Issue - meetings

Meeting: 09/09/2020 - Cabinet (Item 541)

541 Proposed Extension of Shared Services Arrangement for Trading Standards pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Report of the Head of Trading Standards (EES/20/3) seeking approval of a Proposed Extension of Shared Services Arrangement for Trading Standards, attached.


An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.

Additional documents:


(Councillors Biederman, Dewhirst and Hannaford attended remotely in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Economy, Enterprise and Skills (EES/20/3) on the proposed extension of Trading Standards Services, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.


The Report summarised a proposal for the renewal of the legal agreement to the joint Devon County Council, Somerset County Council and Torbay Council Shared Trading Standards Service for a further ten years from the 1st April 2021. It also proposed an extension of the Joint Service to include Plymouth City Council, the Full Business Case of which could be made available on request. The previous Somerset agreement had been approved pursuant to Minute 200 of the County Council, 24 April 2013 and the Torbay agreement pursuant to County Council Minute 98, 27 April 2017.


The Report outlined the background to the shared service agreements with Somerset County Council and then Torbay Council in 2017 and the current arrangements including funding contributions.


It then outlined the proposed arrangements for a Joint Trading Standards Service covering Devon, Somerset and Torbay and being extended to include Plymouth.  This included staffing proposals for the Plymouth staff (8.29 FTEs, but 9 individuals) to TUPE transfer to Devon County Council on 1 April 2021.  The functions to be transferred across from each partner authority to Devon County Council were listed in Appendix 1 of the Report.


The funding arrangements would be similar to those currently in place but adjusted to include Plymouth Trading Standards Service, however, the Joint Service Review Panel had agreed that 3 years was an appropriate length of time at which future budgets should be set, balancing operational stability with uncertain funding pressures in the future.


The Joint Service would maintain its current offices in Devon, Somerset and Torbay and would also retain a presence in Plymouth. It was not anticipated that any staff would be required to relocate and no redundancies were proposed as a result of the merger.


The benefits of the merger were outlined in terms of a more efficiently delivery whilst still maintaining an acceptable level of service. It was unlikely that any significant level of saving could be achieved by the services operating individually, without impacting significantly on front-line service delivery. However, a number of non-financial benefits from a shared service could be realised and the Report outlined these in full such as greater resilience, professional expertise, “greater clout” in tackling major investigations,  economies of scale, maintaining the ability of all four Councils to fulfil statutory obligations and greater efficiency in training and maintenance of staff competencies.


As in 2013 and 2017, the approval of the full Council was required to transfer those trading standard functions to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 541