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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 23/01/2006
Outside Bodies Review Findings


1 Approximately two thirds of Waverley’s Outside Bodies were consulted via a postal questionnaire, omitting some organisations of strategic significance that were not surveyed on the basis that the basis for the relationship was already clear.

2 The questionnaire sought to explore: a. The purpose of the organisation
b. Its legal status (limited, charitable, other) plus information about any liability insurance they have in place to cover the Waverley representative’s activities
c. Length of time associated with WBC
d. Their expectations of the Waverley representative
e. Level of commitment/time required
f. Their perception of the value of the representatives role
g. Whether or not their needs were met by current arrangements
h. Key indicators of value
i. Any issues for them should the Waverley representative’s role cease 3 A spreadsheet breakdown of the responses received is available as a background paper. However in summary the major outcomes from the survey are set out as follows: a. The council appoints to a wide range of organisations but this commitment is not, for the most part, reflected in the WBC corporate objectives.
b. A majority of organisations value their links with WBC but many see this primarily as an enabler of funding.
c. Almost all the organisations valued Council representation in contributing to effective liaison with the Council and contributing to local understanding of priorities and issues.
d. Where the organisation expects the representative to take a decision-making or formal trustee role, their role as a Waverley Councillor can be compromised
e. Information held centrally about Outside Bodies is out of date due to the lack of a formal feedback system. In one case we’ve been sending letters to the wrong contact for five years and in another the Waverley representative had not attended organisational meetings for over seven years. Seven organisations are no longer operating and there has been a change of organisational contact in a further eighteen.
f. It appears there is no clear mechanism for handling issues that arise and currently twenty of the organisations have outstanding concerns of a widely differing nature.
g. The level of commitment required for participation in Outside Bodies varied considerably
h. There is no evidence of a handover process between representatives who succeed each other.