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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 04/12/2007
Surrey Strategic Partnership Review and Local Area Agreemtn



APPENDIX O
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE - 4TH DECEMBER 2007


Title:
SURREY STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP REVIEW AND LOCAL AREA AGREEMENT
[Portfolio Holder for Partnerships and Enhanced Two-tier Working: Cllr D J Munro]
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and Purpose

This report sets out the proposed governance arrangements for the Surrey Strategic Partnership and the emerging long-list of priority areas for improvement for Surrey. Waverley, along with a wide range of partners and stakeholders has been asked to indicate which of these priorities is most important.

The current period of consultation ends in mid December prior to detailed discussion with the Government Office on what would be the most important targets and outcomes for the area of Surrey in the next three years.

The Executive is asked to endorse the proposed structure and indicate which of the long-list of priorities are most important from a Waverley perspective.

Environmental implications:

There are no specific environmental implications arising from this report although the priorities proposed for the new Local Area Agreement include actions on congestion, environmental sustainability and climate change.

Social / community implications:

The new arrangements should 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 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.

Resource and legal implications:

The proposals for the governance of the new Surrey Strategic Partnership Board (at Annexe 3) 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 which 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 channeled through area-based grants by reducing specific and ring-fenced grants. This funding will primarily address the priorities set out in the Local Area Agreement. Area-based grants can be made available to both county councils and district councils but no detail is expected to be released until the funding settlements are announced in December.

Introduction and background

1. In 2002, the Surrey Sustainable Forum became the Surrey Strategic Partnership. This group then commissioned a major public and partner engagement exercise which culminated in the Vision for Surrey in 2020, published in 2004. The vision was backed up by an action plan which was the basis for the Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA) with the government. The LPSA had a series of actions and stretch targets to address twelve priority issues in Surrey and for which the government made a reward grant available dependant on how far the stretch targets were met. The project areas included:

Surrey car share scheme
Improve levels of waste recycling
Reducing vehicle collisions
More older people able to live independently.
Increasing volunteering .
Reducing the levels of repeat reported domestic violence.



2. In 2006, a Local Area Agreement (LAA) was drawn up setting out the key priorities for the area of Surrey and bringing together a range of delivery partners. The three-year agreement is made up of a set of outcomes and targets aimed at delivering a better quality of life for people through improving performance on a range of national and local priorities. These priorities are grouped around four blocks:

Children and Young People
Safer and Stronger Communities
Healthier Communities and Younger People
Economic Development and Enterprise.

3. The sponsors/leaders of the priority themes within the LAA became the Programme Board of the Surrey Strategic Partnership. Some of the themes which have been part of the first Local Area Agreement for Surrey included:

Housing to underpin economic success
Working together locally for children
Safe at home
Safer, stronger Surrey
Supporting the economically inactive back into work
Safe routes to school
Rural social & community programme


4. Some of the weaknesses of the first Local Area Agreement and the governance arrangements which oversaw it included:

Insufficient buy-in from participating organisations
lack of purpose and accountability for some of the areas of activity
little representation and engagement of district councils
Ineffective direction setting and strategic decision making
12 Local Strategic Partnerships in Surrey that did not relate well or work together.

Local Government White and Improvement in Health Act

5. In 2006 the Government produced its Local Government White Paper. This led to the Local Government and Improvement in Health Act which received Royal Assent at the end of October. The Act has confirmed the importance of the Local Area Agreement and that increasingly more local Government resources will be channelled through the Local Area Agreement and through non-ringfenced area-based grants. In the new Act, the Government has promoted the mainstreaming of partnership working to deliver of Sustainable Community Strategies and committed to reducing the number of formally assessed targets. There is now a basket of 198 indicators which will be used to measure priority outcomes. An area will now be measured against 16 statutory education and early years targets and up to 35 other non mandatory targets and indicators determined by partners in the area from the basket of 198. These will be discussed an agreed with the Government Office. The new Local Area Agreement will come into effect by June 2008 and last for three years. It will be accompanied by a three year funding agreement from the Government which will cover the 2008/09-2011/12 financial years.

6. The Government believes these new arrangements will lead to more responsive public services with better tailored outcomes addressing what are the most important priorities for an area and leading to a step change in improvement.

7. The effectiveness of partners working together in delivering their agreed priorities will be measured annually through local performance management arrangements and the new Comprehensive Area Assessment from Autumn 2009.

8. One of the biggest challenges in aggregating priorities up to the level of a county area is that the priorities can appear to be commonplace, masking specific needs or disadvantage in local communities. Another issue, which can have positive or negative effects, is that funding traditionally spent equally across the area may well be targeted to greatest priorities. For example funding for crime disorder may be focussed on larger urban areas where there is more disorder leading to less resource in rural areas.

Surrey Strategic Partnership Review

9. Over the last few months, a review of the Surrey Strategic partnership has been underway with officers and members from Waverley involved in shaping the future direction of both the governance and priorities. The results of the review are attached at Annexes 1 to 3 of this report.

Priorities for Surrey


10. Annexe 2 sets out details of the long-list of priorities. Work that Waverley has undertaken with its partners in relation to Parish Plans and market town healthchecks has been fed into the process. As part of the consultation, Waverley has been asked to identify the top priorities that would improve outcomes for communities in its area. These could be related to the area as a whole or to an individual community.


11. The Surrey Strategic Partnership (SSP) is expected to agree a subset of up to 35 indicators and targets (plus a further 16 DCSF targets) for the new LAA 2008-11, based on the improvement priorities for Surrey. The Government is about to publish a detailed description of each of the 198 targets/indicators and how they will be assessed.



The headline priorities proposed from a series of representations and events so far are:

Young People

Healthy communities
10. Promoting independence: preventing people from becoming dependent on care services in particular those in at-risk groups, for example Economy
12. Increase levels of private and public sector joint working, through ‘open innovation networks’, to tackle challenges of success (health, congestion, house availability, environmental impact)

Housing and Associated Development

16. Increase accommodation and support for the following target groups Travel Access & Mobility

Sustainable Development & Adaptation to Climate Change


Sustainable Consumption to Reduce Waste and Emissions

24. Improved sustainable practices for energy and water by the public and business
25. Reduce domestic and business waste and increase levels of domestic and commercial recycling

Safer Communities

Stronger Communities

These priorities will be discussed further at the Surrey Strategic Partnership Conference being held in Dorking on 29th November, and a verbal update will be made at the Executive meeting.


The Executive is asked to identify the most significant priorities to put forward to the Surrey Strategic Partnership Review Group.

Governance arrangements for the Surrey Strategic Partnership


12. Annexe 3 sets out the new way of working to overcome some of the problems and lack of engagement in the first Local Area Agreement. As more funding goes through the Local Area Agreement and is reallocated based on highest priorities, it is vital that Waverley has a seat at the decision making table and plays an active part in advocating the needs of its communities. The new arrangements will provide a place for each of the district councils on the Strategic Partnership Board of 36 members, with day to day work being overseen by a smaller steering group. The delivery of agreed outcomes will be through thematic partnerships such as Environment and Infrastructure and through action focussed delivery groups such as the one on Waste. Waverley will need to engage in both the thematic partnerships and delivery units to achieve its corporate priorities and outcomes.

13. The new structure is set out in diagrammatic form below.

Figure 1. Proposed Governance Structure for the Surrey Strategic Partnership


14. One of the key issues to be progressed further locally is how the work of the Waverley LSP should focus on these key themes and take forward any issues not prioritised at a county area level. This will be an item for discussion at the next Waverley LSP meeting.

Conclusion

15. The new Local Area Agreements are a potentially significant change. Waverley should play its part in effectively representing the needs of its communities through the Surrey Strategic partnership and the theme groups that will help deliver the agreed priorities for Surrey. This will be to ensure that priorities for Waverley communities are articulated and1 that any resources available to deliver Waverley’s priorities are secured wherever possible.

Recommendation

The Executive is asked to

1. endorse the set of priorities for the new LAA from those set out at Annexe 2;

2. confirm that the proposed governance arrangements including a place on the decision making Board for a Waverley representative is acceptable; and

3. ask officers to consider how the LAA priorities link to Waverley’s corporate plan priorities as being of strategic importance to Waverley and report back to the Executive in February.

Background Papers (CEx)

Letter and accompanying papers from the Leader of Surrey County Council dated 29 October 2007


CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Iain Lynch Telephone: 01483 523203
E-mail: ilynch@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/exec/2007-08/168