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Agenda item

Alternative Delivery Models Phase 2

Decision:

(a)                   That the Committee support the second phase of the Alternative Delivery Model programme; and

 

(b)                   That the Committee receive further reports, alongside Cabinet, which evaluate each of the proposed service models for more detailed consideration prior to any formal decision on their future, noting that several of the models are well advanced and that one (the CCTV Monitoring Service) has been given a separate and prior approval.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer introduced the report which was presented to seek the Committee’s support.  Cabinet had approved the priority list and there were also links with the Council Plan.  He then provided an update on each of the different Alternative Delivery Models (ADMs):-

 

·                CCTV Monitoring and Control Service

·                Theatr Clwyd.

·                Micro Care (Community based domiciliary care services)

·                Streetscene and Transportation Trading Services

·                Housing Revenue Account Trading Services

·                Food Poverty Enterprise

·                Green Energy Company

 

Councillor David Wisinger asked the following questions on the proposed MOT testing at Alltami and proposal to provide domestic gas and electrical servicing:-

 

·                Was there sufficient parking for clients at the Depot?

·                Would other work be considered such as servicing of vehicles?

·                With regard to gas and electrical servicing would this be carried out by one officer?

 

             In response to the first point the Chief Officer clarified that this was still at the concept stage but the proposal was that once the Council vehicles had left the depot in the morning there would be available space for parking at the back by the workshop for this.  With regard to the car servicing question he said there could be opportunities to include other work but it was an unknown at present as the project was at concept stage and to be developed further.  With regard to the Gas and Electrical Servicing proposal (Housing Services) he said this was again at a very early stage and would seek to utilise and grow the service within the Housing Direct Labour Organisation (DLO).  Councillor Wisinger said this was a very positive move as there was the demand for this type of service especially by private landlords.

 

            Councillor Geoff Collett referred to Theatr Clwyd and asked if the proposed model was the most tax efficient for the Theatre.  He referred to Chester Zoo where patrons were asked to sign a document to enable the Zoo to claim an extra 26% back from the Government.  The Zoo was not an Independent Trust Model but asked if the Theatre would be able to claim some tax back similar to the Zoo.  

 

            In response the Chief Officer confirmed the model would enable the Theatre to receive benefits from Corporation Tax and Value Added Tax.  There were opportunities for Business Rate Relief, access to charitable funding and alignment of employment models with other theatres which would also be beneficial. This would give the Theatre more freedom to plan how they operated.  There was a lot of work being undertaken but a detailed report on this would be presented to the Committee in the autumn.

 

            Councillor Tudor Jones sought clarification on the following points regarding the Housing Revenue Account Trading Services ADM

 

·                Would this be established similar to the Aura ADM or managed by the Council?  

·                Would this impact on other existing charitable organisations such as Care and Repair and could consideration be been given to partnering with those operators as he felt it was important not to disadvantage them? 

·                With regard to employment of staff which could be a huge financial burden he referred to how Care and Repair operated using self-employed local trades people when required.  Would this be something that would be used in this model especially if it was a charitable organisation and would save money?

 

          In response to the first point the Chief Officer did not foresee this as being as big as Aura but would be able to offer those services and create some income for the HRA Account.   He agreed it was important not to disadvantage other organisations but said that this was a large market and these organisations did not access all aspects of it.  There was a considerable amount of work yet to be carried out to ensure the Council understood the market, had scope to develop and were competitive.  With regard to the third point the Chief Officer said this ADM would enable the current DLO staff to be fully utilised with the prospect of being able to grow and expand into new and exciting markets.

 

            Councillor Paul Johnson referred to the Green Energy Company and had reservations that Flintshire was large enough to take this forward.  He provided information on the schemes in Bristol and Nottingham which were large cities with larger reserves and asked if schemes in other authorities had been considered.   In response the Chief Officer confirmed other projects had been researched and that the design had been considered carefully with Flintshire taking a different route.  He provided information on Robin Hood Energy project saying there was a lot of risk around that model and that it could be that Flintshire sold energy back to the grid which was a safer route with a guaranteed fixed rate.  He added that work was ongoing to explore and identify which model to use, but that this project was just at the concept stage at present.  A further report would be presented to Committee when stage two had been reached.

 

            Councillor Johnson then asked if discussions had taken place with neighbouring authorities maybe via the North Wales Economic Growth Bid which he felt would be a better route to take with a greater customer base.  He also asked if discussions had been held with Welsh Government (WG) as Flintshire could be the first authority to do this in Wales.   In response the Chief Officer agreed with Councillor Johnson’s comment regarding collaboration with neighbouring authorities saying there was potential and opportunities for North Wales to develop and explore this within the growth deal.   The Chief Officer advised that he was not extensively involved in the Growth Deal but felt discussions would have taken place with WG and that there may be opportunities for grant assistance for innovation projects which could drive this forward.

 

            The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside added that the North Wales Authorities procured their energy together as a regional consortium to obtain a better rate and from October this would be from renewable sources.   Flintshire had changed to LED streetlights which had produced a saving which was reinvested into the service. Councillor Johnson felt this was a positive story that should be promoted more maybe on the website.  The Cabinet Member agreed saying Denbighshire promoted it on their twitter and Facebook pages.

 

            The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside then reported on the Regional Transport Group which fed into the North Wales Ambition Board where the issue of electrical charging points was discussed to ensure costs were shared regionally.  An officer from the National Grid had attended the meeting to voice their concerns on where these charging points would be located as this would impact the demand on the grid.  There was funding available for this and the group were also looking at capturing the energy from Parc Adfer.  Hydrogen power was also being investigated with the hydrogen captured into tankers and then used as fuel. 

 

            The Chair complimented Members on their involvement and said the Green Energy Company seemed to be moving so fast with endless opportunities.  This committee looked at ideas with an open mind and it was vital opportunities that could be explored to ensure new technologies were not missed.

 

The recommendation was proposed Councillor David Wisinger and seconded Councillor Janet Axworthy.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)                   That the Committee support the second phase of the Alternative Delivery Model programme; and

 

(b)                   That the Committee receive further reports, alongside Cabinet, which evaluate each of the proposed service models for more detailed consideration prior to any formal decision on their future, noting that several of the models are well advanced and that one (the CCTV Monitoring Service) has been given a separate and prior approval.

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