City of Cardiff Council says it can improve the way waste, potholes and fly-tipping are dealt with by “modernising” council services.
After 12 months discussing the best way to reorganise some council services, the council is preparing to launch a new way of working which will help the authority “modernise, grow revenues and improve services across the city.”
It says residents should see a clear improvement in Neighbourhood Services, including cleaner streets and parks and improved management of potholes when the new model beds in.
While it has discounted options including transferring staff to a wholly-owned external company and a private/public partnership, its has settled on modifying their own in-house services.
Councillor Derbyshire – “We carried out significant work analysing the best way to future proof the Council. We developed business cases for a Wholly Owned Company (WoC) and a Modified In-House Model. After much deliberation we now believe we can deliver the same outcomes through the Modified In-House model, without the risks associated with a WoC”
The modernisation programme will see the Council build on efficiencies and focus on delivering high-quality services while embracing new technology and mobile working.
Commercial Services will be made up of the following areas; recycling waste management services, including commercial and domestic waste collections, recycling waste treatment and disposal, central transport services, facilities management, cleaning, security and building management, pest control and projects design and development.
Neighbourhood Services will be made up of the street cleansing, parks/management development, waste education and enforcement, highway operations, highway asset management, highways engineering and highways design and delivery.
There will be £1m of set up charges over the first two years, but the council say it could end up making them almost £5m in five years, according to Wales Online.
Councillor Bob Derbyshire, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the ADM Infrastructure Project, said: “We have to find ways to bring money into the Council to offset the ongoing reduction in our budgets brought about by austerity cuts. Crucially, we have to find a way of doing this while improving the services we deliver to the residents we serve.
“This project will see us invest in our front line staff, giving them the equipment and support that they need to help us modernise and grow.
“This is about creating an opportunity to change, and we want to buck the trend by increasing income opportunities in the Council so we don’t have to continue to cut, cut and cut again.
“There will be clear benefits for our residents who will see better neighbourhood services – an example of which will be cleaner streets. We will do this by breaking down silo working, bringing teams together and using technology so they can work more effectively. This will involve a change in mindset for many different services, and there will be clear delivery targets to ensure improvement.”
Councillor Derbyshire added: “We carried out significant work analysing the best way to future proof the Council. We developed business cases for a Wholly Owned Company (WoC) and a Modified In-House Model. After much deliberation we now believe we can deliver the same outcomes through the Modified In-House model, without the risks associated with a WoC.
“It’s important we create an opportunity to grow and to get to a point where we can really begin to bid for private sector contracts and other local authority contracts. The Council already has contracts with other councils and the National Health Service. When we bid for this type of work, feedback from clients has told us that they prefer a package of services to manage the inside of the building, the outside, waste collections and many other services. By improving our own in-house model we have a great opportunity to bid for more of these contracts bringing much-needed revenues into the Council while supporting other public sector bodies.
“This approach is supported by all the trade unions. They have worked alongside us throughout the process and they understand the need for change.”
The recommendation which will go to Cabinet on June 16 follows an extensive review of 14 different service areas across the Council.