Decision details

Brighter Futures for Children Business Plan 2019-2021

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Director of Resources submitted a report to the Committee, in its capacity as sole member for Brighter Futures for Children Limited (BFfC/the company), seeking approval for the company’s Business Plan for 2019-2021.  The report also provided an overview of the arrangements provided for within the contract with BFfC for monitoring Children’s Services, and the progress with setting up these arrangements and contract implementation.  The following documents were attached to the report:


·         Appendix 1 – BFfC Business Plan 2019-2021

·         Appendix 2 – Current Contract KPIs

·         Appendix 3 - RBC/BFfC Contract Management Group Terms of Reference


The report noted that at the meeting of full Council on 16 October 2018 (Minute 29 refers), it had been agreed to transfer the delivery of the Council's children's services to a newly established, wholly owned subsidiary Company of the Council, Brighter Futures for Children Limited (BFfC).  The Service Delivery Contract and other relevant arrangements had been finalised to allow the transfer of Children’s Services (excluding Fostering) to BFfC on 1 December 2018, with Fostering subsequently transferred on 1 March 2019 following BFfC’s successful registration with Ofsted.


The report explained that the Council had 100% ownership of BFfC, which was run by a senior management team reporting to the Company board of directors.  In turn the Board reported to the Council, with Policy Committee acting as the sole member/owner.  Under the Company’s Articles of Association, the adoption of the Business Plan was a ‘reserved matter’ that required the approval of the Council.  The Company’s proposed Business Plan for 2019-2021 was therefore attached for approval at Appendix 1.  The report noted that the finances and Contract Sum were in line with the Medium Term Financial Strategy which had been agreed by Council on 26 February 2019 (Minute 45 refers).


The report summarised the agreed contract monitoring and governance framework, which included an annual performance report and an annual report on the Company’s business plan to Policy Committee, and reports to the Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education Committee.  There was also monthly performance monitoring of Children’s Services service delivery through the Children’s Services Improvement Board, monthly financial monitoring through the contract management function, and bi-monthly Contract Management Group meetings to review the overall BFfC contract performance and the performance of support services provided to BFfC by the Council. The Contract Management Group Terms of Reference were attached to the report at Appendix 3, and the report summarised the procedure and timescale for financial and performance reporting to the Group.


The report explained that, underpinning the contract monitoring and governance arrangements was a set of contract Key Performance Indicators, which was attached to the report at Appendix 2.  The drafting of the Service Delivery Contract reflected the intention for the current contract KPIs to be reviewed, to ensure that they were meaningful and appropriately aligned to the desired service outcomes, and the report therefore proposed that the Company’s Managing Director and Council’s Chief Executive be authorised to finalise the contract KPIs.


The report further explained that the set-up of BFfC had been undertaken on the basis that the Company would ‘buy back’ the majority of support functions from the Council for a minimum of two years from 1 April 2019.  An over-arching Managed Services Agreement acted as an umbrella contract for the individual Service Level Agreements between the Company and the Council, which were listed in the report.  The report also summarised a number of matters still to be finalised and/or implemented, including property leases and FM SLAs, novation of relevant third party supplier contracts from RBC to the Company, and agreement of an exit plan.


Resolved –


(1)     That the BFfC Contract governance arrangements and progress with their implementation be noted;


(2)     That the BFfC Business Plan for 2019-2021 be agreed;


(3)     That the Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children and the Council’s Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Councillors for Children and Education be authorised to finalise the revised contract KPIs.

Publication date: 06/06/2019

Date of decision: 08/04/2019

Decided at meeting: 08/04/2019 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: