Agenda item

To note the Implementation Programme.


The Committee received a report that outlined the officer governance arrangements for the implementation programme towards the creation of the new Buckinghamshire Council for 1 April 2020. The implementation plan outlined the governance arrangements and Implementation Team as directed by the Structural Changes Order.


The governance was headed up by a CEO Implementation Group (CIG) with membership from the County, District councils, and the Programme Office, under which sat five programme boards with various workstreams running across these boards.  The programme boards met usually on a weekly basis and included existing staff from the five councils.  It was noted that the Programme Management Office included 10 members of staff who supported the programme on a full-time basis.


Resourcing was important and staff across the councils had been encouraged to be involved.  A budget had been set for the delivery of the programme and the CIG received regular budget monitoring reports.  Strong transformational work was being undertaken to help develop the new council over the next 2 years.


Members discussed the report and a number of points were raised:


·         There were a number of acronyms in the report and it was requested if these could be minimised.

·         Regarding resources the Programme Manager confirmed that Chief Executives regularly reviewed staffing levels and these remained level, however some key areas were being monitored.

·         The Programme Manager explained that a budget had been allocated for the transformation programme and a report was being presented to the Shadow Executive to request a draw down from these funds for additional resources to support officers.

·         Communication and engagement with staff was important and staff representatives and trade unions were regularly updated on issues and there had been positive feedback regarding this matter.  It was requested that the impact on staff with regards to work and well-being balance be added to the Work Programme.

·         Members were concerned that the culture of the new authority had not yet been considered and that joint working should not be the method used.  A framework for a new way of working for the new authority to work as a team should be undertaken.

·         It was requested that the programme budget monitoring reports should also be made available to the Committee.

·         The Programme Manager explained he had direct experience whilst working at Durham County Council during their unitary transition.  Also that information and documentation had been obtained from other organisations that had experienced unitary transitions more recently.  The Programme Officer from Dorset Council had been invited to speak to officers and lessons had been learnt from these organisations.

·         It was noted that the best of the five councils processes world be included as part of the programme and an ethos for the new council was being agreed as a key part of the programme.

·         Members requested that the Implementation Plan be provided to the Committee.

·         It was reiterated that it was important to learn from best practice and the Programme Manager offered to bring key aspects from other organisations to a future Committee.

·         Concern was raised regarding staff stress levels and that Unison should be involved at all matters in relation to pay and conditions.

·         Members were concerned that there had not been enough positive messages to officers, members and residents regarding the new Authority. 


The Committee thanked the Programme Manager for the update.





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