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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 04/03/2008
Appendix G - Surrey Local Area Agreement (LAA) and Draft Sustainable Community Strategy 2008-2011



Summary & Purpose
At its meeting in December 2007 the Executive had a report on the Review of the Surrey Strategic partnership and the Surrey Local Area Agreement. This further report sets out details of the progress to date in preparing for the new Local Area Agreement (LAA) for Surrey and a revised Community Strategy based on evidence of need and shared priorities for Surrey. Waverley has played an active part in the somewhat tortuous discussions over the review of Surrey’s Community Strategy and in preparing the draft Local Area Agreement with a view to articulating the needs of its communities and ensuring the best possible outcomes for the area.

The draft Surrey LAA is to be signed off by partners on 26th March prior to its submission to the Government Office for detailed negotiation and subsequent Ministerial sign-off in July.

The Executive is asked to note progress to date; endorse the draft strategy and draft LAA, accepting that there are still some outstanding issues around the governance of the LAA and particularly around the involvement of district councils; and to authorise the Chief Executive and Leader to negotiate the best arrangements that will result in positive outcomes for Waverley residents and businesses.

APPENDIX G

Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 4TH MARCH 2008

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Title:
SURREY LOCAL AREA AGREEMENT (LAA) AND DRAFT SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY STRATEGY 2008-2011

[Leader of the Council: Cllr Richard Gates
Portfolio Holder for Partnerships and Community: Cllr D J Munro]
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

At its meeting in December 2007 the Executive had a report on the Review of the Surrey Strategic partnership and the Surrey Local Area Agreement. This further report sets out details of the progress to date in preparing for the new Local Area Agreement (LAA) for Surrey and a revised Community Strategy based on evidence of need and shared priorities for Surrey. Waverley has played an active part in the somewhat tortuous discussions over the review of Surrey’s Community Strategy and in preparing the draft Local Area Agreement with a view to articulating the needs of its communities and ensuring the best possible outcomes for the area.

The draft Surrey LAA is to be signed off by partners on 26th March prior to its submission to the Government Office for detailed negotiation and subsequent Ministerial sign-off in July.

The Executive is asked to note progress to date; endorse the draft strategy and draft LAA, accepting that there are still some outstanding issues around the governance of the LAA and particularly around the involvement of district councils; and to authorise the Chief Executive and Leader to negotiate the best arrangements that will result in positive outcomes for Waverley residents and businesses.
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Environmental implications:

The LAA and Community Strategy include actions that should have a positive impact on the environment. Waverley needs to play an active part in delivering the Local Area Agreement to optimise benefits for its residents and businesses.

Social / community implications:

The LAA and Community Strategy include actions that should have a positive impact on Waverley’s communities and help bring about enhanced outcomes for the community and targeted priorities on areas of greatest need. This should help with place-shaping and service delivery but if Waverley does not place an effective role in the new governance arrangements, articulating priorities for its communities and playing a role in delivering improved outcomes for the area then there could be less resources delivered to meet the needs of the communities and businesses in the Borough.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications as a result of this report, but there may be opportunities in the future as a result of new ways of working with other partners.

Equality and diversity implications

The LAA and Community Strategy include actions that should have a positive impact on the equality and diversity issues across Surrey. Waverley needs to play an active part in delivering the Local Area Agreement to optimise benefits for its residents and businesses.

Resource and legal implications:

The proposals for the governance of the new Surrey Strategic Partnership (SSP) Board include a place for the Leader of each of the District and Borough Councils. Until now, the SSP Board had a single Leader and Chief Executive representative. The SSP Board will be supported by a steering group and thematic partnerships. These will have a number of supporting targeted delivery units, bringing together relevant partners who will be responsible for delivering priority outcomes.

In terms of resource implications, the Government has made it clear in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07) that from 2010 5billion of public spending will be channelled through area-based grants by reducing specific and ring-fenced grants. The implications of this for Waverley are not yet clear but if Waverley is not playing an active part in influencing and delivering targets then it is likely to see fewer resources allocated to meet local needs.


Introduction

1. This report is an update to the report which was considered by the Executive at its meeting in December 2007. It marks the point, following a period of consultation and engagement of partners and stakeholders, when the draft Local Area Agreement for 2008-2011 is ready for endorsement.

What is a Local Area Agreement?

2. Local Area Agreements (LAAs) are made between central and local government in a local area – at a county or unitary authority level. The aim of the agreement is to achieve local solutions that meet local needs, while also contributing to national priorities and the achievement of standards set by central government. The first Local Area Agreements were introduced in


3. Local Area Agreements seek to:
provide intelligent and mature discussion between local and central government, based on a clear framework and shared understanding of national and local priorities
improve local performance, by allowing a more flexible use of resources, to achieve better outcomes and devolve responsibility
enhance efficiency by rationalising non-mainstream funding and reduce bureaucracy to help local partners and the Local Strategic partnership to join up and enhance community leadership

The New Local Area Agreements


4. The new form of LAA from 2008 is based on a set of up to 35 negotiated targets against a national indicator set of 198 indicators. These are intended to result in LAAs that are outcome-based projects with better co-ordinated and more effective services to communities, enabling local authorities and their partners to better reflect local priorities and address local needs

5. In addition to the formal targets, a local area can have “undesignated” targets in the LAA. These would be outside the national indicator set and would not be part of the formal report on performance to government. However the new Comprehensive Area Assessment would focus on all agreed targets. 6. All ‘named’ partners (and Waverley would be a named partner) have a duty to cooperate in delivering of all relevant targets within the LAA. How will the Surrey LAA work?

7. The working arrangements are set out in section 3.3 of the draft Surrey Sustainable Community Strategy, attached as Annexe 1. There are some issues still to be resolved, but Waverley officers and councillors will play an active part in outcomes that deliver Waverley’s own corporate priorities. The Leader of the Council will sit on the Leadership Group and others will be involved in the thematic partnerships and targeted delivery units. 8. It should be noted that the Local Area Agreement will not cover every priority or service within Surrey. Other Community Strategy priorities and local priorities that do not meet the criteria to appear in the LAA will still have milestones and targets to ensure the outcomes are delivered.





What is the role of the Local Strategic Partnership?

9. Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) were established as the best way of promoting the social, economic and environmental well being of communities. LSPs were introduced nationally in 2001, following the Government's desire for local authorities to work in partnership with other organisations.

10. LSPs were set up to address local issues within their own areas so there is a Local Strategic Partnership at a Waverley level and a Local Strategic Partnership at a Surrey-wide level. Local partners working through a LSP are expected to take many of the major decisions about priorities for their local area, and are key bodies for delivering the Local Area Agreement priorities.

11. LSPs consist of a range of public, private and voluntary and community organisations, and the community, working co-operatively on issues impacting on the local area. Each LSP prepares a Community Strategy (now known as the Sustainable Community Strategy) which highlights the priorities for action within each locality.

The Next Steps

12. The Surrey Strategic Partnership Leadership Group will meet for the first time on 26 March. It will be asked to approve a negotiating draft of the LAA for submission to GOSE by 29 March 2008. This is the draft that Waverley is now being asked to endorse. There are still some outstanding issues to be finalised in terms of the role and involvement of district councils and it is proposed that the Chief Executive and Leader be authorised to negotiate the best arrangements that will result in positive outcomes for Waverley residents and businesses.

13. The Delivery Management Group for the Local Area Agreement (chaired by the Chief Executive of Surrey County Council) will lead negotiations with Government Office for the South East to finalise the Local Area Agreement 2008-11. The County Council (as the accountable body for the Local Area Agreement) will be asked to approve the final LAA after ministerial sign-off on 17 June or 29 July 2008.

14. The existing and evolving Thematic Partnerships (set out on page 14 of Annexe 1) will continue to develop and deliver programmes of work and secure commitment of partner organisations to achieve their LAA targets.

15. The Thematic Partnerships and the Delivery Management Groups will be report performance quarterly to the SSP Leadership Group. It is anticipated that Waverley representatives would play an active part in these groups where they would support the delivery of Waverley’s own Corporate and service priority outcomes.



Conclusion

16. The process to date in reviewing the existing Surrey Community Strategy and developing the Local Area agreement for 2008-2011 has at times been frustrating and tortuous over the past nine months. Waverley has played an active part in support of the review to help ensure outcomes that will deliver the best results for its residents and businesses.

17. The draft LAA and Community Strategy reflect the issues supported by the Executive when it considered the draft priorities in December 2007 and it is now asked to agree the draft Community Strategy and draft LAA for negotiation with the Government Office for the South East.

18. It is recognised that there is still some work to be done is ensuring that Waverley can continue to play an effective part in delivering outcomes through the LAA that will help deliver its own priorities but it is proposed that the Executive endorse the drafts at this stage.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive:

1. reaffirms its commitment for Waverley to play an active part in delivering the LAA and Community Strategy outcomes to optimise benefits for the area;

2. agrees to endorse the draft Local Area Agreement, accepting that there are still some outstanding issues to be resolved;

3. endorses the draft Surrey Sustainable Community Strategy attached at Annexe 1;

4. notes that there is still further discussion to take place about:

i. the role of Boroughs and Districts in general, and Waverley in particular, in supporting the outcomes;

ii. ensuring that priorities at a local level are delivered through the LAA with the support of all partners;

iii. the role of Waverley officers playing their part in the theme groups and delivery groups; 5. authorises the Chief Executive and Leader to negotiate the best arrangements that will result in positive outcomes for Waverley residents and businesses; and

6. notes that the effectiveness of working in partnership to deliver the LAA will be a key component of the new Comprehensive Area Assessment.


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

Name: Mary Orton Telephone: 01483 523208
E-mail: morton@waverley.gov.uk E-mail: ilynch@waverley.gov.uk




2comms\executive\2007-08\267 LAA appG.doc