Agenda item

Review of the Working in Partnership Framework


The Corporate Change Manager presented the Committee with a draft of the updated Working in Partnership Framework and highlighted the following:


·         Specific changes that have been made to the draft Working in Partnership Framework:

-       Amendments to the definition of a partnership to clearly set out the various types of joint working activities the council is engaged in. This has included revising the financial threshold for a significant partnership to £50,000.

-       Provisions for commencing partnership or joint working where there is an urgent need (ad hoc arrangements).

-       Clarification of the approval process for all forms of partnerships and joint working arrangements

-       Reference to the council’s revised Equalities Aims and Objectives and the requirement for new partnership arrangements to demonstrate how they are able to contribute to these.

-       Reference to the council’s Climate Change commitment, ensuring consideration is given to how a partnership may support the borough in mitigating climate change.

-       A detailed breakdown of the governance requirements for shared working arrangements.

-       Clarification of the roles and responsibilities of council Officers and Members with regards to partnerships and joint working arrangements that the council has engaged in.

-       Updates to the annual review process for partnerships and shared working arrangements to reflect the introduction of a revised approach for reviewing shared service arrangements from year three onwards.


·         Following review by the Performance & Administration Committee, the report will be presented to Cabinet for approval, followed by submission to Full Council for formal adoption into the council’s Policy Framework.



The Corporate Change Manager fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:


·         If specific equipment was needed in a shared service then this would be assessed on its own merit and costs would either be shared or taken on board by the host authority.

·         The Corporate Change Manager undertook to look into the inclusion of customers and residents under the ‘Do Nothing’ Risks; and present this to Cabinet for consideration.

·         An ‘urgent need’ for a partnership or joint-working arrangement refers to those arrangements that need to be in place within a matter of days to ensure services can be maintained/delivered to the community.  . The Corporate Change Manager undertook to look at clearly setting out criteria for defining an ‘urgent need’ in relation to partnerships, and update the Framework accordingly.

·         There are some partnerships that would go from being classified as ‘significant’ to ‘other’ under the updated Framework but they will still be included within the register of partnerships and reported to Members in the same way.

·         If a partnership was critical to delivery of council services but didn’t fully support all of the council’s climate change ambitions, it wouldn’t mean we wouldn’t work with them but we would need to consider their commitments alongside our own.

·         An example of an ‘Informal network’ is the Kent Finance Officers Group that is used as an important information sharing tool; it’s not formal but is very useful to be involved in.

·         The Corporate Change Manager undertook to revisit the wording in relation to reference to an ‘Exit Strategy’ and the ‘indefinite’ arrangements detailed in the appendices of the Framework.



The Committee noted the updated Working in Partnership Framework and the comments that Members had provided at the meeting.


Supporting documents: