To allow us to meet the ambitions of the Corporate Plan and the challenges of the Medium Term Resource Plan, Torbay Council has established a Transformation Programme.

The Corporate Plan identifies five areas where the Council will target its actions and many of the projects in the Transformation Projects will support the delivery of these.

Children's Services

The Council has agreed a revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for Children’s Services which aims to align activity to reduce costs to improve services and outcomes for children.  As a result of agreeing the Strategy, £576,000 of savings were identified for 2017/2018.

There are a number of projects related to this theme and progress has been made in the following areas:

Investment Strategy

Following the approval of the ‘Investment Fund Strategy’ the first investment has taken place – Wren Park, a prime retail park in Torbay has been purchased as part of a long-term investment strategy to promote the local economy and generate income. This will generate £450k (per annum) income for the Council.

A second investment has also recently been approved by the investment committee and subsequently approved at Full Council.

The Council continues to look for further opportunities for investment.

Parking Strategy

Following the Parking Review, a Parking Strategy has been agreed and we will be working towards full implementation of the strategy across its lifespan.

There are a number of Transformation Projects related to this theme and progress has been made in the following areas:

Public Toilets

We have invited interested parties to bid for a contract to provide Public Toilets for the Council. A condition of any contract awarded will be the improvement of toilet facilities across the bay

Tor2

Reviewing the TOR2 contract - A saving of £250k has been achieved by receiving a net discount on an advanced payment of the cyclical fee to TOR2.

We are continuing to work with our colleagues at TOR2 to see whether services can be delivered more effectively or efficiently.

Shared Services

Shared services have been explored with other local authorities for the delivery of Building Control and Trading Standards.

Library Services

Good progress is being made in undertaking review considering how the Council could deliver library services in a different way – A procurement exercise is currently underway and the current timescales are as follows:

  • Stage 1 tender exercise complete – initial bids were received
  • Stage 2 tender exercise underway - bidders to submit detailed proposals by July 2017
  • Public Consultation to begin - September 2017
  • Final Decision Making – December 2017

Adult Social Care

Following a decision taken at February Council an ‘Adult Services and Health Monitoring Group’ has now been established involving Members and Officers to undertake the following:

  • To provide strategic political interface between elected members and the Executive Lead for Adults and Children and the Directors of Adult Services and Public Health.
  • To understand the key priorities for Adult Services.
  • To be fully briefed on the changes within Adult Services especially in respect of the arrangements with the Integrated Care Organisation, changes arising from the Devon-wide Sustainability and Transformation Plan and changes in Government legislation and/or guidance
  • To understand the financial situation in relation to Adult Services and Public Health.

Good progress is currently being made on base-lining / options appraisal for alternatives to the existing risk share arrangement.

An updated version (version 2) of the strategic agreement between the Council and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust will be going to Council in July 2017.

The monitoring group will also work to gain an understanding of the financial situation in relation to Adult Services and Public Health.

Housing Company

The Council has agreed the principle of setting up a Housing Company. Approval of the company structures was granted by the Council on 23 February 2017 and further work is ongoing to explore the possibility of the establishment of a Housing Company. The aim of the Housing Company is to maximise income back to the Council and support outcomes in the Housing Strategy.

Some of the projects in the Transformation Programme support more than one Corporate Plan theme, and others projects support the council corporately. Details of progress we have made to date in this theme are detailed below.

Optimising our borrowing costs (Minimum Revenue Provision Project)

Through reviewing the amount that the council sets aside to repay its borrowing a £790k saving has been achieved with no impact on service users.

Optimising our income

The Council is currently looking at various options to improve its fees and charges arrangements and generate additional income, including providing additional services.

Maximising the collection rate for Council Tax and Business Rates

Initiatives have been undertaken within the Revenues Service to identify and review cases where a discount/exemption many no longer apply. The recovery timetable has also been adjusted so that if required appropriate action can be taken sooner.

Transforming Customer Contact

The Councils Connections service has now been centralised and is now based in the Paignton Library and Information Centre. This project is now investigating options to move towards an appointment only system.

Creation of a Local Lottery for good causes

We are one of the first 10 local authorities to launch an online local lottery, to help support good causes in Torbay.

  • A ‘Good Causes’ launch event was held on the 30th March
  • There are currently 53 good causes registered
  • The lottery ‘went live’ on 25th April – people are now able to purchase tickets to support their good causes

There are a number of projects related to this theme and there will be updates provided about these once progress is made.