Agenda and minutes

Personnel Committee
Monday, 4th June 2018 6.10 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Stephen Metcalfe, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582073, or e-mail  sjmetcalfe@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the duration of the 2018/19 municipal year.  

 

Minutes:

The Chairman requested nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman. 

 

It was proposed by Councillor Eileen Blamire and seconded by Councillor Claire Cozler: -

 

“That Councillor Margaret Pattison be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Personnel Committee for the municipal year 2018/19.” 

 

There being no further nominations, the proposition was declared carried. 

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Margaret Pattison be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Personnel Committee for the municipal year 2018/19. 

 

 

2.

Minutes

Minutes of the meetings held on 30th April and 8th May 2018 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 30th April and 8th May 2018 were signed by the Chairman as correct records.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest. 

4.

Items of urgent business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

Members were advised that there were two items of urgent business authorised by the Chairman, both to be considered as exempt information. 

 

The Committee agreed the order and where these items would be considered. 

5.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The Committee is recommended to pass the following recommendation in relation to the following item:-

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following item(s) have been marked as exempt, it is for the Committee itself to decide whether or not to consider each of them in private or in public.  In making the decision, Members should consider the relevant paragraph of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and also whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  In considering their discretion Members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers. 

 

Minutes:

That, in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 & 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act. 

 

6.

Item of Urgent Business - Executive Team Restructure - Chief Officer Representations

Minutes:

In accordance with Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman agreed to consider this item as urgent business.  The item was considered as urgent business as there was a requirement for consideration of representations made by Chief Officers to the Committee in accordance with the requirements of Chief Officer contracts of employment.  Representations required consideration within the next 10 days, which was prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee. 

 

The Committee received verbal representations from two Chief Officers, in accordance with the requirement for consideration of representations made by Chief Officers to the Committee, as set out in Chief Officer contracts of employment. 

 

Both Chief Officers advised that they would provide a copy of the representations to the Interim HR Manager for circulation to Committee and also other Members of the Council. 

 

Resolved: -

 

That the verbal representations be received and noted. 

7.

Assistant Chief Executive Appointment

Report of the Interim HR Manager. 

Minutes:

The Committee adjourned at this point and convened as an informal Recruitment Panel to facilitate interview(s).  After interview(s) had been conducted, the Committee re-convened to consider and make an appointment to the post of Assistant Chief Executive.  

 

Members were informed that, at Personnel Committee on 10th April 2018, a report was considered which outlined options for the appointment to the role of Assistant Chief Executive. 

 

A vote was taken to determine the preferred candidate. 

 

Resolved: -

 

That Kieran Keane be appointed to the post of Assistant Chief Executive for the period up to 31st March 2020. 

 

8.

Item of Urgent Business - Chief Officer

Minutes:

In accordance with Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman agreed to consider this item as urgent business.  The item was considered as urgent business as there was a requirement for a report to enable consideration of discussions with a Chief Officer to the next meeting of the Personnel Committee. 

 

The Interim HR Manager reported verbally upon an item of urgent business with regard to a Chief Officer.  Members were requested to consider the verbal report, with a full written report being provided at the next meeting of the Committee. 

 

Resolved: -

 

The resolution is set out in a minute exempt from publication by virtue of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. 

 

Note:  The press and public were re-admitted to the meeting at this point. 

 

9.

Recruitment for Proposed New Executive Team Roles pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Report of the Interim HR Manager. 

Minutes:

The Interim HR Manager submitted a report that requested the Committee to agree the selection processes for the proposed new roles, should a decision be made to implement the proposed new Executive Team Structure. 

 

Members were advised that proposals for consultation on a new Executive Team Structure had been developed, and a report was considered at the Cabinet meeting held on 24th April 2018. 

 

Following call-in, agreement had been reached to move forward to formal consultation with staff and unions on the proposals.  Although it was not possible to prejudge the outcome of any consultation or decision making, it was prudent to consider, at this stage, how any selection decisions might be made. 

 

The recruitment processes proposed for this exercise had been developed based on past practice for recruitment to Chief Officer roles, and took into account the clear need to be legally compliant, consistent and fair. 

 

Following consultation with staff and unions, if a new structure was agreed, it was suggested the recruitment process would start in mid to late July.

 

Members were informed that any existing Chief Officers who applied for the new roles would be expected to submit a quality application, even though they would be guaranteed progression through to the final stages of the selection process. 

 

A view would be taken at the end of July as to whether sufficient applications were being submitted, considering both quantity and quality.   If it was the case that insufficient quality applications were forthcoming, then it was proposed that an approach would be made to a recruitment agency to source additional quality applications.  This element of recruitment would be costly, and it was expected a fee equating to up to 15% of salary would be chargeable should the Council take this route.

 

Once applications had been received, it was expected that the Chief Executive and HR Manager would carry out an initial basic paper shortlisting exercise to remove any applications, which were poor quality. 

 

It was proposed that the Personnel Committee would then meet to carry out a more thorough shortlisting exercise with the remaining applications, with agreed criteria, to decide which candidates should go through to the next stage. 

 

Once shortlisting had taken place, the remaining candidates would be asked to attend an initial, first stage interview with the Chief Executive, an external specialist or CEO from another Local Authority, and the HR Manager.  This exercise would be carried out to ensure initial suitability for the role.  A report would then come back to Personnel Committee at this stage to confirm the outcomes of this exercise.

 

It was reported that all remaining candidates would be invited to attend an assessment centre, which would be managed by specialist staff from the Cabinet Office, with some external assessors, details of which were provided within the report. 

 

Interviews would take place during mid-September and it was proposed that interview panels be constructed as follows: -

 

·         Personnel Committee Members, which may include Cabinet members

·         The Chief Executive

·         An external CEO or specialist  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Proposed Director Role Profiles pdf icon PDF 391 KB

Report of the Interim HR Manager. 

Minutes:

The Interim HR Manager submitted a report to enable the Committee to consider the proposed role profiles for the proposed new Director and Deputy Director positions. 

 

Members were informed that a proposal had been made by the Chief Executive to restructure the Council’s senior executive team.  That proposal would be subject to a further Cabinet decision in early July 2018, following consultation with staff. 

 

It was reported that, if Cabinet made a decision to go ahead with the proposals for restructure, and depending on the outcomes of call-in, the role profiles for the new roles must be agreed ready for advertisements being placed, should that be a result of the decision by Cabinet.  Members were informed that it should be noted that only the Director level roles would be advertised as a result of a positive Cabinet decision on the overall proposal. 

 

Role profiles were appended to the report for Members’ consideration. 

 

The profiles had been developed for the proposed new roles, as follows: -

 

·         Director of Corporate Services

·         Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration

·         Director for Communities and the Environment

·         Deputy Director for Communities and the Environment

 

The purpose and key elements of each new role had been developed based on the future needs of the Council both corporately and in each of the specific Departments, and the ambitious plans for the Council in the coming years. 

 

The skills included for the new Director roles reflected an approach where all new director roles had a requirement for a common and high level set of core generic skills/competencies.  For each of these areas, a set of statements had been developed, which reflected the behaviours and achievements the Council expected of officers at this level.  The core headings were set out within the report as follows: -

 

·      Leadership

·      Communication

·      Performance Delivery

·      Strategic Thinking

·      Commercial Awareness

 

In addition to the core generic skills for each role, a further set of role-specific requirements had been developed and included, which set out the specific experience and skill expected for each individual role. 

 

Committee Members were asked to review the role profiles and provide feedback in relation to their content. 

 

Resolved: -

 

That the Committee Members consider and provide feedback on the proposed role profiles for the proposed new Director and Deputy Director Positions, as appended to the report. 

 

11.

Interim Manager Arrangements pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Report of the Chief Executive to follow. 

Minutes:

The Interim HR Manager left the meeting at this point having an interest in the report. 

 

The Chief Executive submitted a report that gave consideration of the extension of the current Interim Head of Legal and Democratic Services until October 2018.  The report also requested the Committee to note the proposals regarding HR specialist support. 

 

Members were informed that, at its meeting held on 3rd April 2018, it was agreed that the Chief Executive, under delegated authority, continues to manage and agree appointments for interim managers to cover Chief Officer level duties through contracts for services, potentially subject to a defined maximum length of appointment of 6 months, with approval required from Personnel Committee for any extension over 6 months. 

 

Resolved: -

 

(1)       That Personnel Committee supports the continued engagement of the interim Head of Legal and Democratic Services to October 2018, subject to Cabinet’s approval regarding the financing. 

 

(2)       That Personnel Committee notes the Chief Executive’s proposals regarding HR specialist support, as set out in paragraph 3 of the report, subject to Cabinet’s approval regarding the financing.