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Brentwood Borough Council is involved in a number of strategic partnerships that supports its priorities as set out in the Corporate Plan 2020-2025.

Definition of a partnership

The Council defines a partnership as a formal working arrangement involving one or more independent bodies, from any sector, who share responsibility for agreeing and/or then delivering a set of planned actions and outcomes. A formal agreement is made by all partners to work together for specific outcomes.

In summary all partnerships will agree:

  • A shared strategic vision/objectives
  • Resource availability/requirements
  • Clear measurable outcomes
  • Added value
  • Risks
  • Timescales for review or life of partnership

Partners should:

  • Be independent bodies working willingly in collaboration with each other.
  • Agree to co-operate and commit resources to achieve a common goal/s.
  • Create a process by which to work together, to develop and implement and monitor a joint programme of work.
  • Be prepared to share relevant information, risks and rewards.
  • Recognise the statutory obligations of the Council and its discretionary functions
  • Be prepared to accept decisions made by the partnership within the agreed parameters

If it is not a partnership what is it?

Definition of a Contractual arrangement

An arrangement made by the Council with a third party to deliver a service on its behalf where the Council and the service provider do not have a shared objective, for example, a simple contractual arrangement. The Council is the sole procurer of the service, and the third party is the contracted provider. The objective of the Council is to secure delivery of the service and the objective of the service provider is to secure a profit. For example, the Council has entered into a contract with BIFFA to provide street cleansing services. Whilst BIFFA state they are working in partnership with the Council to deliver services it is a formal contractual arrangement and not regarded as a partnership for purposes of this policy.

Definition of Joint Working Arrangements/Collaborative Working

Forums or groups that the Elected Members and/or Officers belong to who come together to discuss policy, strategy or forthcoming issues. Whilst these involve collaborative working and are similar to partnerships, the key difference is there is no formal agreement or in some cases agreed outcomes. The Council may participate in an advisory capacity or to gain a wider view to inform developments within the Council.

Community Funding Arrangements

Another area of joint working is where the Council provides funding over a fixed period in return for an agreed set of actions. For example, community funding agreements (grants) with some voluntary sector.

The Council has a Partnership Register listing the partnerships that it is currently involved in (see below) and this is reviewed annually and updated accordingly.