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Decision details

Shared Legal Services Business Plan 2019/20

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To approve the 3C Legal Services Business Plan 2019/20.


Matter for Decision

The Shared Services Agreement requires business plans to be approved every year for the Legal, ICT and Audit shared services. The Business Plans ensure the services adhere to the original objectives and contribute towards each partner council’s strategic objectives.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

  i.  Approved the Business Plans for each of the Shared Services attached as Appendices to the Officers report

  ii.  Authorised the Shared Services Management Board to approve final amendments to the Business Plans in line with comments received from all three partner councils.

  iii.  Agreed to bring a progress report to the next meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee regarding proposals for the joint scrutiny of shared services


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.


The Head of Shared Internal Audit Service said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Principal Auditor position was one that the Council was unable to recruit into immediately, and the role was endorsed by the independent Public Sector Internal Audit Standards assessment. Only one of the vacant Senior Auditor positions had been appointed during the previous recruitment exercise. If the Council was unable to appoint to the role in the next recruitment round then he would look at the recruitment process with HR and continue to explore other alternatives.

  ii.  He was currently seeking to build awareness of the Shared Internal Audit Team across the 2 councils. The Strategic Management Team did guide areas of work, and he was also looking for real time engagement from all levels of the services as this would help to develop an agile risk based plan.


The Strategic Director said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  i. When the Shared Services Partnership agreements were put in place there were some issues which required further agreement and which were being worked on, she had also been working on more general exit strategies across the shared services.

ii.  ii. None of the Council’s had a comprehensive asset register before the shared services commenced but 3C ICT now had a comprehensive asset register.

iii.  iii. The Head of 3C ICT was an important strategic role, they had interviewed 3 candidates who had the right abilities but only 1 candidate could demonstrate leadership. It was felt that the interim arrangements to have a Head of 3C ICT for 2 days a week was more advantageous than having no-one in post at all. 


The Chief Executive said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  i. She had attended the most recent South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) Scrutiny Committee with the Chief Executive of Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC). Due to the loss of Senior Officers who had knowledge of the shared services there were gaps in the understanding of the history and the benefits of shared services.

ii.  ii. Commented that the Strategic Director has been doing a lot of work with SCDC and HDC regarding the shared services.

iii.  iii. Confirmed that she was happy to commit to looking at shared scrutiny arrangements with SCDC and HDC however commented that all three councils operated different governance arrangements so this work might not be ready for the next Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee meeting. 


Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Dalzell seconded an additional recommendation iii to bring a progress report to the next meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee regarding proposals for the joint scrutiny of shared services.


The amendment was carried by 5 votes to 0.


The Committee unanimously approved the amended recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.



Publication date: 01/08/2019

Date of decision: 01/08/2019