Agenda item

Corporate Register of Partnerships and Shared Working Arrangements - Operational Services Committee

Minutes:

Members were presented with the Corporate Register of Partnerships – July 2023.  The purpose of the report was to inform Members of the Operational Services Committee of the Council’s involvement in partnerships that were within the remit of the Committee.

 

The Regulatory Services Manager highlighted key points from the report and Members had their questions answered:

 

  • Members were informed that Operational Services had two partnerships and one shared arrangement.  The partnerships were the Kent & Medway Air Quality Partnership and Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) Members Board.  The shared arrangement was the Licensing Shared Service between Gravesham and Medway.

 

  • The Regulatory Services Manager informed Members that the Kent & Medway Air Quality partnership was now more of an officer group but historically a partnership. Although over the years the authority had moved away from the arrangement, partnership work was still carried out and therefore this partnership still remained on the register.  The Committee were advised that the partnership supported the corporate objectives, including relation to climate change.  Members were informed the referenced annual cost of £5605 +VAT, related to monitoring of air quality and the impressive website Kent Air.

 

The Committee highlighted that the name of the Lead Member was incorrectly printed within the appendix, for this particular partnership.  Members were reassured this would be amended.

 

Members appreciated the financial cost of this partnership but expressed that for the sake of public health it was an important partnership to be part of.

 

  • The Assistant Director (Operations) informed members of the Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) Members Board.  He outlined that the partnership considered waste, recycling and fly tipping and highlighted its great importance, pointing out that without the partnership there would be a significant cost to the tax payer.  Members were informed that Gravesham contributed £15K per year towards the partnership budget, however gained countrywide communication, external funding and invaluable partnership with intelligence officers.  Intelligence officers based within Kent Trading Standards worked with Local Authority Enforcement Officers to investigate fly tippers, gathering information with other local authorities leading to maximum penalties for criminals.

 

Members queried how Kent was performing in respect of waste and recycling figures.  The Assistant Director (Operations) noted that as a county, Kent fell just under 50% of waste being recycled.  Nationally the recycling stood at 45%.  He went on to say that Kent had a small amount of landfill which was under 2%.  This 2% was made up of mainly marine animals and asbestos.

 

  • The Regulatory Service Manager updated Members on the Licensing Shared Service between Gravesham and Medway which was formed in January 2019.  The Committee were informed that this was a Gravesham led shared service which had gone from strength to strength, having led the way digitally in terms of online applications and automation of licenses.  In relation to cost implications, Members were advised that Medway Council paid 75% of all costs with Gravesham contributing 25%.  These figures were based on staffing and number of licenses issued in each area.  Both authorities kept 100% of their own income.

 

The Chair commended the service and based on its success, queried whether there was scope to take on more authorities.  The Regulatory Service Manager advised that this idea had been spoken about and that informally the Gravesham shared service had a good reputation within Kent.  However, he pointed out that the arrangement was not unique and other authorities used pools of officers to carry out shared functions.

 

Members reiterated the shared service was highly effective and a great success.

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

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