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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 February 1998 at 4.00 pm.

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

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors GLENNIS MIDDLETON and KATHLEEN RITCHIE.

Councillor MURRAY, 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 2-9 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, 6, 8, 9 and 10.

2. ADJUSTMENTS TO ESTABLISHMENTS

(a) Review of Management Structures within the Social Work Department

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee held on 20 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 38/98 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel outlining a revised management structure for Criminal Justice Services and Children’s Services, following the resignation of the Head of Criminal Justice Services.

Mr Jim MacNeil, Regional Officer, UNISON, who had submitted a request to be heard, was invited into the meeting and given the opportunity to make representations to the Committee in relation to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note that responsibility for Criminal Justice Services would be assumed by the Head of Strategic Planning and Commissioning with post 04/01 Head of Criminal Justice Services being deleted and post 06/01 being re-designated to Head of Strategic Planning, Commissioning and Criminal Justice Services;

(ii) to the re-deployment of post 02/03 Service Manager (AP10) from Children’s Services to Criminal Justice Services and to note that the existing post holder would transfer with the post;

(iii) to re-designate post 04/02 Planning Officer/Assistant Head (AP8) to Planning Officer;

(iv) to establish a new post of Manager (AP8) within the Children’s Services; and

(v) to delete post 06/08 Development Officer and post 06/03 Assistant Principal Officer, with the existing post holders being re-deployed to vacant posts with preserved salaries.

(b) Property Services Department - Client Services Division

There was submitted Joint Report No 140/98 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Personnel outlining proposed changes to the current staffing establishment within the Directorate and Client Services Division of the Property Services Department.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to the regrading of the post of Budget Administrator, post 04/05 from AP4 to AP2;

(ii) to the establishment of a post of Senior Clerical Assistant, graded GS3 in the Finance and Support Services Group;

(iii) to the deletion from the establishment of vacant post 03/03 Projects Officer, graded AP5;

(iv) to the establishment of a post of Administration Assistant, graded AP1, within the Programmes Group;

(v) to the re-establishment on a part-time basis of the post of Administration Assistant, post 01/05 at 25 hours per week; and

(vi) to the redesignation and regrading of Clerical Assistant from post 02/06, from GS1/2 to Senior Clerical Assistant, graded GS3.

(c) Department of Law and Administration

There was submitted Joint Report No 148/98 by the Director of Law and Administration and the Director of Personnel on changes to the structure and establishment of the Law and Administration Department following a review of the roles and responsibilities of posts within the Legal Services Section, in recognition of the impending early retirement on 31 March 1998 of the Head of Legal (Contractor).

The Committee agreed, with effect from 1 April 1998:-

(i) to note the impending early retiral of the Head of Legal Services (Contractor) on the grounds of early retirement in the interests of the efficiency of the service, in accordance with Council Policy;

(ii) to delete from the establishment, the said post of Head of Legal (Contractor) post 01/03;

(iii) to re-designate the current post of Head of Legal (Client) post 01/02 to that of Head of Legal Services;

(iv) to re-designate and regrade one of three posts of Senior Solicitor graded AP8 to Principal Solicitor, graded AP10; and

(v) to create one post of Assistant Paralegal, graded AP1, one post of Senior Clerical Assistant graded GS3, and one post of Clerical Assistant (P/T) (0.5FTE), graded GS1/2.

(d) Staffing Structure: Housing Department

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the special meeting of the Housing Committee of 29 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 184/98 by the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance, the Director of Housing and the Director of Personnel detailing proposals for changes to the staffing structure of the Housing Department.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to the establishment of a post of Principal Officer (Operations), graded AP8;

(ii) to the establishment of a post of Assistant Principal Officer (Operations), graded AP3;

(iii) to the establishment of two posts of Clerical Assistant, graded GS1/2; and

(iv) to the deletion from the establishment of post 02/04, Graduate Trainee, graded GS2.

3. APPLICATION FOR REGRADING

There was submitted Report No 147/98 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for regrading of the post of Clerical Assistant within the Social Work Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Clerical Assistant be regraded GS3 and redesignated Senior Clerical Assistant.

4. PROPOSED ALTERATIONS AND UPGRADING AT LETHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL, LETHAM

There was submitted Report No 142/98 by the Director of Property Services recommending a list of contractors to be invited to tender for the proposed alterations and upgrading at Letham Primary School, Letham.

The Committee agreed that the six contractors listed in the Report be invited to tender, subject to any financial assessment deemed to be necessary by the Director of Finance in consultation with the Director of Property Services.

5. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT WORKS

(a) Strathmore Avenue/Grant Road, Arbroath

With reference to Article 24 of the Housing Committee of 13 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 62/98 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Housing concerning proposals to procure the environmental improvement works at Strathmore Avenue/Grant Road, Arbroath by means of a Schedule of Rates Contract. A draft scheme for the proposed works had already been prepared and approved by the Housing Department and details of the proposed works to be undertaken were outlined in the Report.

The Committee agreed, for its interest,

(i) to note that an additional capital allocation of £190,000 for 1997/98 had been awarded to the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund by the Scottish Office under the heading "Housing Initiatives - New Housing Partnerships" for the above scheme; and

(ii) to approve the procurement of the work by means of a Schedule of Rates Contract.

(b) Forfar Academy

There was submitted Report No 168/98 by the Director of Property Services reporting on tenders received to carry out energy improvement works at Forfar Academy which comprised replacing light fittings with low energy fittings and installing automatic lighting controls.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the acceptance of the lowest tender for the works, that of D H Morris & Co Ltd, Dundee in the amount of £93,971.84;

(ii) to note that the cost of the project would be met from funds made available from the Scottish Office "Spend to Spend" Initiative; and

(iii) to note that the anticipated annual savings in energy costs would be £12,000.

6. PROPERTY TRANSACTION

There was submitted Report No 135/98 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for the transaction detailed in Appendix 1 to the Report.

The Committee agreed to note the conclusion of the negotiations for the acquisition of superiorities as set out in Appendix 1 to the Report.

7. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF LAND AT ADMIRAL STREET, WESTHAVEN, CARNOUSTIE

With reference to Article 23 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 22 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 41/98 by the Director of Property Services, the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Housing advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for the disposal of two areas of land and the lease of a working area at Admiral Street, Westhaven, Carnoustie to the North of Scotland Water Authority, and the outcome of negotiations with Dalhousie Estates for the acquisition of a Minute of Waiver to permit the proposed use of the site.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to the disposal of an area of land measuring 0.249 hectares or thereby at Admiral Street, Westhaven, Carnoustie to the North of Scotland Water Authority on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report;

(ii) to the disposal of an area of land measuring 98 square metres or thereby at Admiral Street, Westhaven, Carnoustie to the North of Scotland Water Authority on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report;

(iii) to the lease of an area of land measuring 0.427 hectares or thereby at Admiral Street, Westhaven, Carnoustie to the North of Scotland Water Authority on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report; and

(iv) to the acquisition of a Minute of Waiver from Dalhousie Estates required to permit the proposed use of land at Admiral Street, Westhaven, Carnoustie on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report.

8. PROPOSED LEASE OF LAND AT CRAIG O’LOCH ROAD, FORFAR - FORFAR SEWER IMPROVEMENTS

With reference to Article 24 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 22 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 75/98 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Recreation Services advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for the lease of two areas of land at Craig O’Loch Road, Forfar to the North of Scotland Water Authority.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to the lease of an area of ground measuring 490 square metres or thereby plus land for an access road at Craig O’Loch Road, Forfar to the North of Scotland Water Authority on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report; and

(ii) to the temporary lease of an area of land measuring 1366 square metres or thereby at Craig O’Loch Road, Forfar to the North of Scotland Water Authority on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report.

9. ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS

(a) Monikie Primary School

There was submitted Report No 128/98 by the Director of Property Services recommending a list of contractors to be invited to tender for alterations and additions to Monikie Primary School, Monikie.

The Committee agreed that the six contractors set out in the Report be invited to tender, subject to any financial assessment deemed to be necessary by the Director of Finance in consultation with the Director of Property Services.

(b) St Thomas’ RC Primary School, Arbroath

There was submitted Report No 129/98 by the Director of Property Services recommending a list of contractors to be invited to tender for alterations and additions to St Thomas’ RC Primary School, Arbroath.

The Committee agreed that the six contractors set out in the Report be invited to tender, subject to any financial assessment deemed to be necessary by the Director of Finance in consultation with the Director of Property Services.

10. MINUTES

(a) Minute of Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 December 1997 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 held on 16 December 1997.

11. TRIBUTE: DR ROBERT MACINTYRE

The Convener paid tribute to Dr Robert Macintyre, the first Scottish National Party MP, who had died recently. The Committee agreed that the condolences of the Council be passed to Dr Macintyre’s widow and family.

12. GP REFERRAL SCHEME

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 19 January and Article 13 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 22 January 1998, the Committee agreed to note that the Ravenswood and Green Street Surgeries in Forfar had secured funding to run a GP Referral Scheme for approximately one year and that a GP Referral Consultant had been appointed for the duration of the Scheme.

13. REVIEW OF THE CLEANSING ADMINISTRATION SECTION

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 20 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 56/98 by the Contract Services Manager and the Director of Personnel proposing the establishment of a part-time Clerical Assistant post to provide support within the Cleansing Section as a result of a substantial increase in the workload of the administrative staff.

The Committee agreed to approve the establishment of one post of part-time Clerical Assistant (17.5 hours), graded GS1/2, within the Contract Services Department.

13. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - CONTRACT SERVICES

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 20 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 55/98 by the Director of Personnel and the Contract Services Manager seeking agreement to fix the remaining five, out of the twelve, public holidays to be observed by employees of specific sections of Contract Services, during 1998, which had been the subject of consultation with the relevant trade unions.

The Committee agreed to approve the recommendations of the Contract Services Committee that the additional five fixed public holidays to be observed by employees of Ground Maintenance, Painting and Plumbing and Leisure Management be 30 and 31 March, 25 May, 20 July and either 5 or 6 October.

14. MONITORING EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

There was submitted Report No 144/98 by the Director of Personnel outlining a proposed policy for measuring employee turnover within the Council in order (a) to estimate reliably future staffing and recruitment needs by taking into account past levels of employee turnover and (b) to identify the current levels of turnover so, if necessary, that steps could be taken to reduce these levels.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report involving an approach to monitoring employee turnover based on the three models (or indices) identified by the Accounts Commission.

15. WORK EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

There was submitted Report No 145/98 by the Director of Personnel seeking the Committee’s approval of and commitment towards the development of work experience placements within the Council for people with disabilities.

The Committee agreed to commit the Council to working in conjunction with the Employment Disability Unit to facilitate the development of individually tailored work placements.

16. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of meeting of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 2 September 1997, there was submitted Report No 146/98 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within Angus Council for the period 1 July to 30 September 1997.

The Committee noted the terms of the Report.

17. EARLY RETIRAL/VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY SCHEME: 1 APRIL 1998 - 30 JUNE 1998

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 11 March 1997, there was submitted Report No 152/98 by the Director of Personnel seeking agreement to extend the existing scheme for early retirement and voluntary redundancy within Angus Council for a further period of three months until 30 June 1998, pending the revision of the scheme as a consequence of the introduction of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to extend the Early Retiral/Voluntary Redundancy Scheme outlined in the Report for a further period until 30 June 1998;

(ii) to delegate authority to the Chief Executive and the Director of Personnel to approve requests under the Scheme as outlined, in consultation with the Director of Finance and the appropriate Chief Officer;

(iii) to delegate authority to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Convener of the Finance and Information Technology Committee, to agree virement from the total capital and revenue budget or the revenue balance, when necessary, to cover the costs of early retirals/redundancies; and

(iv) to authorise the Director of Finance and Director of Personnel to bring forward a Report once the Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations had been approved, proposing a revised Early Retiral Scheme taking into account the discretionary provisions of the new Regulations and advice issued by COSLA in respect of the Accounts Commissions publication "Bye Now - Pay Later".

18. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF SITE AT BEACON TERRACE, FERRYDEN

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 June 1997 and to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of the Housing Committee of 12 August 1997 wherein it was agreed that property of Beacon Terrace, Ferryden be sold to the tenant, it was reported that the tenant had since died.

The Committee agreed that the site and buildings be advertised for sale on the open market.

19. PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF LAND AT PROVOST REID’S ROAD, MONTROSE

With reference to Article 21 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 22 January 1998, Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the General Purposes Sub-Committee of the Policy and Resources Committee of 27 January 1998, and to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Roads Committee of 29 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 74/97 by the Director of Property Services, the Director of Roads and the Director of Recreation Services which detailed the outcome of negotiations for the acquisition of an area of land measuring 0.961 hectares or thereby at Provost Reid’s Road, Montrose from Rail Property Limited.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the acquisition of a site measuring 0.961 hectares or thereby at Provost Reid’s Road, Montrose on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report;

(ii) that the ownership and future maintenance responsibility of the bridge which supported part of Marine Avenue be allocated to the Roads Account;

(iii) that future maintenance responsibility of the land at Provost Reid’s Road, Montrose be allocated to the Recreation Services Account;

(iv) that the finance for the proposed landscaping works be met from the Montrose Common Good Account; and

(v) that the Director of Recreation Services carry out the proposed landscaping works to the site at the estimated cost of £16,500.

20. PROPOSED LEASE OF LAND AT PANBRIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL, CARNOUSTIE

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 27 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 95/98 by the Director of Education and Director of Property Services concerning proposals to lease an area of land adjacent to Panbride Primary School to be used as a new playing field, as the school currently had no provision for pupils undertaking sporting events such as football and athletics.

The Committee agreed to the lease of a site measuring 0.35ha or thereby adjacent to Panbride Primary School, on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report.

21. PROGRESS REPORTS

(a) Property Maintenance

There was submitted Report No 136/98 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 Management Report

There was submitted Report No 137/98 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) Construction Projects 1997/98

There was submitted Report No 138/98 by the Director of Property Services on the progress of construction projects up to the end of December 1997.

The Committee noted the terms of the Report.

(d) Delegated Building Works - Quarterly Report

There was submitted Report No 139/98 by the Director of Property Services detailing tenders accepted and orders placed by the Director of Property Services under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers and Financial Regulations in the period from 10 October 1997 to 14 January 1998.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report.