46 Five Councils Partnership Governance PDF 298 KB
To consider the report of the deputy chief executive – partnerships.
Cabinet considered the report of the deputy chief executive – partnerships. This set out the current position of the Five Councils Partnership, particularly around finance and governance.
Since the inception of the partnership contract, there had been substantial changes, impacting on the partner councils. The contract changes included the removal of licensing, HR and payroll, finance services and procurement functions. The partnership’s inter authority agreement detailed how much each council was obliged to pay for services it received. The report set out how the contractual changes reflected South Oxfordshire’s liabilities and how the inter authority agreement would be updated. The baseline percentage that the council should now pay was 17.64 per cent, down from the original baseline of 18.33 per cent. As this baseline related to the changes which occurred in 2020/21, there was a need for a re-balancing payment to South Oxfordshire from Mendip, Hart, and Havant councils.
The report also highlighted the decreased need for member involvement in the governance of the partnership and the management of its contract. As such the partnership’s joint committee had recommended streamlining the number of meetings to one per year.
Cabinet supported the changes proposed in the report. The re-balancing of the amount paid by this council was overdue and welcomed. The streamlining of the governance arrangements was welcomed also but was not considered to be any reduction in control as the contract was monitored closely by officers.
(a) note and endorse the minor alteration to the proportion of the size of South Oxfordshire’s contribution to the Five Councils’ Partnership contract and agree the approach to the truing up mechanisms;
(b) approve the streamlined governance approach, reflective of the current reduced size of the contract, to enable effective oversight and management of the contract, which includes all the changes set out in paragraph 22 of the deputy chief executive – partnership’s report to Cabinet on 10 November 2022, including the annual meeting of the Five Councils’ Partnership Joint Committee, providing budgetary and contractual oversight, and continuing the spirit of partnership working, whilst keeping members informed of contract performance; and
(c) authorise the chief executive, in consultation with the Cabinet member for partnerships, to finalise the terms on behalf of South Oxfordshire District Council and to enter into and complete the updated inter-authority agreement based on the principles set out in the report.