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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/10/2007
Review of Waverley's Local Strategic Partnership



APPENDIX K
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - 17TH SEPTEMBER 2007

EXECUTIVE - 2ND OCTOBER 2007

Title:
REVIEW OF WAVERLEY’S LOCAL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
[Wards Affected: All]


Summary and purpose:

The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed at a meeting in the previous Council year to undertake an in-depth review of Waverley’s Local Strategic Partnership. The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the progress of this review and, having agreed that it would be appropriate to conclude the review at this stage, present the conclusions of the Committee to the Executive for consideration.

Environmental implications

Sustainability is a key theme for all Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) to address.

Social / community implications:

The LSP has an important role as a cross-sector community voice.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-Government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource and legal implications associated with this report other than the officer time involved in the review.

Background

1. All local authorities have a statutory responsibility to produce a Community Strategy. Whilst only areas in receipt of Neighbourhood Renewal Funding (NRF) are statutorily required to establish a Local Strategic Partnership to support delivery of their Community Strategy, the Government puts emphasis on joined-up working in all areas. LSPs are seen as the key vehicle to deliver this.

2. Convening LSPs in non-NRF areas like Waverley was voluntary – although the vast majority of local authorities have chosen to do so, as the most effective way to discharge their responsibilities in respect of Community Strategies. LSPs are the preferred method of co-ordinating the production of Community Strategies, and providing strategic oversight for their delivery. The Community Strategy (now referred to as a ‘Sustainable Community Strategy’) sits at the top of the hierarchy of strategic plans for any given area. Produced in extensive consultation with local communities, these documents should provide a prioritised overview of the issues most important to residents within the catchment of the local authority.

3. Operating at the same level in the hierarchy is the Local Development Framework (LDF), which Government guidance stresses should be ‘the spatial expression of the Community Strategy’.

4. A typical LSP in a district council area will meet between four and six times annually, and will include representatives of:

District CouncilThe Primary Care TrustOlder people
County CouncilThe community and voluntary sectorChildren and young people
Town / Parish CouncilsThe education and skills sectorLocal NHS Trusts
The PoliceThe business communityMedia organisations
The Fire AuthorityFaith communitiesGovernment Offices

5. In two-tier areas, LSPs operate at both district and county level. The recent White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities, places a statutory obligation on upper-tier (county) authorities to consult on and produce Local Area Agreements, which are (funded) delivery plans for their Sustainable Community Strategy.

6. The relationship between district and county LSPs is not, however, hierarchical, and varies from county to county. There is, however, a direct relationship between the LAA and the bodies that constitute district-level LSPs – these bodies will have a duty to have regard to the targets of the LAA, and support their delivery.

7. A proposal has been developed by the Surrey LSP Officers Group using funding from the ‘Progress through Partnership (PtP)’ programme to work collaboratively across the county’s LSPs to agree a common form for County/District relations (see Annexe 1).

8. The White Paper states an expectation that [all] “LSPs should be the overarching strategic partnership [for their area], bringing together a manageable number of key thematic partnerships to deliver the priorities agreed in the Local Area Agreement and Sustainable Community Strategy”.

9. The Waverley LSP Executive was reconstituted in June 2006, with agreement of a Terms of Reference for its operation, election of a new Chair, and a commitment to review the thematic subgroup structure and work programme that operates beneath it.

10. The LSP has also examined its key high level risks (see Annexe 2) with externally facilitated work to undertake a fuller assessment timed to coincide with the refreshing of the Community Strategy in January 2008. This work will supplement a more detailed internal review of purpose and function, supported in part by PtP funding which the LSP aims to have concluded by the time the Community Strategy is published. This will include revision of the LSP’s existing Terms of Reference, attached as Annexe 3.

11. The Chairman of the Waverley LSP is Jean Roberts-Jones, Chief Executive of Surrey Community Action. The Vice Chairman is Ken Kent, representative of the Waverley Business Forum.

Scope of the review

12. It was agreed by the Committee in January 2007 that the review of the Waverley Local Strategic Partnership should focus on addressing the following key questions:

I. How useful do members of the LSP believe the partnership is? II. How are members of the LSP selected? III. How does the Council use the recommendations of the LSP, how does the LSP influence Council policy and how are the decisions/actions of the LSP fed back to the Council?

IV. What specific objectives are the LSP seeking to achieve in the short and longer term and how do they know these are the right issues?

V. Does Waverley’s LSP have regard to the Surrey Local Area Agreement? VI. What performance indicators are in place to measure success?

VII. Are members aware of the LSP, its role and its work to date and how can members of the Council influence the working of the LSP?

VIII. Are the terms of reference of the Waverley LSP being met?

Select Committee mode meeting - 19th March 2007

13. To assist the Committee in its evidence gathering, a number of expert speakers and LSP representatives were invited to the Committee’ s meeting on 19th March to make presentations to the Committee and to answer any questions. The Committee was operating in Select Committee mode. A list of the speakers and a summary of their contributions are attached at Annexe 4 and Annexe 5 respectively.

Main conclusions from Select Committee Meeting

14. A key finding from the Select Committee meeting was the lack of member engagement with the LSP or knowledge of its purpose. The activities of the LSP were not seen as mainstream, councillors were not involved in or engaged by the LSP. There was a perception from some members of the Committee that it was just a ‘talking shop’. It is therefore important that the LSP addresses the issue of councillor engagement.

15. The future, in the eyes of the Government, is about effective partnership working and the Waverley LSP should be the overarching partnership that can set appropriate strategies and priorities.

16. There is a need to recognise the ability of the LSP to deliver more than just Waverley alone can, by targeting particular areas and making effective use of the funding brought to the table by other partners.

17. The LSP should become a key mechanism to improve people’s lives in a local area. It is clear from the Government White paper that LAA’s will become a significant vehicle for funding and delivering on local priorities and Waverley’s Community Strategy should be informing and helping shape the LAA as it develops.

18. In turn this raised the issue of whether the same situation i.e. lack of engagement, exists within other partner organisations and their relationships with the LSP i.e. is the LSP peripheral to organisations or a mainstream activity.

19. Greater clarity is required in terms of the Safer Waverley Partnership and how this relates to and operates within the LSP framework and equally how Waverley’s Local Development Framework fits with the LSP/Community Strategy.

20. LAAs will be supported by public sector funding in the future and the LSP is a single overarching partnership that can set appropriate strategies and priorities. Until now, partners have been able to choose how far they get involved and there will now be a duty to co-operate with Surrey County Council and other named partners and a need to work with SCC to ensure shared objectives especially are included and delivered.

21. There was clearly a need for the existing Community Strategy to be refreshed and this process is now underway (see below).

Waverley Community Strategy Refresh 2007/08

19. The existing Waverley Community Strategy was published in 2002 and an exercise has now started to update and refresh the strategy to reflect local priorities.

20. An initial event was held in July 2007 with representatives from Town and parish Councils who have produced or are producing Town Healthchecks or Parish Plans. A copy of the Pre-consultation Questionnaire for Towns and Parishes is attached as Annexe 6 to this report for information. An example of work on developing LSPs is being undertaken as part of a Government funded Progress through Partnership (PtP) initiative and a copy of a proposed Surrey-wide initiative is attached as Annexe 1.

21. In view of the current Community Strategy refresh exercise that is now underway members may wish to consider whether it would be appropriate to conclude the Committee’s in depth review at this stage. The Committee could decide to forward the conclusions, set out above, from its Select Committee meeting to the Executive for consideration and to defer further work on the review until the Community Strategy refresh process has been completed and re-examine the LSP in 18 months time.

22. The perception that the Waverley LSP has been detached from the mainstream of Waverley activity has been recognised and it is officers’ intention through the refresh initiative to address and rectify this situation.

Conclusion

23. The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at its meeting on 17th September, agreed that, in view of the Community Strategy refresh exercise which is currently underway, it was appropriate to conclude the in-depth review of the LSP at this time but that the development of Waverley’s LSP should be re-examined in 18 months time.

24. The Committee suggested that it would be helpful, particularly because of the number of new members on the Council, if a briefing note could be prepared explaining what the Local Strategic Partnership is, how it works and what it can be used for.


Recommendation

It is recommended that

1. the conclusions set out above following the Committee’s in-depth review of Waverley’s Local Strategic Partnership be endorsed; and

2. a briefing note be prepared for all Members of the Council explaining what the Local Strategic Partnership is, how it works and what it can be used for.

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: Roger Standing Telephone: 01483 523221
E-mail: rstanding@waverley.gov.uk



G:\bureau\comms\executive\2007-08\090 lsp 021007.doc

ANNEXE 1
Surrey wide proposal for
12 LSPs joint capacity building programme

Background
The Progress through Partnership (PtP) initiative allows each LSP in the south-east to access 6,000 for capacity building work until the end of March 2008. The 12 LSP Officer Group has decided in principle that it would be beneficial for LSPs to use some of their funding for capacity building on a Surrey-wide basis to improve working between LSPs in the county.

It was agreed that a working group of officers should meet to develop proposals for this. This group met on 1 August and included Chris Ash (Waverley BC), Melvin Hartley (Spelthorne BC), Ben Lee (Shared Intelligence), Paul Sanderson (Surrey CC) and Joy Willshire (Elmbridge BC).

Proposals
The working group has developed the following three strands of a joint capacity building programme for Surrey.

1. Establishing a baseline position
Surrey has eleven different district and borough LSPs and, in all likelihood, eleven different ‘ways of working’ within those LSPs.

Deeper understanding amongst partners of these various modus operandi will be essential before detailed consideration can be made of how ‘second tier’ LSPs relate to and support the objectives of the Surrey Strategic Partnership and the Local Area Agreement.

It will also provide an important baseline from which LSPs can consider the case for developing their own ways of working to support delivery of their aims and objectives.

An LSP’s ‘way of working’ will encompass a variety of issues, including:

Composition, relationships between, and relative status of partners on the LSP (especially in respect of statutory and non-statutory agencies)
Common understanding and agreement of respective roles between LSP and local democratically elected bodies (i.e. District / Borough Council and Local Committee)
Governance and funding arrangements
Public standing and image of LSP
Thematic or project focus, including the role of officer delivery groups (not least CDRPs) and arrangements for performance management
Extent of direct officer support available to the LSP Executive

The first stage of the proposed development activity will be a baseline self-assessment to produce a comprehensive picture of ways of working in Surrey’s district and borough LSPs.

It is proposed that the Surrey LSP Officers Group will collectively provide project management support for this phase. This would take the form of designing methodology (probably a facilitated discussion based around a standard questionnaire – which would involve expenditure through PtP) and, possibly, providing peer support for the self-assessment process.




2. Learning about other two tier areas
This stage would involve identifying one or two similar two-tier counties who would be willing to engage in a learning exercise focussing on the role of district LSPs in the LAA and county LSP. The work would be carried out by members of the 12 LSP Officer Group and would culminate in a report to be presented during the third strand.

Activities that would be carried out include:
Identify potential partner counties and reach agreement on participation
Agree the questions to be asked
Research through interviews (by telephone or in person) and a community of practice (online discussions)
Produce a report of the findings with recommendations for Surrey

This strand would rely on the capacity of LSP officers to take on tasks. It could be useful for one officer to write the final report with input from the other officers. The 12 LSP Officer Group may wish to meet more frequently for the duration of the work.

3. Applying learning to Surrey and the LAA
This would best be taken forward through bringing officers and members together from the 12 LSPs in Surrey to discuss and agree issues, objectives and future working arrangements. This would involve two facilitated workshops.

The first workshop would be about coming to a common understanding regarding the similarities and differences between existing LSPs and their potential role in the LAA. It will help bring all LSPs to the same baseline position of understanding prior to the second workshop. There would be sharing of information regarding the various LSP models and learning more about the new LAA process in a two tier area – using the information gleaned from the learning process in 1 and 2 above.

The second workshop would take forward the in more depth a discussion about the role of LSPs in a two tier area in delivering the emerging LAA – particularly the role of the District and Borough based LSPs. The recommendation produced as a result of 2 would feed into this discussion. This workshop would include consideration of the emerging governance arrangements and the need for ongoing District & Borough LSP engagement. The purpose and desirability of reconvening a regular LSP chairman’s group should be on the agenda. The outcome should be a clear understanding of the role of all LSPs in delivering improvement priorities and how the two tiers can continue to engage to maximise benefits to citizens.

These workshops will be able to feed into the wider SSP Review process. In terms of timing these workshops would best be held between mid October and mid November to then feed into the SSP Conference on 29 November although there could be some flexibility around this.
Costs
Stage 1
Facilitated discussion 2000

Stage 2
Report production and dissemination 500

Stage 3
Two facilitated workshops inc prep, catering/venue 7500

TOTAL 10,000


Key contacts

Chris Ash (01483) 523148
Graeme Clark (01483) 523236


ANNEXE 3

WAVERLEY LOCAL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Terms of Reference

1. MISSION

The mission of Waverley LSP is, by means of enthusiastic and mutually respectful joint working, to add greater value in our responses to issues of importance to the people of Waverley than we would, working in isolation.

2. TERMS OF REFERENCE

2.1 These are the terms of reference for the Waverley LSP Executive, agreed by the pre-existing membership at a meeting on 12th June 2006, and effective from that date.

2.2 These terms of reference shall cover a period of twelve months from the commencement date, at the end of which they shall require review and agreement by the membership.

3. LSP FRAMEWORK

3.1 The Local Strategic Partnership shall be known as the ‘Waverley Local Strategic Partnership’ (“WLSP”).

3.2 The Executive of the WLSP, formerly known as the WLSP Delivery Group, shall be referred to in this document as the “WLSP Executive”.

3.3 The WLSP Executive will lead on the formulation and production of the Waverley Sustainable Community Strategy (“WCS”), for which it will be jointly and severally accountable to the public via the WLSP Assembly.

3.4 Multi-agency teams, based on the cross cutting themes of the WCS, will be responsible for the delivery of the WLSP agenda.

3.5 One member of the WLSP Executive will sit on each of the multi-agency teams in a ‘champion’ role. This individual will report directly to the WLSP Executive on the achievements and challenges encountered by the team.

3.6 Each multi-agency team will be responsible for the production of an annual action plan with SMART targets, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.

4. ROLE

4.1 The WLSP Executive’s role is to provide strategic direction for, and manage the performance of, the multi-agency teams, in line with the WCS.

4.2 The WLSP Executive will also debate major strategic issues facing the Borough as and when they arise, with the objective of agreeing common and co-ordinated approaches between partners, and championing those approaches in the respective organisations.

4.3 The WLSP Executive will report progress against its objectives, action plans and resolutions to the annual meeting of the WLSP Assembly, and by means of interim annual newsletters.

5. FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS

5.1 The WLSP Executive will meet at least once every three months, and will schedule further, extra-ordinary meetings as required.

6. MEMBERSHIP

6.1 Membership of the WLSP Executive will comprise the following representatives:

Local Government The Leader of Waverley BC, or their named representative
A named senior officer from Waverley BC
The chairman of the Surrey CC Local Committee, or their named representative
A named senior officer from Surrey CC
A named senior officer from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service
Two named representatives from Waverley’s Town & Parish Councils

Police

NHS
6.2 The WLSP Executive will review membership and attendance annually.

7. CHAIRMANSHIP

7.1 The WLSP Executive will have a Chairman and Vice Chairman.

7.2 The WLSP Chairman shall be agreed by, and selected from within the WLSP Executive membership to serve for a period of one year. The chairman is not precluded from seeking re-election at the end of their term.

7.3 The WLSP Executive will appoint one of its members to chair the annual meeting of the WLSP Assembly.

8. DECISIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND AUTHORITY

8.1 The WLSP Executive will operate on the assumption that all decisions and recommendations shall be reached by consensus.

8.2 For a decision or recommendation to be considered unanimous, the following conditions must be satisfied:

8.2.1 The meeting must be attended by at least one representative from each of the following organisations, who are able to commit resources directly on behalf of those organisations: 8.2.2 All members present at the meeting must be in agreement with that decision or recommendation. Unanimous decisions and recommendations will be proactively publicised.

8.3 Decisions and recommendations made by the WLSP Executive must be:

8.4 Once agreed, minutes of WLSP meetings will be made publicly available on the Waverley Borough Council website.

Terms of Reference:

Statement on Values and Behaviours

To enhance the success of the Waverley LSP in achieving its goals, the LSP Executive is committed to conducting its business in a manner that is reflective of the values embodied by its mission. This manner of conducting business is reflected in the following behaviours:

Acknowledging the importance of diversity, both individual and organisational
Maintaining the integrity of the LSP, by representing its endeavours in a positive and consistent light in external communications
Respecting the dignity of partners, by acting in a professional and ethical manner towards colleagues
Consulting, communicating and sharing information in an open and honest way, to ensure optimum levels of representation and transparency
Challenging colleagues in a fair, consistent and open manner
Ensuring that colleagues’ right to be heard is maintained
Celebrating success and recognising areas of non-delivery
Creating a ‘no blame’ culture, by promoting a culture of reflective learning

ANNEXE 4

SELECT COMMITTEE MEETING 19TH MARCH 2007
REVIEW OF THE WAVERLEY LOCAL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP


Name
Organisation
    Mrs Jean Roberts-Jones
Chairman Waverley Local Strategic Partnership
    Mr Iain Lynch
Government Office of the South East
    Mr Evan Metz
Shared Intelligence (Research Consultancy)
    Mr Dave Johnson
Area Director, Waverley and Guildford, Surrey County Council
    Mrs Anne Bott
Monitoring Officer & Head of Corporate Services & Development, Waverley Borough Council
ANNEXE 5

i. Jean Roberts-Jones, Chairman of the Waverley Local Strategic Partnership

Jean Roberts-Jones introduced the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) as a varied selection of people who met regularly to look at key issues and hopefully bring about more achievements as a collective. The LSP was looking to attract representatives of older and young people and would possibly be looking towards the newly-formed Youth Council for a volunteer. She explained that the LSP works to improve a joint working approach and recognises that there are benefits from working together, particularly on task-focused projects. It aims to ensure that local people have a voice and that the community strategy reflects the needs of local communities.

Having been asked about links between the LSP and the Primary Care Trust, Mrs Roberts-Jones explained that there was a regular attendee representing health, listening to views and local issues. It was important to be able to feed back to the PCT on local issues. Due to the concern about future healthcare provision, the Committee was pleased that the LSP was having an input.

In terms of finding solutions to problems collectively, the LSP had been instrumental in a number of projects including smokefree legislation, graffiti and abandoned cars. Health and Social Services had also come together to understand particular issues in areas such as Sandy Hill, Farnham and Ockford Ridge, Godalming.

Dave Johnson from Surrey County Council explained that the Local Strategic Partnership had a key role in bringing agencies together at a local level and referred specifically to initiatives in Ockford Ridge, Aarons Hill, Sandy Hill, the Chantrys and Northbourne which were assisted by a Community Development Worker funded by contributions from various agencies. The Safer Waverley Partnership was also seen to continue to deliver and keep Waverley as one of the safest places.

He also introduced a number of joint Guildford and Waverley LSP projects:-

a. Smokefree Waverley - joint funding was used to start the campaign;
b. Operation Locust (environmental issues) - communicating to businesses; and
c. Communications.

The LSP was considered to be a manageable size, with the right number of people at the right level to enable decisions to be made and to encourage continuity and consistency.


ii. Iain Lynch, Lead Officer on LSPs in the South East at the Government Office for the South East (on secondment)

The Local Strategic Partnership is an overarching partnership bringing together relevant service deliveries and Iain Lynch stated that there was no intention to create a statutory body at either county or borough level. Whilst LSPs had found it difficult to move from a policy/strategic role into delivering services, it was important to ensure that they were capable of delivering outcomes required in Local Area Agreements (LAAs), bringing priorities together into a single document.

It was reported that the Local Government White Paper moves Local Area Agreements to mainstream, with a tight timetable to 2008. New guidance was expected in the summer. LAAs will be supported by public sector funding in the future and the LSP is a single overarching partnership that can set appropriate strategies and priorities. Until now, partners have been able to choose how far they get involved and there will now be a duty to co-operate with Surrey County Council and other named partners.

Instead of having separate funding streams to deliver priorities, LAA targets will be based on a clearer assessment of needs and the performance of targets against those needs.

iii. Evan Metz, Shared Intelligence (Research Consultancy)

Evan Metz has carried out research in the South East to look at capacity building needs of LSPs to make them more effective; moving from a strategic towards a delivery role, requiring a different set of skills to address a new set of needs. The research consultancy looked at required skills and development needs for LSPs and then approached the Government to obtain funding to improve in this area. The Government Office for the South East (GOSE) was the key sponsor/driver behind the research.

The LSP should be a forum to stimulate dialogue and identify where partners can work together more effectively to improve people’s lives in a local area. Problems cut across agencies, many of which are within the public sector, and it is recognised that more can be achieved from working together by building networks and prioritising the needs of an area.

It was reported that original guidance on LSPs was not prescriptive about how an LSP should be established, although it was seen as important to be suitable to its area. Reviews were being undertaken across the country as to whether LSPs were fit for purpose and how it could be ensured that they are focussing on key issues/priorities for an area. Evan explained that it was important to have involvement of the right stakeholders and that there should be clear channels of communication both into and from the LSP. Similarly, it was essential to have senior level support and to ensure that messages filter down in an organisation to set out where that organisation fits within the wider picture in terms of the community strategy. The future, in the eyes of the Government, is about effective partnership working.


Members raised concern about the current low level of engagement with local elected representatives and it was confirmed that this was an area that would need to be addressed in the future, particularly with regard to engaging Town and Parish Councils.

iv. Dave Johnson, Area Director Waverley and Guildford, Surrey County Council

Dave Johnson emphasised that the LSP must be shown to bring added value and deliver improvements to an area, through consulting and having ongoing engagement with local communities. Its purpose should be to deliver the community strategy through a clear set of goals and targets, with the involvement of the appropriate people to commit resources.

He recognised that results of the LSP had been mixed, with an opportunity to build on successes, and it was noted that the LSP had not always been aware of its achievements. However, some projects would not have come about without the LSP, such as the Safer Waverley Partnership, Smokefree Waverley and the funded Community Development Post. The LSP has a strong role in encouraging a greater co-ordination of services and is currently engaging with Parish Councils through Healthchecks, Parish Plans etc.

As a comparison with the Guildford LSP, it was stated that the range of partners was broader and more inclusive in Guildford, and that they had secured a faith representative for longer than the Waverley LSP. Dave Johnson did report that Waverley’s community strategy was much clearer and sharper in terms of its aspirations than Guildford’s, whilst Guildford had a long wish list. Beneficial to the Waverley LSP was the fact that there was greater flexibility between the officer and member membership, whereas the Guildford LSP excluded officers from voting.

Members of the Committee again expressed concern about reaching their local communities and engaging Town and Parish Councils. This was something that the review being undertaken could draw to the attention of the LSP in due course.

v. Anne Bott, Head of Corporate Services and Development at Waverley Borough Council

Anne Bott informed the Committee of her role as LSP Manager and explained the difficulties experienced by the LSP over the last few years, mostly due to partners involved undergoing restructuring of some sort. Four meetings take place each year and all are well attended. The LSP has been trying to find its purpose for Waverley, to find a focus and create an established business plan. Anne referred again to the importance of member involvement, especially in influencing Local Area Agreements through local ward events.

It was reported that currently Waverley had a budget of approximately 25,000 to deliver the community strategy and also contributed officer time to the LSP.

The Director of Environment and Leisure, who is also the Lead Director for the LSP, emphasised

a. the need to translate the work of the LSP through to members;
b. the need to involve the LSP in practical work on the ground, such as abandoned cars, litter, graffiti etc; and

c. the need to recognise the ability of the LSP to deliver more than just Waverley alone can, by targeting particular areas and making effective use of the funding brought to the table by other partners.




Exec/2007-08/090 lsp