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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

250.

Membership

To receive details of any changes in membership of this Committee notified since the agenda was printed.

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that Councillor Turner had replaced Councillor Sarah Hodgson-Jones as a Member of the Committee and Councillor Batten had replaced Councillor Davis.

 

251.

Communications and apologies

(a)            Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

 

(c)        To receive presentations (if any) made in pursuance of a petition in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

 

No presentation shall exceed five minutes and consideration of the subject matter will normally take place at the next ordinary scheduled meeting of the Committee and not at this meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting.

 

252.

Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other pecuniary interest or non‑pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows;

 

Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

 

 

Sponsorship

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

 

Contracts

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

 

Land

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

 

Licences

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

Corporate tenancies

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

 

 

Securities

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where - (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and (b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of disclosable pecuniary interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

 

 

Minutes:

No Members had an interest to declare in any of the items of business on the agenda.

 

253.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 28 June 2017.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 28 June 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

254.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at the conclusion of the Local Joint Committee meeting.

 

Minutes:

Noted that the next meeting of the Committee was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

255.

Exclusion of public

Recommendation that, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act:-

 

Part II Agenda Item                                                             Paragraphs in

                                                                                                    Schedule 12A

 

1.       Minutes of the LJC meeting held on                                  1, 2 and 4      

28 June 2017                                                               

 

1.       Restructure of Engineering Services and Asset                 1, 2 and 4

Management

 

2.       Planning and Economic Development                                1, 2 and 4

      Restructure Proposals                                                     

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act:-

 

Part II Agenda Item                                         Paragraphs in Schedule 12A

 

1.      Minutes of the LJC Meeting held on                      1, 2 and 4

28 June 2017                                                     

 

2.   Restructure of Engineering Services and               1, 2 and 4

      Asset Management

 

2.      Planning and Economic Development                    1, 2 and 4

Restructure Proposals                                         

 

256.

Minutes of Local Joint Committee - 28 June 2017

To note the minutes of the meeting of the Local Joint Committee held on 28 June 2017.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Local Joint Committee meeting held on 28 June 2017 were noted.

 

257.

Restructure of Engineering Services and Asset Management

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Report PER/17/18 set out the proposals for the restructuring of the Engineering and Asset Management service and provided the Committee with information about the implications for employees within the service.

 

The Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management presented the report, referring Members in particular to appendices A and B which showed the existing and proposed department structures respectively.  He advised that there were currently four sections within the service group consisting of: the operations team which was responsible for the  land drainage operational work; the engineering team responsible for projects and providing technical advice and support to planning; asset management and, most recently, since September 2016, the Developments team progressing in-house initiated capital developments.

 

He said that the proposed restructure was aimed at formally establishing the new Development Manager post and rationalising the existing staffing arrangements, providing the opportunity to deploy resources more effectively and encourage more team working between the sections within the group.

 

The HR Adviser spoke about the personnel implications.  She advised that, whilst it was anticipated that any risks of redundancy could be avoided, a management of change process needed to be undertaken in accordance with the Council’s Management of Change Policy.  She said that this involved drawing up JDs (job descriptions) where required and carrying out the associated job evaluations and selection assessment processes.  In terms of staff consultation, the HR Adviser advised that she and the Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management had already met with all those staff affected by the proposed changes and that feedback had been generally positive.  She added that the management of change process would be consistent with the change management process for the Planning department restructure.

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services added that all due consideration would be given to appropriate arrangements for ring-fencing, ‘slotting’ and/or open competition for posts within the group of staff affected by the restructure, as per the policy, and suitable alternative employment would be offered where applicable with trial periods.

 

A Member asked whether consideration had been given to possible opportunities for grass roots apprentices.  The Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management replied that this was a potential option, the funding for which depended on the Council acquiring the contracts to fund them.

 

Another Member asked for clarification of report paragraph 8.2 in respect of the funding of the Development Manager post.  The Corporate Director replied that this should not be an issue due to the healthy revenue in Asset Management.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.       the proposals for the restructuring of Engineering Services and Asset Management be approved, subject to the outcome of consultation with staff and to the financial implications being agreed by the Executive; and

 

2.       the existing structure in Appendix A and the proposed structure in Appendix B be noted.

 

(Action:  Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management/HR Adviser)

 

258.

Planning and Economic Development Restructure Proposals

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

As for the previous item, Report PER/17/13 outlined the proposals for the restructure of the Planning and Economic Development department and set out the implications for staff within the service.

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services presented the report.  She advised that the primary business case for change was the Council’s difficulties in recruiting and retaining planning professionals combined with changes in legislation that placed further performance demands on the planning service and had substantial financial implications.  She said that the new structure was aimed at providing further career opportunities for staff, particularly at the senior professional levels, and that the Head of Planning and Economic Development had also been very active in taking on apprentices so there would be a complete career structure from entry level apprenticeships to principal officers.  She added that the proposals affected some senior roles. 

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the proposals were also designed to secure efficiencies from new ways of working wherever possible.  In particular, the implementation of the new Exacom software would automate certain processes and diminish the need for these to be carried out manually as at present.

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services reported that initial consultation with staff had started on 18 September with the formal consultation process due to begin after the Executive meeting on 18 October.  She further advised that the Council would carry out a minimum of 30 days’ formal consultation and allow for the appeals process in due course in accordance with its Management of Change Policy.

 

Initial feedback from staff was presented verbally to the meeting.  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the feedback was anonymised for reasons of confidentiality.  The main points were as follows:

 

1.     A number of Officers had enquired about how the new senior and principal roles would be filled ie. whether they would be ring-fenced and, if so, to whom, or whether they would be subject to external advertising.  The answer given was as follows:

 

Posts that could potentially be considered as suitable alternative employment for anyone whose role was redundant under the proposals would be ring-fenced to those people and would only be open to wider competition if they were not filled through the management of change process.

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that ring-fencing and recruitment processes had not yet been finalised pending the agreement of the new job descriptions and evaluation for the grade which was fundamental to any decision about the  appropriate method of selection.  The Management of Change Policy would be applied and this might include open competition where new posts were more senior than the jobs that were being deleted.

2.     Two UNISON representatives had been involved in consultation meetings to date and both had made arguments for staff affected being given first consideration for all roles available before they were externally advertised, including roles that were at a higher grade than the substantive post being deleted.  Other points raised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 258.