Issue - meetings
Children's Services prgramme - Full Business Case
Meeting: 15/12/2011 - Cabinet (Item 131)
To update Cabinet on the progress towards establishing a joint Children’s Service with the Royal Borough of Kingston [RBK] and seek approval to interim governance arrangements for work to continue towards implementation of Achieving for Children.
Cabinet considered a report of Strategic Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Children’s Services which provided an update on the progress towards establishing a joint Children’s Service with the Royal Borough of Kingston. The report sought approval to implement interim governance arrangements for work to continue towards the implementation of Achieving for Children.
Mr John Holroyd, speaking on behalf of UNISON addressed the Cabinet. He raised concerns on behalf of some staff regarding the uncertainty of the Children’s Services priority programme and in particular, the perceived potential impact on services for children within the borough. He reaffirmed the commitment of staff to providing high quality services for children and families and the willingness to ensure this continued in light of potential shared services and social enterprise arrangements. He expressed concern regarding the lack of detailed financial information available at the current time.
The Leader invited the Chief Executive to address Cabinet to respond to the points raised. She clarified that a number of avenues were being investigated in response to issues regarding VAT and that the key aim of the project was to protect and enhance front line services for children through a shared service whilst reducing management and back office costs.
Councillor Percival acknowledged the uncertainty for staff within the Directorate and noted that the Director of Education and Children’s Services had provided regular updates regarding the development of the Shared Service arrangements to staff.
After discussion, it was agreed that a number of issues raised should be investigated further, although the Cabinet resolved that the direction of travel towards a social enterprise should remain the preferred destination. A further report should be presented to a forthcoming Cabinet
Resolved: That Cabinet:
- Notes the progress in relation to the Children’s Services Priority Programme.
- Agrees to work towards the establishment of new arrangements for a joint children’s service with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames as set out in paragraph 6, including a Joint Committee and executive arrangements.
- Acknowledges that the shared services proposals are transitional as the establishment of a social enterprise to deliver children’s services will be sought in the future.
- Notes the position regarding tax as set out in paragraph 5 and the steps being taken to resolve the issue.
5. Agrees to receive a future report regarding the Children’s Services Priority Programme in due course.