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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 24/04/2006
Restructuring - Progress Report



APPENDIX A
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 24TH APRIL 2006
COUNCIL – 26TH APRIL 2006

Title:
RESTRUCTURING – PROGRESS REPORT
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972

The annexe to this report contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded during the item to which the report relates, as specified in the appropriate paragraphs of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, that is:-
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to advise the Executive of progress that is being made in reviewing the Waverley Borough Council Officer Structure. The report seeks approval to recommendations to implement key interim elements of the restructuring.

Environmental implications:

In so far as their activities relate to environmental matters, managers affected by these proposals currently have full work programmes. Some of these areas of activity may, in the interim, be adversely affected.

Social / community implications:

The managers affected by these proposals currently have full work programmes of social and community involvement, both within Waverley and across the County. Some of these areas of activity will now cease and others will be reassigned as capacity permits.

New age discrimination legislation on the statute books from 1st October 2006, and new statutory duties on local authorities to promote disability equalities later this year, and to promote gender equality during 2007, make it necessary that resources are allocated to progressing the Council’s Equality Agenda.

E-Government implications:

The improved use of information by the Council’s I.T. strategy has already facilitated efficiency savings within the Council. This approach needs to continue.

Resource and legal implications:

The restructuring is intended to achieve efficiency savings within a period proposed in the report. It is intended that a reasonable short to medium term strategy be in place to secure the financial benefits of the restructuring. A full financial analysis of the proposals is contained in the (Exempt) Annexe – To Follow to this report.

As the process of restructuring moves forward there will be legal implications associated with the consideration of the proposals and the nature of the proposals themselves. The Solicitor to the Council will secure the provision of internal and external legal services, as necessary, to support members and senior officers as the process is followed and proposals considered.

Partnerships:

Communication with and representation to partner organisations and bodies will be affected by the proposals.
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Background

1. The Chief Executive has delegated her responsibility for the report to the Head of Personnel and Central Services.

Introduction

2. There are a number of factors instigating the interim structure referred to in this report.

3. It is a commitment of the Council’s administration to reduce the expenditure on administration/management. To date, reductions of 394,000 in staffing costs have been made, or costs have been realigned within the organisation to meet current Council priorities. The Council’s top management structure (Top 3 / 4 tiers) has, to date, remained intact.

4. The savings have been made from reductions in posts at middle and lower levels, with impact upon direct services delivery, albeit in a manageable way. The restructuring of the top tiers will have a less direct impact on services delivered to the public but may have a significant impact on how effective strategic management may be to secure the Council’s key aims and objectives, in line with the corporate vision.

5. In February 2004, the Council’s administration expressed the wish to review the cost of the Borough Council’s senior management. However the Executive agreed, at its meeting in April 2005, that the proposed management review be postponed until the outcome of the tenant’s ballot on Housing Stock Transfer became known.

6. The Chief Executive and the Head of Personnel and Central Services were charged with bringing forward structure proposals for Waverley to the first meeting of the Executive after the outcome of the tenant’s ballot. In anticipation of a “yes” vote, those officers carried out work to be in a position to report as required.

7. In December 2005, the Housing Stock Transfer Ballot resulted in a vote against transferring the housing stock to a registered social landlord. By the report to the Executive meeting on 10th January 2006, members were informed of the consequential issues for the Council’s services and finances. As that report said, the “no” vote has presented new challenges. As such, the need to review structures to meet those challenges and to achieve efficiency savings, particularly at senior level, in the light of the reductions that have already been made at other levels of the organisation, was acknowledged.

Current Management Structure

8. The current management structure of a Chief Executive with four Service Directors may reasonably be described as traditional. The research carried out by the Chief Executive and the Head of Personnel and Central Services has identified that many local authorities had restructured to a “leaner” top management structure.

9. A particularly close look was taken of Basingstoke and Deane and Reigate and Banstead Borough Councils when members of the Executive and members of the opposition groups joined senior officers in visiting those Boroughs.

Revised Staffing Structure for Waverley Borough Council

10. It is recognised that the Council’s immediate concern is to reduce management costs as a consequence of budget pressures, both General Fund, and Housing Revenue Account, arising from the “no” vote. Details are set out in the (Exempt) Annexe.

Review of the Housing Department Following the “No” Vote

11. Concurrent with the work in connection with the wider restructuring of Waverley following the Housing Ballot, there was a need for the Director of Housing to undertake a fundamental review of the management of his Directorate as the financial resources available to provide new homes and to refurbish existing stock will be significantly reduced from 2006/7, and more so from 2007/8 onwards.

12. The Director of Housing has been carrying out this work in consultation with the Chief Executive, but separate from the work being progressed on the overall review of the Waverley structure. However, there is a need to pull the two pieces of work together at a top management level.

13. There is, undoubtedly, the need to create a climate of certainty for all Waverley staff around this, what has become of necessity, protracted progress on the restructuring. It is, therefore, recommended that the proposals on the restructuring of the Housing Department, to link in with the progress of the wider restructuring, should be brought to the June meeting of the Executive and then to the special Council meeting, planned for 27th June 2006, for adoption.

Internal Consultation

14. Consultation to date has taken place with staffside and with individuals directly affected.

15. The administration has also received advice from South East Employers. The Solicitor to the Council has referred this report and its recommendations for the consideration of Counsel. The District Auditor will be concerned to ensure that, in considering the matter, the Council has undertaken a considered review of the Council’s present and future needs for the structure of its top management. The District Auditor is being consulted.

16. The Leader and Deputy Leader of the main opposition group, together with the Shadow Portfolio Holder for Human Resources, have received an informal briefing from the Chief Executive and the Head of Personnel and Central Services, as have the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Independent Group.

Conclusion

17. Detailed proposals are still under discussion and will be reported in the (Exempt) Annexe (to follow) as soon as agreed.

Recommendation

That the Executive considers the recommendations set out in the (Exempt) Annexe (to follow) and recommends the Council accordingly.


Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Richard Wood Telephone: 01483 523387

E-mail: rwood@waverley.gov.uk



Comms/exec/2005-06/346