- Meeting of Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Tuesday, 19th September 2017 6.00 p.m. (Item 20.)
A presentation will be given on this item.
The Committee received a presentation from Stuart Bellerby, Commercial Approach Programme Lead, who gave an update on the Council’s commercial approach. The project outcomes delivered so far, included:
· Cabinet had agreed vision & principles
· Project launched within Transformation Programme
· Work streams created Strategy, Customers and Markets, Culture and Support to Succeed.
· Review of the largest income generators within Council
· Review of income recovery with recommendations for service improvement
· Support /challenge on fees and charges – working with finance could amount to a maximum additional £650,000 anticipated for 2017-18
· Intranet site established including draft commercial approach toolkit
· 2 In-house e-learning modules established to support staff development
The next steps for the project would include:
· Establishing a Commercial Board and Governance
· Finalising a Commercial Strategy
· Challenge and support for income generation within budget setting process for 2018/19 and beyond
· Further development of staff training and support
· Development of a Business to Business (B2B) approach
· Member engagement and training
Responding to Members’ comments, Stuart Bellerby’s and Nicola Butterworth, Assistant Director: Commissioning Support’s comments included the following:
· There was a large training programme which would include senior leadership and they were attending various departmental management team meetings.
· Best practice from other Authorities was being learnt from but there was also a need for a culture change and new mind set within Wirral Council.
· Up to 50 ideas had come through by way of the intranet site for the new ideas board. 10 to 15 of these ideas the Council was already carrying out; some ideas had been looked at but could not be implemented due to current lack of capacity. They were currently looking at 4/5 of these ideas and developing business cases for them.
· Additional fees for a faster than standard service was also being looked at for some areas as happened in Registrars for the issuing of duplicate birth, marriage and death certificates.
· Having a more commercial and business-like approach would create opportunities for the Council, it was not about privatising the Council.
· They acknowledged the importance of tourism for income generation for the Council and it was understood that the subsidy was being reduced over time. Mr Bellerby did not think there was a Council linked theatre across the country without subsidy.
The Chair challenged this assertion and commented upon the need for the Floral Pavilion Theatre to stand alone and indeed to generate income.
Mr Bellerby responded that he was going on the information he had been provided with and that he and Nicola were not there to run everything as that was the service manager’s role.
Another Member commented that if comparisons were going to be made there was a need for them to be like for like.
The Assistant Chief Executive commented that the Floral Pavilion Theatre was a superb facility, not just a theatre but also a conference centre and the Council was endeavouring to give greater autonomy to the Floral to enable it to increase income.
Responding to a further comment, Nicola Butterworth acknowledged the need to engage with local community groups, including Friends Groups and that although they had started the engagement process with Council staff they would look to expand this.
Resolved – That the officers be thanked for their presentation and that it be noted.