Agenda item

Shared Services Phase 2

To receive and consider the report of the Deputy Chief Executive. 


Councilor Alistair Bradley proposed that the Committee discuss each appendix in turn and then take the decisions at the end of the debate.


Joint Digital Strategy 2021-24

Chris Sinnott, Deputy Chief Executive presented appendix B: Joint Digital Strategy 2021-24.  The strategy has 4 key themes designed to achieve our shared vision and address the key drivers for change:

·         Work

·         Place

·         People

·         Data and Intelligence


Members supported the Strategy and thanked the staff involved in producing it.   The importance of this Strategy given the impact of Covid-19 and many staff working from home was acknowledged.  The long-term implications and effectiveness of working from home will be reviewed moving forwards.


The digital implications of the recent Planning white paper were noted.  Members were mindful of those residents who are not confident with technology and the need for digital inclusion. 


The recently revised Digital Strategy for South Ribble will be forwarded to Councillor Clark following the meeting.


Developing Shared Customer Services

Chris Sinnott, Deputy Chief Executive presented appendix D: Developing Shared Customer Services.  A single model will enable both councils to deliver customer transformation on a bigger scale, working in a more agile way to make the best use of the collective workforce to achieve shared objectives and greater efficiency.


Both councils will gain economies of scale through shared systems and processes but retain individual culture and identity through the way in which customers interact with the service.


Members noted that, whilst this is a challenge, many of the building blocks required are already in place. The seven service design principles set out within the report are key to delivering excellent customer services for the residents of both Boroughs.  The growth of population was discussed and the increase in demand for services. 


The approach of undertaking a service review in the New Year will enable staff to feed into the proposals before making any changes.  All proposals will be brought back to the Joint Committee before consideration at each Council. 


Proposals for Shared Leadership and Management

Chris Sinnott, Deputy Chief Executive presented appendix E: Proposals for Shared Leadership and Management.  The report sets out the benefits and risks.  Benefits include vision and direction, efficiency and resilience, whilst risks include loss of sovereignty, management pressure and external developments. 


Members noted the concept of a single management team has been tested through the response to Covid-19 where a single Business Continuity Management Team was set up for Chorley and South Ribble.  This has worked well.


A query was raised over the title ‘Director of Place’.  The need for a Deputy Chief Executive role will be included within the Council reports.  The need for effective deputies was noted, for example, if a conflict of interests arose. 


Members will be involved in the appointment of the Shared Leadership Team and noted that there is a risk of redundancy for one member of staff.  Members expressed concern at the pace of the proposals, but acknowledged that the majority of staff appreciate certainty, not delay, in these circumstances. 


The inclusion of Streetscene in the Customer and Digital Directorate was queried, and an explanation given, that the majority of work for this team is reactive from Customer Services.


The chart on agenda page 78 will be updated to reflect that both organizations currently have a Chief Executive in their structure.  Clarity in the structure chart as to those posts in question was requested. 


A joint Member Learning Session was requested to run through the proposals and the structure prior to the Council meetings was agreed. 


Gary Hall left the meeting at 7.10pm. 


Proposals for a Shared Chief Executive

Chris Sinnott, Deputy Chief Executive presented appendix F: Proposals for a Shared Chief Executive.  Members considered the risks and opportunities set out within the report and the initial comments from the Chief Executive/Interim Chief Executive were noted. 


The three potential approaches were discussed and the difficulties in recruiting Chief Executives’.  Each option was discussed and Members expressed their views, including that Gary Hall is an excellent Chief Executive. 


a) Decision: (unanimously) to adopt the joint digital strategy.

b) Decision: (unanimously) to adopt the proposed model for a shared customer services function.

c) Decision (8:2) to approve the development of a single shared leadership team for both councils, as set out in the report.

d) Decision (2:8) to agree none of the proposals within the report regarding the preferred approach to establishing a joint Chief Executive.

Decision (8:2) to agree approach 3 within the report regarding the preferred approach to establishing a joint Chief Executive.

e) Decision: (unanimously) to approve the proposed savings

f) Decision: (unanimously) to support a review of the pay policy to ensure a consistent approach to senior salaries.