More detail of the new arrangements that will take over from the Improvement and Assurance Board in the autumn were discussed at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, July 28.
PCC chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner, explained: “What we are proposing is to establish a Corporate Improvement Board, chaired by the council leader, which will be held on a monthly basis to focus on certain areas and consider the progress of each individual improvement board.
“Underneath that, we are proposing a flexible system so that we can establish improvement boards as necessary from now on.
“If we identify a service area that needs particular attention, challenge and support, we will be able to set it up quickly within a consistent framework.”
“So,the initial four areas we are recommending here are, Social Services, it’s had significant attention over the past two years and we are aware there are still some things we need to complete.”
Dr Turner added that the the second improvement board is for education.
Boards will also be set up for Housing and Highways, Transport and Regeneration services.
“It’s about making sure about what we expect from the services and the funding is appropriate,” said Dr Turner.
The relevant portfolio holder will chair these boards.
Dr Turner added that there would be an overlap between the setting up of these new boards as the Improvement and Assurance Board winds up it’s work.
She expected the IAB chair, Jack Straw to give a “closure” report and fromally hand over to the internal arrangements..
Council leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris, (Llangynidr – Independent) said: “We’ve had meetings with the Welsh Government who seem very happy with our progress.
“I am very pleased with that I think it’s a credit to everybody who’s been involved from a number of different services.”
“We will need to continue to improve, we will always need to do that.
Finance portfolio holder Cllr Aled Davies, (Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant & Llansilin – Conservative added; “This is evidence that we made significant progress as a council, it’s been difficult and challenging at times, but we’ve come through it.”
The report was noted and approved.
The Improvement and Assurance Board was established in March 2018 to: “assist the leader in driving forward the required change and improvement in the local authority.”
It followed the highly critical report by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) into PCC’s Children’s Services which was published in October 2017.
Following the critical Estyn inspection in September 2019, the Education Service was added to the board’s remit.
The board is chaired independently by the former chief executive of Swansea Council, Jack Straw.
He advises the Welsh Government regularly on progress being made.
Last week Welsh Government minister for housing and local government, Julie James MS, approved the new arrangements.