and appropriately
Acknowledge the capabilities of all partners
Recognise and embrace the role of voluntary and community sector partners
Avoid dominance by one or two individuals
Respect each other’s roles and needs
Actively encourage the participation of all partners
Build effective working relationships with each other and remain professional at all
Recognise the value of all partners’ contributions
Recognise that differences of opinion and position of issues may arise between
partners but that these should not interfere with the overall work and purpose of
We act ethically. We are open and objective and encourage constructive
Actively promote a ‘no blame’ culture
Be open to constructive criticism
Support partners to both understand and constructively challenge any poor
Respect the confidentiality and sensitivity of certain information
Use appropriate, unambiguous and simple language
Agree how we will achieve democratic accountability
Ensure that our dialogue is open and transparent
Declare conflicts of interest and address them
Make sure that the purpose of all meetings is made clear
Be honest and objective
Aligning strategies and networks
We harness our collective efforts through joint planning, delivery and governance
Ensure that partners can influence the decision making of member organisations
Allow sufficient time and capacity is given to understanding an issue and to reflect
on its impact
Make sure that actions taken by the Partnership are clear, time-limited and task-
Encourage all partners to actively shape the strategy
Ensure that agreed actions are carried out
The Partnership also strives to build upon and work towards the COMPACT
principles which highlight the aims of the way that the partnership works with the
voluntary and community sector. These principles are as follows:
Valuing community and voluntary action as essential to the quality of life in
Respecting the differences and diversity between the public sector and the
voluntary and community sector.
The public sector and the voluntary and community sector have distinct but
complementary roles in the development and delivery of service.
Each sector has its own responsibilities and constraints.
Respecting the independence of the Voluntary and Community Sector
To maximise the effectiveness of the VCS investment in its infrastructure.
The relationship between sectors should be open and respectful and
Each sector should strive for excellence and equality of access.
When working together contributions from each sector should be given equal
consideration and respect.
Organisations in each sector have the right to contribute to and if necessary,
challenge matters that affect them.
Compact Board Members
Councillor Henry Nelless (Chair) Merton Council
Councillor Martin Whelton Merton Council
Kate Martyn Merton Council
Robert Bowler Merton Council
Richard Beales Merton Council
Sue Neville Merton Council
Lola Barrett Unity Network
Chris Frost MVSC
Ray Hautot St Marks Centre
Russell Humphreys Wimbledon Guild
Sarah Wilson Wimbledon Guild
Andy Norrel Volunteer Centre Merton
Fosuah Poku Merton CAB
Roy Benjamin Merton Vision
Chris Bourlet Borough Commander, Merton Police
Pete Dobson Merton Police
Jatinder Bhuhi Sutton and Merton PCT
Shirley Edghill Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals
Jane Philpott Borough Commander, London Fire
Brigade, Merton Borough
Merton Partnership Scheme of Delegation
Matters reserved by the Merton Partnership
The Merton Partnership sets the overall direction of the Partnership through
the discussion of strategic issues affecting the economic, social and
environmental well being of Merton’s residents and businesses.
Appointment of the Chair of the Executive Board
Appointment of the Deputy Chair of the Executive Board
Final approval of the Partnership’s CAA self-assessment/annual report
Approval of the LAA for submission to Government Office for London prior to final
approval by Merton Council1
Approval of the sustainable community strategy prior to final approval by Merton
Agreement on the use of performance reward grant prior to final approval by Merton
Agreement on changes to membership of the Partnership and Executive Board
Matters delegated to the Executive Board
The role of the Executive Board is to operationally manage the delivery of the
priorities and targets of the Merton Partnership, as set out in documents such as the
Community Plan, Local Area Agreement and Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy.
Monitoring and managing performance of LAA targets
Agreement of any proposed changes to LAA designated targets
Agreement of the Partnership’s performance management framework and data
quality strategy and any changes to them
Agreement of the Partnership’s annual communications plan
Agreement of the Partnership’s annual budget
Agreement on the use of area based grant
Appointment of Chairs of thematic partnerships
Depending on the timings of formal meetings the Merton Partnership may delegate authority to
make subsequent changes to the LAA to the Executive Board
Agreement of Partnership-wide plans and strategies, e.g. engagement strategy,
diversity & equality policy
Matters delegated to thematic partnerships (decisions must be reported to the
Executive Board at the next meeting)
Thematic partnerships are tasked with coordinating delivery of the priorities of
the Merton Partnership, as identified in the Community Plan .
Approval of thematic strategies, e.g., Healthier Communities strategy, Older People
Development of priority outcomes, performance measures and targets for thematic
area and negotiation with Government Office for London where required in respect of
Agreement to changes in the membership of the thematic partnership
Decisions on allocation of any external funding received within the remit of their work
Decisions on the structure of sub-groups of the thematic partnership
Decisions on the work programme of sub-groups of the thematic partnership
Chair’s Action allows the Chairs of the Merton Partnership and Executive Board to
take action on behalf of the Merton Partnership and Executive Board respectively
on matters which are either urgent or non-contentious.
Occasionally there may be items that the Partnership or Executive Board are asked to
deal with which are so urgent that a decision has to be made before the next meeting. In
this case they can be dealt with by Chair's Action. This should only happen when it is
In addition, minor, non-contentious matters may also be taken by Chair’s Action, for
example the approval of Partnership strategies, plans and policies when minor
amendments were requested and have been made accordingly.
Action taken by the Chair must always be reported in the agenda papers for the following
meeting, and recorded in the minutes of that meeting.
Guide to business meetings
Before the meeting
A programme of meetings will be set annually in advance. This will include
they key areas of work to be discussed at each meeting. The work
programme will be managed by the office of the Assistant Chief Executive of
The agenda for meetings will be circulated by the London Borough of Merton
one week in advance of the meeting.
Invitees should notify either Democratic services or the Policy and
Partnerships team of their intention to attend or not. Each Member of the
Partnership or Executive Board is expected to attend the meetings or ensure
representation by the named substitute.
Agendas will be emailed to those Partners appointed as members and any
other named attendee.
Attendees should make very effort to read papers circulated in advance of
All members are expected to diarise meeting dates
During the meeting
Reports submitted must state the required recommendations and desired
Anyone presenting a report should also state any interests in it from the
Only members or their substitutes are invited to the table, with the exception
of individuals invited by the partnership to present on particular topics.
After the meeting
Minutes will be circulated no later than two working weeks following the
If any organisation misses more than three meetings in one year the Merton
Partnership and Executive Board reserves the right to review its membership
Extraordinary meetings may be called with the agreement of the Chair plus
three other members.
The quorum for the Merton Partnership and the Executive Board is five
All meetings are expected to last no more than two hours.
Structure of the Merton Partnership Appendix F
Partner agencies’ Partner agencies’
BUSINESS PLANS COMMUNITY PLAN BUSINESS PLANS
LOCAL AREA AGREEMENT
representatives Merton Partnership
Providing governance and high-level strategic
leadership for the work of the Partnership
Reports twice a year to the Executive
Delegated powers from the Partnership to
determine delivery arrangements
Sustainable Safer and Stronger Healthier Children and
Communities Communities Citizens Young People
Improved Quality of Life for the community