Dorset_Pathfinder

Document Sample
Dorset_Pathfinder Powered By Docstoc
					Dorset Pathfinder Proposal
for Enhancing the Multi Tier Structure




                                    DISTRICT COUNCIL




                       WEYMOUTH & POR TLAND
                            Borough Council




                                              January 2007
Contents
       1.   Summary

       2.   Introduction

       3.   Increased efficiency through combined service delivery

       4.   Seamless access to services

       5.   Strong, effective and accountable strategic leadership

       6.   Neighbourhood empowerment

       7.   Enabling arrangements – legislation and finance

       8.   Governance and programme management




            Appendices:

       •    Appendix 1: Vision and principles

       •    Appendix 2: Case studies of good practice across Dorset

       •    Appendix 3: Gershon efficiencies to date

       •    Appendix 4: Summary of Lift SW bid and Dorset
                        partnership structures

       •    Appendix 5: North Dorset District Council Local Delivery
                        Project proposals




                                                                                2

                                                        Dorset Pathfinder proposal
1. Summary
     1.1       The seven councils in Dorset are submitting this bid for
               pathfinder status because we believe multi tier local government is
               the best form of governance for our county. In particular:

           •   Parish and town councils provide a very local voice and service
               delivery channel

           •   District councils best reflect local circumstances and shape the
               distinctive local areas of Dorset

           •   The County Council best determines strategic service choice and
               provides effective linkages with regional and national organisations
               and the unitary councils of Bournemouth and Poole.

     1.2       The pathfinder bid has four strands which will drive our programme
               of change. These are:

           •   Increased efficiency/ combined service delivery – Our track record
                shows that integration of services can lead to improved services
               and lower costs. We will be comprehensive and systematic in
               examining all services provided by the seven councils and will
               cluster arrangements to achieve our challenging efficiency targets.

           •   Seamless service delivery – Service users will have no need to
               understand which tier of council is responsible for delivery. It is our
               job to make the linkages and provide seamless delivery. Our
               pathfinder seeks this goal.

           •   Making sure Dorset has strong and strategic leadership – A
               renewed Dorset Strategic Partnership, with strong and effective
               linkages between leaders and senior councillors of all seven
               councils will be at the heart of this work stream.

           •   Neighbourhood empowerment and involvement – Parish and
               town councils are the channel for involvement for many of our
               communities. We wish to develop further arrangements and will
               put in place a complete and appropriate network of engagement.




                                                                                         3

                                                                Dorset Pathfinder proposal
1.3   The pathfinder councils want to demonstrate that multi tier local
      government is not constrained by boundaries – neither those of
      geography nor organisation. Our submission recognises that to be
      successful in this takes time – to define, develop and then deliver
      the fundamental and transformational changes envisaged.
      A consensual partnership will achieve this and we have a strong
      track record on which to build.

1.4   We are realistic. The changes we envisage will not be easy. They
      will need strong and consistent leadership, with clear performance
      and project management arrangements. We are enthusiastic about
      pathfinder status because it will help to focus and invigorate an
      agenda that has been developing fast in recent times. We have
      some funding in place to help achieve change; through the Dorset
      Improvement Partnership, we have been successful in accessing
      over £800,000 from the capacity building fund (Lift South West).
      We know that more finance will be required and an early task will
      be to identify how investment capital will be captured and used.

1.5   Finally we believe we will be even more successful if changes
      in legislation and the application of regulations are made.
      We highlight these in our bid.




                                                                             4

                                                     Dorset Pathfinder proposal
2. Introduction
       2.1       This proposal for pathfinder status for improved two-tier working
                 sets out the response of local authorities in Dorset to the ‘Invitation
                 to Councils in England and Wales’ published on 26 October.
                 It is submitted by a partnership of all the councils in the county
                 area, namely:

             •   Christchurch Borough Council
             •   Dorset County Council
             •   East Dorset District Council
             •   North Dorset District Council
             •   Purbeck District Council
             •   West Dorset District Council
             •   Weymouth and Portland Borough Council


       2.2       The shared vision of all authorities in Dorset is, through the
                 pathfinder, to provide a seamless delivery of public services and
                 information built around and influenced by the citizens and
                 communities that use them. The vision is supported by a set of
                 principles which recognise the partnership councils’ roles in
                 providing strategic leadership as place shapers, in securing high
                 quality public services and in promoting distinctive and responsive
                 local democracy. This is set out in Appendix 1 under the
                 headings of:

             •   Local democracy and local choice
             •   Strategic leadership
             •   Service delivery
             •   Customer access


       2.3       The pathfinder document is envisaged as an enabling framework to
                 manage systematically local government change across Dorset.
                 Such a framework is essential if the consensus needed to define,
                 develop and achieve the fundamental and far reaching
                 changes envisaged in the pathfinder proposals are to be
                 achieved successfully.




                                                                                           5

                                                                 Dorset Pathfinder proposal
2.4   Parish and town councils play a significant role in many of our
      local communities. Through the pathfinder, we will extend our
      work with the parish and town councils and are in dialogue with
      the Commission for Rural Communities about how they can
      assist with White Paper implementation in Dorset.

2.5   We are building on sound foundations in Dorset and a track record
      of achievement. Appendix 2 highlights some key achievements
      and on-going work which demonstrate that local authorities in
      Dorset have the confidence and ability to work together to
      transform services and provide clear leadership for communities
      in Dorset.

2.6   All councils recognise that there is a pressing and shared agenda
      for Dorset’s communities and for its principal local authorities.
      Dorset is a county with spectacular environmental quality, but an
      increasing generational imbalance, low wages and unaffordable
      housing. It is these matters that increasingly concern Dorset
      councils, along with the provision of high quality services in an
      environment with challenging efficiency and value for
      money targets.




                                                                            6

                                                    Dorset Pathfinder proposal
3. Increased efficiency through
   combined service delivery
       3.1       Local government in Dorset already delivers high quality services at
                 low cost and the challenge of the Gershon efficiency agenda alone
                 is considerable. Our ambitions for further service improvement and
                 improved customer focus in a climate of restraint on public
                 spending create imperatives for change in Dorset. The pathfinder
                 will accelerate our progress and, where necessary, help to resolve
                 legislative barriers to our collective role in place shaping and
                 transforming service delivery throughout Dorset.

       Systematic Service Review – Integrated Services

       3.2       A systematic review of services and improvement of business
                 process will underpin these arrangements. Funding already secured
                 from Lift South West will enable us to create a common platform for
                 business process improvement and ensure that benefits and best
                 practice are shared and well designed workflows and changes to
                 business practice are available to all.

       3.3       The cumulative history of concurrent functions has created a
                 complex web of service structures. Business cases will be
                 developed through proposals based on a single tier of delivery and
                 simple accountability for services.

       3.4       Clustering or other ways of joining up services will improve the
                 viability of services, build in greater resilience and encourage the
                 spread of best practice across councils. The preferred option is to
                 develop clusters of shared services based on need and
                 local circumstance.

       3.5       An agreed set of criteria will be used to produce a prioritised
                 schedule of services for review. The criteria will seek to:

             •   Increase impact through better outcomes for local people
             •   Increase public satisfaction
             •   Eliminate overlapping responsibility between the tiers
             •   Gain significant efficiencies
             •   Reduce risk
             •   Respect geographic and demographic factors
             •   Respect the democratic dimension – for example, where there are
                 significant local policy considerations
             •   Achieve easy wins.

                                                                                         7

                                                                 Dorset Pathfinder proposal
3.6       To illustrate, benefits are likely to be found in the following areas:

      •   Increased impact e.g. Economic Development – account would
          also need to be taken of links to the activities of Bournemouth
          and Poole

      •   Eliminating overlap e.g. Tourism – Dorset is developing a single
          destination management organisation for marketing

      •   Integration across and between the tiers e.g. Waste or
          Environmental Health and Trading Standards

      •   Integration between district services e.g. Revenues and Benefits or
          Building Control.

3.7       Experiences in Dorset, detailed by way of case studies in appendix
          2 (e.g. Westwey), give confidence that Dorset authorities have
          already delivered substantial savings, and bode well for the
          achievement of targets we will set for efficiency gains. Experience
          has shown that efficiency gains are made through better use of
          staff, technology and premises.

3.8       A crucial element of our review programme is the design of the
          back office functions. We will identify opportunities for joining up
          and sharing as a key component of our programme for service
          transformation. Support services are areas which might not only
          benefit themselves from a joint approach but will also enable the
          service transformation envisaged by the pathfinder. An example of
          this would be a common approach to workforce planning. The
          pathfinder will also seek to map contractual obligations and enable
          harmonisation of contracts, where feasible, to minimise barriers to
          service improvement.

3.9       Dorset district councils are keen to develop more shared services
          approaches and develop clusters. Looking to the longer term, there
          is the possibility of some councils formally merging, where there is
          agreement and local accountability and cultural identity are
          preserved. Legislative change may be required to make this
          process easier to implement.




                                                                                    8

                                                            Dorset Pathfinder proposal
Sub-regional and regional linkages

3.10   The shared services agenda extends beyond the County Council
       boundary. Dorset hosts the South West Centre of Excellence.
       The County Council or any district may find that shared services
       are best approached with partners outside of the county
       boundary. This is already happening. For example, the
       Consumer Direct call centre is run from Cornwall and there has
       been collaboration between West Dorset District Council and
       Salisbury District Council to achieve a planning portal.

3.11   With the pathfinder, we will strengthen our collaboration with
       the unitary councils of Poole and Bournemouth. We already
       work closely with the councils in the conurbation on a number of
       strategic issues including the South East Dorset Local Transport
       Plan, shared housing market assessment and the “Raising the
       Game” sub-regional economic development strategy. Dorset is
       keen to build on this to develop a Multi Area Agreement on key
       strategic challenges of mutual interest such as economic
       development and housing.

3.12   To provide improved value for money services through the
       pathfinder, Dorset local authorities will:


Within 1 year
• Establish a programme of systematic service review with
   agreed priorities for shared services

•   Strengthen our governance arrangements, linked to the
    Dorset Improvement Partnership, to manage this programme


Within 2 years
• Establish clusters for shared services with additional shared
   services already in operation

•   Develop a joint asset database to underpin better collaboration
    and opportunities to release assets for investment in community
    priorities and service transformation

•   Agree a multi–area agreement with Bournemouth and Poole
    (subject to LAA planning cycles)


Within 4 years
• Demonstrate service improvement through the Dorset wide
   performance management framework and achievement of the
   Local Area Agreement.



                                                                          9

                                                  Dorset Pathfinder proposal
4. Seamless access to services
      Customer Focus

      4.1   A single, quality customer experience of local government in Dorset
            is a key objective of Dorset’s pathfinder proposal. By this, we mean
            unified service delivery with service users having no need to
            understand whether the county, district, or indeed other service
            provider is responsible.

      4.2   The vision is to join up customer access, information and self service
            across the county for all public services and agencies, including the
            facility for local area service. Customer choice is the key with access
            channels reflecting individual preference for making contact e.g.
            by function, location, or client group.

      4.3   To do this we will build on existing partnership activity (such as the
            Dorset for You programme) and the corporate programmes within
            individual authorities. The result will enable us to support all
            councils in Dorset to develop effective customer focused service
            delivery. For example, within the County Council, there is
            significant investment in customer relationship management (CRM)
            technology and a major “customer connect” project is underway.

      4.4   District councils are currently taking a variety of approaches to
            customer access. Some district councils are keen to roll-out the
            CRM technological solution adopted by the County Council’s
            “customer connect” project. The systems solution chosen for the
            County Council (Lagan) is already in place in North Dorset, so we
            will seek to exploit the opportunities to build on current practice.
            Some funding has been provided through Lift South West
            to further joint working in this area.




                                                                                     10

                                                             Dorset Pathfinder proposal
4.5       To provide seamless local government public services through the
          pathfinder, Dorset local authorities will:


      Within 1 year
      • Ensure the programme of systematic service review is linked
         to a programmed expansion of customer access


      Within 2 years
      • Establish a standard configuration for customer relationship
         management (where provided by Lagan), with common
         systems and usage protocols across the councils

      •   Agree a shared strategy for customer access based on analysis
          of the models in use by partners

      •   Establish contact centre arrangements at a county level that
          provide some integration with district services


      Within 4 years
      • Achieve customer access that presents a seamless view of
         local government and increase the percentage of contacts
         dealt with by the front office towards 80% resolution at first
         point of contact.




                                                                             11

                                                       Dorset Pathfinder proposal
5. Strong, effective and
accountable strategic leadership
       5.1   Councils in Dorset are well-placed to address the place-shaping
             agenda at both a strategic and neighbourhood level, drawing on
             the experience of being a Local Area Agreement pilot, a DEFRA
             Rural Services Delivery pathfinder and a Liveability pilot in North
             Dorset. We welcome the proposed expansion of the role of the
             Local Area Agreement (LAA) and local strategic partnerships in
             managing the planning, delivery and funding of public services.

       5.2   The second Dorset Community Strategy is at the stage of formal
             consultation and proposals are being put in place with partners to
             strengthen the strategic leadership of the Dorset Strategic
             Partnership. This strategy will address the pressing and shared
             agenda which arises from our key challenges. Dorset is a county
             with spectacular environmental quality, but an increasing
             generational imbalance, low wages and unaffordable housing.

       5.3   The timing is therefore excellent to link a local government
             pathfinder with the sustainable community strategy and second-
             generation local area agreement within an improved
             strategic partnership.


       The Dorset Strategic Partnership

       5.4   The expansion of the LAA and the clearer goals of the new
             sustainable community strategy will require an improvement in the
             democratic direction and accountability of this key partnership
             within an overall streamlining of the Dorset Strategic Partnership
             Board structures. Leaders of districts, county and named partners
             will be represented and we will develop transparent and consistent
             approaches to the allocation of pooled funding.

       5.5   Partners in the pathfinder are interested in ways of using the Dorset
             Strategic Partnership as the hub to drive local and public agencies
             toward more effective joined up service delivery.




                                                                                   12

                                                             Dorset Pathfinder proposal
Patterns of elections

5.6    Four of Dorset’s district and borough councils elect their members
       every four years, with the next elections due in 2007. Weymouth
       and Portland Borough Council and Purbeck District Council elect
       by thirds. The County Council has all-out elections every four
       years, with the next elections due in 2009. Democratic participation
       at both district and county level is high relative to the
       national average.

5.7    The pathfinder will explore the extent to which election cycles are a
       barrier to more fundamental change and how this can be addressed
       through proposed legislative changes. There is interest in
       examining the implications of a common pattern of elections across
        district councils, and more fundamentally, with the County Council.
        Any moves towards converging elections are likely to impact
       positively on the levels of democratic engagement.


Joint Scrutiny Arrangements

5.8    Through the pathfinder, we want to develop joint scrutiny
       arrangements, at local and strategic levels, which have an outward
       focus. By working together on scrutinising areas such as transport,
       health, employment and skills, there will be more opportunities to
       have a greater collective impact on the quality and accessibility of
       key public services.

5.9    District and borough councils are interested in how there can be
       local influence in the delivery of county services that are delivered
       locally, for example highways and environmental services.

5.10   In relation to the delivery of major county-level services locally,
       there is a significant component of personal choice for service users
       in the way these services are run. The pathfinder work will build on
       this and make close links with local service developments such as
       children’s centres, joint locality teams and the Partnerships for Older
       People Project, which are driving community-based approaches
       to services. Our joint arrangements for health scrutiny have recently
       been reviewed, relationships with the Dorset Primary Care Trust are
       good and there is active consideration of the role of
       community hospitals.

5.11   New arrangements to develop a Local Improvement Network (LINk)
       should help to strengthen local involvement in health and social
       care issues. Dorset will be one of seven national pilots for an ‘early
       adoption’ of the LINk framework.




                                                                               13

                                                        Dorset Pathfinder proposal
5.12 To provide strong, effective and accountable strategic leadership,
Dorset local authorities will:


   Within 1 year
   • Have developed a streamlined, more democratically
      accountable Dorset Strategic Partnership, managing and
      delivering an enhanced second generation Local Area
      Agreement

   •   Commission a Local Improvement Network (LINk) for Dorset as
       one of seven early adopter sites


   Within 2 years
   • Implement a joint programme of member training and
      development, supported by the member development charter


   Within 4 years
   • Have in place comprehensive arrangements for joint scrutiny,
      tailored to local circumstances and providing effective
      mechanisms to join up and manage Local Improvement
      Networks and Community Calls for Action.




                                                                          14

                                                   Dorset Pathfinder proposal
6. Neighbourhood empowerment
      6.1   The pathfinder proposals in respect of neighbourhood
            empowerment seek to strengthen place-shaping at a more local
            level - ensuring an appropriate understanding of and democratic
            representation for the distinctive local diverse communities – sparse
            rural; market towns; urban; coastal and areas influenced by the
            Bournemouth and Poole conurbation.

      Parish and Town Councils
      6.2    In large parts of rural Dorset, natural communities are defined by
             market towns and parishes. Districts and the County Council can
             draw on a long history of working at this local community level.
             This most local unit of local government is respected by elected
             members at both county and district level; there are
             natural affinities.

      6.3   Local authorities have encouraged the development and growth of
            leadership within towns and parishes through locally-based
            approaches to community planning. Parish planning is a widely
            adopted activity and there is universal commitment to developing
            local capacity. Some parish and town councils, particularly the
            larger towns, already deliver services such as street scene and street
            naming, play and sport provision.

      6.4   In rural areas, the emphasis at parish level will be on encouraging
            local involvement and neighbourhood empowerment. We are in
            discussion with the Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils
            to look at how greater clustering of parishes can increase capacity.

      6.5   Appended to this application is a specific set of proposals on the
            Local Delivery Project in the North Dorset District Council area.
            The District Council seek support for this innovative approach to
            securing devolution to neighbourhood communities in rural areas.

      6.6   Beyond the example of North Dorset, all other parts of the county
            are also actively engaged in devolution. For example: in West
            Dorset the sports centre in Bridport and museums in Lyme
            Regis and Bridport have been devolved through trust arrangements;
            in Purbeck, Swanage Town Council supplements district provision to
            maintain the town as an attractive tourism destination. To accelerate
            this, capacity needs to be built to encourage and enable services
            to be devolved to parish and town and community organisations.
            The pathfinder will be used in Dorset to provide real opportunities
            for parish and town councils and the voluntary and
            community sector.
                                                                                   15

                                                            Dorset Pathfinder proposal
6.7       Weymouth gives additional opportunities to develop
          neighbourhood arrangements in an urban context. We are already
          committed to a trial in a mixed community and look forward to
          extending appropriate neighbourhood arrangements through the
          urban area of Weymouth as part of the pathfinder.

Consultation
6.8   More co-ordinated approaches between and across the tiers to
      consultation will be developed alongside the neighbourhood
      agenda. This will make greater use of local community partnerships
      as a local consultation medium.

6.9       To improve neighbourhood empowerment for local place-shaping
          and service delivery, Dorset local authorities will:

      Within 1 year
      • Trial solutions to neighbourhood engagement in
         non-parished areas

      •   Have in place a co-ordinated, cross agency response to
          community and parish plans with protocols to ensure that:

          • responses are timely,
          • that neighbourhoods and communities receive clear
           messages about outcomes and
          • that there is a demonstrable impact on the service plans of
            relevant agencies


      Within 2 years
      • Evaluate the outcomes of initial service delegations to parish
         and town councils and develop a model applicable to a wider
         menu of services and across the county area

      •   Agree common protocols and practices in relation to
          consultation with parishes and neighbourhoods

      •   Enhance the ability of the voluntary sector to provide the
          capacity building support which local communities will need in
          order to manage and develop devolved services

      Within four years
      • Complete the network of very local, area and district based
         consultation, service delivery and partnership working, and
         develop best practice approaches to community development
         appropriate to Dorset’s diverse communities.




                                                                           16

                                                     Dorset Pathfinder proposal
7. Enabling arrangements -
   legislation and finance
      Financial aspects and efficiency

      7.1   Dorset authorities recognise that, given their low historic levels of
            spending, incremental inefficiencies become harder to drive out
            year on year. Our performance to date on the Gershon agenda is
            set out in appendix 3. National indications are that the 2007
            comprehensive spending review will require 3% cashable savings
            from 2008-09 onwards. The pathfinder will be an important
            contributor to our ability to meet and exceed these efficiency
            targets and deliver high quality services.

      7.2   At this stage, it is premature to provide an estimate of the financial
            value of efficiencies that the pathfinder will achieve. We are
            committed to achieving nationally set efficiency targets and intend
            to reinvest some of these efficiency savings into completing the
            pathfinder programme and developing better, more efficient
            services. As part of the development of our systematic service
            review we will set clear and unambiguous efficiency targets.

      7.3   Project teams and programme offices will need to be resourced to
            deliver benefit through the pathfinder. The current allocation to
            Dorset authorities from Lift South West will be applied in the short
            term to this end, as set out in appendix 4. Through the pathfinder,
            we are committed to identifying more sustainable resources beyond
            that fifteen-month time frame to maintain the pace of change set
            out in the pathfinder.

      7.4   Dorset local authorities will look at how invest- to- save type
            funding can be created to drive changes. For example, Dorset
            County Council has established an Innovation Fund using funds
            released by the early efficiency reviews to provide pump-priming
            resources for future invest-to-save initiatives.

      7.5   Optimising the use of public buildings is a further objective of the
            pathfinder. Such a rationalisation of property portfolios is expected
            to make an important contribution to the release of funds for
            onward re-investment.




                                                                                     17

                                                             Dorset Pathfinder proposal
Legislative change
7.6    Barriers to change, including legislative barriers will become
       apparent as we go through the pathfinder process. The need for
       legislative or policy change should be seen as an on-going exercise
       and part of the overall approach to problem solving advocated
       within the pathfinder.

7.7       That said, at the point of submission, there are already a number of
          issues that may require legislative change and these are indicated
          below:

      •   Beyond existing powers available to local authorities, the pathfinder
          wishes to explore a power for a Joint Committee to appoint and
          employ staff who could service a number of councils. The staff
          would be employed under the normal Local Government conditions
          of service
      •   Decisions on capping to be made on the basis of the overall impact
          of council tax increases in a billing authority’s area rather than a
          level applied to each authority. This will facilitate changes to
          responsibility between the tiers for service delivery and potentially
          provide a flexible capacity for smaller councils with a low per
          capita precept
      •   A streamlined process for merging District Councils (by mutual
          agreement)
      •   Opportunity to amend statutory responsibilities so as to streamline
          and improve the delivery of services, such as the production of
          statutory plans
      •   Explore the legislative changes necessary to achieve convergence of
          district and county council elections.

7.8       To ensure that the pathfinder delivers maximum financial benefit
          and efficiency, Dorset authorities will:

      Within 1 year
      • Establish agreed methodology and criteria for developing
         business cases within the pathfinder programme and assessing
         financial cost and benefit
      • Set clear and unambiguous efficiency targets

      Within 2 years
      • Implement a self-sustaining strategy for resourcing the
         pathfinder programme

      Within 4 years
      • Achieve the programme of efficiency gains and targets set
         out in year one.




                                                                               18

                                                         Dorset Pathfinder proposal
8. Governance and
   programme management
     8.1   Outlined programmes and timescales are submitted in good faith
           by all authorities in Dorset. However, the proposed programme of
           change is complex and inter-relationships between the elements
           have not yet been analysed. We recognise that the drivers in
           different services and in different places are not uniform and the
           business cases will be built up as appropriate. There will need to be
           flexibility to explore a number of different approaches and examine
           consequences.

     8.2   Strategic governance arrangements will be put in place to manage
           an overall programme of service transformation. The future
           collective role of Dorset Leaders and Chief Executives is key in
           ensuring strategic programme management. This group is already
           overseeing the Dorset Improvement Partnership with its four linked
           projects which have secured capacity building funds from Lift South
           West and recently recruited an officer dedicated to manage their
           strategic agenda. A structure chart is included in appendix 4.

     8.3   Appropriate project management methodology will be applied to
           ensure that elements of the programme have strategic direction,
           high level sponsorship and are adequately resourced. Proposals
           need to help drive consistent and agreed cultural change through
           organisations becoming truly citizen and community focused.

     8.4   Alongside the pathfinder programme, there will be opportunities
           for joint training and development including; leadership
           development, cultural change management and communications of
           benefits, which will further develop and reinforce the climate of
           trust and co-operation.

     8.5   To ensure rigour and that opportunities are seized as they arise, on-
           going internal and external evaluation is essential. Dorset local
           authorities welcome the opportunity of working alongside
           Communities and Local Government and the Government Office for
           the South West in providing an ambitious programme for Dorset.




                                                                                19

                                                          Dorset Pathfinder proposal
8.6       To provide effective governance and programme management to
          deliver benefit from the pathfinder, Dorset local authorities will:


      Within 1 year
      • Establish the Dorset Leaders’ and Chief Executives’ group in
         their role as the Dorset Improvement Partnership

      •   Agree appropriate programme and project management
          standards to be used consistently across the pathfinder
          programme

      •   Establish evaluation mechanisms jointly with government
          agencies including Government Office for the South West and
          the Audit Commission

      •   Develop joint management training and development
          opportunities to encourage common approaches and further
          develop and reinforce the climate of trust and co-operation

      •   Establish appropriate measures to ensure that the programme
          drives and demonstrates unambiguous improvement in service
          outcomes

      Within 2 years
      • Ensure that service change is followed up with rigorous
         evaluation of benefits to ensure unambiguous improvement

      Within 4 years
      • Complete evaluation process.




                                                                                20

                                                        Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                      Appendix 1




Vision and principles
Vision
To provide a seamless delivery of public services and information built around and
influenced by the citizens and communities that use them.


Principles
Local Democracy and Local Choice – proposals will ensure the enhancement of
democratic accountability for the provision of valued local services at the most appropriate
level. Arrangements will reflect the diversity that exists within Dorset and retain the ability
to make a difference at the local level. Proposals need to maintain the texture of local
democracy by ensuring appropriate understanding of and representation for the distinctive
local diverse communities – sparse rural, market towns, urban, coastal, and areas influenced
by the adjacent Bournemouth / Poole conurbation.

Strategic Leadership – to be effective in their role as place shapers, the elected councils
of Dorset have an individual and collective responsibility to provide a clear and consistent
lead of the strategic agenda for Dorset and its communities. Governance arrangements
(through the Dorset Strategic Partnership and district local strategic partnerships),
democratic leadership of policy development and scrutiny functions, as well as the
Dorset Strategic Partnership (DSP) delivery theme groups, will be enhanced as part of
the pathfinder proposals. Within this, we aim to produce consistent approaches to the
allocation of pooled funding which the White Paper predicts will grow through the
Local Area Agreement (LAA) mechanisms.

Service Delivery – ensure the improvement of the viability and efficiency of service
provision in the longer term through agreed programmes for joint working, collaboration,
and for the reduction of duplication in provision. This will apply across and between tiers
of local government and between other public agency providers. Improving the quality,
decreasing the cost, and lowering the risk must become primary objectives. Improvements
in services must provide citizens and communities with good accessibility and a sense
that they can influence outcomes and delivery by reducing any sense of remoteness and
encouraging a customer focus. Proposals provide opportunities for optimising the use
of public buildings. A systematic review of all services to redefine the most appropriate
level of service provision will take place.

Customer Access – provide a unified front end for customer access and delivery by
having joined up customer access, information, and self service across the county for
all public services and agencies, including the facility for local area service, driven
by customer requirements.

Culture – proposals need to help drive a consistent and agreed cultural change
through organisations becoming truly citizen and community focused.
                                                                                                   21

                                                                             Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                    Appendix 2




Dorset’s track record - Case studies


                        Improving performance with partners – the Local Area Agreement
Dorset’s track record

Case Study              The Dorset Performance Management Partnership was formed in
                        May 2005. Chaired by a district Chief Executive, it is made up of the

1                       county council and all districts and boroughs in Dorset. The Partnership
                        is supported by Government Office South West through the Capacity
                        Building Fund.

                        The Dorset-wide performance management system facilitates the
                        monitoring and management of partnership activities such as the Local
                        Area Agreement, as well as allowing each of the partner authorities to
                        collect, monitor and report upon their own performance information.

                        The performance management programme will provide the following
                        benefits:

                        • A single system for LAA monitoring and reporting, with unlimited
                          restrictions on use (eg licensing) amongst partners

                        • One set of performance data used in many places; phase one
                          implementation also makes the systems the corporate standard in
                          four authorities

                        • “Real time” performance information on lead officers’ desks,
                          enabling action to improve performance to take place much quicker

                        • Automatic generation of different reports for different audiences

                        • Tracking of actions and risks as well as the ubiquitous
                          performance indicators

                        • Focus on reward element (LPSA2) targets, including estimations of
                          performance reward grant return

                        • Performance information available to citizens through award
                          winning Dorset For You partnership website.



                                                                                                 22

                                                                           Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                   Appendix 2




Dorset’s track record   Dorset’s Leadership work –
                        Helping County and District Lead Together
Case Study
                        One of the reasons that Dorset put itself forward to become a

2                       Local Area Agreement pilot was that there was good interpersonal
                        co-operation and trust among the seven local authorities. There was a
                        need to develop further collaborative leadership capacity to help them
                        deliver a common agenda that would address the bigger issues facing
                        the wider community.

                        In 2005 the Leaders and Chief Executives of the 7 Dorset Councils
                        worked with the Leadership Centre for local government and Professor
                        Steve Leach of De Montfort University on a Leadership Academy
                        project to develop leadership of place.

                        A number of perceived tensions between the districts and the county
                        were identified which needed to be brought into the open. However,
                        these were eclipsed by the distinctive and urgent strategic agenda
                        facing the County which provided a clear basis for collective action.

                        Through this leadership project, the common sense of purpose in
                        Dorset has strengthened. The identified priorities are now firmly
                        embedded in the updated Community Strategy and some capacity
                        has been created to support the collaborative work of the seven local
                        authorities through a successful LIFT Southwest Capacity Building
                        Fund bid.

                        For further information, please contact The Leadership Centre,
                        Warwick House, 25 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PP,
                        telephone no. 020 7630 2180, fax no. 020 7630 2195




                                                                                                23

                                                                          Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                     Appendix 2




Dorset’s track record   Building on local experience –
                        Christchurch Borough Council and East Dorset District Council
Case Study
                        Christchurch Borough Council and East Dorset District Council have a

3                       successful history of working together on local service delivery.

                        Since the first formal Joint Management Board meeting in July 2002,
                        a set of principles has been established to:
                        • Improve services
                        • Reduce risk
                        • Improve efficiency / savings.

                        Services delivered jointly (under a variety of formal and informal
                        arrangements) include: health and safety, environmental management,
                        local development frameworks, leisure bookings, records management,
                        crime and disorder reduction, internal audit, pest control, revenues and
                        benefits, equalities. Licensing and planning are in discussion.

                        Lessons learned include:
                        • Savings should not be the main driver but are derived from
                          innovative approaches to improving service delivery

                        • Trust / relationships are important, take time to develop, and should
                          not be underestimated

                        • Having the right conditions to encourage innovation is important –
                          the best ideas are provided by the people doing the job

                        • Risks can be reduced effectively and at a minimum cost, especially in
                          “resource vulnerable” areas

                        • Knowledge and skills transfer is a benefit which is difficult to quantify
                          and reveals a diversity of skills and experience across the same tier
                          of government.

                        • Impact of different policies and policy approaches can act as a
                          barrier to joint working and should be respected where local
                          conditions dictate a particular approach.

                        • There should be no assumption of “one size fits all” in any joint
                          working arrangement

                        • Change and flexibility needs to be incorporated in any arrangements
                          as patterns of demand, the policy context, and funding streams are
                          subject to change.


                                                                                                  24

                                                                            Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                      Appendix 2




Dorset’s track record   Westwey Combined Benefits Service

Case Study              The Westwey partnership is a culmination of the work undertaken
                        by West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough

4                       Council to bring together all aspects of local taxation and
                        benefits work.

                        The joint objectives that the partnership is working towards are:-

                        1. Improving services for its customers

                        2. Reducing the costs of administration

                        3. Achieving continuous improvement in service delivery

                        4. Offering staff development opportunities

                        5. Improving the skill levels in each service

                        6. Achieving and maintaining upper quartile performance

                        7. Delivering a consistent and resilient service with the ability to ride
                           the peaks and troughs of service delivery

                        8. Following the principles of Sir Peter Gershon’s report ‘Releasing
                           resources to the front line’

                        The partnership is already producing cashable efficiency savings of
                        £190,000 per annum, which is a budget saving of approximately 7%.




                                                                                                    25

                                                                             Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                    Appendix 2




Dorset’s track record   Valuing Towns and Parishes - Connecting Dorset

Case Study              ‘Connecting Dorset’ aims to extend e-government and e-services to all
                        local communities in Dorset by providing all Dorset Parish and Town

5                       Councils (local councils), and village and community halls with a
                        broadband web connection, computer equipment, training and on-
                        going support. The project is being developed jointly by the Dorset
                        Association of Parish and Town Councils (DAPTC), and Dorset
                        Community Action (DCA). This initiative will help ensure every local
                        council is working on a similar basis.

                        Each will have a standardised e-mail address which will ensure
                        continuity and better information, such as on-line planning applications,
                        will be available at council meetings. Those councils which have local
                        premises will be able to provide a Public Information Point that can link
                        into principal authority services.

                        The participating village halls will be able to develop a variety of
                        services including sessions for individual residents to access the web.
                        Other services offered may include homework clubs, on-line job search
                        and applications, adult education, Citizens Advice Bureau services,
                        e-learning groups, disaster control points, social services information
                        and car sharing schemes.




                                                                                                 26

                                                                           Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                                                        Appendix 3




   Gershon efficiencies to date in
   Dorset local authorities
                                           <<backward look 2005-06>>               <<forward look 2006-07>>

                                £             £            £              £           £            £           £
                                                           non                                     non
                                            cashable    cashable                    cashable    cashable
                           3 year target                                 total                                total
                                             savings     savings                     savings     savings


   Dorset CC                17,613,000      4,491,577   3,655,699      8,147,276   2,151,964   2,741,115   4,893,079



   Christchurch BC             552,975       247,000      24,000        271,000     367,000      157,000    524,000



   East Dorset DC              435,750       594,570               -    594,570     173,000       84,000    257,000



   North Dorset DC             704,250       495,880               -    495,880     270,400            -    270,400




   Purbeck DC                  647,625       348,802      32,648        381,450     113,000       48,000    161,000



   West Dorset DC            1,578,600       527,570     140,000        667,570     190,000      350,000    540,000



   Weymouth &                  708,600       405,952     170,675        576,627     284,600            -    284,600
   Portland BC


   Total Dorset District     4,627,800      2,619,774    367,323       2,987,097   1,398,000     639,000   2,037,000
   and Boroughs


   Total 'Dorset'           22,240,800      7,111,351   4,023,022 11,134,373       3,549,964   3,380,115   6,930,079



Source : DCLG website




                                                                                                                       27

                                                                                               Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                       Appendix 4




The Dorset Improvement Partnership -
Overview of the Programme funded by
Lift South West


         Dorset Joint Improvement Programme
         Dorset’s programme of improvement supported by the capacity
         building fund started in 2005, at the time that the Local Area Agreement
         was signed.

         In the first phase £317,000 was secured to procure and implement a
         shared performance management system. This work is described further
         in case study 1.

         During 2006, proposals were developed for a second bid which would take
         forward the conclusions of some work facilitated by the Leadership Centre
         for Local Government. This programme has four related elements which
         together will develop Dorset’s shared strategic agenda and realise shared
         services opportunities.


         (a) Dorset Shared Strategic Agenda
         Provide a dedicated resource for the Dorset Chief Executives’
         Group/Leaders’ and Chief Executives’ meetings. Tasks will include
         research, project management, co-ordination and communication to
         develop Dorset’s shared strategic agenda and realise shared service
         opportunities. This policy co-ordinator is part funded by the Leadership
         Centre and by each of the districts and county. The post holder will ensure
         that the constituent parts of the programme have clear and consistent
         collective leadership from all local authorities in Dorset.




                                                                                    28

                                                              Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                               Appendix 4



(b) Dorset Performance Management Partnership
This work stream will expand and provide deeper implementation of the
objectives of the original performance management programme.
Specifically the partnership will:

•      Extend membership of the partnership to include the unitary
       Borough of Poole and implement the Performance Manager
       software at that authority.

•      Build upon existing investment by providing resources for a shared
       learning and development programme to embed performance
       management culture in the partner authorities.

•      Directly incorporate performance data from the health service,
       police, fire service and voluntary sector into the Performance
       Manager software system, providing a comprehensive view of the
       quality of life and quality of public services in the sub-region.


(c) Dorset Customer Access Programme
This work stream will enable improved customer service and cost effective
delivery of priority service outcomes. The programme will support local
authorities in Dorset, working together and separately, to address the
capacity gaps and other barriers to effective service delivery for people
in Dorset.


(d) Business Process Improvement
The aim of this work stream will be to develop and use a common
methodology and IT architecture, and to create capacity for business
process re-engineering to improve the efficiency and administration of
service delivery and better design services around customer needs.

The interrelationships between the elements of the programme are
important. The Local Government White Paper - 'Strong and Prosperous
Communities' provides clear direction for increased joint working, with the
emphasis on efficiency and shared service provision.

The bid in total provides Dorset local authorities with a managed
programme to respond to many of the White Paper challenges.

Part (a) of this programme received funding approval in October 2006 and
a full-time officer will be in post from the end of January.

The Lift South West Board has since agreed to provide funding of
£411,000 for the balance of the programme and we are currently
negotiating the detail of the implementation.

                                                                            29

                                                      Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                  Partnership structures
                                                               Dorset Strategic                                   Dorset Improvement Partnership
                                   Voluntary sector            Partnership Board
                                                                                         Leaders of the county    Workstreams:
                                                                                          and district councils
                                                                                                                  • Shared strategic agenda - a
                                                               Supported by delivery                              dedicated policy officer has been
                                  Key public service           group and theme groups:                            appointed to build on work with
                                      providers                                                                   the Leadership Centre
                                                               • Housing
                                                               • Economy                                          • Performance Management- in
                                                               • Accessibility                                    place since 2005, with the
                                                               • Environment                                      Borough of Poole joining in
                                       Business                • Older people                                     January 2007
                                                               • Children and young
                                                                people                                            • Seamless Access - will build on
                                                               • Culture                                          Dorset For You partnership,
                                                               • Safer and Stronger                               established in 2004
                                                                Communities
                                                               • Health and well-being                            • Increased efficiency – to
                                                               • 2012 games legacy                                provide systematic review of all
                                                                                                                  services and common approach to
                                                                                                                  business process improvement.



                                                                   Local community
                                                                     partnerships

                                             Parish and town
                                                 councils


                                                                     Local area
                                                                                                                                                      Appendix 4




                                                                    partnerships




                             30

Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                     Appendix 5




Pilot project – “Local Delivery”
in North Dorset
       1. Summary

       1.1   This proposal is for a pilot project to be considered within the
             overarching framework of the Dorset pathfinder. The pilot project
             will devolve services and assets to town and parish councils,
             community partnerships and community organisations. It builds
             upon innovative work within the North Dorset District area to build
             community partnerships, develop community plans and establish a
             regeneration company. It is being submitted by North Dorset
             District Council as part of Dorset wide proposals relating to
             neighbourhood management within the pathfinder.

       1.2   The project objectives are:
             • A strengthened role for local communities in service delivery;
             • A robust and sustainable delivery model; and
             • Efficiency savings through better and innovative ways of working.

       1.3   The pilot builds on the shared vision of the Dorset authorities ’to
             build services around the citizens and communities that use them’.
             It will provide a practical case study, which can be replicated
             elsewhere, to increase community ownership and release
             efficiency savings.

       2. Place Shaping

       2.1   In line with its vision, ’…for thriving and balanced communities in
             our market towns…’, North Dorset District Council has developed
             an approach to community planning which has been promoted as
             ‘a model for the region’ by relevant organisations. The Council has:
             • invested in community development to support the development
               of community plans at the level of the parish and the broader
               community partnership;.
             • Co-ordinated interagency responses to the issues raised by
                community partnerships and parishes in their plans;
             • Supported the delivery of community projects; and
             • Transferred some council services to local community management.



                                                                                   31

                                                            Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                               Appendix 5




2.2   There are 61 town and parish councils in North Dorset and they
      already play a significant role in service delivery through their
      management of play areas, skate parks, playing fields, open space
      and village halls. In 2004/5 the Council used a Liveability award to
      establish a local Regeneration Company (BALDRIC) to support the
      development and delivery of community projects. A key element of
      the Council’s Corporate Plan is its Local Delivery project - the
      further transfer of discretionary and some statutory services to
      community organisations.


3. Local Delivery

3.1   The preparation phase of the Local Delivery project is close to
      completion. Following extensive consultation with town and parish
      councils, broad agreement has been reached about the principle of
      transferring services. Over three quarters of town and parish
      councils in the District have agreed to set their precepts for 2007/8
      in order to assume financial support for some discretionary services
      currently provided by the District Council. Detailed discussions are
      underway about the range of services to be transferred to local
      communities. The overall aim is to establish jointly what is needed
      to improve the vibrancy, cleanliness and safety of towns and villages
      and to improve access to the services which local people consider
      to be important, within an affordable framework. The project will
      include consideration of the cleaner, safer, greener agenda.

3.2   The Council’s recent successful transfer of local services (tourist
      information centres and outdoor pool) to community groups has
      demonstrated the need for technical and fundraising support for
      the local delivery of services and the management of assets. The
      Council is bidding for resources through the Invest to Save budget
      to provide a dedicated resource to support town and parish
      councils and community partnerships to pilot this process. The
      project will also target the Community Asset Fund. This will include
      developing a toolkit, producing business models, addressing risks
      and sustainability issues and assisting in the transition arrangements
      for any service or asset which may be transferred.




                                                                            32

                                                      Dorset Pathfinder proposal
                                                                    Appendix 5

4. Enabling Measures

4.1    The Council is seeking ‘powers of well being’ for town and parish
       councils in the district prior to the award of quality council status.
       This will enable them to deliver a wider range of services and assist
       their programmed improvement towards quality council status.

5. Impact

5.1    The involvement of parishes, business, the voluntary sector and not-
       for-profit sector in shaping and delivering services locally is a key
       element in building successful sustainable communities. The project
       will promote community leadership in addition to management and
       ownership of community assets.

5.2    It is intended that neighbourhood management and involvement,
       built on local knowledge, will assist in meeting the challenges
       present by the pockets of deprivation to be found in the rural area.
       Local knowledge and ingenuity can help to overcome barriers such
       as minimal public transport services, in accessing services of other
       agencies, for example health services.

5.3    North Dorset has a high proportion of micro-businesses which need
       nurturing and assistance at local level. There is already a tradition
       of self-help with, for example, some small businesses providing
       training programmes for school leavers. The community partnership
       model fosters and encourages such self-help benefit to the area.

6. Milestones

Within 1 year
• Have in place a toolkit for the transfer of services
• Complete business plans for community facilities
• Agree service levels and standards for local services and local
   service delivery
• Conclude agreements on service provision and transfer terms

Within 2 years
• Agree schedule of transfer of services
• Implement schedule of transfers (phase I)
• Meet cost reduction targets 2008/09
• Agree further schedule of transfers for 2009/10

Year 3
• Implement schedule of transfer of services (phase II)
• Meet cost reduction targets 2009/10
• Evaluate projects in relation to satisfaction levels, value for
   money and effectiveness of model.


                                                                                33

                                                        Dorset Pathfinder proposal

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:3
posted:10/19/2011
language:English
pages:33