Agenda item

Day Services Local Authority Company (LAC) Wirral Evolutions - Update


The Committee considered a report from the Director of Adult Social Services, updating on Wirral Evolutions, a new Local Authority Trading Company.


The report had previously been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 5 November 2015 (Minute 71 refers) who had 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.


Members were asked to note the progress made.


The Director of Adult Social Services informed Members that Wirral Evolutions and Edssential LAC Companies were both being launched today and wished them well for the future.


In response to concern raised by a Member who had been contacted by service users and families of the Moreton facility regarding fundraising issues, the Director of Adult Social Services indicated that fundraising along with charitable work and donations were an essential and important part of creating an effective working relationship. He further indicated that he had met with officers from Wirral Evolutions, Charities and the Council’s Audit team to ensure that going forward, all charity and fundraising activity was done so in a formalised way. 


In response to a Member, the Director of Adult Services indicated that the Council was the 100% shareholder in Wirral Evolutions and could if needed take the company back under the control of the Council, there was also a Scrutiny Board chaired by the Leader of the Council which would be scrutinising all aspects of the contract.


In relation to other Authorities accessing the Council’s day services, the Director of Adult Social Services indicated that other authorities could purchase places as necessary for their residents 



In relation to questions regarding procurement of services, the Director of Adult Social Services confirmed the Wirral Evolutions if they wanted to tender to supply services they would have to do so via the Chest the same as all other companies and service providers.




(1)  the contents of the report be noted;


(2)  and that this Committee notes 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 congratulated and that Wirral Evolutions be wished every success going forward.






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