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Agenda and minutes

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

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Items
No. Item

201.

Membership

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

 

Minutes:

Councillor R Butler had replaced Councillor Newmark as a Member of the Committee.

 

202.

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:

Apologies were received from Councillors Davis and Goldstein.

 

203.

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.

204.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 4 July 2018.

 

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 4 July 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

205.

Recruitment and Selection Policy pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Report PER/18/17 recommends the adoption of the revised Recruitment and Selection Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report PER/18/17 recommended the adoption of the revised Recruitment and Selection Policy.

 

Members noted the presentation of this report to the Local Joint Committee and its discussion as set out below:

 

“Further to the report, the HR Adviser reported that the Council was taking advantage of public media to advertise and also liaising with Jobs Go Public with regard to use of its Smart Search system, advertising for the post of Head of Planning and Economic Development being a current example.  In terms of data protection, she said that applicants were now informed of the date that information was acquired about them and that all personal details would be deleted after six months from that time.  She added that, during the recruitment process, full records were kept at all stages, including note-taking at interviews to protect against any charges of unfair treatment.  She said that steps were taken to ensure that managers had training in recruitment and interviewing.  In addition, reference to the Council’s policy on agency workers, for which there was a separate process, was now made in the document at report Appendix A and full details of this process were set out in the Operational Handbook at Appendix B.

 

In response to a question from the Chair (of the LJC), the HR Adviser confirmed that both the policy and the Handbook would be placed on the Council’s website.

 

Responding to a question from a Councillor on disclosure and debarring, (paragraph 4.2 refers), she clarified that DBS checks         would not be required for most posts, the exceptions being civil enforcement officers and certain legal and finance roles.”

 

RESOLVED that the revised Recruitment and Selection Policy and accompanying Recruitment and Selection Handbook be approved.

         

(Action:  HR Adviser)

 

206.

Draft Workforce Strategy 2019-2021 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

The report provides a draft Workforce Strategy for the period 2019-2021 to serve as the basis for consultation with staff and other stakeholders.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report PER/18/15 provided a first draft of the Workforce Strategy for the period 2019 to 2021 to serve as the basis for consultation with staff and other stakeholders.

 

Members noted the presentation of this report to the Local Joint Committee and its discussion as set out below:

 

“The Head of HR and Customer Services introduced the report and took members through the draft Strategy powerpoint presentation outlined in Appendix F.  She confirmed that not surprisingly the average age of the workforce was continuing to rise.  She said that, with regard to the London market impact, the Council was losing some of its professional staff to neighbouring London boroughs such as Brent, Barnet and Harrow due to the attractive benefits they could offer, key of which was the opportunity of homeworking which was available at Hertsmere on an ad hoc basis only. 

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services reported that, in terms of  health and wellbeing, the Council was doing very well, that GDPR (the General Data Protection Act) presented a big burden for the Council and that good progress was being made with the digital transformation of services with a new CRM system to be introduced shortly.  She said that the draft Strategy presented to the Committee covered a three-year period as opposed to the previous five‑year period and pointed out that Wiltshire Council, for example, had a ten‑year plan from 2017 to 2027.  She distributed copies of that authority’s people strategy for the Committee’s information and confirmed that she had looked at the strategies of both Wilshire Council and St Albans.

 

During discussion, the following points were raised:

 

·             In response to a question from the Vice-Chair (of the LJC), the         Head of HR and Customer Services advised that consultation          would take place with this Committee and the Personnel          Committee, senior management and the Policy Review Committee   on 8 October 2018. She added that the Council’s senior         management had indicated that they wished to include reference       to what was expected of staff.

 

·             The Chair (of the LJC) suggested that mention be made of work experience opportunities.  The Head of HR and Customer Services pointed out that this was included under section 5.2 on Skills Development (agenda page 53 refers).

 

·             A Councillor member asked what the Council did about team   building which he considered was particularly relevant to the   recruitment of young people.  The Head of HR and Customer           Services replied that there was no corporate approach to team    building but heads of service were able to request it if, for         example, they were going through change.

 

·             In response to another Councillor question, the Head of HR and Customer Services confirmed that the Council undertook mentoring, coaching and used mental health first aid workers as well its Employee Assistance Programme.  She said that overall the Council had a good combination of resources available.

 

·             The Committee noted the content of the strategy from Wiltshire Council and, whilst this did not focus on the same areas as the draft Strategy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 206.

207.

Health and Safety Update for Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

The Committee is asked to note the Health and Safety report for Quarter 1.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report PER/1818 provided an update on health and safety matters for Quarter 1. 

 

Members noted the presentation of this report to the Local Joint Committee and its discussion as set out below:

 

“The Head of HR and Customer Services highlighted the following areas of the report which were the subject of discussion as follows:

 

·             Paragraph 3.2 of the report – It was noted that, since issue of the report, the actions agreed by the Personnel Committee to support the Abusive Behaviour Policy, notably the poster campaign, had been implemented.

 

·             Paragraph 3.3 – The recommendation in the quarterly report from the Health and Safety Adviser (paragraph 3.9 of Appendix A on personal safety and loneworking refers) had also been implemented and a procurement exercise commenced for acquiring additional Skyguard personal safety devices.  The Chair (of the LJC) expressed concern on behalf of staff in Housing at how long the procurement process was taking given the urgency of the need for the two requested devices.  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that a report was being prepared for the Executive to progress the procurement as swiftly as possible in view of the urgency of the health and safety considerations.

 

·             Paragraph 3.4 - The Head of HR and Customer Services assured the Committee that the case of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome had been proactively managed with therefore no risks comparable with the case cited at the end of the quarterly report.

 

·             Appendix A, paragraph 4.1 – The Chair noted the increase in incident reports but considered that this was still unlikely to represent the full picture.  He said that managers should be urged to be more alert and encourage their staff to report incidents as continuing exposure to abuse could lead to future health problems such as depression.  The Head of HR and Customer Services acknowledged that failure to report could lead to other staff being left vulnerable to further abuse from the same person.  She pointed out that the monitoring of calls in Customer Services was useful in this respect.  A Councillor suggested that calls in Housing should be similarly monitored and that, aside from the existing position at the front entrance, CCTV should be extended to the front desk.  The Head of HR and Customer Services agreed to relay these suggestions to the Chief Officers.

 

·             Appendix A, paragraph 3.10 – Members discussed the merits of holding a fire evacuation drill at a Council and/or Planning meeting and the possibility of a mock bomb evacuation drill.  With regard to the latter, the Head of HR and Customer Services confirmed that advice had been received from the Police about the management of a lockdown situation.  The Committee recognised the need not to cause undue alarm to members of staff but nevertheless felt that people should be made aware.

 

 

AGREED that:

 

1.          the Quarter 1 report of the Health and Safety Adviser, at Appendix A, together with the minutes of the Health and Safety Group meeting on 14 August 2018 at Appendix  ...  view the full minutes text for item 207.

208.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 12 December 2018 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 12 December 2018 at the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

209.

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        

     4 July 2018

 

2.       Appendix B to part I item 7 (Health and Safety                  3

Update for Quarter 1 – Report PER/18/18)

 

3.       Sickness Absence Management                               1, 2 and 4

 

 

 

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

4 July 2018      

 

2.       Appendix B to part I item 7 (Health and Safety                3

Update for Quarter 1 – Report PER/18/18)

 

3.   Sickness Absence Management                           1, 2 and 4   

 

210.

Minutes of Local Joint Committee - 4 July 2018

To note the minutes of the meeting of the Local Joint Committee held on 4 July 2018.

 

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Local Joint Committee meeting held on 4 July 2018 were noted.

 

211.

Appendix B to Health and Safety Update for Quarter 1 (Report PER/18/18)

Appendix B to Report PER/18/18, Health and Safety Update for Quarter 1, at agenda item 7.

 

Minutes:

Appendix B to Report PER/18/18, Health and Safety Update for Quarter 1, at agenda item 7, was noted.

 

212.

Sickness Absence Management

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Report PER/1816 provided details of sickness absence levels in the Council for the 12-month period ending 31 July 2018 and outlined the actions being taken to improve the levels.

 

Members noted the presentation of this report to the Local Joint Committee and its discussion as set out below:

 

“The Head of HR and Customer Services reported that the short term sickness absence figure for the end of July had for the first time exceeded the Council’s target of 3.5 days per employee per year.  She advised that the figure had however reduced to 3.5 by the end of August.  She added that consideration had been given to reminding staff of the Sickness Absence Policy and the triggers involved.  In addition, she said that the vouchers given to staff achieving no sickness absence in a full year would be looked at again in terms of both the provider of the vouchers and their amount.

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the Council was continuing to do well with its wellbeing initiatives which were proving very popular with staff (report section 5.2 refers).  She said that consideration was being given to holding another Smoking Cessation Day and also to holding health and wellbeing events on a quarterly basis with the focus on one health theme only per event, the topics to be rotated.  She added that the roof garden was being promoted further with plans next to install a canopy over the seating area on the patio.

 

The Chair (of the LJC) expressed disappointment that the original Council’s Cycle to Work Scheme had not been renewed and asked that it be revisited.”

 

AGREED that the analysis of sickness absence levels and the absence management actions taken, be noted.