Posted: Sun 12th Jun 2016

Council Sets Modernising Agenda And Launches New Way Of Working /
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 12th, 2016

The City of Cardiff Council is preparing to launch a new way of working which will help the authority modernise, grow revenues and improve services across the city. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Residents should see a clear improvement in Neighbourhood Services, including cleaner streets and parks and improved management of potholes when the new model beds in. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The new way of working will help the Council evolve as it works towards creating a commercially-focused organization, one able to raise new revenue streams by offering high-quality services to the private sector and other local authorities, and it’s hoped it will create and safeguard jobs moving forward. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A special project team has spent the past year investigating the best way forward for the Council as it battles against a backdrop of multi-million pound budget cuts and a rise in demand for services due to a growing population. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The modernisation programme will see the Council build on efficiencies and focus on delivering high-quality services while embracing new technology and mobile working. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Bob Derbyshire, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the ADM Infrastructure Project, said: “A great deal of work has been done and the principle of the project is very simple. We have to find ways to bring money into the Council to offset the ongoing reduction in our budgets brought about by austerity cuts. Crucially, we have to find a way of doing this while improving the services we deliver to the residents we serve. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This project will see us invest in our front line staff, giving them the equipment and support that they need to help us modernise and grow. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This is about creating an opportunity to change, and we want to buck the trend by increasing income opportunities in the Council so we don’t have to continue to cut, cut and cut again. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“There will be clear benefits for our residents who will see better neighbourhood services – an example of which will be cleaner streets. We will do this by breaking down silo working, bringing teams together and using technology so they can work more effectively. This will involve a change in mindset for many different services, and there will be clear delivery targets to ensure improvement.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Derbyshire added: “We carried out significant work analysing the best way to future proof the Council. We developed business cases for a Wholly Owned Company (WoC) and a Modified In-House Model. After much deliberation we now believe we can deliver the same outcomes through the Modified In-House model, without the risks associated with a WoC. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It’s important we create an opportunity to grow and to get to a point where we can really begin to bid for private sector contracts and other local authority contracts. The Council already has contracts with other councils and the National Health Service. When we bid for this type of work, feedback from clients has told us that they prefer a package of services to manage the inside of the building, the outside, waste collections and many other services. By improving our own in-house model we have a great opportunity to bid for more of these contracts bringing much-needed revenues into the Council while supporting other public sector bodies. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This approach is supported by all the trade unions. They have worked alongside us throughout the process and they understand the need for change.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Angie Shields, speaking on behalf of GMB, UCATT, UNITE and UNISON, said: “The trade unions have spent many months in weekly meetings with senior management along with Cllr Bob Derbyshire elected member for city services. The unions are pleased to be able to report that, all services in scope will remain in house. There has also been a commitment from the council, to invest in proper and meaningful development of staff, who delivers the services on the frontline. There will also be apprenticeships created, helping our young people of the City, to gain skills and future employment within the Council. The Council wishes to become more commercialised, which ultimately will secure jobs going forward. Which GMB UCATT, UNITE and UNISON support. There will be no attacks on workers terms and conditions or pensions, something the unions were adamant they would not accept at any cost.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The recommendation which will go to Cabinet on June 16 follows an extensive review of 14 different service areas across the Council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project group was tasked with developing full business cases for both a Wholly Owned Company (WoC) and a Modified in-House model. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

On June 16, the ADM Infrastructure Project will recommend to Cabinet to move forward with a Modified In-House Model. This will involve reconfiguring services into two sections – Commercial Services and Neighbourhood Services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Neighbourhood services will focus on improving Cardiff delivering cleaner streets, a better environment and improved management of potholes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Commercial Services will give the Council the ability to grow revenues, while retaining and even increasing staff numbers as external commercial opportunities arise. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project will allow for closer engagement with local communities, grow apprenticeship and training schemes, develop work placements and see the Council work closer with vulnerable groups and the Probation Service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Joint Scrutiny Committee will review the Final Business Case and recommendations on June 6, before they are taken to Cabinet On June 16. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Cardiff Council

Widow of Beloved Cardiff Councillor Wins By-Election for Vacant Seat

Cardiff Council

Cardiff children ‘worst in Wales’ for learning to swim, says leisure manager

Cardiff Council

Residents in Llandaff Concerned Over Removal of “Vital” Free Parking

Cardiff Council

Investigation ongoing for Cardiff congestion charge, council reveals

Cardiff Council

Cardiff Council Sees Increase in Primary School Applications Refused

Cardiff Council

Residents in Cardiff Apartments Welcome Developer Offer to Address Structural Issues

Cardiff Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council