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Council updates members on development of a business case for arms length organisation (18/01/11)
Members of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee have welcomed the confirmation of a portfolio of services, facilities, staff and budgets to be included within the development of the business case that will explore establishing an arms length organisation (ALO) to manage and deliver the Council’s Community Learning and Leisure Services (CLL).
Included within the portfolio being considered for the business case are: some 300 buildings and property; around 460 staff; and services covering adult and youth work, culture, facilities, libraries, sport, and health and well being partnership working.
Potential savings in non domestic rates from the proposed transfer of CLL services to an arms length organisation are estimated at £1,009,000.
Members also agreed to the categorisation of CLL facilities into 4 groups which highlighted lists of facilities that:
1. would transfer to an ALO under a lease agreement at the date of transfer;
2. once non domestic rates savings have been finalised, would transfer to an ALO under a lease, also on the date of transfer;
3. are under discussion with legal advisers to determine the most advantageous transfer arrangements; and
4. would not transfer to an ALO.
For the purposes of developing the business case, members supported:
• the principle of adopting a full repairing and insuring lease qualified by a separate property agreement between the ALO and the Council, with maintenance budgets remaining with the Council;
• the principle of transferring CLL staff under TUPE regulations as opposed to secondment;
• the development of a service delivery contract; and
• that a Client Manager’s post be created to work on behalf of the Council to ensure that the ALO complies with the conditions specified in a service delivery contract.
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council’ Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: “The development of a business case for the possible transfer of our Community Learning and Leisure Services is a major task and I am pleased to see confirmation of the details so far that members have requested. This and future information brought before us will enable us to make informed decisions in March when the full business case is presented to committee.”