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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 05/12/2006

Waverley Borough Council



[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 this report relates, as specified in paragraph 3 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to present the Management Team’s findings following the further analysis of the three structure review options agreed by Council and to set out the views of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on those findings. These will pass to the Council meeting on 12th December 2006, when agreement will be sought on the future management structure for Waverley.

Environmental implications:

There are no direct environmental implications at this stage. However, the sustainability agenda, including the Climate Change Action Plan, will be a key issue to be progressed under the new organisational structure when agreed.

Social / community implications:

There are no direct implications at this stage. However, these key issues and the implications of the White Paper will need to be progressed under the new organisational structure, when agreed.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Equality/Diversity Implications:

There are equality and diversity implications in this report related to the appointment of staff to posts that are agreed that members need to consider at this stage.

Resource and legal implications:

The proposals in this report contain some detailed financial analysis. A risk assessment is included later in the report.


1. At the Council meeting on 17th October 2006, the Council agreed on the ‘direction of travel’ for the review. The agreed Terms of Reference are set out in Annexe 1.

2. In agreeing to focus attention on options 1 – 3 (i.e. the Daventry Model, the Evolutionary Approach and the Strategic Approach), the Council, was, in effect, saying that the review should progress from the current interim top management arrangement rather than from the direction of the three principles that were set out in options 4 – 6 (using, as the drivers for change, the principles of Customer Focused Service, Form Follows Function and Outsourcing/Partnering). Working from any of those options as the primary driver for change would, undoubtedly, have been the more radical approach, as it would require building up the structure from a base position.

3. There is a general feeling that Waverley should strengthen its strategic capacity. Aside of the general perception that view comes over through the work of the Task Teams. It was also endorsed at the recent Wider Management Group Awayday. Most particularly, this was also drawn to the Council’s attention under the CPA assessment as an area for improvement.

4. It needs, though, to be made clear that the Council has not rejected the introduction of aspects of options 4 – 6 into the final proposals. Indeed officers were careful to show, in the report to the Council, how that could happen in a new structure for Waverley.

5. The Council decision was reached after detailed sessions, conducted separately before the Council meeting on 17th October 2006, with the Executive and the Shadow Executive. These sessions were supported by an external facilitator from IDeA and enabled critical analysis of the options. A session was also conducted with the independent group.

6. It is also appropriate to confirm that much detailed analytical work was carried out, not only by the Management Team, supported by the Head of Personnel & Central Services, but also by other officers. The Management Team set up six officer teams to carry out an analysis of the initial six options and a meeting of the Wider Management Group took time to refine further the analysis of the six options. The same external facilitator also facilitated this session. In addition, a Chief Executive from another district council was present to play the role of ‘critical friend’.

7. Officers were of the view that, through the processes outlined above, sufficient and detailed analysis of all six options had been carried out to enable reasonable conclusions to be drawn on the six options on the long list to enable it to be reduced to a final shortlist of options. It was expected that the most detailed work, including the financial appraisals, would be carried out on a preferred shortlist, rather than all six options.

The Next Steps

8. At this next stage, officers have carried out a more detailed analysis of the remaining three options and added a financial appraisal.

9. The analysis has been primarily against the nine objectives for the review, as set out in the Terms of Reference. The other issues raised in the Terms of Reference have an additional bearing on the final outcome, as does the context for the review as, again, set out in the Terms of Reference. The previous Management Team report to the Council outlined a phased approach to restructuring which also needs to be borne in mind.

10. It is thought unreasonable to expect that this analysis alone will lead, inexorably, to the final structure outcome for Waverley. The conclusion will be a combination of: -

Analysis as outlined above but including also information received from visits to other Councils; and Opinion. The outcome must ‘feel’ right for Waverley in the context of its history, the context in which it is currently operating and its future; Consensus of view from all Member Groups on the analysis and what feels right.

11. Before going into the further analysis of the remaining options, it needs to be emphasised that the deletion of a post at top management level would, without introducing ‘culture change’ issues around the principle of ‘working smarter’, result in a reduction in capacity. The effort must be to minimise the impact through more efficient ways of working or through improving capacity at a lower level in the organisation.

12. Also, the Council needs to be mindful of the capacity of existing staff to prepare for and implement change when normal functions still need to be carried out. In order to achieve effective change, subject to the depth of change, additional temporary resources may be required. Officers will keep Members informed of the progress of this activity.

13. Most recently, on 6th November 2006, key Members and officers made a visit to Chichester District Council where there is a top management team of three officers. Information provided before the visit appeared to show that all three covered departmental/operational responsibilities on shared out basis. A fundamental difference between Waverley and Chichester is that, although Chichester has a Direct Labour Organisation (with directly employed staff such as refuse collectors, grounds maintenance staff and leisure staff), Housing Stock Transfer has taken place. A summary note of the findings following the visit to Chichester is attached as (Exempt) Annexe 1.

14. On the same day, a smaller group of Members and officers held a meeting with the external Chief Executive who had participated in the Wider Management Group Awayday. The purpose of that was to share the progress that was being made on the Waverley restructuring, to receive critical feedback and to learn how a serving Chief Executive would expect to address an internal restructuring.

15. From both events on 6th November 2006, a way forward seemed to be emerging. Broadly, this included: -

the management structure should be more closely allied to the Member structure; top managers needed to have a greater strategic emphasis whilst maintaining responsibility for operational functions; one member of the top management team should be identified as the permanent head of paid service; appointing to the head of paid service is an important first step before going into the detail of the structure; and heads of service in Waverley should be more accountable and responsible for working more closely with relevant portfolio holders. Interim Arrangements

16. The joint Directors have been rotating the role of Managing Director/Head of Paid Service since May 2006, on a two-monthly basis in addition to their Director of Service role.

17. At the beginning of these interim arrangements, the Management Team of Directors agreed to champion particular facets of the MD role and maintain continuity throughout this interim period.

18. The particular areas agreed are as follows:

Steve Thwaites Surrey Local Government Associates
Surrey Chief Executives
Local Government Reform (White Paper)
Peter Maudsley Local Strategic Partnership
Local Area Agreement
Safer Waverley Partnership
Safer & Stronger Communities Board
Health & Safety
David January Enterprise First
Waverley Business Forum
Equality & Diversity
East Street
Paul Wenham Comprehensive Performance Assessment
Best Value
East Street negotiations
Resident MD GOSE/DCLoG

19. The interim arrangement has worked well in the short-term. However, there are some issues like the White Paper that cross several of the Champion roles in terms of varying relationship with external partners.

20. It is now clear to the Directors that, were the Council to implement the Daventry model, the issues of continuity, consistency and style of engaging in relationships do not sit easily with any rotational approach, on a longer-term basis. Most, if not all, of the current champion roles would be undertaken by the permanent MD and are a significant factor in consideration of the job role and structure for the future.

Local Government White Paper

21. The White Paper, published in October 2006, signposts the way that Government expects local government to develop. In order to ‘future-proof’ the restructuring proposals it would be advisable to consider whether there are implications flowing from the White Paper, themes for structures and/or senior management capacities, competencies and behaviours.

22. The analysis below adopts the key themes as identified by the “LGA Briefing” published 26/10/06. The ‘Implications’ section has been prepared by your officers. [The wide scope of the White Paper means that this can only be a summary].

ItemWP themeSummary implications for senior management
1A new performance framework [reduced no. of targets – but national focus; and replacement for CPA]Senior management will need to be able to work with services but to have sufficient detachment to take or advise corrective action.
2Councils as strategic leaders and place shapers. This to be achieved through partnerships and working to understood and ‘owned’ wider vision[s]. Clear roles and ‘ambassador’ type personal authority to support the political leader, advocacy skills, working within inter-agency and partnership political structures. Need to reduce structural and cultural barriers to partnership working and service delivery.
3Stronger cities, strategic regions. Agenda for economic development and [public] transport infrastructure.Ability to contribute to, and influence, sub-regional networks. Likely to be on a geographical basis.
4Stronger political leadershipSenior management to be able to complement and support the proposals for local political leadership. Not entirely suited to our situation – so expected to be difficult both politically and managerially. Problem solving and negotiation skills[!]
5Unitary or pathfinder structuresCurrent uncertainty, but signals that a long term move to reduce the complexity of the 2-tier system. If this becomes a likely prospect, then transition would be aided by a slimmer strategic senior management and strengthening the head of service level.
6Strengthened role for front-line councillorsBalancing corporate and service interests with the ‘bottom-up’ challenges to priorities via petitions and less member restrictions on regulatory services.
7Wider and stronger role for scrutiny – especially of the actions of local public service providers. Working with external partner organisations to help them to respond constructively to a more active scrutiny process. Conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
8Devolution of powers – especially for bye-laws and fixed penalty notices.Likely to be contentious and subject to ‘interest’ campaigns. Need for close support for political leadership.
9 Community cohesionPromoting participation by all in our community and removing hidden barriers. Supporting other lead agencies on social, economic and cultural matters. Awareness, understanding and representational skills.

23. Drawing these strands together, they suggest:–

1. Senior management will need the time and space to adequately support both [the two often conflicting] strengthened local political leadership and the enhanced scrutiny and representational Member roles.
2. A management structure and culture that is welcoming and supportive to inter-agency and partnership working.
3. Senior management to be sufficiently detached from services to be outward looking and receptive to emerging community issues.
4. If unitary council proposals become a reality – having a strong head of service level of management aids transition and assists in protecting quality.

Observations from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

24. The Committee gave detailed consideration to this report at its meeting on 20th November 2006 and made a number of observations to the Executive, which are set out in the (Exempt) Annexe.


Taking into consideration the observations from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee set out in the (Exempt) Annexe, the Executive is requested to make the appropriate recommendations to the Council meeting on the future management structure for Waverley.

Background Papers (MD)

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


Name: Paul Wenham (MD) Telephone: 01483 523208
E-mail: hops@waverley.gov.uk

David January Telephone: 01483 523361
E-mail: djanuary@waverley.gov.uk

Peter Maudsley Telephone: 01483 523398
E-mail: pmaudsley@waverley.gov.uk

Stephen Thwaites Telephone: 01483 523463
E-mail: sthwaites@waverley.gov.uk

Richard Wood Telephone: 01483 523387
E-mail: rwood@waverley.gov.uk