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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the PERSONNEL AND PROPERTY SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday, 3 September 1996 at 4.25 pm.

Present: Councillors ROB MURRAY, WILLIAM MIDDLETON, GEORGE ALLAN, JOHN GIBB, IAN HUDGHTON, ALEX KING, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BRIAN MILNE, STEWART MOWATT, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, RICHARD SPEIRS and THOMAS I N YOUNG.

Councillor MURRAY, Convener, in the Chair.

1.     MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 June 1996 was accepted as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2.     MINUTE OF EXECUTIVE SUB-COMMITTEE

The minute of the meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 22 July 1996, a copy of which is appended hereto (APPENDIX), was submitted and noted.

81 High Street, Monifieth - Office Alterations (Paragraph 3 refers)

On the reading of this item, the Convener reported that Report No 559/96 had been submitted to the Housing Committee on 13 August 1996 (Article 16 refers) and the recommendations for the acceptance of the tenders for office alterations for 81 High Street, Monifieth had been approved.

The Committee noted the position.

PERSONNEL

3.     COSLA - DRAFT CODE OF CONDUCT ON RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

There was submitted Report No 702/96 by the Director of Personnel regarding a Draft Code of Conduct on Recruitment and Selection issued by COSLA which had been prepared as a result of a recommendation by the Task Force on the Conduct of Local Government in Scotland. The Draft Code and the comments of the Director of Personnel thereon were appended to the Report.

The Report noted that the principles set out in the Code largely reflected current practice within this Council and were consistent with the principles and the general statement on recruitment policy which had been approved by this Committee.

The Committee approved the comments of the Director of Personnel on COSLA’s Draft Code of Conduct on Recruitment and Selection for submission to COSLA as being the comments of the Council.

4.     FLEXITIME

With reference to Article 1 of the minute of the meeting of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 22 November 1995, wherein the Director of Personnel was authorised to seek agreement for the introduction of a 361/4 hour working week, allied to the introduction of a scheme of flexible working, there was submitted Report No 729/96 by the Director of Personnel.

It was reported that UNISON had made it clear that former Angus District Council staff would not move to a 361/4 hour week in return for the introduction of flexitime. Former Tayside Regional Council staff had been permitted to continue working the same flexitime arrangements until 30 September 1996. Accordingly, a decision was now required on the future of flexitime after that date.

After considering the options set out in the Report, the Committee agreed to authorise the Director of Personnel to amend and formalise the Tayside Regional Council flexitime scheme for adoption in Angus Council Departments, subject to the exigencies of the service, for application to APT & C staff working a 361/4 hour week.

5.     APPEALS PROCEDURE - GRADING

There was submitted Report No 730/96 by the Director of Personnel regarding a proposed procedure for adoption by the Appeals Sub-Committee when considering grading appeals.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed that the procedure set out in the Appendix thereto be adopted by the Appeals Sub-Committee of the Personnel and Property Services Committee when considering grading appeals.

6.     SENIOR WELFARE RIGHTS OFFICER POST

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of the meeting of the Social Work Committee of 20 August 1996, there was submitted joint Report No 660/96 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel setting out a proposal to introduce a post of Senior Welfare Rights Officer in the Social Work Department, by redesignating post No 08/15 from Welfare Rights Officer to Senior Welfare Rights Officer and regrading it to SCP 31-38.

The Committee, for its interest, approved the recommendation in the Report.

7.     BUSINESS SHOP - ANGUS LTD - REQUEST TO ACT AS GUARANTOR

There was submitted joint Report No 726/96 by the Director of Finance and the Director of Personnel regarding a proposal to grant the Business Shop - Angus Ltd "admitted body" status within the Local Government Superannuation Scheme. Dundee City Council, as the designated authority for the Local Government Superannuation Scheme in the former Tayside area, had enquired whether Angus Council would, in the event of Business Shop - Angus Ltd ceasing to function, meet any shortfall in funding relative to the company.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed that the Council act as guarantor against financial shortfalls in respect of the Business Shop - Angus Ltd’s admission to the Local Government Superannuation Scheme.

8.     CENTRAL SAFETY COMMITTEE

There was submitted Report No 728/96 by the Director of Personnel indicating that a preliminary meeting of the Council’s Central Safety Committee had been held at which the draft constitution and functions were considered. The Convener reported that, at the meeting, the Central Safety Committee had approved the constitution and functions, a copy of which was appended to the Report.

The Committee, for its interest, approved the terms of the Report and the constitution and functions of the Central Safety Committee and agreed to appoint Councillors Murray, William Middleton, Crowe and Young as its representatives on that Committee.

PROPERTY

Councillor Young declared an interest in the following matter and took no part in the discussion thereon.

9.     VACANT PROPERTIES

There was submitted Report No 669/96 by the Director of Property Services giving details of 27 vacant properties owned by the Council and making recommendations as to their disposal.

After hearing Councillors Mrs Ritchie and King regarding the possible future use by the Council of properties at Milnamair, Montrose and Inverbrothock School, Arbroath respectively, the Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) that subject to there being no legal impediment, properties be sold in accordance with Financial Regulations;

(ii) that where legal impediments existed, houses be let on short-term tenancies which did not create permanent security of tenure or a right to buy; and

(iii) that, if any outside interest were expressed in the properties at Milnamair and Inverbrothock School, then the Director of Property Services should ensure that there was no interest by any Council Department in these properties, prior to their disposal to another party.

10.     BRECHIN CANNERY REDEVELOPMENT - BRECHIN BUSINESS CENTRE - PROGRESS

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of the meeting of the Economic Development Committee of 22 August 1996, there was submitted Report No 633/96 by the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development setting out progress made in seeking tenders for the Brechin Business Centre Development and indicating that a report on tenders would be submitted to the meeting of the Council to be held on 19 September.

The Committee, for its interest, approved the terms of the Report.

11.     EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved in terms of Standing Order No 27(2) that the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following matters so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7(A) to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 6, 8 and 9.

12.     SCHEDULE OF PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

There was submitted Report No 670/96 by the Director of Property Services regarding the outcome of negotiations in connection with various property transactions, details of which were set out in the Schedules to the Report.

The Committee agreed to approve the conclusion of the transactions on the terms and conditions set out in the Schedules to the Report.

13.     OFFICE ACCOMMODATION EXPENDITURE 1996/97 AND 1997/98

There was submitted Report No 679/96 by the Director of Property Services setting out the current situation with regard to works being carried out to accommodate staff in the main office buildings in Forfar, including St James House, and the refurbished Bruce House in Arbroath, which works were being funded from the General Services Capital Account.

The Report highlighted additional expenditure which was being incurred due to unforeseen requirements and set out proposals to reprogramme works and expenditure on office accommodation requirements, to meet the Council’s needs. In particular, it was proposed that additional expenditure be committed during the financial year to allow phase 2 of the Bruce House development to proceed as quickly as possible.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to note the position regarding expenditure on HQ buildings and the implications for the coming financial year;

(ii) to approve the programme of works for Bruce House to enable full occupation by the end of 1996/97 and the funding arrangements as set out in the Report;

(iii) to approve the procurement of Bruce House Phase 2 works on a negotiated contract basis (see Article 17 below);

(iv) to note the additional expenditure incurred on Bruce House Phase 1 in 1996/97;

(v) to note and approve the variance of works and expenditure to the lower ground floor of St James House; and

(vi) to approve the proposed acquisition of Market Street, Forfar (see Article 14 below).

14.     PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF OFFICES AND WAREHOUSE AT 13 MARKET STREET, FORFAR

With reference to Article 13 above, there was submitted Report No 680/96 by the Director of Property Services regarding the outcome of negotiations for the renewal of the lease of offices at 13 Market Street, Forfar and for the subsequent acquisition of the offices at 13 Market Street, Forfar.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to approve the acquisition of the offices and warehouse at 13 Market Street, Forfar on the terms and conditions outlined in the Report; and

(ii) to approve the extension of the lease of the offices at 13 Market Street, Forfar on the terms and conditions outlined in the Report.

15.     PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF 0.469 HECTARE OF GROUND AT SHIELHILL ROAD, KIRRIEMUIR

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of the meeting of this Committee of 11 June 1996, there was submitted Report No 681/96 by the Director of Property Services indicating that investigations had been carried out regarding the possible provision of parking and lay-bys on an area of ground closer to the entrance of Northmuir Primary School, but that the financial implications of the proposal had led to a recommendation that the original proposal to sell the site should proceed.

The Committee heard Councillor Ian Mackintosh, the local member, regarding the difficulties experienced by parents dropping off children at Northmuir Primary School and suggesting a meeting between appropriate Conveners and officers on-site to discuss the problem.

The Committee, for its interest, noted the proposal for an on-site meeting and thereafter authorised the disposal of 0.469 hectare of ground at Shielhill Road, Kirriemuir to Angus Housing Association on the provisional terms and conditions outlined in the Report.

16.     REDEVELOPMENT OF FORMERY CANNERY - BRECHIN - PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF 120M2 PLOT

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of the meeting of the Economic Development Committee of 22 August 1996, there was submitted Report No 622/96 by the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development regarding the proposed acquisition of a 120.6m2 strip of land as part of the redevelopment of the former Cannery site.

The Committee, for its interest, approved the proposed acquisition on the terms and conditions outlined in the Report.

17.     NEW OFFICE ACCOMMODATION AT BRUCE HOUSE (PHASE 2) ARBROATH

With reference to Article 13 above, there was submitted Report No 565/96 by the Director of Property Services regarding a negotiated contract for works at Bruce House (Phase 2) Arbroath, comprising the refurbishment of part of the existing office building.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to authorise acceptance of the offer submitted by D McNulty, Joiners, Arbroath agreeing to comply with Angus Council’s terms and conditions;

(ii) to approve the estimated total cost of £437,000 at out-turn prices;

(iii) to note that allowance for this expenditure had been made in the 1996/97 Capital Estimates as contained in the Final Revenue and Capital Budget Volume, supplemented by a contribution from the inherited revenue balance from Angus District Council; and

(iv) to note that the additional revenue expenditure arising from the project in the first full year (1997/98) was as follows:-

(a) Running costs - £33,000 per annum;

(b) Loan charges (calculated over 20 years) - £51,300 per annum.

18.     MONTROSE PORT AUTHORITY, FERRYDEN

There was submitted Report No 733/96 by the Director of Property Services regarding the outcome of negotiations for the lease of office accommodation at Montrose Port, Ferryden.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to approve the lease of office accommodation at Montrose Port, Ferryden on the provisional terms and conditions set out in the Report; and

(ii) to approve the fitting out works at an estimated cost of £35,000.

PERSONNEL

19.     ELECTRICITY AT WORK REGULATIONS 1989 - ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of the meeting of the Roads Committee of 6 June 1996, there was submitted Report No 477/96 by the Director of Roads outlining the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and setting out the staffing implications for the Roads Department, including, in particular, an increased requirement for supervision.

The Committee, for its interest, noted the terms of the Report.