NOTES OF A MEETING OF DORSET COUNTY AND DISTRICT by mercy2beans123

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									NOTES OF A MEETING OF DORSET COUNTY AND DISTRICT LEADERS AND CHIEF
EXECUTIVES HELD ON THURSDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2008 AT DORSET COUNTY COUNCIL

PRESENT:

Christchurch Borough Council                Alan Griffiths, Leader
                                            Michael Turvey, Chief Executive

Dorset County Council                       Angus Campbell, Leader
                                            David Jenkins, Chief Executive

East Dorset District Council                Spencer Flower, Leader
                                            Alan Breakwell, Chief Executive

North Dorset District Council               Peter Webb, Leader
                                            Liz Goodall, Chief Executive

Purbeck District Council                    Steve Mackenzie, Chief Executive


West Dorset District Council                Robert Gould, Leader
                                            David Evans, Director of Planning and Environment

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council         Mike Goodman, Chair of Management Committee
                                            Tom Grainger, Chief Executive


In attendance:

Dorset Chief Executives’ Group               Dugald Lockhart
Policy Officer

In attendance for appropriate items:

Alan Pavey, Strategy, Policy and Guidance Manager, DCC
Andy Ray, Head of Dorset Procurement, DCC
Paul Kent, Chief Financial Officer, DCC

Apologies:
Gary Suttle, Leader of Purbeck District Council
Deb Appleby, Head of Policy and Performance, DCC


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 52     Notes of Previous Meetings and Matters Arising

        The notes of the meeting held on 21 May 2008 were agreed, subject to one
        amendment: the deletion of the second bullet point on item 43 Negotiation
        of the Local Area Agreement.

        There were no matters arising.



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53    Pathfinder

(a)   Leaders’ meeting held on 2 September 2008

      Leaders had met on 2 September 2008.

      Leaders felt that this had been a useful meeting. Leaders confirmed the
      need to give collective political leadership to pathfinder, and build a single
      sense of leadership.

      Leaders had agreed to continue to meet in this style on a quarterly basis.

      It was also agreed that any actual and perceived blockages between
      authorities should in future be raised and addressed at Leader level, earlier
      than had been the case in some instances

      Notwithstanding the informal nature of this meeting, it was agreed that it
      would be helpful to agree a statement to communicate to member and                DAL
      officer colleagues.

      The DCEG Policy Officer was asked to draft a note and clear through
      Leaders.

(b)   Quarterly Monitoring Report – First Quarter April – June 2008

      Leaders and Chief Executives received the quarterly monitoring report.

      The Joint Scrutiny Review Group was undertaking a review of the
      pathfinder, the monitoring report would be one of the sources of their
      evidence.

      Alan Breakwell provided an update on progress in developing revenues
      and benefit partnerships. There was lots of energy and progress in
      developing a partnership between EDDC, CBC and NDDC. PDC had
      agreed in principle to join the Westwey Partnership but system and
      procurement regulation barriers were becoming apparent. A report would
      be provided for the next Leaders and Chief Executives’ meeting.                    AB

(c)   Invest to Save Strategy for the Pathfinder Programme

      Leaders and Chief Executives had agreed at their May meeting that a
      paper on achieving an invest to save strategy should be developed. The
      Pathfinder Support Group had developed proposals, and the Chief
      Executives’ Group had agreed the principles.

      In summary, the proposal is to create a fund of approximately £1.5m over
      three years to:

      •   provide a core programme team
      •   support individual projects
      •   provide a development fund for actions that provide a catalyst for
          change.
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      Leaders and Chief Executives supported the need to create capacity to
      provide pace and create a managed programme that has good probability
      of delivering service improvement and achieving efficiency gains.

      Leaders and Chief Executives agreed:

      •   to the principle of providing sustainable investment into the pathfinder
          programme
      •   the level of core investment (£1.5m)
      •   a simple approach to repayment of investment; with the guiding
          principle that any savings from any pathfinder initiatives will be shared
          pro-rata to the contributions to the invest-to-save fund
      •   That finance officers provide the detail of how the scheme would work
          collectively, and how each authority wishes to contribute.                         DFOs

      Leaders and Chief Executives were assured that external funding would
      continue to be sought to minimise mainstream costs and that Leaders and
      Chief Executives in their role as a Sponsor Group would have overall
      control of the application of funds.

(d)   Freedoms and Flexibilities to Enable Pathfinder

      At the National Pathfinder Conference in July, the Local Government
      Minister John Healey urged pathfinder authorities to ask:

      •   What do you need from Central Government to support you?
      •   What can we do to knock down barriers?

      Leaders and Chief Executives discussed the requests that Dorset might
      make to Central Government that would ease implementation of pathfinder
      proposals. It was emphasised that any ask of central government should
      be developed into a coherent well-honed argument.

      Following discussion, the following were agreed as areas where arguments
      for freedoms and flexibilities should be developed.

      •   A power for a joint committee to appoint and employ staff.
      •   Freedom from contract regulations that create difficulties for
          partnerships (this is an area that other pathfinders nationally are
          exercised by).
      •   Agreement to the principle that council tax increase (and therefore
          liability to capping) should relate to the totality of the individual council
          tax bill, not the individual local authority.
                                                                                               TG/
      The MAA should be the focus for freedoms and flexibilities that help                  Pathfinder
      achieve strategic leadership.                                                       Support Group

54    Sub-Regional Housing Strategy Groups

      Leaders and Chief Executives received a discussion report that had
      originally been discussed at a Sub-Regional Strategy Meeting held on 10
      September 2008.
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     The key point arising was that there was not yet a single point of view
     across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole on how sub-regional approaches
     to affordable housing should be supported. Leaders and Chief Executives
     supported the proposal that a small team is formed with the task of
     developing work arrangements.

     It had already been agreed that the group should be convened by the Chair
     of the DSP and comprise two nominees from each of Bournemouth and
     Poole, an officer of the County Council and the lead of the Affordable
     Housing Task Group (Janet Rees).

     Leaders and Chief Executives were keen that, as this is an area where          District and
     districts lead, a second District Council officer with planning expertise       Borough
                                                                                       Chief
     should also be involved. It was agreed to provide a nomination to David        Executives
     Jenkins.

55   Pathfinder Procurement

     Liz Goodall outlined the process of developing an outline business case for
     delivering procurement jointly, and Andy Ray, Head of Procurement at
     Dorset County Council, presented the key points.

     Procurement is seen nationally as a priority for all public sector
     organisations to help deliver efficiency.

     There is a wide range of approaches taken to procurement in authorities in
     Dorset.

     Shared objectives for the procurement project are to:

     •   build capacity and capability
     •   release efficiencies for re-investment
     •   streamline business processes and modernise systems
     •   develop markets
     •   support and develop the local economy

     The outline business produced by the Procurement Project Board
     recommended developing a detailed business case for DCC being the lead
     authority in a shared services partnership.

     Some concerns remained on the integrity of financial data and resultant
     costs and potential savings. Finance officers were working to clarify these.

     The Pathfinder Project Board had been impressed by the Procurement
     ‘Lincolnshire’ Model and were arranging a site visit to explore in more
     depth. Leaders and Chief Executives expressed an interest in the visit to
     Lincolnshire (dates confirmed as 14 and 15 October). Alan Pavey will co-
     ordinate arrangements for this site visit and nominations should go to him.        All

     The importance of leadership in driving effective procurement practice
     through the organisation was emphasised, it is likely that a shared service
     for procurement would contain the following:
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     •   Overarching collaboration agreement
     •   Quarterly Member Management Board
     •   Monthly District Liaison Group
     •   Single Sustainable Procurement Strategy
     •   Annual work plan
     •   Dedicated officer working within each partner council
     •   individual delivery plan and monthly liaison

     Leaders and Chief Executives agreed the outline business case and the
     next steps of:

     •   submitting a bid to SW RIEP for funding for project manager and
         business analyst
     •   the full business case by the end of the year
     •   reviewing governance and leadership, and including recommendations
         in the business case                                                            LG/
     •   engagement through a wider Stakeholder Forum in January 2009.               Procurement
                                                                                        Group
56   LAA Efficiency Target NI179

     Leaders and Chief Executives were reminded of the background to the
     inclusion of this target in the LAA and the agreement that baseline figures
     and budgets would be agreed and finalised with GOSW by the end of
     October.

     The aim is to agree one overall target for Local Government in Dorset
     based on the County Council’s analysis that 1.5% cashable and 1.5% non-
     cashable is achievable, the overall figure is likely to be substantially less
     than 3% cashable.

     Paul Kent reported that there is now a finance officer who is dedicated to
     the task of providing analysis and evidence of the potential for efficiency
     gain, and the Dorset Finance Officer Group meet towards the end of               D.F.O.G.
     September to progress.

57   Pathfinder/Fit for the Future Asset Management

     Paul Kent presented this item, outlining progress.

     The aims and objectives of the Pathfinder Property Steering Group have
     been based on the outcome of the successful partnership work held in May
     2008, these include:

     •   development of county-wide protocol for working together to identify
         opportunities for potential shared accommodation
     •   sharing property asset information
     •   commitment to a collaborative approach between the pathfinder
         councils for asset management and capital strategy planning (where
         appropriate)
     •   acting as a facilitation group to address the property and meet asset
         needs of the other pathfinder groups.
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     Leaders and Chief Executives supported efforts to work collaboratively on
     property matters, although they felt that progress was slow.

     Leaders and Chief Executives confirmed that the sharing of property data
     is one of the key foundation stones to facilitate collaborative working, and
     supported efforts to speed up this process.

     It was noted that demonstration projects in Highcliffe and Blandford were
     underway, but that further demonstration projects should be identified and
     progressed.

     Attention was drawn to already successful examples of joint offices in
     Mountfield in Bridport, and the recent move of the registrar service to
     Christchurch Borough Council’s offices.

     It was also felt that there was scope for developing projects with other       Paul Kent
     partners, e.g. PCT.

58   Dorset-Wide Standard Data-Sharing Protocol

     The Dorset Performance Management Board has been working with all the
     Councils in Dorset to implement the county-wide Performance Manager
     monitoring system. One of the key aims is to enable the aggregated
     reporting of performance information for the Local Area Agreement and, in
     future, the Comprehensive Area Assessment.

     The Protocol has been drawn up to provide assurance on the quality of the
     data being shared and contains specified conditions on its use, security,
     integrity and retention period.

     This protocol deals only with non-personal and de-personalised data.

     Leaders and Chief Executives agreed to the Protocol (subject to minor
     amendments to be modified) and that Chief Executives should sign.                 All

59   Dorset Strategic Partnership (DSP) Board

     Leaders and Chief Executives reflected on the Regional Spatial Strategy,
     considered by a meeting of the DSP Board earlier on 18 September.

     There was concern that the evidence presented by local authorities had not
     been taken into account, and Leaders and Chief Executives discussed
     options for challenging the outcomes of the strategy consultation.

60   Forward Plan

     Items for future meetings were discussed and agreed.




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61   2009 Meeting Dates

     For clarification, dates for meetings in 2009 are as follows:

     2.30pm - 5 February, East Dorset District Council
     2.30pm - 21 May, North Dorset District Council
     2.30pm - 24 September, Dorset County Council
     2.30pm - 17 December, Purbeck District Council                  All to note

62   Date of Next Meeting

     2.30pm - 11 December, Christchurch Borough Council.




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