Local Government Reform Act 2014

50.

Local authority service delivery plans

50. The Principal Act is amended by inserting the following section after section 134:

“134A.(1) In respect of the local financial year which follows the commencement of this section and in respect of every financial year thereafter, each local authority shall prepare in accordance with subsection (5) a plan (in this section and Part 3 of Schedule 14A referred to as a ‘service delivery plan’) identifying the services intended to be provided by it to the public.

(2) The service delivery plan of a local authority shall be consistent with the provisions in the local authority budget of the expenditure estimated to be necessary for the local authority to carry out its functions during the local financial year to which that plan relates.

(3) The service delivery plan of a local authority shall take account of best practice in service delivery (including, where appropriate in relation to the delivery of services, best practice having regard to performance of functions identified pursuant to section 126C(1) (c) ) and that plan shall include—

(a) a statement of the principal services that will either continue to be provided or will otherwise be provided by the local authority in respect of the local financial year to which the plan relates,

(b) the objectives and priorities for the delivery of each of the services to which paragraph (a) relates, and the strategies for achieving those objectives and priorities,

(c) the performance standards intended to be met in the delivery of services, including reference to each appropriate performance standard prescribed by the Minister,

(d) the manner in which the local authority proposes to assess its performance in respect of the delivery of services, including identification of the relevant indicators for the purposes of section 126C(1) (a) and the performance indicators and performance standards prescribed by the Minister under subsection (7) as are appropriate to each service in the service delivery plan, and

(e) such other matters as may be provided for by the Minister under subsection (7) or (8).

(4) In preparing its service delivery plan a local authority shall—

(a) take account of such policies and objectives in relation to any of its functional programmes that are set out in—

(i) any other plan, statement or strategy under the Local Government Acts 1925 to 2014,

(ii) any service level agreements, or

(iii) any other document prepared by it under this Act or any other enactment,

and in so preparing its plan the local authority shall comply with sections 69 and 71, and

(b) having regard to the outcome of any assessment carried out pursuant to subsection (6), indicate the actions proposed to be taken to meet any performance standard prescribed by the Minister under subsection (7) or as a result of a comparison with any relevant indicator identified by the National Oversight and Audit Commission or prescribed by the Minister under section 126C(1).

(5)(a) As soon as may be following the adoption of the local authority budget, the service delivery plan shall be—

(i) prepared, in consultation with the elected members, under the direction of the chief executive in such manner, and in accordance with the timescale and format as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister, and

(ii) considered by the elected members and be adopted by resolution, with or without amendment, within such time limit and in accordance with such conditions and requirements, as may be so prescribed.

(b) In making an amendment under paragraph (a) (ii), the elected members shall have regard to the local authority budget adopted in accordance with section 103(9).

(c) The adoption of the service delivery plan, with or without amendments, is a reserved function.

(6) A local authority shall include in its annual report an assessment of its delivery of services during the year concerned when compared with its service delivery plan for that year, including reference to those performance standards and performance indicators specified in regulations made under this section and such relevant indicators identified by the National Oversight and Audit Commission or prescribed by the Minister under section 126C(1) as are appropriate.

(7) (a) The Minister may make regulations for one or more of the following matters:

(i) performance standards against which the effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery of services may be measured, and performance indicators to facilitate the evaluation of the performance of the local authority;

(ii) the comparison of one local authority, or class of local authorities, to another local authority or class of local authorities, as the case may be, in the delivery of services, and as appropriate, against any performance standard specified;

(iii) such other matters as the Minister may consider appropriate in relation to the preparation of service delivery plans.

(b) Before making regulations under this subsection, the Minister shall consult with the National Oversight and Audit Commission, and with any other Minister of the Government in respect of services provided by a local authority for which that other Minister is responsible.

(c) Regulations made by the Minister under this subsection shall be without prejudice to relevant indicators specified by the National Oversight and Audit Commission or prescribed by the Minister under section 126C(1).

(8)(a) The Minister may issue guidelines in respect of—

(i) the content and preparation of service delivery plans,

(ii) publication of service delivery plans,

(iii) such other matters as the Minister may consider appropriate,

and each local authority shall have regard to such guidelines.

(b) Guidelines under this subsection may provide for a service delivery plan of a local authority to take account of and to reflect the principal activities of municipal district members within its administrative area and for necessary consultation for that purpose.”.