Agenda item

Proposal to Expand Anglia Revenues Partnership (Agenda item 10)

Report of the Executive Member for the Communities & Benefits Portfolio (Adrian Stasiak).

Minutes:

The Head of Finance presented the report which concerned the expansion of the Anglia Revenues & Partnership (ARP) and the development of the telephony system at Breckland House.  He explained that a report had been raised to clarify the expenditure required and efficiencies to be made, rather than expecting Members to refer back to Joint Committee reports.

 

The Strategic Director for ARP was in attendance to answer any detailed questions.

 

At the ARP Joint Committee meeting on 16 December 2010 it was agreed to expand the Partnership to include St Edmundsbury District Council.  At the same meeting, the Committee also received a request for funding to replace and develop the partnership’s telephony system.

 

The admission of a new partner offered the opportunity to grow the service and provide greater resilience as well as delivering significant savings for the new and existing partners.  To achieve this level of savings, investment was required to the ICT systems to migrate the new partner onto the same platforms.  There would also be a one-off cost for furniture as staff from Bury would be relocated to Thetford.

 

The costs had been set out in Appendix A of the report and included both capital and revenue costs.

 

Breckland Council’s contribution would be £120,480 capital and £1,000 revenue for the expansion.  The revenue contribution would be covered by savings elsewhere within the current year’s budget and would not require a supplementary budget approval. The costs for the upgrade to the telephony system had been set out in Appendix B of the report. Breckland’s contribution had been identified as £24,833 for basic upgrade and £45,507 as its share of the partnership costs which brought the authority’s total contribution to £70,340.  Members were informed that a paper had recently been received following the procurement exercise indicating likely cost reductions in delivering the project, which meant that the authority’s contribution to the project could be reduced.

 

The Vice-Chairman said that the Partnership had served Breckland well over the years which could only benefit the residents.

 

The Executive Member for the Corporate Development & Performance Portfolio highlighted the savings that would be made and was quite pleased that St Edmundsbury Council was coming on board and hoped that this would encourage other authorities to follow suit.

 

Options

 

To recommend or not to recommend the expansion of the Partnership and the set up costs and telephony to Council for approval.

 

Reasons

 

To provide ongoing revenue savings through further shared working arrangements and economies of scale.

 

RECOMMEND to Council that:

 

1)           the expansion of the Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership to include St Edmundsbury Council from 1 April 2011 be approved;

2)           the supplementary budget for set up costs be approved which consists of £335,780 capital and £102,800 revenue, with grant funding and contributions from other partners reducing this amount for Breckland Council’s contribution to £120,480 and £1,000 respectively; and

3)           the supplementary budget for telephony costs be approved which consists of £140,640 capital, with contributions from other partners reducing this amount for Breckland Council’s contribution to £70,340.

Supporting documents: