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South West Councils
South West Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership
Background to the South West Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (SW RIEP)
The South West Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership is designed to support local public services in the region to raise their game. Prime responsibility lies with individual authorities, but SW RIEP is based on the premise that with stronger support and a shared sense of purpose, determination and pride, individual authorities will achieve more.
SW RIEP grew out of a regional improvement event in December 2005 when the limitations of our pre-existing approach were recognised. Whilst the Regional Centre for Excellence was showing great promise on the procurement and efficiency agenda with some real successes under its belt, the South West Improvement Partnership had experienced some difficulty with its own role and governance arrangements given its then limited ability to influence the allocation of resources. There was confusion about the roles and benefits of regional agencies engaged on improvement and the overall picture looked inefficient and confusing. Elected Members had some influence on the strategic direction of the SW Centre of Excellence and the SW Improvement Partnership, but had limited opportunity to demonstrate strong political leadership at regional level. SW RIEP was created to address these issues and bring together for the first time the improvement and efficiency agendas.
Partners within SW RIEP include all 41 local authorities, the Region’s Fire and Rescue authorities, Regional Improvement agencies (GOSW, I&DeA, SWE, SW Councils) and the Regional Inspection agencies (Audit Commission, CSCI, CHC, OfSTED). All are committed to the SW RIEP partnership, its objectives, the challenging targets it sets for the region and the SW RIEP ambition which, relatively modestly for the next two years is "to provide better public services; to offer stronger leadership to local communities, and to build the South West's reputation as a relatively good regional performer".
SW RIEP reports through a Chief Executives Management Group to its Board, which is the SW Councils Business Committee. Senior Officers are also engaged in directing the work through the Challenge and Delivery Group
SW RIEP Chief Executives Management Group
See SW RIEP Chief Executives Management Group Membership
Central to achieving success, the Group has overall responsibility for developing the strategy and ensuring the programme delivers in line with the strategy.
Terms of reference for the SW RIEP Cheif Executives Management Group are to:
- Work with the SW Councils Business Committee to define and keep under review the strategic direction
- Ensure that resources are applied in line with the strategy, approving bids that are not delegated to the SW RIEP Challenge and Delivery Group
- Ensure that progress is made towards the strategy
- Ensure that high levels of understanding, awareness and participation, are secured across local authorities and fire/rescue authorities
- Resolve implementation issues at Chief Executive peer level
The SW RIEP Chief Executives Management Group includes representation from Chief Executives of County, Unitary Councils and four District Councils as well as Police and Fire and Rescue Service.
Elected Members are also represented on the Board by the overall member champion.
In addition the Board includes the following regional support agencies:
- NHS SW
The Chair of the Management Group also represents the Efficiency and Improvement Programmes at national level (for example, the Chief Executives Task Force meeting)
By bringing together council representation and the regional improvement agents a suitable platform is provided for the inclusive, integrated approach which can be developed further.
SW RIEP Challenge and Delivery Group
See SW RIEP Challenge and Delivery Group Membership
The Challenge and Delivery Group supports the SW RIEP Management Group.
The terms of reference for the SW RIEP Challenge and Delivery Group are to:
- Take decisions on bids and allocation of resources in line with agreed delegations
- Ensure that the strategy is implemented
- Manage the implementation of the delivery plan
- Co-ordinate effort across the authorities and ensuring synergy between the various elements of the programme
- Co-ordinate effort across the regional support agencies and ensure synergy
- Analyse specific bids and make recommendations to the Board
- Monitor progress and review specific projects, reporting on performance to the Board
- Capture and disseminate notable practice
- Develop a more co-ordinated communications approach to keep key stakeholders informed
- Review business plans of participating agencies to ensure that they support the strategy
Representation on the SW RIEP Challenge and Delivery Group consists of Local Authority representatives at Senior Executive or Director level in-line with the membership of the SW RIEP Management Group.
In addition the Group includes the following regional support agencies:
- South West Regional Secretariat – Chief Executive
- I&DeA – Regional Associate Director
- Regional inspection agencies – One representative
Working on the principle of inclusivity the Challenge and Delivery Group will welcome membership from any other group that shares SW RIEP objectives. It will link up the extensive regional network which is vital to delivery of the SW RIEP agenda. It will also link the region into national networks.
The Group will be chaired by a local authority officer.
For further information visit http://www.southwestiep.gov.uk/