On 22 February 2018 Cabinet discussed reviewing the services listed using the enterprising council approach.
There are many reasons why these services are being reviewed and it is not because these services are poor or failing. The reasons they are being reviewed include:
- opportunities to get a better deal for services that are already bought in from outside companies − for example by combining a number of smaller contracts across the council into a larger one
- existing external contracts are coming to an end
- looking at better, more modern ways of doing things that fit with the way people live their lives today
- additional pressures are expected on a service in the future
- significant budget savings need to be found
- looking at bringing more income into a service
- seeing if a service could benefit from being set up outside the council − for example by becoming a charity or a public interest company
The services which have been reviewed or are currently being reviewed are:
Our Occupational Health Service provides support to employees and their managers. The service includes a small number of staff, and buys some services in. Existing contracts come to an end between October 2018 and March 2019 so it is a good time to review the whole service and consider options for future service delivery.
This service provides alarm monitoring services for older and vulnerable people, such as telecare and telemedicine. We have a range of external contracts with a variety of companies but there are opportunities to buy these services in a more efficient way, giving us better value for money.
An engagement exercise is underway involving discussions with people with learning disabilities, families, carers and staff. We are asking people how we could better support them to achieve their ambitions. This may mean we need to shape the way we commission and provide services enabling greater personal choice and flexibility. The service costs £14.4 million and employs 207 day service workers who work with 950 people.
We have 45 libraries and 2 mobile libraries. A new strategy is being developed to look at different ways to deliver public library services.
Property provide a range of services including cleaning, building maintenance, construction and grounds maintenance. Corporate Property are reviewing options for delivering a more sustainable and cost effective service, across all areas of professional and operational teams, including all fee earning and traded services.
Highways and fleet management
This includes highways network management, maintenance, street lighting, traffic and safety, highways structures, design, construction, laboratory, strategy, highway tree management, public rights of way, road safety, county transport fleet management service and associated business support. These services employ around 430 staff and have over 150 different contracts with organisations.
This service supports children in our care to make a positive move to an independent life. Increasing numbers of children coming into care and new responsibilities to support care leavers up to the age of 25 are putting additional pressure on the service. A new service approach will be developed and it is anticipated that, subject to appropriate reports to Cabinet, consultation will commence in March 2018 and any changes to service delivery arising will be implemented from July 2019.
Sports and outdoor service
The sports and outdoor service, which includes two residential centres at Lea Green and Whitehall, and the school swimming service, needs to reduce the amount of money it has from us from £607,000 to zero by 2019/20. In order to do this the service is looking at different ownership models. Options will be presented to Cabinet in July 2018 with implementation of any recommendations by the end of 2019.
Work will start to assess a number of options to mainstream work on Thriving Communities.