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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 1 September 1998 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors WILLIAM MIDDLETON, GEORGE ALLAN, JACK GIBB, ALEX KING, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BRIAN MILNE, STEWART MOWATT, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE and THOMAS I N YOUNG.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors ROB MURRAY and IAN HUDGHTON.

Councillor MIDDLETON, Vice-Convener, in the Chair.

 

1. 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 items 2-8 below, so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, Paragraphs 1, 3, 6, 8 and 9.

2. APPLICATION FOR REGRADING - CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S DEPARTMENT

There was submitted Report No 904/98 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for regrading of a post within the Chief Executive’s Department.

The Committee agreed that Post No 04/01, be re-designated and regraded as detailed in the Report.

3. REVIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATION SECTION OF THE RECREATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 20 August 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 843/98 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Personnel proposing changes within the Administration Section of the Recreation Services Department, following a review of the roles and responsibilities of the posts.

The Report detailed the proposed staffing changes and indicated that the proposals would result in a cost of £1,339 within the current financial year which would be accommodated within the Department's 1998/99 Revenue Budget.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to the redesignation and regrading of Post No 01/07, as detailed in the Report; and

(ii) to the redesignation and regrading of Post No 01/09, as detailed in the Report.

4. REVIEW OF ESTABLISHMENT - DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND TRANSPORT

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Planning and Transport Policy Committee of 27 August 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 883/98 by the Director of Personnel and the Director of Planning and Transport proposing the establishment of a post of Development Control Officer within the Department of Planning and Transport. The Report indicated that, in accordance with the career grade structure, it was proposed to replace the current post of Development Control Trainee with a post of Development Control Officer, at grade AP5/6.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the re-designation and regrading of Post No 02/11 from Development Control Trainee to Development Control Officer grade AP5/6.

5. FINANCE DEPARTMENT - STRUCTURE AND ESTABLISHMENT REVIEW

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 928/98 by the Director of Finance and the Director of Personnel proposing changes to the structure and establishment of the Finance Department, following a review of the roles and responsibilities of the Financial Policy and Financial Services Divisions. The review had been undertaken to consider the continued appropriateness of the Client/Contractor split within the Financial Policy and the Financial Services Divisions. The proposed changes addressed these issues and produced for the Council, a structure and establishment capable of delivering the services, against current and foreseeable demands, including an estimated provision for supporting the Best Value implications.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to delete Post No 02/02, Principal Accountant - Capital, grade AP10;

(ii) to delete one Post of Payroll Assistant, grade GS1/2, the exact Post No of which would be identified following an internal recruitment exercise, to a higher graded vacant post within the Payroll Section;

(iii) to delete Clerical Assistant Post Nos 02/08 and 05/16 graded GS1/2;

(iv) to change the status of Post No 02/07, Senior Clerical Assistant, grade GS3 from part-time to full-time.

(v) to establish a post of Accountant, grade GS3/AP6;

(vi) to redesignate and re-grade Post No 03/09, VFM Assistant, grade GS3/AP2 to VFM Auditor, grade GS3/AP6; and

(vii) to re-grade the following posts:-

(a) Post No 06/01, from AP5/6 to AP8.

(b) Post No 06/02, from AP3 to AP4.

(c) Post No 07/01, from AP5/6 to AP8.

(d) Post No 07/02, from AP3 to AP4.

(e) Post No 07/03, from AP3 to AP4.

(f) Post No 07/04, from GS3 to AP1.

(g) Post No 04/01, from AP3 to AP4.

6. CULTURAL SERVICES - MONIFIETH STAFFING

With reference to Article 17 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 20 August 1998, there was submitted Report No 842/98 by the Director of Cultural Services proposing changes to the working pattern of staff in Monifieth Library. The Report indicated that the proposal would allow the hours of opening for Monifieth Library to be brought into line with other libraries.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the establishment of a post of Saturday Assistant, Grade GS1, at Monifieth Library.

7. PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF LAND ADJACENT TO THE A92 AT SALMONDSMUIR, MUIRDRUM

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of the Roads Committee of 27 August 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 906/98 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for the acquisition of an area of land measuring 0.047 ha or thereby adjacent to the A92 at Salmondsmuir.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

8. COLLISTON SCHOOL - PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF LAND/CAPITAL GRANT - VILLAGE SCHOOL

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 25 August 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 861/98 by the Director of Education and Director of Property Services outlining proposals to dispose of an area of land and to provide a Capital Grant for the construction of a new Village Hall in Colliston.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the sale of land (0.15 acres) to the Colliston Village Hall Committee for £1,000.

9. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 June 1998 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener;

(b) Executive Sub-Committee

There was submitted and noted minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 20 July 1998 (APPENDIX I).

10. ANGUS COUNCIL - SICKNESS ABSENCE 1997/98

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 September 1997, there was submitted Report No 901/98 by the Director of Personnel analysing sickness absence within the Council during the 1997/98 financial year. The Report collated the information given in the quarterly returns, and provided more analysis on the figures and compared them with available data from outwith the Council. In addition, a VFM Report on Sickness Absence had been published by the Finance Department and the Report also incorporated the recommendations contained within that Report.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

11. MONITORING EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 3 February 1998, there was submitted Report No 902/98 by the Director of Personnel analysing employee turnover within the Council during the 1997/98 financial year. As this was the first year that employee turnover had been calculated within the Council, there was no previous data available to allow for a consideration of trends. However, comparison with national trends indicated that the Council’s figures compared more than favourably with any of the published data.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

12. REVIEW OF TELEPHONE ALLOWANCES, MOBILE PHONES AND RADIO TELEPHONES

With reference to Article 1 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 4 April 1996, there was submitted Report No 903/98 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the outcome of a review of telephone allowances, mobile phones and radio telephones. The Report set out the criteria for eligibility and an appropriate level of allowance, which had been prepared following consideration of responses from an audit of departments and also took into account recommendations arising from a Corporate VFM Report on Telecommunications. Indicators were that long term savings of up to £16,000 could be achieved, dependent on staff turnover.

The Committee agreed to approve the contents of the Report.

13. SINGLE STATUS EMPLOYMENT - JOB EVALUATION CONSORTIUM

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Report No 914/98 by the Director of Personnel seeking homologation of the decision taken by the Convener and Vice-Converner of Personnel and Property Services Committee that Angus Council should participate in the consortium to develop a Job Evaluation Scheme.

The Report noted that, in joining the consortium, the Council was not making a firm commitment, and that once the scheme had been developed, a further Report would be submitted to consider the implications of implementing the Job Evaluation Scheme in Angus Council. It was also noted that, as all 32 local authorities had now joined the consortium, the cost to the Council was likely not to exceed £5,500.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to homologate the decision of the Convener and Vice-Convener that the Council join a consortium of Councils to identify and adapt a Job Evaluation Scheme for recommendation to the Scottish National Joint Council; and

(ii) to allocate financial resources of up to £9000 as a contribution to the work of the consortium.

14. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 June 1997, there was submitted Report No 912/98 by the Director of Personnel outlining the findings of the Employee Attitude Survey and seeking agreement for implementation of an action plan to address issues arising from the Survey. Attached to the Report was a summary of the outcome of the Survey which provided a comprehensive view of the findings along with an action plan that gave details of targets and their timescales. The survey had, however, identified some areas in need of alteration, which it was intended to deal with through the action plan.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the outcome of the Employee Attitude Survey and the content of a briefing paper issued to all Council employees; and

(ii) to agree to the action plan appended to the Report.

15. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 1999

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 21 October 1997, there was submitted Report No 913/98 by the Director of Personnel detailing the suggested pattern of fixed public holidays for non teaching staff for 1999, to tie in with the proposed school holidays, as detailed below. In addition, the Government had announced that there would be an additional one off holiday on 31 December 1999 to celebrate the Millennium:-

Friday 1 January

Monday 4 January

Monday 5 April

Monday 3 May

Tuesday 30 November

Monday 27 December

Tuesday 28 December

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the pattern for fixed public holidays for non teaching staff in 1999 as detailed above; and

(ii) to note that the Government had announced that there would be an additional one off holiday on 31 December 1999, to celebrate the Millennium.

16. PROGRESS REPORTS

(a) Property Maintenance

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 May 1998, there was submitted Report No 909/98 by the Director of Property Services setting out the current status of expenditure on the maintenance of non housing properties.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report.

(b) Energy Budget

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 May 1998, there was submitted Report No 910/98 by the Director of Property Services setting out the current status of expenditure on the individual Council heating fuel and electricity budgets for non-housing properties.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report.

(c) Delegated Building Works - Quarterly Report

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 May 1998, there was submitted Report No 908/98 by the Director of Property Services giving details of tenders accepted and orders placed by the Director of Property Services, under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers and Financial Regulations.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

(d) Construction Projects 1998/99

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 May 1998, there was submitted Report No 907/98 by the Director of Property Services summarising the current position of contracts for which funding provision had been made within the Capital Programme for 1998/99.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

17. FUNDING PROVISION FOR REPAIRS TO THE BALMASHANNER WAR MEMORIAL, FORFAR

There was submitted Report No 911/98 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for the provision of funding from the Forfar Common Good Fund, to allow repairs to be undertaken to the Balmashanner War Memorial, Forfar.

The Report indicated that, during the annual inspection of the monument, it had been noted that remedial works were required to be carried out. As the Balmashanner War Memorial formed part of the Forfar Common Good, it was proposed that the costs of the remedial works be met from the Forfar Common Good Fund.

The Committee agreed:

(i) to note the requirement for remedial works to be carried out to the Balmashanner War Memorial, Forfar;

(ii) to approve the bid for funding in the sum of £1,800 from the Forfar Common Good Fund; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress the remedial works immediately.

18. ANDOVER PRIMARY SCHOOL - UPGRADING OF FOOTPATHS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 April 1997, there was submitted Report No 915/98 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the need to improve the footpaths leading to Andover Primary School and that the works proposed would incur additional costs to the project.

The Report indicated that, with the new school nearing completion, it was essential that the approach roads and footpaths were upgraded to a suitable standard. It was considered that the proposed upgrading should be committed to ensure completion at the same time as the school.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the work required to improve the approach footpaths to the school;

(ii) to note the additional costs which would be incurred; and

(iii) to homologate the decision to proceed with the works, following consultation with the Vice-Convener of the Personnel and Property Services Committee and the Leader of the Administration.

The following item was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency in order to be in compliance with current legislation.

19. SUPPLEMENTARY FUNDING PROVISION FOR THE RENEWAL OF SAFETY SIGNS IN NON HOUSING COUNCIL PROPERTIES

There was submitted Report No 943/98 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund, for the renewal of safety signs in non-housing Council properties throughout Angus. The Report indicated that a survey of Council properties had been undertaken and had identified that extensive numbers of fire safety signs, comprising emergency escape and fire fighting signs, required renewal to comply with legislation.

The cost of supply and installation of new signs had been estimated at £40,000, which could be contained within the Property Maintenance element of respective Departmental Revenue Budgets for 1998/99 without significant impact on the problem of urgent planned maintenance works.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £40,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund, for the execution of urgent repairs; and

(ii) to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress the repairs immediately.