Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 08/04/2008
Proposal to Establish a Joint Domestic Abuse Outreach Service in Waverley and Guildford



APPENDIX J
Waverley Borough Council

Executive - 8TH April 2008

Title:
PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A JOINT DOMESTIC ABUSE OUTREACH SERVICE IN WAVERLEY AND GUILDFORD

[Portfolio Holder for Safer Waverley: Cllr Brian Ellis]
[Wards Affected: All]

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 Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, viz:-

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

Summary and Purpose:

Waverley Borough Council has provided a Domestic Abuse Outreach Service for several years on behalf of the Safer Waverley Partnership (SWP) as the name given to the Waverley Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). However, since the establishment of the service in 2001 it has always been the intention that Waverley’s service would eventually join with the outreach service in Guildford Borough to provide a new service for the whole of SW Surrey.

This report seeks approval for the Chief Executive to sign a proposed contract for the provision of the service by the Christian Alliance Housing Association (CAHA), which is the chosen provider of the new merged outreach service following a tendering exercise. Guildford Borough Council will also be entering into a contract with CAHA to provide a service to Guildford.

Environmental Implications:

There are no environmental implications directly associated with this report.

Social / Community Implications:

The Domestic Abuse Outreach Service provides support to some of the most vulnerable members of the Waverley community. The merging of this service will mean that it has added resilience to staff changes and absences, and will be more closely aligned with best practice both elsewhere in the County and nationally.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications directly associated with this report.

Resource and legal implications:

Staff directly employed by Waverley have, until recently, been providing a Domestic Abuse Outreach Service. The associated costs have been met partly from contributions made by Waverley, Surrey County Council, Surrey Police and the Primary Care Trust and partly by Waverley directly.

The proposed new service will be merged with Guildford and delivered by CAHA to Guildford and Waverley. There will therefore need to be a contract and service level agreement between Waverley, Guildford and CAHA. There will also need to be partnership agreements between Waverley and Guildford and the funding partners. These are currently being prepared, and the final contractual arrangements as between Waverley, CAHA and Guildford are being resolved. It may be appropriate for Waverley to enter into a direct contract with CAHA, or to contract with Guildford to provide the service through CAHA. Whichever method is adopted, the position of Waverley will be protected through relevant legal provisions.

This report recommends that the Chief Executive be authorised to conclude negotiations and discussions with partners, and enter into the necessary contracts and agreements to ensure the merged service can be provided. Although some legal risks were identified at an earlier stage in connection with TUPE and transfer of existing staff, these have now been satisfactorily addressed.

Background

1. In early 2007, the Waverley and Guildford CDRPs set up a joint commissioning group to take forward the process for selecting a provider for the new merged service. Tenders were invited from suitably experienced organisations in the summer of 2007 to provide a Domestic Abuse Outreach Service to support the victims of domestic abuse across Guildford and Waverley. In September 2007 the two CDRPs endorsed the proposal of the commissioning group that the contract should be awarded to CAHA, initially for a period of two years, with the option of renewing the contract for a third year.

2. The benefits of a merged service include the sharing of management resources, increasing front-line staff numbers and increasing resilience when covering leave and sickness. A merged service also provides economies in terms of attendance at meetings regarding domestic abuse such as the South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Forum. It is also considered best practice for domestic abuse services not to be run by a statutory agency as this can deter victims from contacting the service.

3. Due to staffing changes at Waverley, there are now no officers who are directly employed in providing an outreach service, and consequently there are no staff to transfer to the new service. A small amount of staff time is currently allocated from within the Housing and Community Department to manage the in-house service, but this will not be transferring to the external provider.

Financial considerations for Waverley

4. The CAHA bid will provide 30 hours per week of outreach service to Waverley and 30 hours to Guildford. The joint service would run for 2 years initially with an option for a 1-year extension. 5. The costs of the bid by CAHA and consequential financial implications are shown in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to this report. This indicates that there would be an annual shortfall of 3,125 in costs compared with income which would necessitate use of SWP balances.

6. There is a current surplus balance in the SWP Domestic Abuse budget of approximately 17,000, which would be used to finance the annual shortfall for the period of this agreement.

7. It is also envisaged that other mergers will take place across Surrey that may provide further savings for the longer term. Possibilities include making services contiguous with the now larger police divisions or of a pan-Surrey service.

Conclusion

8. Both Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships have agreed the objective of establishing a joint Waverley/Guildford Domestic Abuse Outreach Service. The joint commissioning group has identified CAHA as the provider best able to provide the joint service by way of a tendering and qualitative assessment exercise.

9. The proposals do not appear to present any significant risks to the Council as there are no TUPE implications. We know how much WBC will have to contribute financially. The contract will provide review and termination provisions and our relationship with the other partners will be managed via a partnership agreement.

10. This decision has been endorsed by the Safer Waverley Partnership as providing an improved service for the victims of domestic abuse in Waverley, and improved value-for-money for the partners.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:

1. the Chief Executive be authorised to conclude negotiations and sign an appropriate contract for the provision of a Domestic Abuse Outreach Service to residents of Waverley by the Christian Alliance Housing Association; and

2. the Chief Executive be authorised to conclude negotiations with the other Safer Waverley Partners, and Guildford Borough Council to enter into appropriate agreement(s) for the purpose of, providing, monitoring the performance and funding of the new service.


Background Papers (DoLR)

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

CONTACT OFFICERS:

Name: Ian Grist Telephone: 01483 523386
E-mail: ian.grist@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Martin Shorten Telephone: 01483 523434
E-mail: martin.shorten@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Lyndsay Austin Telephone: 01483 523230
E-mail: lyndsay.austin@waverley.gov.uk


Comms/exec/2007-08/272