Coun­cil name their big­gest chal­lenges

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - JONATHAN GED­DES

Brexit and find­ing ex­tra staff to cope with ex­panded child­care en­ti­tle­ment are among the big­gest risks fac­ing South La­nark­shire Coun­cil in 2019.

That is the find­ing of the coun­cil’s an­nual re­view into the big­gest chal­lenges for the year ahead.

The two items listed as cat­e­gory one risks are a re­duc­tion in coun­cil fund­ing, re­sult­ing in dif­fi­cul­ties main­tain­ing front­line ser­vices, and a fail­ure to ad­e­quately pre­pare for na­tional ex­pan­sion in early years ed­u­ca­tion and child­care pro­vi­sion.

Both risks are rated at nine out of 10, with con­trols in place for these prob­lems rated as ad­e­quate.

The child­care pro­vi­sion, which will see ex­panded hours for all three and four-yearolds by 2020, plus two-year-olds be­com­ing el­i­gi­ble, is a new ad­di­tion to the list.

The re­port states: “The coun­cil is likely to face chal­lenges in ac­quir­ing the nec­es­sary phys­i­cal as­sets and staffing lev­els.

“A fail­ure to meet these lev­els could af­fect both qual­ity and avail­abil­ity of ser­vices for ser­vice users in South La­nark­shire.

“This has been added as a cat­e­gory one risk in the coun­cil’s top risk regis­ter.

“Mea­sures to mit­i­gate this risk in­clude well es­tab­lished workforce plan­ning; large-scale re­cruit­ment cam­paigns un­der­way for early years work­ers; a for­mal re­view of avail­able premises and other phys­i­cal as­sets; train­ing in place for new and trans­fer­ring em­ploy­ees; and on­go­ing dis­cus­sion with part­ner providers to in­crease pri­vate and third sec­tor part­ner­ship.”

Leav­ing the Euro­pean Union is ranked as a cat­e­gory two risk, and is an­other new ad­di­tion.

Re­gard­ing Brexit, the re­port states that work has been car­ried out on as­sess­ing the im­pact on fund­ing and fi­nance, workforce and em­ploy­ment, pro­cure­ment and trade, and on leg­is­la­tion and sup­port to busi­nesses lo­cated within the South La­nark­shire area.

Other risks be­ing spot­lighted in­clude the coun­cil’s com­pli­ance with the new Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tions, changes to the Hous­ing Act, meet­ing the gov­ern­ment’s new com­mu­nity em­pow­er­ment act and deal­ing with new amended leg­is­la­tion re­lat­ing to the Home­less­ness and Rough Ac­tion Sleep­ing Group.

Cri­te­ria for the risk re­view is based on whether any­thing threat­ens de­liv­ery of cor­po­rate ob­jec­tives, im­pacts on other ser­vices or part­ner­ships, there are fi­nan­cial im­pacts or if there are im­pacts of a so­cial or de­mo­graphic con­text.

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