25 July 2007

 

Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that a POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Passadena Room, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 30 July 2007 at 7:30pm.

Attention is directed to the statement accompanying this notice of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

Yours Faithfully

 

 

Alan Travers

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           APOLOGIES

 

2.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 9 July 2007.

 

4.           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Pecuniary Interest (The Act requires Councillors who declare a pecuniary interest in an item to leave the meeting during discussion of that item)

Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

5.           ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.           MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.           NOTICES OF MOTION

 

8.           ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF COMMITTEES

 

9.           MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

10.         URGENT REPORTS (to be dealt with in the master program to which the item relates)

 

11.         QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

12.         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 30 July 2007

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

master program reports

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEETING CALENDAR

February 2007 - December 2007

 

 

TIME

FEB

MAR

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Ordinary Meetings

7.30 pm

12

5

 

7v

25*

2

 

3ü

 

 

 

 

26

23

28

 

23

13

24^

29

19

10

Policy Review Committee

7.30 pm

 

12

2@

 

4

9

 

10

 

 

3

19#+

 

30

21#

 

30

20#+

 

8@

5#

 

 

#    Meetings at which the Management Plan ¼ly  reviews are presented.

^     Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor [only business]

#+  General Manager’s presentation – half year and end of year review

@   Strategic Program progress reports [only business]

v   Meeting at which the Draft Management Plan is adopted for exhibition

ü    Meeting at which the 2006/2007 Annual Statements are presented

*     Meeting at which the Management Plan for 2007/2008 is adopted

 

 

-                 Council’s Ordinary Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

-                 Policy Review Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Members of the public are invited to observe meetings of the Council (Ordinary and Policy Review Committee).  All meetings start at 7:30pm.

-                 Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Public Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 47327649


 

UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

 OF THE POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING OF PENRITH CITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE PASSADENA ROOM, PENRITH

ON MONDAY 9 JULY 2007 AT 7:36PM

PRESENT

His Worship the Mayor Councillor Pat Sheehy AM, Councillors Jim Aitken OAM, Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury (arrived 8:00pm), Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Greg Davies, Ross Fowler, Jackie Greenow, Karen McKeown, Susan Page, Garry Rumble, Steve Simat and John Thain.

 

APOLOGIES

PRC 52  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Karen McKeown that apologies be accepted from Councillor David Bradbury.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Mark Davies for the period 2 July 2007 to 16 July 2007 inclusive.

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 4 June 2007

PRC 53  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Steve Simat that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 4 June 2007 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 Councillor Jim Aitken OAM declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 1 – UWS Nepean Campus Masterplan, as he owns property in the WELL Precinct, an area adjacent to the land the subject of the UWS Nepean Campus Masterplan, and reserved his right to speak and vote on the matter.

  

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

The City as a Social Place

 

1        UWS Nepean Campus Masterplan

Rhonda Hawkins – Deputy Vice Chancellor Corporate Services, University of Western Sydney, and Professor Kevin Sproats – Pro-Vice Chancellor Campus Development, University of Western Sydney gave a presentation on the UWS Nepean Campus Masterplan.

Councillor David Bradbury arrived, the time being 8:00pm.

PRC 54  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor David Bradbury seconded Councillor Susan Page

That:

1.            The information contained in the report on UWS Nepean Campus Masterplan be received

2.            An urgent report be brought to Council regarding the future consultation process on the WELL Precinct.

 

The City In Its Environment

 

3        Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad

Waste and Community Protection Manager, Barry Ryan and RID Squad Senior Investigation Officer, Stephen Gillis gave a presentation on the Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad.                                           

PRC 55  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jim Aitken OAM seconded Councillor Garry Rumble

That:

3.            The information contained in the report on the Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad be received

4.            A further report be brought to Council outlining the most efficient and cost effective means of publicising the free Council pick-up/clean-up service.  The report is also to outline the feasibility of publicising RID Squad cases and the fines issued, as a deterrent to would-be illegal dumpers.

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

Councillor Susan Page left the meeting, the time being 9:04pm.

Councillor Steve Simat left the meeting, the time being 9:04pm, and did not return.

Councillor Greg Davies left the meeting, the time being 9:05pm.

 

5        Enterprise Risk Management

Risk Management Co-ordinator, Ken Muir, gave a presentation on Enterprise Risk Management.    

Councillor Susan Page returned to the meeting, the time being 9:08pm.

Councillor Greg Davies returned to the meeting, the time being 9:08pm.

PRC 56  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Enterprise Risk Management be received

2.     The Enterprise Risk Management Policy be adopted

3.     A further report be brought to Council detailing the progress of the Business Continuity Plan.

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

9        Status of National Growth Area Alliance                                                                          

PRC 57  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor Karen McKeown

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Status of National Growth Area Alliance be received

2.     Council continue to participate in the National Growth Area Alliance

3.     The Mayor be authorised to represent Council in implementing the National Growth Area Alliance initiatives

4.     Council inform the other Western Sydney Councils involved in the Alliance of its decision.

 

The City as a Social Place

 

2        Food Safety Program                                                                                                          

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM left the meeting, the time being 9:17pm.

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 9:29pm.

PRC 58  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Greg Davies

          That:

1.   That the information contained in the report on Food Safety Program be received

2.   A further report be prepared for Council upon commencement of the Food Regulation Partnership legislation

3.   A motion be prepared for the Local Government Association NSW Conference on the training and accreditation of food handlers.

 

The City as an Economy

 

4        Framework for a review of options for delivering Economic Development and Employment services in the City                                                                                                                                

PRC 59  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor Jackie Greenow

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on the Framework for a review of options for delivering Economic Development and Employment services in the City be received

2.     A Working Party comprising the Mayor, Councillors Ross Fowler, Susan Page and Jackie Greenow, and all other interested and available Councillors be established to undertake a review of options available to Council to deliver citywide economic development and employment services covering the roles and functions of Council’s Economic Development Department and the PVEDC

3.     Council invite representatives of the PVEDC to join the Councillor working party in an advisory capacity

4.     Council invite representatives of the Centre Associations to participate in the review in an advisory capacity.

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

6        Asset Management Planning For NSW Local Government                                            

PRC 60  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Asset Management Planning For NSW Local Government be received

2.     A submission be made to the NSW Department of Local Government based on the commentary in the report supporting the recommendations of the Asset Management Planning for NSW Local Government position paper.

 

7        Local Government Revenue Raising Capacity                                                                

PRC 61  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor Garry Rumble

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Local Government Revenue Raising Capacity be received

2.     The submission to the Local Government Revenue Raising Capacity inquiry be endorsed.

 

8        Service Specification Program                                                                                           

PRC 62  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Karen McKeown

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Service Specification Program be received

2.     The specification for the Development Engineering Service be adopted.

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 9:29pm.

    


 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

1        Alignment of the Organisation

  

The City as a Social Place

 

2        Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy

 

The City In Its Environment

 

3        Environmental and Health impact of Solid Fuel Heaters

   

Leadership and Organisation

 

4        Presentations to recognise staff with long service

 

5        Service Adjustment - Building Approvals

 

6        Service Specification Program 

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Alignment of the Organisation

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

1

Alignment of the Organisation   

 

Compiled by:                Alan Stoneham, Director - City Strategy

Authorised by:             Alan Travers, General Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's operating culture is flexible, efficient, integrated and aligned to Council's strategic objectives and program delivery.

Critical Action: Implement a structured program of continuous improvement, based on identifying and adopting leading practice, across the organisation.

     

Purpose:

To provide Council with an update on the status of a number of organisational alignment initiatives.  The report recommends that the information be received and proposed changes to the Staff Establishment be endorsed.

 

Background

As required by the Local Government Act, Council re-determined its organisation structure in March 2005 (within 12 months of the March 2004 election).  Since that time the General Manager has reported to Council in July 2005, February 2006, October 2006 and April 2007 on measures being taken to align the organisation to the delivery of Council’s Strategic Program.  The opportunity for further refinements has also been taken when considering the Management Plan and Strategic Program Reviews.  The processes used are based on a consultative approach, and proposed solutions are generally negotiated with affected staff, discussed with the JCC and then submitted for Council consideration.  This reflects Council’s approach to its Workforce as articulated in the Strategic Plan.

 

This report outlines the status of a number of initiatives raised with Council in October 2006 and April 2007, which included proposed changes to some departmental structures involving the realignment of some Manager and Director responsibilities, as part of a continuous improvement approach to the organisation’s effectiveness.

 

The changes discussed are an evolving response to current circumstances including the need for succession planning. It is to be expected that other adjustments/refinements to the management structure will continue to take place during the life of the current Strategic Program.

Workforce and Workplace Strategy

Council has previously endorsed the transfer of accountabilities from the Director ~ City Services to Director ~ City Strategy. This was to better align Workforce Planning with Council’s strategic planning directions thereby renewing our strategic focus.  Work is well underway to contemporise our existing Workforce and Workplace Strategy, as envisaged by Council’s Strategic Plan. A strategic task to finalise and implement this Strategy is included in Council’s 2007-08 Management Plan. The Workforce and Workplace Strategy will build upon previous strategies and will set a clear agenda for human resources initiatives, organisational change and continuous improvement. The primary purpose of the Strategy will be to support a planned and coordinated approach to addressing workforce priorities.

 

The starting point for the Strategy was developing a sound understanding of the challenges facing Council in general in the years to come and its driving forces. In relation to this, the following key questions, as they relate to our workforce, are being considered:

 

·    What skills do staff need to have to be able to respond to the challenges right now and in the future?

·    What programs and initiatives need to be in place to attract, develop and retain appropriately skilled people?

 

The second step in the process has been to undertake a SWOT analysis. This involves focusing on the internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to Council’s workforce. Current skill and capability issues were considered. The SWOT analysis involved gathering together information from a variety of sources including:

 

·    A Diagnostic Checklist

·    Results of a recent Staff Survey where staff, supervisors and managers were asked to give their feedback.

·    Recommendations from the Department of Local Government’s Better Practice Review

·    Recommendations detailed in the Service Review Questionnaire – People Management

·    Corporate Workforce Report

 

The following four themes were identified as being of the most strategic and operational importance for Council’s workforce and workplace:

 

1.   Strategic workforce planning

2.   Operational workforce and workplace issues

3.   Organisation culture

4.   Organisation structure

 

Each of the above themes will be underpinned by a series of priorities that will be developed into clearly articulated outcomes, tasks with details on target dates for completion, performance indicators, persons responsible for undertaking the tasks and the process for implementation.

 

As mentioned above one of the key inputs to the strategic planning process is the 2006 Corporate Workforce Report. This is the third annual Workforce Report to be produced and it has been forwarded to Councillors under separate cover prior to this meeting tonight. The report provides detailed analysis across the following areas:

 

·    Workforce Data

·    Workforce Sustainability

·    Recruitment and Selection

·    Employee performance, planning and review

·    Salary Administration and Skill and Knowledge Assessments

·    Staff training and development

·    Employee assistance program

·    Occupational health and safety

·    Industrial relations

 

Areas highlighted for attention include:

 

·    Age profiles in some areas of Council will affect levels of corporate knowledge

·    Recruitment practices in areas where there are shortages of suitable candidates

·    Performance management

·    Skills shortages in some professional areas

 

The above mentioned workforce information supports understanding of workforce profiles and is an important tool to assist in measuring the effectiveness of current policies and practices. It includes data on age, gender, occupation, EEO, salary etc. It is essential that there are clear links between workforce programs and policies, workforce data and wider, contemporary workforce trends and issues. The development of this document is an important element of a strengthened strategic approach to the management of Council’s workforce and workplace.

 

With the benefit of our robust dialogue with the Joint Consultative Committee and the staff affected, the following organisational initiatives are presented for Council’s information and approval of the staff establishment adjustments.

Library Services

Council has previously endorsed Library Services as having department status and a direct reporting line to the Director ~ City Services.  The necessary organisation processes to fill the position of Library Services Manager have been followed and an appointment to the position has been made.

Governance Review

The need to strengthen the governance function was indicated to Council in an organisational alignment report in October 2006 and more recently, in April 2007.

 

This function to date has been largely managed out of the Legal Services department.  A significantly increased amount of time has been spent by the Legal Services department in its efforts to increase emphasis on governance.  The Department of Local Government in the Promoting Better Practice reviews has asked Councils to increase their emphasis on these areas.

 

Council has good governance controls but a strengthening of this area is called for as set by the State Government and the global businesses that we all operate in.  An expansion of the present Legal Services department is being considered.  This expanded role should encompass a Senior Governance Officer who would formalise the role the department undertakes and it is also proposed that that position and the restructured department would become the governance interface between the Council and the controlled entities as well as servicing the Audit Committee.

 

In order to further enhance our Governance capability the interrelationship between the Internal Auditor, Executive Officer and Risk Management Coordinator is also being examined.

 

The outcome of this review will be reflected in a proposed new structure which will be reported to Council.

Engineering Resources / Project Management

For some time now the condition of the organisation’s engineering skills base and structure has been undergoing review.  While it is acknowledged that there is a national shortage of engineers, the review concluded that there are a series of steps that can be taken so that Council is better placed to attract and retain skilled and experienced engineers.

 

One of the key findings was that the current structures fragment engineers, in some cases, into small units. This narrows the range of professional experiences that the staff within these units are exposed to, and compromises the intellectual interchange between like professionals. It also provides less capacity to accommodate and quickly respond to vacancies when they arise.

 

In the context of the City Planning Directorate, it is proposed that the Development Engineering Unit be amalgamated with the engineering resources within the current Design and Technical Advice department.  It is also proposed to transfer the traffic section of the Asset department into the Design and Technical Advice department.  This proposal has been the subject of consultation with the relevant staff. There was overwhelming support for it to occur, as a matter of priority. The revised department would include development services, catchment management, traffic and transport.

 

These are relatively simple realignments but they offer good outcomes. The staff, for all intents and purposes, operates as one department now but formal amalgamation will create a stimulus for greater professional dialogue and diversity. Career paths are also improved because of the larger cluster of engineers.

 

In parallel with the Engineering Review, some consideration has been given to how Council might better manage the projects program. This is necessary because of the substantial projects schedule confronting Council over the coming years.

 

A new Project Management model is proposed to be implemented through a specialist Project Management and Urban Design department which would include architectural design, urban design, landscape design, major projects and project management. The recruitment of a specialist to manage this department will need to occur. This proposal does not involve a change to staff establishment as the position will be created from a re-evaluation of a current vacancy, with the necessary funding recovered from project budgets.

City Operations Directorate

The appointment of the Director ~ City Operations resulted in a vacancy for the position of Asset Manager.  The recent announcement of the retirement of the Building Services Manager has created a further Manager vacancy.  This has prompted a review of the structure of the City Operations Directorate.

 

Furthermore, the review of the Facilities Operations department as further discussed below has identified opportunities for functional re-alignment with the City Operations Directorate and this has also influenced the proposed structure.

 

Essentially, that structure sees the retention of the Parks Construction and Maintenance and Waste and Community Protection departments as they now exist.  In addition to those departments, it is proposed to realign existing services within the Asset Management, Building Services and certain services from Facility Operations to create a City Works department and a department which deals with Public Domain Amenity and Safety.

 

This will necessitate the conversion of two new Manager positions from existing Manager positions (job sizing and recruitment will be in accordance with Council’s established policies).

 

Through Council’s Asset Management strategy there has been a substantial increase in the road asset renewal and building asset renewal programs in addition to the extensive capital and operating programs for civil and building assets, including drainage maintenance; road and footpath maintenance; roads, footpaths and drainage construction; building construction and building maintenance. These programs are necessary to ensure that the appropriate physical condition of community assets is provided and maintained at standards fit for their contemporary purpose. The proposed City Works Department will concentrate on those physical services associated with asset delivery, renewal and maintenance for Council’s civil and building assets.

 

The public domain refers to public spaces including buildings, infrastructure and landscape setting. Council is responsible for the management and maintenance of the public domain that surrounds and includes its civil and building community assets. The context of management and maintenance in this instance refers to the amenity, presentation and cleanliness of the public domain.

 

The proposed Public Domain Amenity and Safety department will be responsible for:

 

·    the development of an integrated public domain maintenance strategy that will establish and deliver a shared vision for the upkeep of the public domain

 

·    encouraging interaction with others to identify cross-departmental working structures and initiatives to better integrate public domain maintenance services

 

·    the development of initiatives that promote interaction  with a wide range of stakeholders, including other government agencies, to provide a coordinated delivery of an enhanced public domain service; and

 

·    the delivery of the Community Safety, Public Domain Maintenance, Building Operations, Cemeteries and Neighbourhood Facilities Management services.

 

The existing and proposed City Operations Directorate structures are shown in the appendices to this report.  The proposed structure requires three existing temporary positions: additional Building Projects Coordinator, Community Safety Administration Officer and Community Safety Officer to be made permanent. The current temporary Community Safety Officer position will be converted to the new Public Domain Coordinator position. As these positions are currently funded there will be little budgetary impact however the staff establishment is proposed to be increased by three positions to accommodate the new service focus proposed.

Facilities Operations

In June 2001 following an organisational review, the following occurred:

 

·    The position of Recreation and Cultural Services Manager was abandoned.

·    The duties and responsibilities of the former Recreation and Cultural Services Manager, together with Cemeteries Operations, were re-assigned to the Corporate Manager – Operations.

·    Given the change in role and responsibilities, the Corporate Manager – Operations title was changed to Facilities Operations Manager consistent with the new function.

 

The functions that fall within the Facilities Operations Department include:-

 

·    Events, Celebrations and Festivals (recently transferred to Economic Development and City Marketing Department)

·    Cemeteries

·    Neighbourhood Facilities

·    Recreation and Cultural Facilities and Programs

·    Controlled Entities Liaison

·    Major Projects dealing with Recreation and Cultural Facilities

·    External Committees, Partnerships, Liaisons and Relationships

·    Donations, Travel Assistance and Sponsorships for Recreation and Cultural Programs

 

The retirement of Council’s Facilities Operations Manager provided a timely opportunity to review the role and functions of that Department, particularly, given the positions wide and increasing span of accountabilities.

 

Discussions have occurred between Directors and relevant Managers and staff around a more contemporary re-alignment of present department functions.  There is perceived advantage in better complementing Council’s strategic direction for the City at this time by the following adjustments being made:-

 

·    Event, celebrations and festivals have already been transferred to the Economic Development and City Marketing department.

·    The Cemeteries and Neighbourhood Facilities accountabilities are proposed to be moved to the new Public Domain Amenity and Safety department within the City Operations Directorate.

·    The cultural accountabilities function is to be moved to the Community Development Manager.  While there are no resources to be transferred with that functional realignment, recruitment for two new cultural development positions previously endorsed by Council within the Community Development department is underway.

·    The recreation accountabilities and accountabilities for donations, travel assistance and sponsorship as well as responsibility for liaison with controlled entities are still being reviewed. This matter will be the subject of a further report to Council.

 

 

 

Children’s Services

Following a review of Children’s Services in 2005, the Children’s Services Manager position was retained and the position of Children’s Services Manager Operations was created (a three year temporary appointment at that time) and filled in February 2006.

 

It was contemplated at that time that there would be a transition period relating to the Children’s Services Manager’s accountabilities and that overtime, and as circumstances provided, that this position would not be replaced at a manager level.

 

The present accountabilities for the Children’s Services Manager’s position range across city-wide strategy, planning and advocacy and the management of Council-run services and projects (mobile play van, mobile preschool, occasional care, SACCS program, OSSH integration and the inclusion support agency).  The Children’s Services Manager Operations’ accountabilities are to manage those Children’s Services undertaken by the Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative.

 

Given the recent retirement of the Children’s Services Manager and development and growth of this important and large business operation of Council, it is appropriate to confirm the Children’s Services Manager Operations’ position as permanent and move to fill that position accordingly.

 

A review is under way to examine opportunities with the vacant Children’s Services Manager’s position. It is contemplated that the city-wide strategic planning and advocacy functions will transfer to the Community Development department and the Council-run services and projects to the Children’s Services Manager Operations.

 

There are emerging resource and workload challenges across both the operational and planning and advocacy functions of Children’s Services.  The most effective way of addressing those challenges is being considered at this time and will also be the subject of a further report to Council.

Building Approvals and Certificates Service – Proposed Service Level Adjustment

The stage 1 service specification for the Building Approvals and Certificates Service was completed and adopted by Council in March 2005. As part of the stage 2 service review, the adopted specification was used as a reference point to help identify specific service level adjustments required to meet contemporary needs and expectations. A range of service improvement options have been identified and are proposed to be implemented over a 6 to 12 month period following appointment of additional staff. Staff consultation and established workforce practices will be followed. Improved career paths and professional development of staff and an increase in job satisfaction are some of the expected benefits of the changes. 

 

The findings of the Building Approvals Review were presented to the Development Regulation Working Party on 16 July 2007 and a separate report is included elsewhere in tonight’s business paper for Council’s consideration.

 

To implement the identified changes to the service the following resource requirements were recommended:

 

·    Upgrading of a Senior Environmental Health and Building Surveyor position to a Co-ordinator

·    Appointment of two Compliance Officers

·    Appointment of two additional Environmental Health and Building Surveyor

 

The upgrading of the Senior Environmental Health and Building Surveyor position is needed to implement two teams within the Building Approvals Unit.  One will be responsible for Building Approvals, the other for the Fire Safety Program and Compliance Issues.

 

One of the additional Compliance Officers has already been authorised by Council as part of the 2007-08 Management Plan.  The primary purpose for this position is to implement Council’s enhanced Fire Safety Program.  It is intended to fill one of the Environmental Health and Building Surveyors’ positions in 2007-08 with the other position being filled in 2008-09.  The remaining Compliance Officer position will be filled in 2009-10.  Both of these positions will be the subject of further assessment with regard to the assumptions and forecasts used as part of the review.

 

The proposed increase to establishment is three positions over time with one of these additional position required in 2007-08. Most of the position costs are anticipated to be offset with additional fee income but there will be a minor budgetary impact until 2010-11.

Workforce Development Manager’s Comment

The initiatives and actions needed to implement new structures have been discussed with the Joint Consultative Committee in accordance with established workforce practice. This has also involved staff consultation at the departmental level. Council’s workforce policies and position evaluation processes will be applied in all cases.  The proposed initiatives would result in a net increase of four positions on Council’s staff establishment in the current 2007-08 year.

Financial Services Manager’s Comment

These proposals involve a combination of upgraded positions, the creation of a number of new positions and a change in reporting alignments for others.  The impact of the retirement of the Children’s Services Manager is still to be assessed and as a number of the new roles are still to be placed within the salary system it is not possible to assign a definitive dollar amount to the proposals.  The additional Project Manager position is proposed to be recovered from a fee on project delivery and no additional call on general revenue is anticipated.  The additional position within the Building Approvals and Certificates service is also to be offset by fees with an anticipated shortfall of approximately $6,200 in the first year.  The conversion of three temporary positions within the City Operations directorate will involve a cost of approximately $5,000 per annum which will be met from the relevant departmental budgets.  As these positions are sized the exact cost will be determined and this will be reported as part of the September Quarterly review process.

Conclusion

Council has placed emphasis on adjusting the organisation’s structure and operation to keep it moving forward and is well placed to achieve Council’s program. Preparing the organisation for the future and particularly with regard to the readiness for generational change is a key focus in Council’s Strategic Plan. The initiatives discussed in tonight’s report are an evolving response to current circumstances including the need for succession planning, advancing those objectives and presenting opportunities for staff to operate in a more strategic way bringing benefits to career development as well as to Council’s program. The initiatives involve a small net addition to the staff establishment and have only minor budgetary impact for the benefits to be realised. It is to be expected that other adjustments/refinements to the management structure will continue to take place during the life of the current Strategic Program.

 

It is pleasing to report that our long established practice of consulting the Joint Consultative Committee and affected staff has seen value adding of the management proposals addressed in this report.

 

As noted above, further reports will be presented to Council on the outcomes of our continuing review of Children Services, Governance and Facilities Operations.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Alignment of the Organisation be received

2.     The initiatives and changes to the staff establishment as outlined in the report be endorsed.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Current City Operations Directorate Structure

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

Proposed City Operations Directorate Structure

1 Page

Appendix

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Appendix 1 - Current City Operations Directorate Structure

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Appendix 2 - Proposed City Operations Directorate Structure

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

There were no reports under this Master Program when the Business Paper was compiled


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City as a Social Place

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

2        Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

2

Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy   

 

Compiled by:                Graham Pares, Environmental Health Coordinator

Authorised by:             Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Strategies are in place to respond to the social and health needs of the community.

Critical Action: Develop and implement a healthy strategy for the City that will guide planning and strategies that embrace healthy outcomes.

     

Purpose:

To provide information to Council on the benefits to providing smoke free outdoor facilities and to consider adopting a policy of providing smoke free outdoor areas.  The report recommends Council adopt the policy position and implement a range of actions over time to deliver the smoke free options in outdoor areas.

 

Background

Diseases such as cancer, respiratory illness and coronary heart disease can all be attributed to smoking. Tobacco use reduces the quality of life for smokers, and those around them, while also placing a large financial burden on the community. It is expected that reductions in these diseases would occur if there were a decrease in smoking rates.  There is substantial evidence linking exposure to second-hand smoke with a range of serious and life threatening health impacts including heart disease, cancer, asthma and other respiratory problems. Infants or children who breathe other people’s smoke are also more likely to develop middle ear and chest infections, croup and wheezing. Other conditions associated with passive smoke are croup, pneumonia, bronchiolitis and glue ear (NSW Cancer Council).

 

Western Sydney continues to report higher rates of smoking, and lower rates of cessation, than NSW overall. The proportion of residents aged over 16 years that smoke in Penrith is 24.7%. This is significantly higher than the NSW average of 21.9%. Data collected by Sydney West Area Health Service and NSW Health identified that illness associated with tobacco usage in Western Sydney amounts to almost $30 million per year in hospital costs alone.

 

The NSW Tobacco Action Plan sets out the Government’s commitment to the prevention and reduction of tobacco related harm in New South Wales, and supports the National Strategy in six action/focus areas including exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

 

Sydney West Area Health Service has a tobacco strategy with a goal of reducing smoking rates by 5%. One of the ways this will be achieved is to reduce the number of children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. 

 

Council recently resolved to join the NSW Cancer Council Community Partnership to help decrease the impact of cancer in the community. The Cancer Council is the State’s leading cancer charity dedicated to research, prevention and support for survivors and carers.  The Cancer Council has recently provided information in the form of the Smoke-free Outdoor Areas Resource kit to encourage local councils to adopt policy positions that endorse the introduction of smoke free outdoor areas.  The Resource Kit was developed by the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NSW Division), Australian Medical Association (NSW), Cancer Council NSW and Action on Smoking and Health Australia, with endorsement from the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW. 

 

Fact sheets contained within the kit, report that cigarettes are the most littered item in the world.  During Clean Up Australia Day, cigarette butts are consistently one of the most common items found, making up 31% of the top 10, and almost 50% of litter in urban areas.  Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and take up to 5 years to break down.  A policy that restricts smoking in outdoor areas can help to reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter that is left behind in the vicinity of parks and playgrounds.

 

The information kit also details a survey undertaken in December 2006 of 2,400 NSW residents that found overwhelming support for smoking restrictions in the following areas:

 

·    92% support bans in children’s playgrounds

·    85% support bans outside workplace doors/entrances

·    80% support bans in sports stadiums

·    69% support bans in outdoor eating areas

·    In addition, 65% say they avoid places where they may be exposed to other people smoke

 

A recent study that measured cigarette smoke levels in a variety of outdoor locations showed that a person sitting near a smoker in an outdoor area could be exposed to levels of cigarette smoke similar to the exposure of someone sitting in an indoor location where smoking is allowed. 

Previous Trial - Smoke Free Outdoor Areas

A report was presented to the Ordinary Meeting of Council in July 2005 outlining the results of a pilot project undertaken that introduced no smoking signage to five playgrounds in the area.  The five playgrounds chosen were Peppertree Park at Erskine Park, Kokoda Park at St Marys, Spence Park on Doonmore St, Londonderry Park in Londonderry and Tench Reserve in Penrith. These five playgrounds were chosen based on their location, cigarette butt litter and patron usage. Two signs were installed at each site, at a total cost of $850.  As part of the project, people using the playground were surveyed at the commencement of the trial, and again after a three-month period.  Results showed that most people interviewed were aware of the term ‘passive smoking’, and had seen articles regarding the effects on children’s health in the paper, or items on television. Furthermore, most people interviewed “strongly agreed” that children should not be exposed to cigarette smoke, and that smoking may contribute to at least some of the conditions mentioned.

 

There was a significant degree of support for Council trying to address the issue of smoking around children's facilities, with feedback saying that it was a “Good idea” and “Penrith Council (is) to be applauded”. This was reflected in the positive feedback about the signs in the playground.  People were generally supportive of the signs being erected, and the majority of people said that no smoking signs would have little influence in their decision to visit a playground. A recent review of the current signage shows that all the signs are in place with no damage to the posts, or graffiti.

Benefits of a Smoke Free Policy

Council is a smoke free workplace, including all Council buildings, vehicles and community facilities.  Council organised events such as Australia Day and Activate are smoke free. Banners are placed at each event and promotional material advertises the events smoke free status.

 

The pursuit of a smoke free policy for playgrounds and sporting fields would be consistent with these directions to address the impacts of second hand smoke.  The results from the pilot indicate that community acceptance would be high, which is important as it is intended to be introduced as a community standard, not a statutory enforceable requirement.

 

The benefits for the community can be summarised as:

 

·    Councils would be seen as progressive by adopting a smoke-free playground policy;

·    Smoke free playgrounds encourage parents and carers to reconsider lighting up in front of children at any time;

·    Reduced exposure to children, lessening the likelihood of them taking up the habit;

·    Improving the health of children through a reduction in exposure to second hand tobacco smoke;

·    Reduction in littering of non-biodegradable cigarette butts, the most littered item in the world, around playgrounds, sporting fields and parks.

 

A number of councils in the Western Sydney Region have introduced smoke free policies, related to playgrounds and sporting fields.  Some examples of these include:

 

·    Hawkesbury City Council, through the Hawkesbury Sports Council (in 2004), introduced a policy restricting smoking within 10 metres of ovals and/or players. The Hawkesbury Sports Council is charged with promoting the restrictions through Hawkesbury’s sporting clubs;

·    Fairfield Council adopted a smoke free playgrounds and sporting fields strategy in 2006;

·      Blue Mountains Council introduced a pilot program restricting smoking at some ovals in 2006. After 12 months, an evaluation will take place;

·    Liverpool Council adopted smoke free playgrounds and sporting fields in 2003;

·    Baulkham Hills Council adopted a policy of smoke free playgrounds in November 2003, for playing fields and sporting grounds, by imposing a ban on smoking within 10 metres of a playground, playing field and sporting ground while residents are participating in sport and recreation.

 

It is important to note that in discussions with representatives of these Councils it has been indicated that they do not take any direct action to enforce the smoke free playgrounds and sporting fields. The aim of these policies is to protect residents from the effects of passive smoking and second-hand smoke by way of educating the community rather than active enforcement. The most common strategy used was the provision of signage to raise awareness, while some councils had liaised with sporting groups using their facilities, and made the smoke free sporting fields part of their terms of hire. The sporting groups had then taken on the responsibility to ensure that spectators were aware of the smoke free boundaries. 

Development of Proposed Policy

The Information kit provided by the NSW Cancer Council advocates for the adoption of a policy position by Council that includes consideration of banning smoking in the following areas on Council land:

 

·    Within ten (10) metres of all children’s playground equipment,

·    On all playing fields, sporting grounds and sporting facilities (ie swimming pools, outdoor centres);

·    At all events run or sponsored by Council;

·    In alfresco dining areas on public land;

·    In Council’s pedestrian malls/plazas

·    Within ten (10) metres of Council owned or managed buildings including balconies or covered areas of these buildings;

·    On beaches;

·    In all bushland, parks and reserves;

·    Within all covered bus stops and taxi ranks;

·    Within Council car parks;

·    That the policy be enforced in any leases, licenses or other estates that apply to Council owned and managed lands and properties and that internationally recognised signage be erected to indicate that theses areas are smoke free.

 

In support of this position, the Cancer Council is recommending Council utilise the provisions of Section 632 of the Local Government Act to erect appropriately worded warning signage and enforce these requirements through use of penalty notice options and other enforcement options that become available.

 

The proposed policy position included as an Appendix to this report is not as prescriptive in its requirements as the proposal from the Cancer Council.  It commits Council to the provision of smoke free outdoor environments, but recognises that a staged implementation process will be necessary for the successful uptake of the message by the community.  It does not include the commitment to enforcement options of using the Local Government Act, rather adopting the principle of it being a community standard to be promoted through education and reminders in appropriate locations.  This position is being proposed in recognition of the cost associated with providing adequate numbers of signs to enable enforcement to occur, the potential for visual impact with the installation of this signage and recognition of the difficulty of enforcing such a standard in these areas.

Impact of Proposed Policy

With the adoption of this policy, Council will be committed to an awareness program for making outdoor areas smoke free.  As advised, during the pilot two signs were provided at each of 5 playgrounds, at a cost of $850.  Council has 141 playgrounds, 540 parks and 240 sporting fields, and it is impractical to consider signage being provided at all of these venues.  Additionally, the usage of signs to reinforce the smoke free message is not the only avenue that can be utilised, and concern exists that the increase in signage will affect the visual amenity in these areas.

 

An implementation plan is being prepared should Council adopt this policy position.  The plan will include development of:

 

·    A priority system for signage to be provided at playgrounds based upon patronage and observations of cigarette butt littering

·    Securing of funding from internal sources such as the Environment Reserve where fines for littering (primarily cigarette butts) are paid to support the gradual rollout of required signage.

·    Development of trial programs for alternative methods of delivering the smoke free message.  An example for implementation at sporting fields may include adding conditions to hiring agreements, as they are renewed, that would require the particular club to raise awareness with groups using the facilities as well as potentially innovative methods such as sponsored shirts for officials that advertise the smoke free message at Council’s facilities.  Grant funding opportunities would be pursued to enable these trials to occur and be evaluated

·    An education and promotion plan that will include messages delivered in the Mayoral column, on the website and included with other communications.

 

Councils having undertaken this policy stance have reported good compliance, despite the lack of ability to enforce the standard, and there is no reason to believe that Penrith would be any different. It will be an opportunity to empower the community and is consistent with Council’s commitment to providing a healthier environment for the community.

Conclusion

The proposed policy for providing smoke free outdoor areas is recommended based upon the evident community health and environmental benefits as outlined within this report.  The evaluation of the smoke free playgrounds pilot project, experiences from other Western Sydney councils and the information provided by the NSW Cancer Council indicate that the community is accepting of this policy direction and supportive of its introduction.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy be received.

2.     Council adopt the proposed Smoke Free Outdoor Areas policy

3.     The range of activities outlined within this report be undertaken through the staged delivery of an implementation plan to support this policy position.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Draft Policy - Smoke Free Outdoor Areas

2 Pages

Appendix

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Appendix 1 - Draft Policy - Smoke Free Outdoor Areas

 

 

 

DRAFT

 
 POLICY DOCUMENT

 

POLICY NAME:

Smoke Free Outdoor Area Policy

Policy No:        

Adopted by Council:

    

Minute No:         

Review:

    

File No:               

Relevant Legislation: (if applicable)      

    

Responsible Department:

Environmental Health

 

 Policy Statement:       

 

Penrith City Council is committed to the principle of providing smoke free outdoor areas for the community to enjoy and utilise, consistent with Council vision of providing healthy settings for a Penrith community living in a sustainable city.  This commitment is undertaken in acknowledgement of the damaging effects of passive smoking and the impact upon the natural environment of littering of cigarette butts.

 

Penrith City Council, through working in partnership with the NSW Cancer Council, has adopted this position in response to evidence indicating support from the community for the introduction of such a position.  Appropriate signage will be progressively introduced at priority locations in conjunction with an information and education program to raise awareness within the community of the benefits of supporting smoke free outdoor areas.

 

Supporting Evidence:

 

Diseases such as cancer, respiratory illness and coronary heart disease can all be attributed to smoking. Tobacco use reduces the quality of life for smokers, and those around them, while also placing a large financial burden on the community. It is expected that reductions in these diseases would occur if there were a decrease in smoking rates.  There is substantial evidence linking exposure to second-hand smoke with a range of serious and life threatening health impacts including heart disease, cancer, asthma and other respiratory problems. Infants or children who breathe other people’s smoke are also more likely to develop middle ear and chest infections, croup and wheezing. Other conditions associated with passive smoke are pneumonia, bronchiolitis and glue ear (NSW Cancer Council).

 

Western Sydney continues to report higher rates of smoking, and lower rates of cessation, than NSW overall. The proportion of residents aged over 16 years that smoke in Penrith is 24.7%. This is significantly higher than the NSW average of 21.9%. Data collected by Sydney West Area Health Service and NSW Health identified that illness associated with tobacco usage in Western Sydney amounts to almost $30 million per year in hospital costs alone.

 

Cigarettes are the most littered item in the world.  Consistently one of the most common items found during Clean Up Australia Day, cigarette butts make up 31% of the top 10 items found and almost 50% of litter in urban areas.  Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and take up to 5 years to break down.  A policy that restricts smoking in outdoor areas can help to reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter that is left behind in the vicinity of parks and playgrounds.

 

A survey undertaken in December 2006 of 2,400 NSW residents that found overwhelming support for smoking restrictions in the following areas:

 

·    92% support bans in children’s playgrounds

·    85% support bans outside workplace doors/entrances

·    80% support bans in sports stadiums

·    69% support bans in outdoor eating areas

·    In addition, 65% say they avoid places where they may be exposed to other people smoke

 

 


 

 

 

 

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The City In Its Environment

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

3        Environmental and Health impact of Solid Fuel Heaters

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

The City in its Environment

 

 

The City in its Environment

 

 

3

Environmental and Health impact of Solid Fuel Heaters   

 

Compiled by:                Adrian Estreich, Senior Environmental Health Officer

Authorised by:             Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager  

Requested By:             Councillor Jackie Greenow

Councillor Greg Davies

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Effective land use management policies, regulatory practices and controls are being implemented to protect the environment.

Critical Action: In partnership with others, develop and implement strategies to improve regional air quality.

     

Purpose:

To provide an overview of the environmental and health impacts of solid fuel heaters and strategies for minimising their impacts . The report recommends restrictions on the use of solid fuel heaters in Urban areas be incorporated in the new Local plan and Development Control Plan and that a Local Approvals Policy also be prepared.

 

Background

Smoke from solid fuel heaters is a major cause of air pollution. On a cold weekend, solid fuel heater smoke can contribute up to 58% of particulate pollution in the Sydney basin. The fine particles in wood smoke also contribute to the brown haze visible on still winter mornings.

 

Smoke from solid fuel heaters contains a number of pollutants including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, a range of organic compounds and fine particles. These types of pollutants can cause breathing difficulties, especially for people suffering existing respiratory conditions, such as asthmatics, very young children and frail older people.

 

Several studies and reports have been produced over recent years which outline the impacts solid fuel heaters have on public health and the environment. New South Wales Parliament Legislative Council recently released a report on Sydney’s air quality entitled “Health impacts of air pollution in the Sydney basin”. The report estimated that air pollution causes between 643 – 1,446 deaths annually, with an estimated cost to the health system of between $706 million and $5,994 million per annum. The report also provided forty-five recommendations, which include the establishment of a subsidy scheme within Sydney for the voluntary replacement of existing and solid wood heaters.

 

The predominant pollutant from solid fuel heaters is particulate matter. Apart from extreme events such as bushfires, moderate concentrations of particulate pollution are observed on occasions. These events generally occur during the cooler months of the year with the highest concentrations observed during the early evening and early morning. These conditions are conducive to the development of temperature inversions and air drainage flows which can result in the trapping of pollutants close to the surface. Under these conditions, maximum particle concentrations tend to be related to emissions from morning and evening traffic peak hours and to emissions from domestic wood heating. Areas where topography promotes the development of inversions and local drainage flows, such as the Penrith Local Government Area, are particularly prone to elevated concentrations of particles. In addition to the air quality issues associated with the use of solid fuel heaters, the smoke generated can also create a nuisance factor amongst adjoining neighbours.

 

In 1998 national standards for particulate matter (PM10) were adopted as part of the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality (NEPM). The NEPM outlined a goal that by 2008 particulate pollution levels could only exceed the national standard on no more then 5 days a year. The Department of Environment and Climate Change have identified that at current pollution levels NSW will fail to meet the 2008 goal.

 

The Department of Environment and Climate Change have embarked on a review of the State’s Action for Air Policy. This review process identified the reduction of particulate pollution as a major challenge. To ensure the State meets the National Standards by 2008 several initiatives need to be introduced to reduce the levels of particulate pollution.

Local Air Improvement Project

In the past Penrith City Council has been proactive in dealing with pollution caused by wood heaters. In 2001 Penrith City Council and Holroyd City Council conducted a project on domestic wood heaters as part of the NSW Environment Protection Authorities Local Air Improvement Program. The project focused it’s studies in two pilot areas, Wallacia and Greystanes.

 

The aim of the project was to promote awareness and educate the community within the study areas.  Various initiatives were undertaken as part of this program, including: one on one consultations with solid fuel heater owners; education and consultation with retailers and wood suppliers, wood smoke awareness competitions at Wallacia Public School and the development of several education resources such as working solid fuel heater models and information posters on wood smoke pollution and better practices for operating domestic wood heaters.

 

Overall the project concluded that there appears to be an increase in awareness in the community of wood smoke pollution and better operating practices for wood heaters. The project also concluded that future monitoring and possibly auditing of domestic wood heaters is required to gain a more direct approach in improving wood heater use.

Operation of Wood Heaters

A study commissioned by the Department of Environment and Conservation in 2003 investigated possible regulatory measures for improving the operation of solid fuel heaters. The study produced a number of findings including an important insight into how people operate their solid fuel heaters and how this affects the amount of smoke, and therefore pollution, produced by the heaters. The key findings from this study included:

1.   Two thirds of heaters in the households surveyed were more then 10 years old and unlikely to meet current emissions standards. Half the heaters were 15 years older or more

2.   Approximately half the households collected their own firewood. In Sydney suburban areas, most households collecting their own wood did so through scavenging in their neighbourhood

3.   Forty-five percent of heaters produced more smoke than was necessary when operated by the householder

4.   Correct heater operation in a well maintained heater meant visible smoke reduced to a heat haze or faint smoke within 10 minutes of lighting or refueling

5.   Increased visible smoke and extended duration of smoke could be explained by poor operation, poor heater maintenance, faulty heater or installation or wet wood

As a result of this study, the State Government introduced new regulatory powers for Local Government to improve the operation of solid fuel heaters. In 2005 the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 was amended to include provisions to issue Smoke Abatement Notices to solid fuel heater owners who continue to operate the heater in a manner which produces excessive amounts of smokes.

 

Although the Act provides these new provisions, enforcement is difficult to achieve due to various factors including the time at which the wood heaters are being used and difficulty seeing the smoke in poor light conditions.

 

As previously outlined, Council Officers have traditionally relied on educating wood heater operators to reduce the smoke produced by a wood heater. In the past Council Officer’s have provide education brochures to wood heater operators, placed media releases in the local papers and provided information on Council’s website. It is very difficult however to determine the long term success of this approach as we continue to receive a significant number of complaints each winter.

Strategies to deal with Solid Fuel Heaters

Several initiatives are required to minimising the impacts from solid fuel heaters, these include limiting the installation of new solid fuel heaters and managing the existing heaters through education and compliance.

 

Investigations into initiatives from other Council’s have outlined that provisions can be placed within Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) and appropriate Development Control Plan (DCP) to discourage or limit the installation of such heaters and encourage the use of more environmentally friendly heating alternatives. Although several Council’s have prohibited the use of wood heaters through their respective development control plans, advice from Council’s Legal Services Department has advised such an activity can not be legally prohibited through a LEP or DCP. However these Plans can strongly discourage or limit the use of solid fuel heaters and it is recommended that appropriately worded provisions are placed into Council’s Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan as they are revised.

 

The most effective method of controlling the installation and use of solid fuel heaters within the Penrith Local Government Area is to develop a Local Solid Fuel Heater Policy. The Policy can be developed under section 158 of the Local Government Act 1993 and can provide the following functions:

·    Enable Council to develop certain criteria required to be met prior to approval being granted for a solid fuel heater. This could include details such as minimum buffer distances to other dwellings and requirements to meet appropriate Australian Standards

·    Outline the process for obtaining approval if all criteria are met

·    Provide the operational and performance requirements for solid fuel heaters

·    Identify targeted education indicatives for users of solid fuel heaters, those who are affected by excessive smoke, retailers and wood suppliers

·    Outline a tiered approach to enforcement that can be used by Council when other initiatives such as education fail

A Local Solid Fuel Heater Policy would form part of an overall Local Air Quality Management Plan. This Plan will provide objectives on issues such as solid fuel heaters, open burning, vegetation and land use planning as well as providing links to Council’s existing Greenhouse Strategy and Carbon Neutral Plan.  A Local Air Quality Management Plan is currently under development and is expected to be reported to Council by the end of the year. 

 

A motion to the Local Government Association Conference was adopted at the last Ordinary Meeting of Council, which recommends that the State Government develop legislation that prohibits the installation and use of solid fuel heaters within the Sydney Metropolitan Area and other Urban Centres in conjunction with a buy back scheme for such heaters.

Conclusion

Our knowledge and the evidence of the environmental and health impacts associated with solid fuel heaters continues to increase each year. No matter how well these heaters are designed, if they are poorly operated and located inappropriately they can have a significant impact on neighbours. Studies have also shown that they continue to have a significant impact on Sydney’s overall air quality each winter. Strategies suggested in this report provide a proactive approach to reducing the impact of these heaters, particularly in the urban areas of the City. These strategies will also help to improve air quality in the broader region over time.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on the Environmental and Health impact of Solid Fuel Heaters be received

2.     A Local Solid Fuel Heater Approvals Policy under the Local Government Act be prepared in conjunction with the Local Air Quality Management Plan currently under development.

3.     Provisions to restrict the use of solid fuel heaters in urban areas of the City be considered for inclusion in the Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


 

 

The City as an Economy

 

 

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The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

There were no reports under this Master Program when the Business Paper was compiled


 

 

 

 

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Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

4        Presentations to recognise staff with long service

 

5        Service Adjustment - Building Approvals

 

6        Service Specification Program 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

4

Presentations to recognise staff with long service   

 

Compiled by:                Danielle Welsh, Personnel Services Manager

Authorised by:             Linden Barnett, Workforce Development Manager

Alan Stoneham, Director - City Strategy   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council’s workforce is appropriately planned and skilled and Council is an attractive employment choice for talented people.

Critical Action: Policies, procedures and practices are developed to make Council a leading employer in the region.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council of a review of existing Council policies on recognising staff with long service and to recommend appropriate changes to current practice to be captured in a Workforce Development Policy.

 

Background

In 1990, Council introduced two policies that recognised staff with 25 years or more service upon retirement and staff still employed with Council who achieve 30 years service or more.

 

Under these policies, staff are invited to attend a Council meeting where they are presented with a gift. A report on the individual is included in the business paper for the evening, and a Mayoral Minute is read. The individual and their immediate family are also invited to join the Council for dinner.  Members of the public and press are also present at these meetings. 

 

It is recommended that these Council policies be reviewed to reflect contemporary practice.

 

It is necessary to replace the existing Council policies with a policy to be included in Council’s Workforce Development Policy Manual.  A resolution by Council to this effect will be required to effect this change. 

Current Situation

The current approach to recognising the service of staff is very public and formal.  Not all staff are comfortable with the high, public profile of the current ceremony, with some long serving staff declining the offer to be the subject of a presentation.  Given the circumstances it was considered timely to review the effectiveness of the policy.

 

In particular, it is considered appropriate to reduce the length of service to 20 years thereby more appropriately addressing the following issues:

 

·    Female staff are often unable to meet the current criteria as many women break their employment to raise their families, re-entering the workforce at a later stage in their lives.  By changing the criterion for recognition, from 25 years to 20 years, 121 staff become eligible in 2008, 41 females and 80 males.  If the criteria remained at 25 years, a total of 58 staff would be eligible to be recognised with the number of women dropping dramatically to only 11. 

·    25 – 30 years represents the majority of a person’s working life.  Times have changed and there will be fewer people in the future willing to spend the majority of their working lives with one employer. 

Proposed means of recognising long service – “Evening of Celebration”

Organisations rely upon their core group of long serving employees for stability and depth of corporate knowledge.  It is recommended that the practice of recognising their commitment and steady influence is continued by holding an all-encompassing staff recognition ceremony.

 

The combining of staff recognition ceremonies into one (including long service presentations), in the form of an “Evening of Celebration” will incorporate:

 

·    employees completing 12 month or 2 year Traineeships;

·    employees completing Tertiary Education or Accredited Courses through Council’s Education Assistance Program;

·    recognition of long servicing employees reaching 20 years of service.

 

It would be an evening celebrating all aspects of contribution by the workforce to the organisation.  The Mayor and General Manager would play a significant role in the “Evening of Celebration”.

 

In recognition of the stability long serving staff display in an organisation, it is also recommended that staff that achieve 10 and 15 years of service will be recognised by way of a letter and a certificate. 

Conclusion

In conclusion it is recommended that the criteria for recognising long service be reduced from 25 and 30 years to 20 years.  The achievement of this service milestone will be recognised at an annual “Evening of Celebration”.   This will be documented in a policy for inclusion in Council’s Workforce Development Policy Manual replacing two existing Council policies on this subject.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on recognising staff with long service be received

2.     Existing Council policies on recognising long serving staff be repealed

3.     The criteria for recognising long service be reduced from 25 and 30 years to 20 years, and that the achievement of this service milestone be recognised at an annual “Evening of Celebration”

4.     This information be documented in a Policy for inclusion in Council’s Workforce Development Policy Manual. 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

5

Service Adjustment - Building Approvals   

 

Compiled by:                Steve Barratt, Building Approvals Unit Co-ordinator

Authorised by:             Paul Lemm, Development Services Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Services and programs that Council provides are determined based on equity, customer requirements, community benefits and best value.

Critical Action: All services are provided to adopted service levels.

     

Purpose:

To report on a review of Council's Service Adjustment - Building Approvals and propose changes to the service in response to findings of this review that include improvements to the service and consideration of alternative delivery models. The report recommends changes to the Building Approvals Unit to improve the service provided.

 

Introduction

The functions of the Building Approvals Unit are detailed in the Development Assessment and Building Approvals Service Specifications. These functions include the following activities:

 

·    Assessment of minor DAs

·    Issuing Complying Development Construction Certificates (CDCs and CCs) that permit the construction of buildings

·    Acting as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

·    Providing building regulatory advice to internal and external customers regarding proposed developments

·    Compliance Audits of approvals for constructed buildings, registration of annual Fire Safety Statements, approvals and inspections of places of public entertainment and investigation of Fire Safety complaints.

·    Providing technical support to the Disability Access Committee.

·    Undertaking enforcement action as required

Background

A major overhaul of the legislation that governs the approval system was commenced in 1998.  Since then Council has endeavoured to provide a consistent, high quality service in an environment that has experienced constant change.  Some of these changes have included refinements to legislation and policies while others have been new initiatives driven by reviews, introduction of new systems that respond to an increasingly complex assessment process and a changing workforce.

 

The introduction of private certification to the approvals system sought to introduce choice and encouraged competition from the private sector.  Its focus was to enable councils to withdraw from its involvement in detailed assessment of minor developments, so that they could concentrate on more strategic activities. Council’s experience has been that the opposite has occurred. The private sector has pursued and gained a sizeable market share of major developments in the construction phase such as the expansion of the Penrith Plaza and the large industrial buildings in the Erskine Park Employment area. Council has retained a large proportion of minor residential developments which has negative implications such as attracting less financial return while at the same time providing less career development for staff.

 

The privatisation of the building certification system has not delivered the anticipated shift in work blend between the private and public sectors.  It has also has created difficulties in maintaining a highly skilled sustainable workforce as senior staff are attracted to the private sector to work on larger and more challenging projects.

 

In 2003 a major review of the Development Assessment Service was undertaken.  While the review identified additional resourcing to implement improvements to that service, the recommended resourcing for Building Approvals service were not adopted.  This was due to an expected downturn in workload in anticipation of the adoption of recommendations of a State Government Taskforce in October 2003.  It was projected that 70% of Council’s minor development applications (DAs) would be lost to the private sector.  It was therefore decided that Council’s resources should be redirected to a broader planning focus in anticipation of the loss of workload for minor DAs. The recommendations were not adopted and therefore the reduction in work did not occur. In fact the workload increased due to a greater role in enforcement activities and formulating responses to new initiatives such as the incorporation of energy efficient measures into buildings.

 

Responses to some of the changes have been implemented to the existing service that has for many years been well regarded.  Given Council’s regional status and the next phase of the Service Specification process it is now opportune to examine how this service is placed to meet these new challenges and capitalise on new opportunities in the business environment.  A broader review of the service is required, to comprehensively analyse a range of options available to respond to future demand and opportunities.

Objectives of the Review

The objectives of the review were to:

 

·    Benchmark the workload and resourcing of the service to that of similar Councils

·    Analyse Service Specifications to determine performance in terms of key performance indicators (KPIs), cost, quality parameters, risk exposure, financial considerations and stakeholder expectations

·    Identify existing requirements and future trends that impact on service delivery including land supply for residential developments, mandatory building inspections, economic conditions, workforce changes and future initiatives such as impacts from private certifications and accreditation of Council assessment and inspection staff

·    Identify and quantify funding sources and other financial considerations

·    Identify and recommend service delivery options including the establishment of a Certification Unit for contestable services

 

The review therefore involved the collection of data and comments from a number of sources.

Findings

The review identified that there is a need to improve the service particularly in regard to customer service, attracting and retaining experienced staff and managing the approval process.  The service is currently satisfying the Management Plan KPIs, however, Council’s customers expect more.  They want regular, accurate and meaningful communication about the assessment progress and determination of DAs and CCs.  There is a need to simplify the process and to deploy senior staff to the initial assessment stages of the process to significantly improve service delivery. 

 

Council’s systems and procedures must be comprehensive, integrated and contemporary to facilitate an efficient approvals system that delivers quality developments.  These improvements include electronic DA and information management systems, audits of processes and the City Wide review of planning policies.  Improvements are currently being introduced to the systems and procedures however, this has not been completed.

 

The success of the service delivery is highly dependent on the skills and knowledge of the workforce and the adequacy of supporting resources.  High workloads and limited roles in assessing minor residential proposals create challenges in attracting new and experienced staff.

 

The expansion and enhancement of activities such as providing the inspection service beyond Monday to Friday, expanding the fire safety program and preparing energy efficiency and sustainability reports for developments, adds value to the approval service that the legislation demands Council provide.  Promotion of the full range of activities enables Council to increase the market share of regulatory services.  These initiatives will facilitate more efficient services as Council becomes a “one stop shop” and also attracts additional revenue to offset unfunded regulatory responsibilities such as complaint resolution.

 

Compliance and enforcement roles have increased in volume, complexity and expectations. Adequate resourcing is required to satisfy Council’s legal responsibilities and to reduce the risk of litigation and criticism from customers, the community and other agencies.

Improvement Options

Short, medium improvement options were identified.  The changes to implement these are presented below:

 

Timeframe for Implementation of Changes

 

Recommended Changes

Short Term (within 6 months)

Medium Term  (within 12 months)

Pre-lodgement

 

 

Enhancing and encouraging concept plans and written submissions for clarification / non compliance issues before DAs are submitted

è

 

Explore reasons why complying development certificates are under utilised and recommend changes to address this

 

è

Encourage use of fast track complying development certificates applications (Review Exempt & Complying DCP)

 

è

Expand DA “clearing house” model to include CCs

è

 

Establishing preliminary assessment panel

 

è

Customer Service

 

 

Develop information sheets to clearly guide applicants through approvals process

 

è

Review information provided on web site and increase where appropriate

 

è

Make early customer contact so that applicants are informed of assessment officer, progress of the application and any additional information required

è

 

Review fees and charges to ensure that they are equitable and cover costs of service enhancements

 

è

Develop and implement an improved customer contact strategy

 

è

Audit service and survey customers

 

è

Introduce an option for electronic lodgement of DAs & CCs

 

è

 

Assessment

 

 

Restructure the Unit so that it aligns with Council’s statutory obligations

 

è

Streamline assessment and determination process

è

 

Adopt a common set of housing standards that are clear and understandable

 

è

Determination

 

 

Audit approvals and peer review determinations

 

è

Review the efficiency of the delivery of advice to applicants to address claims that this stage of the process is too slow

è

 

Certification Activities

 

 

Extend the hours and days that inspection service is available

 

è

Provide feedback on the quality of developments being delivered and the adequacy of Council’s policies and approvals in achieving the outcomes expected

 

è

Expansion of Fire Safety Program

è

è

Other Changes

 

 

Undertake Audits to determine adequacy of fire safety provisions in buildings

 

è

Service Models

The review identified three principal service delivery models.  The main features of these are:

 

1.   Maintenance of the existing model resulting in no significant changes to the traditional functions of the unit being implemented. Future changes would be based on individual responses to single issues

 

2.   A “modified model” would implement the proposed improvements to the service identified in the review by modifying the existing model.  The changes would include a restructure of the unit into approval and regulatory teams. The existing management and workforce employment arrangements would not be changed. The improved service level would require adjustments to resources.

 

3.   A “Certification Unit model” would provide greater competition to private certifiers by adopting flexible workplace arrangements, increasing the autonomy of the unit and changing the focus to be more business orientated. It is based on contracts for service delivery by the unit.  These contracts provide financial incentives for staff where nominated performance indicators are exceeded.

 

To implement the “Certification Unit model”, a large number of issues must be addressed.

 

Some of the issues include:

 

·      Defining the role, responsibilities and significant milestones for the new unit and expressing these in contractual arrangements.

·      Identifying establishment and transitional arrangements for customers under the current system and the new business dominated arrangements.

·      Development of enterprise bargaining agreements that are based on defined measurable performance outcomes and variable rewards to recognise new performance targets.

·      Changes to financial arrangements such as budgets and profit distribution.

·      Allocation of responsibility for infrastructure such as office space, administrative support, human relations, legal and IT needs, vehicles, records systems.

·      Adoption of procedures recognising the autonomy of management of unit and changes to the reporting lines, i.e., the management/control relationship between the unit and Council.

·      Set-up arrangements, especially financial support.

·      Separation of contestable and non-contestable services between Council and the “Certification Unit”.

·      Limitations of the functions of the unit as a result of the potential for conflicts of interests, such as the inability to investigate claims of an inadequate service provided by a private certifier when the unit is in direct competition with those certifiers.

·      Profitability and promotional strategies to secure a greater market share.

·      Accreditation requirements and individual responsibilities of EHBS.

·      Delegation and decision making process.

 

The establishment of a “Certification Unit” would provide a number of benefits, but these would only be delivered after many changes are made to set-up of the Department. This would initially impose costs both in terms of financial set-up requirements and staff time.  Also, in order to determine the feasibility of a “Certification Unit” and the worth of commencing structural and cultural change to deliver this model, the services of a recognised business consultant should be secured. The consultant needs to be engaged prior to any decision to fully commit to adoption of this model.

 

The review report recommends a staged introduction of reforms to the unit. The first stage is to adopt the “modified model” and restructure the unit. The success of this restructure will be reassessed as part of the implementation process.

Benefits

The changes that result from the implementation of the “modified model”:

 

·    Will be to improve the current service and provide a reliable base on which to build

·    An enhanced service that can be used as a stepping stone to the establishment of a “Certification Unit”.  Both models increase the ability to market a more competitive service

·    Improved career paths and professional development of staff

·    A more consistent quality of service on offer

·    Greater focus on the early determination of applications, recording of decisions and increased guidance to junior staff

·    Better allocation of work to staff with appropriate levels of expertise

·    Improved communication by producing information sheets, providing additional advice and application forms on Council’s website and embedding customer service checkpoints in approval manuals

·    More audits of applications to reduce Council’s exposure to complaints and litigation

·    Expansion and increased promotion of services

·    A more simplified approval process for minor DAs and support of the fast track approval system by improving exempt and complying provisions

·    An increase in job satisfaction

·    A response to Council’s regional status

·    Programs that respond to regulatory reforms in a proactive manner

·    Better management of Compliance responsibilities resulting from a conflict resolution process that is both proactive and more effectively allocates resources.

Implementation considerations

Previously, initiatives to improve the efficiency of the service have been implemented.  These include a reallocation of geographical areas to better balance workload, combining approval, inspection and enforcement roles of officers and transferring less complicated matters to Trainee Environmental Health & Building Surveyors. While these changes have delivered improvements to the service, more substantial changes are needed. The review demonstrated that additional resourcing is required to implement the full extent of proposed service improvements. 

 

There is no ability to further absorb additional activities with the current resources. 

 

The review demonstrated that there is a current need for an additional 2 Environmental Health and Building Surveyor (EHBS).  Funding for these positions is available. 

 

It is proposed that one EHBS be appointed in 2007-08 and an additional EHBS be appointed in 2008-09.

 

The funding for the proposed changes is dependent on the appointment of compliance officers to address the increase in workload from the expansion of the existing fire safety program. Council’s current Management Plan includes funding to appoint a Compliance Officer. Due to the on-going expansion of the Fire Safety Program and the consequent increase in workload, it is anticipated that an additional Compliance Officer will be required in 2009-10 i.e. it is anticipated that 2 Compliance Officers will be needed by 2009-10.

 

Implementation of the modified service model requires the upgrade of a Team Leaders position into a Co-ordinator. The staff changes to implement the service improvement programme are detailed in the following table.

 

Year

2006-07 (Now)

2007-08

2008-09 1

2009-10 1

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Numbers (FTE)

17.2

+ 1 Env H&B Surveyor

+ 1 Compliance Officer

+ 1 Env H&B Surveyor

 

+ 1 Compliance

Officer

Total FTE

17.2

19.2

20.2

21.2

 

Note: 1 These positions will be filled earlier if workload identifies the need to do so.

 

Office accommodation for additional staff will be provided by rationalising existing use of workstations by Council staff and other opportunities such as expansion of the use of the St Marys office.

Funding Sources

The review has identified a number of potential funding sources. These are:

 

·    Expansion of fire safety services:  Revenue is currently collected from the registration of properties required to submit annual fire safety statements.  Currently there are approximately 800 properties on the database.  A review of Council’s rates database revealed that there are approximately 3,000 properties that should be registered.  Expansion of this program to capture all relevant properties on the annual certification program and a modification to the procedures will significantly increase revenue. The predicted income is based on increases in fees and enforcement activities and an analysis of income received by Blue Mountains Council for their fire safety program. 

·    BASIX compliance:  Additional fees have been adopted for DAs & CCs to cover new responsibilities to ensure that the certificates that are submitted with applications are accurate and commitments are included on the plans.  This is a role that is likely to expand in the future. The new fee has been applied to the predicted DA activity in the 2007-08 budget to determine the anticipated income. To ensure that the predictions are conservative the initial income in 2007-08 has not been increased over the period of this review.

·    Pre-lodgement:  a new pre-lodgement service for developments in Twin Creeks is funded by fees negotiated with the developer.  Fees are also collected for additional drainage inspections undertaken in this subdivision.  Future master planned subdivisions are likely to need a similar pre-lodgement service.  As DAs for this subdivision increase and other developers recognise the benefits of pre-lodgement services for dwellings, the income from these activities is likely to increase substantially. The funding predictions are based on the 2007-08 budget estimates and an assumption that the development in Twin Creeks will not diminish over the review period.

 

The following tables provide details of the projected financial impacts of implementation of the “modified model” based on 2005 development activity

 

Review Projections

 

Additional Income

 

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Safety (Licence Renewals and Applications)

$74,000

+$127,520

+$188,600

+$255,700

+$253,300

Annual Increase →

 

+$127,520

+$61,080

+$37,100

+$27,600

BASIX

 

+$33,480

+$33,480

+$33,480

+$33,480

Annual Increase →

 

+$33,480

+$0

+$0

+$0

Pre-Lodgement

 

+$3,160

+$3,160

+$3,160

+$3,160

Annual Increase →

 

+$3,160

+$0

+$0

+$0

Additional Income (Cumulative)

 

+$164,160

+$225,240

+$262,340

+$289,940

 

Staff costs

 

Cost Item

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Vehicles

+$170,414

+$239,815

+$270,465

+$268,985

 

It is anticipated that in 2007-08 the cost of implementing the proposed changes will exceed the revenue by $6,254. By 2010-11 this position will be reversed with revenue exceeding expenditure by $20,955 as outlined below:

 

Year

Revenue

$

Expenditure $

Difference $

 

 

 

 

2007-08

164,160

170,414

(6,254)

2008-09

225,240

239,815

(14,575)

2009-10

262,340

270,465

(8,125)

2010-11

289,940

268,985

20,955

Assessment of Proposals

The Financial Services Manager has verified that the financial estimates and assumption used in the review are correct. Corporate Development officers have examined the review methodology to ensure that the approach was consistent with a comprehensive, well researched service level adjustment.

 

The proposals were reported to the Development Regulation Working Party on 16 July 2007 and the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) on 23 July 2007. The feedback received from the Working Party and the JCC concluded that the staffing recommendations were supported to lift productivity, provide improved service delivery and to establish career development within the Department. Common to both the Working Party and JCC was the view that the additional resources should be provided as soon as possible, in order to bring about immediate service improvements. The Working Party was supportive of the establishment of “Contestable Service Unit” and identified scope for this to be developed recognising the anticipated growth of the City.

 

In response to both the Working Party and the JCC comments, the review proposes to implement the additional resources that have been identified in stages based on projected income. Should the level of development activity grow beyond what has been used as the basis for the review then those additional positions would be implemented sooner. The “Contestable Service Unit” is a longer term option for the department and requires more investigation and analyse about how such a unit would be formalised with respect to tenure of staff, insurance, performance appraisal, remuneration and equity amongst staff.

Conclusion

The current system has provided a well regarded level of service, however, this review has identified that future levels of service expected by the stakeholders is unlikely to be delivered unless changes are implemented.  These changes will demand resources both for system enhancements and the maintenance of staffing levels so that the required service is consistently delivered. The alternative is to withdraw from the service by raising fees and directing services to other activities.  This strategy depends on private certifiers filling the void created by the withdrawal of services.  Private certifiers have increasingly shown a reluctance to increase their involvement in minor residential developments.  Further, Council is required by legislation to provide the service and to ensure that requirements of approvals are enforced both by its own staff and by private certifiers.

 

The Percy Allan report that examined the sustainability of Local Government found that a majority of rate payers did not want a reduction in services and were willing to pay for service enhancements.  Comments made by customers surveyed as part of the service review of the building approvals supported these views.

 

The analysis of the service review demonstrates that the proposed changes do impose some additional costs for the service in the short term. The analysis also demonstrated that by 2010-11 a surplus of almost $21,000 could be achieved and maintained into future years.

 

The service review proposes that the “modified service delivery model” be adopted as the most appropriate means of implementing the identified changes.  Subject to future reviews and approval, the service delivery model could be further enhanced based on the circumstances applying at that time.

 

This review supports the need for a change management program to be implemented.  It has clearly demonstrated that there is a pressing need for these changes to ensure that a contemporary, competitive service expected of a leading edge, major, regional organisation is delivered.  If Council chooses to not adopt this program, it is likely that the current system will increasingly fail to meet adopted performance criteria and not satisfy reasonable customer expectations of a contemporary service.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Service Adjustment - Building Approvals be received

2.     The service and system improvements identified in this report be implemented and reviewed on a progressive basis

3.     An additional Environmental Health and Building Surveyor (EHBS) be appointment in 2007-08 and an Senior EHBS position be upgraded to a Co-ordiantors level and the departmental budgets be adjusted accordingly

4.     The appointment of an additional EHBS in 2008-09 or earlier if development activity identifies the need for an earlier appointment.

5.     A new Compliance officer be appointed in 2009-10 or earlier if the Fire Safety Program identifies the need for an earlier appointment

6.     A Review of the service be undertaken within 12 months of implementation of the modified model. The review will analyse the benefits and costs of the continuation of the “modified model” and compare these to those of a “Certification “Unit”

7.     Prior to establishment of a “Certification Unit”, a consultant be engaged to prepare a report detailing an implementation strategy for the Unit. A future report detailing the terms of reference and costs of the consultant shall be prepared and approval granted prior to appointment of a consultant

8.     Feedback be sought from stakeholders in conjunction with any of the changes

9.     A copy of the review report be circulated to participating organisations.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

6

Service Specification Program   

 

Compiled by:                Michael Rudd, Services Development Officer

Authorised by:             Ross Kingsley, Corporate Development Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Services and programs that Council provides are determined based on equity, customer requirements, community benefits and best value.

Critical Action: All services are provided to adopted service levels.

     

Purpose:

To provide Council with the draft Corporate Development Service and the Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service Specifications  (Corporate Development Manager) for consideration.  The report recommends that these services be adopted.

Given the size of these documents, copies have been provided separately to Councillors. Additional copies of  these documents can be obtained on request.

 

Background

Council established the Service Specification Program in 2002-03 in order to:

1.       Comprehensively analyse and document all services and the present level of service provided (stage 1 of the Program)

2.       Enable Council in a fully informed manner to review and where appropriate adjust service levels to better meet the needs of the community and align to Council’s strategy (stage 2).

 

Documentation of Council’s external and internal services began four years ago, with significant benefits to the efficient and effective management of the organisation. To date, 55 consolidated Service Specifications have been formally adopted, with two additional specifications presented tonight for Council’s consideration. A further body of specifications will be progressively reported to Council, in coming months, in order to complete the stage 1 program within the current year.

 

Council has approved the inclusion of key information from the service specifications, including a profile and budget of each service, in its 2007-08 Management Plan.

 

Stage 2 of the program, Review and Adjustment of Service Levels, has already been undertaken by Council in selected key areas.  Important decisions have been taken by Council, flowing on from these reviews, which have been reflected in Management Plans since 2005-2006. 

 

A more comprehensive review of all service levels has now commenced, with the initial results being brought to Council in the context of the 2007-08 Management Plan and budget development. The service review process also identifies areas of service improvement which should be made within existing means and a range of such improvements has been included in the 2007-08 Management Plan.

Assessment of Draft Service Specification

Prior to their reporting to Council, all draft specifications undergo a rigorous process of validation and assessment, leading to approval by the Corporate Management Team. The aim is to ensure that each specification accurately communicates the existing levels of service and activities that the service provides, in terms of quantity, quality and cost to Council.  Once adopted by Council, this specification will be used as the basis for testing service performance and for service review, including any changes to services levels, calls for additional resourcing, or for changes in priority setting within an existing service.

Summary of Key Information

Service Specifications are very detailed documents. By policy, full documentation is provided, under separate cover, to all Councillors, and is available to the public on request.

As previously agreed, it is intended to make specifications for all services in Council’s 2007-08 Management Plan available for the public through Council’s website as linked documents. This approach is currently being developed.

To assist in Council’s consideration of the draft specification submitted tonight, an executive summary is provided as part of this report.

This summary contains:

1.       Service Description

2.       Link to Strategic Program

3.       Service Objectives

4.       Scope of Work

5.       Key Performance Indicators

6.       Service Funding

7.       Service Summary Chart.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on the Service Specification Program be received

2.     The specification for the Corporate Development service be adopted.

3.     The specification for the Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service be adopted.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Executive Summary Corporate Development Service

4 Pages

Appendix

2. View

Executive Summary Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service

4 Pages

Appendix

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Appendix 1 - Executive Summary Corporate Development Service

 

 

 

Appendix  1 Executive Summary Corporate Development Service


Summary of  the Corporate Development Service

1. Service Description

The Corporate Development Service is responsible for the coordination and management of Council's Strategic and Management Planning processes, Service Specifications, Customer and Strategic Research, Community Engagement and a structured program of continuous improvement. The Service provides mechanisms for reporting on Council's performance and coordinates service reviews with the view to ongoing organisational improvements.

2. Link to Strategic Program

Issue 29.
Leadership

TA 29.1 – A commonly shared long-term vision for the City underpins strategic collaboration and community engagement.

CA 29.1A  - Conduct a structured dialogue with the community around issues relating to the performance and management of the City.

CA 29.1B  - Prepare, implement and review Strategic Plans and processes.

Issue 30:   Governance

TA 30.4 – The organisation is managing its statutory requirements and the needs of a participatory community in a transparent and balanced way.

CA 30.4B -   Engage communities within the City more actively in addressing issues that affect them through enhanced community consultation processes.

Issue 31
Program Selection and Delivery

TA 31.1 – Services and programs that Council provides are determined based on equity, customer requirements, community benefits and best value.

CA 31.1A  - Appropriate services and programs are selected based on considerations of equity, best value, relevance and benefit to the community.

CA 31.1B  - All services are provided to adopted service levels.

CA 31.1C  - Deliver quality customer services, responsive to contemporary community expectations within available resources.

Issue 32:  
Providing Capacity

TA 32.1 – Council provides adequate resources to deliver its program and has introduced measures to increase its capacity.

CA 32.1A – Develop annual and longer-term resource plans aligned to the Strategic Program and service specifications.

Issue 33
Management of the Organisation

TA 33.1 -  Council’s operating culture is flexible, efficient, integrated and aligned to Council’s strategic objectives and program delivery.

CA 33.1A  - Undertake quality research and investigation that responds to and supports Council’s Strategic Plan and Program for the City.

 

 

CA 33.1B  - A structured program of continuous improvement, based on identifying and adopting leading practice, is operating across the organisation.

CA 33.1C  - Prepare, implement and review Management Plans and processes aligned to and consistent with Council’s Strategic Plan and Program.

CA 33.1D – Ensure the standard of financial, strategic, sustainability and performance reporting matches leading practice.

TA 33.3 -  The organisation embraces new technology, systems and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

CA 33.3A  - Develop and implement an agreed four year rolling program to enhance and integrate Council’s procedures, systems, technology and telecommunications aligned to Council’s Strategic Program and customer needs.

3. Service Objectives

§ A shared long term vision for the City is promoted through strategic collaboration and community engagement

§ Council’s program anticipates and responds to critical pressures and opportunities to provide benefit to the City

§ Council’s Strategic management framework supports the achievement of a sustainable City and is integrated throughout Council’s operations

§ The organisation's operating effectiveness is continually being improved

§ Appropriate services are selected, based on their relevance to Council's strategy, customer requirements and benefit to the Community

§ Effective delivery of services and projects is achieved

 

4. Scope of Work

 

Strategic Plan and Program Development and Review

·      Strategic Plan developed, adopted and published every four years.

·      Six monthly reporting of Strategic Program progress.

·      Cluster Teams support and advice ( 7 teams )

·      Conduct regular information forums for the Councillors and public.

·      Community Engagement – maintain structured dialogue with the community.

·      Organisational alignment  - support management review and General Manager reporting to Council

·      Strategic Research Coordination

Management Plan Development and Review

·      Management plan developed, adopted and published annually

·      Project evaluation and relevant service/capacity review conducted annually

·      Quarterly Reviews documenting performance of the Management Plan

·      Reports provided monthly / as required to support performance review.

·      Outcome Manager system development and administration. (150+ users)

Organisational Development

·      Service Specification Program (65 Services)

·      Service Reviews Process coordination (all services)

·      Community Participation Policy & Manual (recent training 50+ management and staff)

·      Customer Research centred on Biennial City-wide survey.

·      Key Performance Indicators development and support (annually)

·      Corporate Development special projects

·      Procedures and Systems Team (PST) coordination (monthly)

·      Technology project bids managed and assessed (annually)

 

 

Key Performance Indicators / Service Levels

2005-06

Actuals

2006-07

Target

2007-08

Target

5. KPI’s

Key Performance Indicators

% of residents satisfied with the consultation with the community by Council (with medium to high rating in city-wide survey.

67.8%

70.3%

70%

Plans and Performance reviews are developed and adopted within agreed timeframes.

100%

100%

100%

 

 

 

 


6       Service Funding

 

The annual budget for the Corporate Development Service is $ 720,752  for 2007-08.

This amount includes all operating and consultancy costs and a full time equivalent (FTE) of 5.  This amount does not include capital costs unless otherwise noted.

 

Service

2007-2008
Budget

Employee costs

$  492,202

Operational costs

$  55,000

Vehicles

$    22,550

Software Contracts (OutcomeManager)

$    51,000

Customer and Strategic Research program

$    100,000

Net Cost of this Service

$  720,752

 

Service Component Costs

Service Elements

2007-2008 Budget

Management Planning

$  172,278

Strategic Planning

$  173,985

Organisational Development

$  199,489

Project Costs  eg: Customer Survey, Service Specification.

$  175,000

Net Cost of Service

$  720,752

 

7.      Service Summary Chart

 

 

 

 

 

[Detailed breakdown of activity level provided in Specification.]


Policy Review Committee Meeting

30 July 2007

Appendix 2 - Executive Summary Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service

 

 

 

Appendix 2 - Executive Summary Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service


Summary of The Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service

1. Service Description

The Sustainability Planning and Coordination Service in accordance with Council’s Charter and strategic objectives, develops strategies that deliver a range of programs that integrate sustainability into the planning, decision-making and operational activities of Council, to ensure the continual improvement of Council’s operating environment  and contribution to the long-term sustainability of the City.

 

Issue

Term Achievement

Critical Action

2. Link to Strategic Program

Issue 17:

Sustainable Resource Management

TA 17.1 – Water and energy conservation strategies are being implemented.

CA 17.1A – Develop and implement strategies that encourage water and energy conservation.

TA 17.3 – Council leads our City by example and through advocacy by implementing sustainability initiatives.

CA 17.3A- Demonstrate Council’s leadership through actions and advocacy in reducing the consumption of natural resources, including water, energy and fossil fuels

CA 17.3B- Promote sustainable production and consumption and sustainable procurement.

CA 17.3C- Develop and enhance collaborative partnerships with the City’s communities, organisations and business groups.

Issue 33:   Management of the Organisation

TA 33.1 – Council’s operating culture is flexible, efficient, integrated and aligned to Council’s strategic objectives and program delivery.

CA 33.1D – Ensure the standard of financial, strategic, sustainability and performance reporting matches leading practice.

Issue 33:

Management of the Organisation

TA 33.2 – The principles of sustainability are central to Council’s decision-making systems and processes and its operations.

CA 33.2A – Implement a program to mainstream sustainability within the organisation consistent with the recommendations of the Sustainable Penrith Action Plan and leading practice.

CA 33.2B – Develop sustainability measures against which Council’s strategic outcomes can be assessed.

3. Service Objectives

·    creating a sense of ownership that will encourage commitment to sustainability throughout the organisation’s culture

·    improving the connectivity of Council’s activities

·    enabling Council to respond effectively and efficiently to its legislative requirements

·    improving the coordination of Council’s information base, to facilitate the capture and management of data

·    guiding Council’s decision-making and daily activities within a sustainability framework

·    developing a framework for monitoring Council’s implementation of sustainability principles in its processes and activities

·    involving all sectors of the community and building partnerships.

Source: Sustainable Penrith Action Plan.

 

4. Scope of Work

 

Examples provided to illustrate this service from 2006-07 and 2007-08

 

 

1. Research

-     Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

-     Corporate Social Responsibility

-     Greening Events

 

2. Policy Development & Coordination

-     Sustainable Penrith Action Plan

-     Water Savings Action Plan

-     Water Way Plan

-     Energy Savings Action Plan

-     Carbon Neutral Plan

 

3. Integration and Management

-     Energy and Water Data Management System

-     TBL capacity building program

-     ESD criteria for community facilities

-     Backwash reuse at Penrith swimming pools

-     Energy Performance Contract ~ investigating expansion of current EPC

-     Sustainability Street programs and grants.

-     Organisational Sustainability Education Program

-     Urban sustainability Grant – irrigation of playing fields in Western Sydney

-     Revolving fund management.

-     Service Reviews – incorporation of Sustainability.

-     Sustainability:-

o  KPI’s

o  Indicators

o  Reporting.

 

5. Key
Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

Key Performance Indicators

2005-2006

2006 -2007

% of new and ongoing programs that recognise Penrith as a leader within the sustainability community.

85%

75%

% value of externally generated funding contributing to Council’s budget for sustainability projects.

8%

10%

% integration of sustainability into the planning, decision making and operational activities of Council.

75%

85%

 


6       Service Funding

 

The 2007 – 2008 budget for the Sustainability Planning & Coordination Service is $417,218.  This amount includes all operating costs.  This amount does not include capital costs unless otherwise noted. Detail for the Enhanced Environmental Program funded projects have been supplied in a separate table listed below.

 

Service

 2007-2008 Budget

Employee costs

$248,067

Materials and Contracts *

$156,401

Vehicle costs

   $12,750

Service Cost

 $ 417,218

Less other funding

 

Enhanced Environmental Program**

$352,644

Net Service Cost Total

$   64,574

 

This service is to be provided within this funding.  No additional funds will be provided unless authorised by a resolution of Council. Any amount unspent as at year ended 30th June 2008 will be returned to Council’s General Funds, except for any approved carry forwards (revotes) or grants with special conditions attached.

* Note: Materials and Contract costs of $156,401 includes the licensing fees for intellectual property rights and the use of associated materials, technical support and consultancy,
ie:: Sustainability Street, Green House Strategy initiatives etc.

 

** Note: Enhanced Environmental Program Funded Project Costs

 

Components

2007-2008 Budget

Sustainability Partnerships and Reporting

$ 25,000

Sustainability Education Program

$ 30,000

Greenhouse Strategy Initiatives

$ 30,000

Sustainability Street

$ 25,000

Sustainable Design Advisor

$ 15,000

Sustainability Programs and Research (mainly staffing of the Sustainability unit.)

$ 227,644

Total Allocation

$ 352,644

 

 

 

 

 

7.      Service Summary Chart