Melanie Lockey presented a report to the Board to provide members with proposals for the future governance arrangements for the CSP to ensure it remains fit for purpose and delivers its core statutory functions. The action required of the Board was to consider the recommendations for the Governing Board on the discharge of functions of the CSP and the future organisational form of the CSP.
On the 7th April, the Solihull Partnership Governing Board agreed on the following three areas of focus:
Addressing Youth Unemployment
Challenging or Chaotic Families
The first proposal considered by the Board was to reduce Board membership to the five statutory bodies as well as the cabinet member for the community safety portfolio and the Police Authority (until 2012 when the representation would be taken over by someone from the Police and Crime Commissioner panel.)
Discussions took place around the involvement of the third sector which is not a statutory body of the CSP. The importance of true representation of the whole of the third sector was acknowledged. Different approaches of effective engagement were discussed such as developing separate reference groups for the third sector. Similarly it was suggested that this kind of approach could be a good opportunity to develop links with the Local Criminal Justice Group.
The Board agreed that this proposal should be put to the third sector and will be discussed on Friday at the Solihull Partnership Governing Board.
The second proposal presented by Melanie Lockey was to reduce the frequency of meetings where strategic direction can be sought along with a wider stakeholder event to take place on an annual basis where progress on the achievement against the above priorities can be scrutinised.
The group were in agreement with this proposal and suggestions were made on how this could be executed. It was stated that these discussions would take place at the next Governing Board meeting on Friday.
The third proposal presented was around the accountability for delivery of the set priorities and discussions took place around equal partnership contribution, diplomacy and lack of challenges at Board level. It was put to the Board that each priority area should have a project lead agency. This would require all agencies to sign up to protocol which would empower and enable the nominated lead agency to challenge other agencies if and when required. It was suggested that as well as a delivery lead, there should also be a policy lead to overview the Safer Solihull Partnership as a whole, providing executive support and the horizon scanning on future policy developments that affect the Community Safety agenda.
The risk attached with the above proposal would be loosing partnership contribution. This was acknowledged by Board members along with the clear benefits to the Partnership. The review of support arrangements was discussed acknowledged that in-kind support that would need to be provided by partners. Centralised resources were agreed around commissioning, in aspects such as the observatory, engagement, and communications.
The need for specialist skills was also recognised, to cover areas such as procurement, market development, finance, and legal services. These suggestions would be fed back to the board.
The Domestic Abuse Strategic Group was discussed and the fact that this group currently has no Chair. It was agreed that as Melanie Lockey has been heavily involved in co-ordinating the commissioning of the IDVA service, she was appointed to act as Chair of the Domestic Abuse Strategic Group in the interim and thereafter (unless another agency volunteers) the lead will come from Education and Children's Services within SMBC.
Discussions took place around the level of governance options for the DAAT function in the future. This currently sits within the community safety agenda however the proposal was that this should sit at the Health and Well Being Board. There are clear advantages to the move of the DAAT function such as the strengthened relationships with GP commissioning structures as well as access to funding from the department of health grants that could be used to commission services such as the PTB and DIP. It was agreed that this transition would go ahead and the timetable for migration would be September / October 2011.
The group agreed that it would be "business as usual" until the transition has taken place.