Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 04/07/2001
SCOPE OF YEAR 2 FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEWS IN
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES



The report sets out the proposed scope (including aims and objectives) of the fundamental service reviews (FSRs) that are to be undertaken within the Environmental Services Section of the Environment and Leisure Department in the current financial year. It seeks the views of the Committee on the appropriateness of the work proposed and the involvement of Members in the process. It also identifies the resource implications for the work.

There are resource implications, “Opportunities for All” implications, and environmental implications as set out in the report.
- 1 -
APPENDIX B

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – 4TH JULY 2001



Title:
SCOPE OF YEAR 2 FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEWS IN
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
[Wards Affected: All]


Summary and Purpose

The report sets out the proposed scope (including aims and objectives) of the fundamental service reviews (FSRs) that are to be undertaken within the Environmental Services Section of the Environment and Leisure Department in the current financial year. It seeks the views of the Committee on the appropriateness of the work proposed and the involvement of Members in the process. It also identifies the resource implications for the work.

There are resource implications, “Opportunities for All” implications, and environmental implications as set out in the report.



Introduction

1. The Council has agreed a timetable for the conduct of FSRs in accordance with the requirements of Best Value legislation and the Council’s response to it. In 2001/02 (Year 2 of the review cycle) the following Environmental Services are scheduled:

2. Under the circumstances that the Local Agenda 21 Strategy has been only recently considered by the Council, after extensive consultation, it is proposed that the Fundamental Service Review of the service is delayed until Year Five.

3. The starting point for the process which the Council has agreed to follow is the preparation of a “scoping report” which identifies the facilities and services that will be covered in the review, and the approach that is proposed to meeting the requirements for an FSR.

4. This report presents to the Executive Committee the scoping reports for the two service areas that Environmental Services will be conducting this year, and seeks the views of the Executive as to whether they properly reflect the issues and approach which members wish to adopt.

5. The report also addresses issues of timing and the resources required to conduct the reviews.

Scope of Fundamental Services Reviews

6. The scoping reports for Waste Management and Environmental Health, are attached as Annexes 1 and 2 to this report, respectively. Each takes a similar approach and has a consistent framework. The format of the reports reflects the latest guidance from the Best Value Inspectorate and feedback on reviews that have been undertaken in other authorities. This suggests that scoping reports need to identify more clearly the key issues and objectives in reviewing services, rather than the wider and more general approach, as this has led to enormously lengthy and time-consuming reviews in Year 1. It is important that this does not lead to reaching conclusions before the review is conducted, but it should mean that there is direction in the work towards those areas where improvements in performance is necessary and achievable.

7. It is important to note that most of the service areas covered by these reviews are statutory duties of the Council; in particular, Environmental Health and significant elements of Waste Management, including refuse collection and street cleaning. However, other areas for example; recycling are not strictly duties, but are nevertheless underpinned by statutory performance indicators, legal requirements to develop a local strategic approach, and contribute towards national targets. In addition to this the Council has identified the importance of recycling, and provides such services under powers that it has been given.

8. The scoping reports include definitions of the membership of the Service Review Groups (SRGs) which will undertake the detailed work of the review under the direction of the FSR team. The SRGs will link closely with the FSR team, which is a corporate group led by an independent chief officer (in this case, the Director of Housing). The FSR team will direct and monitor the review in accordance with the agreed FSR process, and evaluate the evidence offered by the SRG.

9. The scoping reports also consider resource issues, and these will be summarized towards the end of this report.

Conduct of the Fundamental Service Reviews

10. In accordance with Section 5 of the Local Government Act 1999, local authorities are required to address the “four Cs” of Best Value – challenge, consult, compare and compete. Each of the scoping reports describes how these will be addressed in respect of each service.

11. There are no specific difficulties for any of the services in meeting the requirements to address each of these areas although some problems may be found in making meaningful comparisons between Waverley and other local authority providers of similar services. The nature and level of provision has tended to reflect local priorities and circumstances.

Resource Implications 12. There will be significant resource implications arising from the conduct of the reviews in each of the two service areas. This is because the only staff available to participate through the SRG groups are those who are directly responsible for providing mainly statutory services (including those which affect public health), and services, such as

refuse collection which affect every household in the Borough. Withdrawing key officers from those duties will not generally be possible without seriously affecting their delivery. The conduct of the reviews will therefore require the provision of stand-in staff at additional cost.

13. It should also be noted that, because of the breadth of subjects to be covered, these programmed reviews will be particularly challenging to the Environment Section of the Environment and Leisure Department.

14. To help with the review of Waste Management, the appointment of the Robert Long Consultancy Ltd. who, following a competitive tendering exercise, were appointed to assist with the review of how Waverley can achieve increased recycling levels, has been extended to assist with the best value review of this comprehensive group of services. The importance of these two pieces of work is clear as together, they impact on every resident of the Borough, account for almost 2.57 million per annum in expenditure, and are the subject of statutory performance indicators. The appointment of Robert Long to undertake benchmarking and other FSR related work will cost approximately 12,500, which will be accommodated from within the approved best value budget.

15. Other resource implications are set out in the annexes to this report. Annexe 2, which deals with Environmental Health, describes the need (in paragraph 23) for external support to undertake essential Environmental Health work (mainly food premises inspections) whilst the review is being undertaken. It is estimated that this support will cost 20,000 which will be met out of the best value budget.

16. External support for consultation and facilitating member workshops in relation to both FSR’s was agreed by the Executive Committee on 12th June.

Environmental, and “Opportunities for All” Implications

17. Preventing ill effects on health from poor food safety, land contamination and the effects of poor home energy efficiency are examples that will allow local people to enjoy a better quality of life than otherwise and therefore enable them to play a full part in their local communities.

18. Since all of the reviews set out in this part of the Council’s Best Value Service Review Programme relate to environmental services, the process together with the resulting Improvement Plans are likely to have significant positive environmental implications.

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model

19. The Committee will be aware that one of the tools that officers will be using in conducting FSRs is a self-assessment tool, the Excellence Model. The model is widely used in commercial organisations and by a number of other local authorities. It is rigorous in its approach and its use has been commended by the Government.

Commencing the Review Process

20. It is envisaged that the reviews will consist of three broad phases:-

- Phase 1 - Data collection, consultation and bench-marking

- Phase 2 - Discussion, analysis and conclusions

- Phase 3 - Recommendations and reporting

21. Your officers intend to keep the volume of work and the time taken to the minimum required to conduct the review properly and thoroughly. With the addition of the additional resources referred to there are no foreseeable reasons why the appropriate timetable should not be met.

22. However, before any work commences, it is important that the Executive Committee is satisfied that the scope of the work in each case meets with its approval, and satisfactorily identifies the nature of the approach to be taken.

Conclusion

23. The FSR team is of the view that the issues are dealt with by the Environmental Services SRGs’ as set out in the scoping reports at Annexes 1 and 2. The reports have been prepared using feedback from the first year of the Best Value process and are designed to produce shorter, more focussed reviews which will be less expensive and distract less from the business of service provision. The Committee is asked to consider the reports and to advise on any modifications that should be made.

Recommendations

It is recommended that the Committee:

3. endorses the proposal that the Fundamental Service Review for the Local Agenda 21 Strategy is delayed until Year Five.



Background Papers (DoEL)

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



CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mr D January Telephone: 01483 869361

comms/exec/2001-02/002
18757