Day Services Local Authority Company (LAC) Wirral Evolutions - Update
Decision Maker: Policy and Performance - Families and Wellbeing Committee, Cabinet, Cabinet Member - Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To update on progress following implementation of Wirral Evolutions
Councillor Chris Jones introduced a report from the Director of Adult Social Services, updating the Cabinet on Wirral Evolutions, a new Local Authority Trading Company. Cabinet originally agreed to the development on 19 March 2014 as a response to shrinking resources, and concerns about the sustainability of day services for people with Disabilities. Services were downsized to increase efficiency and reduce costs. There was however, a strong user and carer voice that these services were very highly valued and that they could contribute to both the design and running of an alternative more cost effective model.
The service linked strongly to the following Wirral Plan Pledges; enabling people with disabilities to live independently, realising the personal assets that people with disabilities have and working directly with them to release their full potential. Also, greater job opportunities for Wirral, Wirral Evolutions had based their business plan on growth which would increase employment opportunities, “Best Bites” and other employment schemes enabled people to develop the skills that they needed to get into employment rather than care.
The report brought together progress in relation to creating Wirral Evolutions. It covered the formal arrangements and key documents that had been developed in order for the company to effectively operate, and for the commissioner (DASS) to move from direct provider to a client of the service.
There had been challenges and changes relating to the original financial assumptions that were taken into account by Cabinet in 2014. These were covered in the report to provide a contemporary view. The 5 year formal Business Plan, developed by the company was a key document that set out confirmation of the company’s plan for viability, sustainability and growth. It had been subject to review and challenge from the Council client side and Section 151 Officer.
Cabinet were asked to note the progress made, to support the approach taken to business planning, and the formal transfer and company start date of 1 December 2015.
Councillor Chris Jones thanked all the officers from the different departments who had been involved for all their hard work in creating the new company. She also suggested an additional recommendation regarding the Director of Adult Social Services being given delegated authority to finalise all agreements and formal arrangements.
Councillor Ann McLachlan welcomed the work involved in setting up the company which could be used as a blueprint for future alternative delivery models. It would form a good basis for the ethical framework of a company with the Living Wage recognised, pension arrangements protected and Trade Union involvement.
RESOLVED: That -
(1) the contents of the report be noted and the progress made by officers to develop and establish Wirral Evolutions as a sustainable and viable alternative delivery model for services provided directly by the Council be acknowledged.
(2) the Business Plan of Wirral Evolutions, be approved.
(3) the contractual position set out in the service contract agreement, be approved.
(4) the staff transfer into Wirral Evolutions and company start date of 1 December 2015, be approved.
(5) Cabinet agrees to receive further annual reports to the Council as shareholder of the company.
(6) the decision regarding pensions, delegating final arrangement to the Section 151 Officer, be agreed.
(7) the use of the re-modelling reserve to meet set up costs, be supported.
(8) the Director of Adult Social Services be authorised, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Public Health and with the agreement of the Council’s Section 151 Officer and Head of Legal & Member Services, to finalise all agreements and formal arrangements between Wirral Evolutions and Wirral Council as necessary to give effect to this initiative / proposal.
Councillor Phil Davies resumed the Chair.
Publication date: 12/11/2015
Date of decision: 05/11/2015
Decided at meeting: 05/11/2015 - Cabinet
Effective from: 20/11/2015