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									                                                                                                                                                                                                         Appendix A
VFM Strategy - Review of Action Plan September 2008

Ref. Delivering Good Value          Measures of Success (SMART) and                  Target          Lead                    Progress as at Sept 08                                                        RAG
     Services through:-             Outcomes                                         Date                                                                                                                  Assessment
1. Optimising Delivery Costs
1.1 Delivering against annual       Delivery against identified savings targets      Mar 2008        Director of Business 08/09 target met.                                                      Green
     identified savings targets and                                                                  Support/ Head of     Now falls under Working Smarter project, progress underway to identify
     Gershon efficiency targets.                                                                     ICT                  savings for 09/10 and 10/11

                                    Submission of Annual Efficiency Statement        Jul-08          Head of Financial       AES submitted showing targets met.                                Green
                                    showing how we met our Gershon targets                           Operations              New National Indicator 179 replaces the AES for 2008/09 onwards -
                                                                                                                             due to report planned savings for 2008/09 in Oct 2008
1.2 Benchmarking our costs and Annual analysis of VFM profiles and reporting         Sep/Oct 2008    Fin Ops/ CPPID          Reported to OSMB Savings Strategy Task & Finish Group Sept 07. On Amber
    performance                of headlines to CMT, Members.                                                                 OSMB 2008/09 work plan to report updated VFM profile headlines.
                                                                                                                             Intention is to report VFM profile headlines to CMT in Dec 08.

                                    Publication of Council Results                   Jul-07          CPPID                Met, Council Results published on the Internet in advance of the    Green
1.3 Preparing and acting upon       Year end variance against budget within 0 to -   Jun-07          Director of Business 07/08 underspend of 1.2%. Mitigating action identified for risks    Amber
    monitoring information          1%                                                               Support              highlighted during final accounts
1.4 Delivering of financial         Delivery of training programme against plan      Ongoing         Central Accy         "Sheep dip" programme of financial management training completed.   Green
    management training                                                                              Manager              Twice-monthly sessions for new managers and administrators ongoing.

1.5 Compliance with VFM            Arrangements to check compliance in place         Ongoing         Director of Business    Annual Governance Statement, detailing compliance arrangements,               Green
     requirements for funding of                                                                     Support                 completed as part of the 2007/08 Accounting Statement
     contracts, capital projects   Approval of a framework for assessing             Aug-07          Financial Strategy      Prudential borrowing framework approved by Cabinet Jul 07                     Green
     and new spending initiatives. investment decisions                                              Manager
                                   Establishment of an Investment Board and          Apr-08          Financial Strategy      Investment panel set up and terms of reference approved (but limited to Green
                                   Framework                                                         Manager                 Shaping Solihull)
2. Targeted Spend and Investment
2.1 Targeted Spend and             Establishment of an Investment Board,             Apr-08          Financial Strategy      As above                                                                      Green
     Investment                    Framework and Corporate Investment criteria                       Manager
                                   for assessing investment decisions
                                   Piloting of a framework for the assessment of     Jul-07          Financial Strategy      Piloted on SCH bid - approved by Cabinet Jul 07                               Green
                                   prudential borrowing decisions                                    Manager
3. Maximising Income and Funding
3.1 Maximising External Funding Amount and % increase in external funding            Apr-08          Strategic Director of   Increased amount of external funding achieved. Overall 2007/08 result Green
                                   received (including funding secured through                       Community &             was £13,514,140 which was an increase of £156,429 on 2006/07
                                   partnerships)                                                     Economic Regen          outturn.
3.2 Maximising the council tax     Delivering against target and upper quartile      Mar-08          Head of Revenues        98.4% in-year collection rate achieved in 2007/08 - highest for all mets Green
     collection rate               performance achieved                                              and Benefits            and improvement on 98.1% in 2006/07.
3.3 Review of Fees and Charges Implementation of recommendations                     To agree once   Head of Financial       OSMB task and finish group produced a framework to guide charging          Green
                                                                                     findings are    Operations              decisions which was approved by Cabinet in June 08. This framework
                                                                                     published                               broadly reflects the Audit Commission's recommendations although it
                                                                                                                             was prepared in advance of the publication of their report. A further task
                                                                                                                             and finish group has now been set up to take this work forward.

4. Exploiting Fixed Assets

Ref. Delivering Good Value        Measures of Success (SMART) and                Target       Lead                Progress as at Sept 08                                                    RAG
     Services through:-           Outcomes                                       Date                                                                                                       Assessment
4.1 Ensuring spending decisions Development and approval of whole life costs     March 2009   Head of Facilities & Whole-life costing task and finish group has completed its review of the Green
     take account of ‘whole life’ approach                                                    Asset Mgt            Council's assets and OSMB has recommended further work be
     costs                                                                                                         undertaken on specific assets by the relevant cabinet member.
5. Ensuring a Responsive and Reliable Service
5.1 Understanding our service     Undertaking of service and or business         Ongoing      Head of ICT         Ongoing programme, now part of Shaping Solihull.                               Amber
     levels                       process reviews of high cost/value services                                     Recruitment of additional business improvement staff under way but
                                  where appropriate and implement                                                 later than originally planned, opportunities for transformational change
                                  recommendations to achieve Value for Money.                                     being identified through challenge board process.

                                   Continue to utilise quality certification     Ongoing      Head of Customer    A number of services have successfully achieved accreditation against Green
                                   frameworks for services where appropriate                  Services            appropriate quality accreditation standards. These include:-
                                                                                                                  • ISO 9001: Contact Centre, Trading Standards and Licensing,
                                                                                                                  Environmental Protection, Food Health & Safety, Transport Highways,
                                                                                                                  Environment, Electoral Registration, Forward Planning, Development
                                                                                                                  Control, Building Control, Landscape Architects, Green Scheme,
                                                                                                                  Education Catering, Internal Audit, Corporate Procurement.
                                                                                                                  • LEXCEL - Legal Services
                                                                                                                  • Charter Mark - Property Services
                                                                                                                  • Quest – Leisure Services.

5.2 Understanding our              To continue to report on aspects of Value of  Ongoing      Head of CPPID       Ongoing, as part of the Performance Planning process for 2008/09 all Green
    performance                    Money through our performance management                                       Divisions had targeted outcomes around Value for Money in the
                                   framework.                                                                     Financial Perspective of their Divisional Scorecards.
                                   To continue to exercise Internal Audit duties Ongoing      Head of Internal    Review completed in respect of Essential Car Users. Findings               Green
                                   regarding Value for Money                                  Audit               identified potential savings in excess of £50k by putting users in correct
                                                                                                                  mileage band. Further VFM reviews planned to be undertaken during
                                                                                                                  2008/2009 Audit Plan.
6. Providing Customer Access and Information
6.1 Improving access to        Progress against delivery of 1FL targets in line Ongoing       Head of Customer    Now part of Understanding our Customers, this project continues to       Amber
     information for our       with project plan                                              Services            exploit IT to improve our customer intelligence and allow the Council to
     customers                                                                                                    target its services more effectively
                               An increase in the number of service requests Mar-08           Head of Customer    Performance for 2007/08 was 12% exceeding the target of 5%. The          Green
                               on-line as a % of total CRM requests                           Services            number of service requests (SRs) raised online as a percentage of total
                                                                                                                  SRs raised was much greater in Q4 than in previous quarters of
                                                                                                                  2007/08 due to the publication and use by customers of an online form
                                                                                                                  to request a wheelie bin for garden waste. This demonstrates the
                                                                                                                  willingness of customers to use online forms.

6.2 Communicating to our           Progress against delivery of milestones related Ongoing    Head of Comms       The Council continues to make steady progress against the core           Green
    customers how we are           to VFM in LGA Reputation Project                                               actions defined in the Reputation Project. Effective management of the
    seeking to deliver Value for                                                                                  media, regular communication with residents and staff and linking the
    Money                                                                                                         council brand consistently to the services we provide all help people to
                                                                                                                  understand what services we offer and the value they get from paying
                                                                                                                  their council tax.
                                                                                                                  The refreshed strategy will also consider how to achieve VFM in the
                                                                                                                  delivery of the Communications function, for example by challenging the
                                                                                                                  way in which communication is undertaken.

     customers how we are
     seeking to deliver Value for

Ref. Delivering Good Value          Measures of Success (SMART) and                  Target       Lead                 Progress as at Sept 08                                               RAG
     Services through:-             Outcomes                                         Date                                                                                                   Assessment
                                    Residents' perception of VFM as measured in      Ongoing      Head of Comms        751 telephone interviews were conducted with a representative sample Green
                                    the Citizens Panel survey                                                          of residents in Solihull in November 2007. Residents were asked 'To
                                                                                                                       what extent do you agree that the Council provides good value for
                                                                                                                       money?'. The results were as follows:
                                                                                                                       - Either completely or slightly agree: 54%
                                                                                                                       - Neither agree nor disagree: 34%
                                                                                                                       - Either completely or slightly disagree:

                                                                                                                       The proportion of respondents agreeing with the statement fell slightly
                                                                                                                       compared to the 57% in the survey undertaken the previous year for the
                                                                                                                       2007/08 budget process.
7. Commissioning Service Provision
7.1 Delivering against the agreed Delivery of 3 year Corporate Procurement           March 2008   Corporate Procurm’t By the end of 2007/08, savings of over £2.3m had been reported in the Green
     3 year Corporate             savings targets                                                 Manager             Council's annual efficiency statements. The original 3yr target for
     Procurement savings targets                                                                                      Corporate Procurement savings was £3.2 m. By March 08 the Strategic
                                                                                                                      Environmental Services contract was let with a contract
                                                                                                                      commencement date of 1 April 2008. This means that the savings of
                                                                                                                      £1.4m were not collected until 2008/09. However this together with the
                                                                                                                      £2.3m savings already reported means that the target of £3.2m was
                                                                                                                      exceeded by at least £0.5m.
8. Aligning resources to outcomes
8.1 Ensuring that this is reflected Effectively incorporated into our policies and  Ongoing       Director of Business One of the key objectives of the Shaping Solihull Project 'Working       Amber
      in the relevant frameworks    procedures and evidence of it being carried out               Support              Smarter' is about 're-organising how we do things to align our resources
                                                                                                                       to our outcomes and deliver 15% efficiencies'. This is reflected in key
                                                                                                                       strategies (e.g. Budget SORP) and in the project workplan.

9. Exploiting New Technology
9.1 Exploiting new technology       Exploiting new ICT infrastructure                Ongoing      Head of ICT         Now part of the Working Smarter project. ICT investment programme               Amber
                                                                                                                      resumed with reprioritisation of project activity.
                                    Delivering targeted savings, reducing the cost   Ongoing      Head of ICT/ Head Now part of the Understanding our Customers project. Customer                     Amber
                                    of the front line service element of reviewed                 of Customer         contact for pest control, noise nuisance, food hygiene services
                                    services                                                      Services            transferred to contact centre. Licensing review in progress.
                                    Implementation of I-procurement                  Ongoing      Corporate Procurm’t Roll out across the core Council completed on 1 August 2008 with the            Green
                                                                                                  Manager             withdrawal of T167s.
                                                                                                                      Focus for the future will be on maximising the intelligence provided by
                                                                                                                      the system and ensuring it is fully utilised.
                                    Through the consideration of shared services Ongoing          Head of ICT         Now part of the Working Smarter project. Opportunities explored with            Amber
                                    within and outside of Solihull and the continued                                  Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, Lichfield and others. Shared
                                    expansion of Solihull Connect as the way in to                                    Services strategy under development.
                                    all of Solihull’s public services.                                                See above for services being transferred into Connect.

10. Staff Committed to our New Ways of Working
10.1 Encouraging commitment to Evidence of staff engagement in the             Ongoing            Head of CPPID        The next Staff Survey is due to take place later in 2008/09.                   Green
     our new way of working     performance planning process (from Staff
                                Survey results)
11. Competent Manager and Member Leadership
11.1 Competent manager and      Approval and progress in delivering milestones Ongoing            Head of HRE          Now part of the Fit for the Future project within the Shaping Solihull         Amber
     Member leadership          of Organisational Development strategy                                                 programme. Revised strategy to be approved, consultation on
                                                                                                                       Leadership & Core Qualities framework commenced.

11.1 Competent manager and
     Member leadership
Ref. Delivering Good Value        Measures of Success (SMART) and                 Target             Lead                 Progress as at Sept 08                                                        RAG
     Services through:-           Outcomes                                        Date                                                                                                                  Assessment
                                  To continue to report to Members and senior     Ongoing            Head of Financial    Relevant items reported as required; portfolio holder reports reviewed        Green
                                  management on Value for Money to enable                            Operations           for financial implications by business advisers
                                  them to scrutinise and challenge how services
                                  are delivered
                                  Implementation of training and development      Nov-07             Assistant Chief      Training sessions delivered to managers and cabinet/scrutiny             Green
                                  sessions in the VFM capacity building                              Exec/Head of         members, followed up by topic-specific workshops.
                                  programme                                                          Financial            Opportunities to build on the relationship developed with Coventry, the
                                                                                                     Operations           4Ps and the RIEP and develop capacity in lean/systems thinking being
                                  Value for Money content incorporated into all   Mar-08             Head of Financial    A VFM implications paragraph is being developed for inclusion into       Amber
                                  Members and Senior Management reports                              Operations           such reports - progress is later than planned but this is expected to be
                                                                                                                          achieved by the end of the year

Note that references to the Corporate Director of Resources have been updated with Director of Business Support; references to Director of Customer Services have been replaced with Head of ICT or Head of
Customer Services as appropriate.


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