Agenda item

Shared Services Monitoring Report

To receive and consider the report of the Chief Executive.


Chris Sinnott presented the report which provided an update on phases 1, 2 and 3 of shared services between Chorley Council and South Ribble Council in relation to budgets, service development objectives, performance, and risk.


Members were advised that the format of the report had been refreshed to take into account the increasing number of services that were shared across both councils. The overview report included a high-level progress summary of actions delivered against the shared services development plans. These included developing joint policies and processes where appropriate, rolling out shared technology, and progress around cyber security including undertaking a Cyber 360 review.


The Committee noted that overall, there had been an excess of £1.6m savings realised with over £900,000 at Chorley and £700,000 at South Ribble. Most services operate on a 50/50 basis with exceptions reflecting the specific needs of either authority. Following queries, Members were advised that these savings amounted from the start of shared services in 2008 when the shared financial and assurance services were created. The savings generated have been built into the councils’ budget setting since 2008 to help balance their budgets.


Members noted the risk register and any actions and controls in place to mitigate the potential impact on the councils. Particular focus had been given to continuing to improve staff engagement and satisfaction.


A service focus was provided on Phase 1 of Shared Services. Service development plans were in place to continue to drive forward service improvements, some of these included:

·         Continuing the implementation of shared terms and conditions across Chorley and South Ribble councils.

·         Delivering HR transformation, including increasing resources in relation to recruitment.

·         Strengthening the Health and Safety capacity and undertaking a review of the health and safety policies and processes, aligning where appropriate.

·         Delivering the operation of Worden Hall and Astley Hall following the creation of a Shared Culture and Heritage Team.


The Committee recognised that the majority of key performance indicators for 2023/24 were performing better than in 2022/23 although staff satisfaction had decreased slightly by 3.94% from 71.7% to 67.6%. Members were concerned with this decrease and recognised the importance of staff satisfaction, especially in regards to staff retention. Further analysis was requested for the next set of results and if still below target, an understanding as to why be provided.


Members discussed whether there was a correlation between the drop in staff satisfaction within customer services and the number of calls being dropped or not being answered within a certain time. The possibility of a correlation was recognised, however changes such as bringing in training officers and apprentices becoming more skilled in their roles had created improvements. The latest quarterly performance reports indicated that the targets included in the Customer Services Access Charter were now being met at both councils in terms of the number of percentage of calls answered in less than five minutes.


The Committee welcomed the report. Members requested the following:

·         That the risks be reviewed and refreshed; potentially to include environmental risks as well as the wider local government position in terms of finance.

·         An update on the ongoing extra costs of sharing additional teams, including Neighbourhoods and Waste, and Planning and Enforcement under the new terms and conditions.

·         Expenditure and income generated from Worden Hall in the last 12 months.


Resolved (unanimously):

That the report be noted.

Supporting documents: