Some of the issues Unite and the other Trade Unions should prioritise at Somerset County Council

Somerset’s Children’s Centre Services


Somerset County Council is inviting you to have a say on how Children’s Centre Services could operate in the future. The consultation is open to families with young children and anyone who works with or has an interest in Children Centre Services.

The public consultation is running until 28 October asking for views to help decide how and where services will operate in future. Currently a range of children’s services operate from 151 separate sites including 41 individual Children’s Centres. The Council is reviewing how Children’s Centre Services should be delivered in the future. It wants to provide a good service to communities whilst getting the best possible value for money, concentrating resources on those who most need them. The views from this consultation will help Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Members make a decision in November about future potential changes to Children’s Centre Services.

Learning Disability Services in Somerset


Ends: 09 Dec 2013

Have your Say!

At the moment Somerset County Council provides many of the services used by people with learning disabilities.  The Council also buys other services from independent organisations.  The County Council provides about half the accommodation services people with learning disabilities use, and most of the services such as day services, employment support and short breaks.  All the services provided directly by the Council are known as the Learning Disability Provider Service.

In February 2014 the Council will be making decisions about the best way to organise these services in the future.  This includes whether more services should be provided by organisations other than the Council.

Somerset County Council 

CABINET 11/09/2013

Update on Ofsted Inspection and Actions Plans for Improvement

This report provides a summary of the findings of the recent
Ofsted Inspection for Local Authority arrangements for the
protection of children (published 5th August 2013), plans to
improve services and progress to date

CABINET 08/07/2013

Future arrangements for the provision of services for schools

A review of services for schools has been undertaken, in the context of increasing academisation1 as well as changes to funding and in the role of the local authority in education. The review has been sponsored by schools and academies through
the Children and Young People’s Compact.

The review has considered a range of business and /management, professional and curriculum development and learner support services for schools and academies. The review has considered a number of service delivery models. The review has concluded that a multi-stage approach, potentially leading towards the development of an arms-length organisation would achieve the maximum benefit whilst minimising risk.

This report recommends progression to the Phase 2 of this project, to include a detailed cost/benefit analysis of in-house compared to arms-length provision, if arms-length then
establishing the most appropriate balance of control and determining the nature of the contractual relationship between an arms-length organisation and the Council.

CABINET 11/09/2013

Change Programme Update

The objective of the original Change Programme was to deliver strategic objectives of the County Plan by:
• Implementing changes to enable the Council to meet its financial targets
• Focussing resources on what the Council’s customers value most
• Enabling the Council’s customers to choose how they receive services
• Becoming expert commissioners of services and a great client
• Developing a mixed economy of service providers, growing the market through competition and continuing our commitment to partnership
• Delivering stronger local engagement
• Streamlining the way the Council works to release resources
• Creating the capacity to make an investment in assets and infrastructure to modernise the way we work
• Implementing a new Operating Model (changing the way we work) to meet forecast funding shortfall.

Whilst the approach to managing and planning change has altered, these principles remain the same and underpin the development of the refreshed Change Programme.


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