Welcome to Merthyr Tydfil Local Service Board’s webpage. Here we aim to offer some background information on the Local Service Board (LSB); outline the LSB’s key aims; provide information on its current membership and focus on the key projects/ programmes etc. which it oversees.
Local Service Boards were developed as part of Welsh Government’s response to the findings of the Beecham Review’s analysis which was published in 2006. The Beecham review found that public services in Wales face 3 major barriers to responding effectively to citizens:
- Complexity; and
The Beecham Review Team felt that partnership working needed to ‘shift gear’ from planning to delivery. Additionally, they identified that leadership and key skills (such as analytical capacity and project management) needed to be pooled across the public services more effectively. There was also a need to ensure that existing activities in partnership (e.g.) children and young people; health and social care and community safety was co-ordinated – this would reduce duplication of effort whilst ensuring all key issues continued to be addressed effectively.
The LSB primary aims are:
- To improve the quality of life and outcomes for the citizens of Merthyr Tydfil;
- To provide leadership to ensure difficult issues across public services are confidently managed – not avoided or ignored;
- To stimulate dialogue, co-ordination and co-operation between local, regional and national public sector organisations to improve and integrate service delivery for the citizen;
- To remove ‘roadblocks’ to positive progress and minimise bureaucracy;
- To celebrate success in the delivery of services to citizens of Merthyr Tydfil; and
- To consider ‘best value’ in the expenditure of public service resources and to explore areas where collaboration/integration would provide greater efficiencies and improved outcomes for citizens.
Terms of Reference
A copy of the LSB’s Terms of Reference can be accessed via the hyperlink which
appears on the right-hand side of this page. The Terms of Reference are reviewed periodically to ensure they remain current and continue to meet identified need.
The current membership of Merthyr Tydfil LSB is listed below.
- Mostyn James JP DL - Independent Chair
- Gareth Chapman - Chief Executive (MTCBC)
- Cllr Brendan Toomey - Leader (MTCBC)
- Dr Chris Jones - Chair (Cwm Taf University Health Board)
- Allison Williams - Chief Executive (Cwm Taf University Health Board)
- Kevin O’Neill - Chief Superintendent (South Wales Police)
- Ceri Breeze - Senior Officer (Welsh Government)
- Ian Davy - Chief Officer (Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil)
- Brian Lewis - Chair (Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil)
- Nicola John - Director (Public Health Wales)
- Stephen Harrhy - Director of Primary, Community & Mental Health (Cwm Taf
University Health Board)
- Ellis Cooper - Director of Customer Community Services (MTCBC)
- Ben Gullick - Young Persons’ representative
When required, a number of additional co-opted members can be asked to attend LSB meetings. These officers would offer sector specific skills and experience to ensure that all plans set down; actions taken and outcomes achieved are completed in the most efficient, effective way available. Additional support is provided to the LSB by the Partnership Team within MTCBC.
• Change Programme
Merthyr Tydfil LSB is the lead for this regional programme funded via ESF Convergence funding. Delivered across 5 local authority areas (Merthyr Tydfil; Blaenau Gwent; Torfaen; Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff); this programme aims to transform the culture and approach to promoting the benefits of work. This will be achieved through a change management process which focusses on developing a shared culture across organisations that encourages staff to support people to recognise the importance of work and how it will improve their health and well-being.
For more information on the Change Programme, contact Ellen Sullivan on 01685 725426.
• Joint LSB Consultation and Engagement Project
Led by RCT County Borough Council, this regional programme funded via ESF Convergence funding and operates across RCT and Merthyr Tydfil.
The project aims to:
- Deliver improved consultation and engagement capacity across both areas;
- Share best practice and encourage shared learning and expertise including the improvement of effective consultation with under-represented and marginalised groups;
- Develop joined up consultation initiatives to improve mechanisms for consultation in both LSB areas;
- Prevent ‘survey overload’ and duplication; and
- Provide cost savings and achieve economies of scale.
An online consultation hub has been developed along with a Consultation and Engagement Strategy and toolkit (accompanied staff training). Additionally, a Citizen’s Panel has been established and recruitment for this is ongoing. To date over 600 members have been recruited to the Citizen’s Panel in Merthyr Tydfil; with 1600 members having registered across Cwm Taff.
For more information on the Consultation and Engagement project, contact Idris Evans on 01685 725087.
• Hedfan Out of School Hours (OSHL) Programme
This programme aims to enable an ambitious programme of change across the Heads of the Valleys area to ensure the alignment of policy, practice and resources for young people aged between 18-24 years who are identified as being most at risk of becoming NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training). The programme is a joint initiative between Blaenau Gwent LSB (who lead on the project); Merthyr Tydfil LSB and Communities First across both areas. The programme team has undertaken a comprehensive mapping exercise of existing provision (across school and community provision) and an OSHL directory has been produced.
For more information, contact Sherelle Jago on 01685 726206.
• Integrated Localities
This programme works over 4 areas: Rhondda; Cynon; Taf Ely and Merthyr Tydfil. The programme focuses on the integration of health and social care services both in terms of management arrangements and operational delivery. New arrangements have been introduced and the project team are currently identifying how third sector agencies, the Police, Education and Housing departments can link effectively in to these new arrangements. The programme is delivered as part of the work programme of the Cwm Taf Collaboration Board (a collaboration of Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil LSBs). Following the introduction of the new Communities First structures in April 2012, links have been strengthened with the Communities First Leads in the 4 localities.
For more information, contact Nicola Davies on 01443 744824
If you'd like further information regarding Merthyr Tydfil LSB, please contact:
LSB and Partnerships Manager
Tel: 01685 725484 E-Mail: Suzanne.Davies@merthyr.gov.uk
LSB Support & Development Officer
Tel: 01685 725227 E-Mail: Maria.Purnell@merthyr.gov.uk
MERTHYR TYDFIL LSB INFORMATION STRATEGY
The requirement for all LSBs to produce an Information Strategy to support delivery of their Single Integrated Plan (SIP) was laid down in Welsh Government’s guidance note ‘Shared Purpose, Purpose Delivery’. This guidance note set out the role of local government and their partners, through LSBs, in helping to achieve these outcomes by bringing together public service leaders to plan, work, deliver and improve. ‘Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery’ outlines the following:
“A Single Integrated Plan should include an Information Strategy setting out how partners will best make use of those resources available in order to provide the LSB with the right information at the right time to inform its work. The information available to partners should be a shared local resource for ongoing needs analysis, intervention design and impact evaluation across the whole single integrated plan”.
To prepare the Information Strategy, the research undertaken consisted of a literature review to gain an understanding of the legislation, guidance and research literature regarding LSBs, partnership working and information strategies.
A review of information strategies produced by other agencies/organisations both within Wales and across England was undertaken to support the Strategy’s development. A presentation prepared by Welsh Government’s LSB Support Team on the preparation of Information Strategies was reviewed to ensure all relevant aspects required for inclusion were covered.
• Progress to Date
A draft Information Strategy has been produced with regular support from colleagues within the LSB Support Team. The Strategy was prepared using the headings suggested by Welsh Government’s LSB Support Team presentation and offers an explanation of why the Information Strategy is needed whilst outlining how information could be used by Merthyr Tydfil LSB. It clarifies the role of LSB partners in information management and re-enforces the collaborative approach.
Input has been sought from the relevant colleagues within MTCBC; Cwm Taf University Health Board; South Wales Police; VAMT and Welsh Government to ensure all partners have opportunity to comment upon its content and offer amendments/additions to reflect their requirements of their own organisations. Advice and guidance was also sought from MTCBC’s Information Security department. On receipt of responses from partners, the feedback/ideas received were considered and incorporated into the Strategy where appropriate. The final draft of the LSB Information Strategy was presented at the LSB meeting held on 27th March 2014 and given final approval.
• Next Steps
A ‘Task and Finish Group’ is to be established to ensure each key partner agency has an opportunity to fully discuss the Strategy and can link this to the current working practices of their agency/organisation. This Group would also look at key issues which could affect how actions contained within the Single Integrated Plan could be achieved (e.g.) data development areas; roadblocks encountered in securing needs data etc. Feedback would be provided bi-annually to the LSB on the implementation of the Information Strategy and its impact on designing appropriate interventions to meet identified need; as well as how this would support meaningful evaluation of the delivery of the SIP.
DEVELOPMENT OF SCRUTINY ARRANGEMENTS LINKED TO MERTHYR TYDFIL LSB
Merthyr Tydfil Local Service Board brings together public service leaders and is at the heart of multi-agency working. It is responsible for leading and overseeing the delivery of Merthyr Tydfil’s SIP. Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 impacts upon the delivery of LSB Scrutiny with an important provision of the measure being the requirement for local government Scrutiny Committees to scrutinise public services in the area.
To further strengthen the requirement for LSB scrutiny, in June 2012 Welsh Government published ‘Shared Purpose, Shared Delivery’: it’s guidance on integrating partnerships and plans. Welsh Government considered LSB’s to be the appropriate forum for formulating and reviewing SIPs. ‘Shared Purpose, Shared Delivery’ also stated local authorities should have in place “effective scrutiny processes to ensure local democratic accountability for partnership actions”.
To progress the development of appropriate scrutiny arrangements for Merthyr Tydfil LSB, a task and finish group was established. This group was made up of selected members of the Chief Executive’s Scrutiny Committee, members of the LSB Support and Partnership team and was supported by the Team Leader of MTCBC’s Scrutiny Services. Work was undertaken to review the type of scrutiny undertaken in other local authority areas with regards to LSBs; as well as to enable those involved to develop their existing knowledge of rules and requirements regarding LSBs’ partnership working and scrutiny.
• Progress to Date
As a result of this review; a briefing paper was prepared which included information on how other local authorities were dealing with this issue in other areas; the number of Scrutiny Committees operating across other local authorities; the frequency of meetings. Throughout this process, the ongoing scrutiny of the LSB-supported projects such as the Change Programme; Consultation and Engagement project; Hedfan 8-14 Out of School Learning programme etc. has continued to be undertaken by Chief Executive’s Scrutiny Committee.
Throughout the development of the options report; regular verbal updates were presented at meetings of Merthyr Tydfil LSB to ensure all partners were brought up to date with ongoing development in this area and to seek the views/opinions of LSB members. The finalised draft report outlined a number of options which could to be considered by the full Scrutiny Committee to progress this matter for final decision to MTCBC’s Cabinet. The final draft report was also fed up to LSB members to secure their views on preferred options; these were fed back to the Team Leader of Scrutiny Services and Task and Finish group members.
‘Task and Finish Group’ members presented the finished report to the full Chief Executive’s Scrutiny Committee and Committee members agreed this report was now ready to be presented to MTCBC’s Cabinet. This report was taken to the MTCBC Cabinet meeting which took place on 23/04/2014 and it was confirmed that scrutiny of Merthyr Tydfil LSB would be undertaken by the Chief Executive’s Scrutiny Committee. 4 proposals for topics which could be reviewed by Chief Executive’s Scrutiny Committee where prepared and presented to LSB members for approval – this was secured at the LSB meeting on 29/05/2014.
The first of the 4 topics proposed for review by Chief Executive’s Scrutiny Committee was presented on 02/09/2014 – the Committee were offered an update do the SIP Review process and the LSB & Partnerships Manager responded to a number of queries from Scrutiny Committee members. The Committee were happy with the content of these discussions.
• Next Steps
The remaining items to be presented to the Scrutiny Committee during 2014/15 are:
14/10/2014 - Local Service Board
(a) Reviewing the effectiveness of the LSB partnership working arrangements.
(b) Learning for Life (linked to Schools and SS&SR)
(c) Development of Engagement Strategy across Cwm Taf area
31/03/2014 - Local Service Board (LSB) – Information Strategy