West Berkshire Council

Agenda item

Joint Public Protection Partnership (C3158)

This report proposes the creation of a Joint Committee to deliver a shared service arrangement between West Berkshire, Wokingham and Bracknell Forest Councils. This new arrangement will be known as the Public Protection Partnership (PPP).

This report follows the decision by all three Councils’ Executives to enter into this arrangement.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report (Agenda Item 14) concerning the creation of a Joint Committee to deliver shared service arrangements between West Berkshire, Wokingham and Bracknell Forest Councils to deliver Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions. The new arrangement would be known as the Public Protection Partnership (PPP).

 

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Marcus Franks and seconded by Councillor Keith Chopping:

 

“Insofar as the functions and arrangements are for the Council it resolves that the Council:

 

Authorises the arrangements set out in the report including the creation of a Joint Committee with Wokingham Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council through the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) with effect from the 9th January 2017.

 

1.    Delegates authority to the Head of Legal Services, in consultation with the Head of Finance and Head of Culture and Environmental Protection, to finalise the terms of the PPP as set out in the draft Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) between the three Councils and to make any necessary drafting or other amendments to the terms of the draft Agreement which are necessary to reach final agreement but do not materially affect the intent and substance of the Agreement.

2.    Authorises the Joint Committee to determine policy, strategy and oversee the performance monitoring and management of the new PPP and have the powers set out in the terms of reference contained in Schedule 1 of the draft Inter Authority Agreement.

3.    Authorises the Head of Culture and Environmental Protection and Public Protection Service Managers (Currently known as Trading Standards and Building Control Manager and Environmental Health and Licensing Manager) to receive a delegation of Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions from Bracknell Forest Council and Wokingham Borough Council and to exercise those functions jointly with West Berkshire District Council functions under the strategy direction and oversight of the Joint Committee.

4.    Agrees that the proposed agreement authorises West Berkshire District Council to institute and defend proceedings on behalf of Wokingham and Bracknell.  This does not preclude the other authorities from taking their own legal actions.

5.    Receives a TUPE transfer of the staff of Bracknell Forest Council currently providing the Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions on the terms set out in the draft Inter Authority Agreement and authorise any relevant pensions and employment implications.

6.    Appoints the Head of Culture and Environmental Protection as the Council's Lead Officer to manage the Councils arrangements under the Agreement on the Council's behalf and to authorise the Monitoring Officer to make any necessary variations to the Agreement as may be required from time to time in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

7.    Appoints Councillor Emma Webster to represent the Council on the Joint Committee. The Executive previously approved the appointment of Councillor Marcus Franks as its Member on the Joint Committee and Councillor Dominic Boeck as substitute Member

8.    Authorises the Joint Committee and the Head of Culture and Environmental Protection to enter into arrangements with other local authorities, shared services or other bodies for the provision of Trading Standards, Licensing or Environmental Health Services, up to the limits permitted within the Council's Contract Rules (pursuant to the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970, sections 111 and 113 Local Government Act 1972 and other enabling legislation”.

 

Councillor Marcus Franks in introducing the item explained that the Council had an existing shared service with Wokingham Borough Council to deliver Trading Standards, Environment Health and Licensing functions. The service had proved to be so successful that it had been replicated in other parts of the country and generated around £200k of savings per annum for the Council.

 

In 2015 Bracknell Forest Borough Council had approached the authority about joining the shared service and therefore this proposal was being considered by all three of the local authorities. If accepted the shared arrangement would be in place from the 09 January 2017. The report also sought authority to appoint Councillor Emma Webster as the Council’s representative on the Joint Committee. Councillor Marcus Franks had already been appointed by the Executive as their representative and Councillor Dominic Boeck had been appointed as a named substitute.

 

Councillor Franks noted that the Council’s existing scrutiny arrangements would be applied to the Joint Committee and each authority would be able to call items in. This process would be expanded on in due course.

He thanked all the Officers that were involved in this process which would generate an additional £120k of savings in 2017/18.

 

Councillor Alan Macro welcomed the report but wished to add a caveat about membership. He noted that all three of the authorities were run by Conservative Administrations and he felt that it would be useful to have representation from the Liberal Democrat Group on the Joint Committee.

 

Councillor Keith Chopping commented that he felt that it was a sensible approach to add Bracknell Forest Borough Council to this already successful partnership. Financially the partnership had already generated significant savings.

 

Councillor Franks noted that the Joint Committee was not subject to proportional representation and he therefore could not accede to Councillor Macro’s suggestion. The papers for the Joint Committee would be available on the Council’s website and observers would be welcome to attend the meetings.

 

The Motion was put to the meeting and duly RESOLVED.

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