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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 15 June 1999 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BILL MIDDLETON, ROB MURRAY, ALISTAIR GRAY, ALEX KING, STEPHEN LESLIE, THE HON R J LESLIE MELVILLE, IAN MACKINTOSH, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BRIAN MILNE, PETER MURPHY, PETER NIELD, BILL ROBERTON and DAVID SELFRIDGE.

Councillor BILL MIDDLETON, Convener, in the Chair.

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27(2) that the public and press be excluded during considering of Items 2 to 11 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 and 9.

2. APPLICATIONS FOR REGRADING

(a) Education Department

There was submitted Report No 607/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for the regrading of three posts of Word Processor Operator within the Education Department.

The Committee agreed that the current grade was appropriate and that the application for regrading be refused.

(b) Property Services Department

There was submitted Report No 608/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for the regrading of the post of Senior Clerical Assistant within the Property Services Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Senior Clerical Assistant (Post No 04/09) be regraded to AP2 and redesignated Accounts Administrator.

(c) Property Services Department

There was submitted Report No 609/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for the regrading of the post of Clerical Assistant within the Property Services Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Clerical Assistant (Post No 09/05) be regraded to GS3 and redesignated Senior Clerical Assistant.

(d) Roads Department

There was submitted Report No 610/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for the regrading of the post of Technical Assistant within the Roads Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Technical Assistant (Post No 02/10) be regraded to Tech 1 and redesignated Traffic Assistant.

3. PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT: PERSONNEL AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS SECTION ESTABLISHMENT

There was submitted Report No 611/99 by the Director of Personnel proposing amendments to the establishment of the Personnel and Employee Relations Section of the Personnel Department. These changes would address a number of issues affecting delivery of services.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the deletion of Post No 02/04, Personnel Adviser Grade AP5/6;

(ii) to the establishment of a post of Personnel Assistant, Grade AP2; and

(iii) to the redesignation and regrading of Post Nos 02/08 and 02/09, Personnel Administration Assistant, Grade AP1, to Personnel Assistant, Grade AP2.

4. PLANNING AND TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT, TECHNICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES - ADJUSTMENTS TO STRUCTURE AND ESTABLISHMENT

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Planning and Transport Policy Committee of 8 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 606/99 by the Director of Planning and Transport and the Director of Personnel, detailing proposals for amendments to the structure and establishment of support services within the Planning and Transport Department, deemed appropriate in the light of the development of new systems and the introduction of Best Value.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the following changes to the establishment of the Planning and Transport Department:-

(a) the redesignation and regrading of Post No 02/12 Administration Assistant Grade AP1 to Senior Technical Support Assistant, Grade AP2;

(b) the establishment of two posts of Technical Support Assistant, Grade GS3; and

(c) the redesignation and regrading of Post No 06/06 Clerical Assistant Grade GS1/2 to Senior Clerical Assistant, Grade GS3; and

(ii) to note that the posts in (b) above would be filled from within the staffing complement of four full-time Clerical Assistant posts and consequently, two Clerical Assistant posts would be deleted from the establishment.

5. STAFF EXCHANGE

With reference to Article 21 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 3 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 545/99 by the Director of Cultural Services concerning a request from a member of staff to enter into a job exchange arrangement. The Report indicated that the exchange would be carried out at no expense to the Council, as all costs would be met by the participants.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to support the request.

6. NEWBIGGING PARK - LEASE OF GROUND AND ERECTION OF FENCING

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 3 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 530/99 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Property Services seeking approval to lease Newbigging Park and to remove and replace the existing fencing.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to authorise the Director of Recreation Services, in consultation with the Director of Law and Administration and the Director of Property Services, to enter into a lease with Commercial Union regarding Newbigging Park, on the basis detailed in the Report.

7. HENDERSON PARK, LIFF - DONATION OF LAND

With reference to Article 20 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 3 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 546/99 by the Director of Recreation Services, the Director of Property Services and the Director of Law and Administration, advising the Committee of arrangements regarding the proposed donation of 0.75 hectares of land at Henderson Park, Liff for the purposes of public open space.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note and approve the terms of the Report.

8. ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSION TO LIFF PRIMARY SCHOOL, LIFF - TENDER LIST

There was submitted Report No 619/99 by the Director of Property Services detailing the list of contractors to be invited to tender for alteration and extension work to Liff Primary School.

The Committee agreed that the six contractors on the undernoted list be invited to tender and that the two reserves be considered only if any of the six declined the invitation to tender, subject to satisfactory financial assessments being carried out by the Director of Finance.

W H Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd, Dundee

G & B Contractors Ltd, Forfar

Hall & Tawse Ltd, Aberdeen

J & G Construction Ltd, Dundee

Taycon Construction Ltd, Dundee

Webster Contracts Ltd, Kingsmuir, by Forfar

Reserves:-

Muirfield Contracts Ltd, Dundee

Andrew Shepherd & Sons Ltd, Forfar

9. ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSION TO MATTOCKS PRIMARY SCHOOL, WELLBANK - TENDER LIST

There was submitted Report No 620/99 by the Director of Property Services detailing the list of contractors to be invited to tender for alteration and extension work to Mattocks Primary School, Wellbank.

The Committee agreed that the six contractors on the undernoted list be invited to tender and that the two reserves be considered only if any of the six declined the invitation to tender, subject to satisfactory financial assessments being carried out by the Director of Finance.

Forman Construction Ltd, Dundee

Hall & Tawse Ltd, Aberdeen

Muirfield Contracts Ltd, Dundee

Andrew Shepherd & Sons Ltd, Forfar

Taycon Construction Ltd, Dundee

Webster Contracts Ltd, Kingsmuir, by Forfar

Reserves:

Stewart Milne Construction, Aberdeen

Clachan Construction Ltd, Perth

10. ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSION TO MURROES PRIMARY SCHOOL, DUNTRUNE - TENDER LIST

There was submitted Report No 621/99 by the Director of Property Services detailing the list of contractors to be invited to tender for alteration and extension work to Murroes Primary School.

The Committee agreed that the six contractors on the undernoted list be invited to tender and that the two reserves be considered only if any of the six declined the invitation to tender, subject to satisfactory financial assessments being carried out by the Director of Finance.

Forman Construction Ltd, Dundee

Hall & Tawse Ltd, Aberdeen

Derek McNulty, Arbroath

Muirfield Contracts Ltd, Dundee

Andrew Shepherd & Sons Ltd, Forfar

Webster Contracts Ltd, Kingsmuir, by Forfar

Reserves:

Stewart Milne Construction, Aberdeen

Clachan Construction, Perth

11. PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 22 April 1999, there was submitted Report No 622/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for various property transactions.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the conclusion of negotiations for the items contained in Appendices 1 to 4; and

(ii) to approve, subject to planning consent, the disposal of the former school at Muirhead of Liff.

12. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

With reference to Article 5(c) of the minute of meeting of the Council held on 13 May 1999, the Committee agreed to note the members appointed to this Committee.

13. APPOINTMENTS

(a) Executive Sub-Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Bill Middleton, Rob Murray and Peter Murphy to the Personnel and Property Services Executive Sub-Committee.

(b) Appeals Sub-Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Bill Middleton, Rob Murray and Peter Murphy to the Appeals Sub-Committee.

(c) Sounding Board

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Rob Murray, Bill Middleton, Alex King, Alistair Gray and Peter Murphy to the Sounding Board.

(d) Central Safety Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Bill Middleton, Rob Murray, Bill Crowe and Peter Murphy to the Central Safety Committee.

14. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 22 April 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Sounding Board

There was submitted and noted the minute of meeting of the Sounding Board of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 22 April 1999 (APPENDIX I).

(c) Executive Sub-Committee

There was submitted and noted the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 4 May 1999 (APPENDIX II).

15. SERVICE PLAN FOR 1999/2000 - PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT

With reference to Article 23 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 629/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the preparation of the Personnel Department’s Service Plan for 1999/2000. The Service Plan included information relating to priority objective areas on future plans for the period up to 2002.

The Committee agreed to approve the Personnel Department’s Service Plan for 1999/2000.

16. ASSISTANCE FOR EMPLOYEES UNDERTAKING COURSES LEADING TO A QUALIFICATION

There was submitted Report No 657/99 by the Director of Personnel proposing the adoption of a revised Scheme of Assistance for Employees Undertaking Courses Leading to a Qualification. The proposals involved revisions that took into account changes in the methods by which employees worked towards qualifications and also introduced the possibility of cost sharing, where appropriate. The adoption of the cost sharing arrangements, in appropriate cases, would allow a greater number of employees than was previously the case to benefit from assistance.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report; and

(ii) to approve the Scheme of Assistance for Employees Undertaking Courses Leading to a Qualification, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

17. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PACKAGE

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 February 1999, there was submitted Report No 612/99 by the Director of Personnel, giving details of a review which had been undertaken of the Employee Benefits Package and outlining proposals to introduce an extension to the Package.

The Report indicated that the take-up by employees of the different products/services selected for the Employee Benefits Package since it had been launched in March 1998 indicated the success of the initiative. The re-launch of the products/services and the extension of the Package to include Denplan and the Health Care Cash Plan would further enhance the benefits available to employees.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report;

(ii) to approve the inclusion of the Dental Care Plan offered by Denplan and the Health Care Cash Plan offered by the Hospital Saturday Fund, within the Employee Benefits Package; and

(iii) to authorise the Director of Personnel to agree the inclusion of a Well Woman Insurance Plan within the Employees Benefits Package, subject to a satisfactory agreement being reached with AIG Europe (UK) Ltd.

18. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 March 1999, there was submitted Report No 613/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within Angus Council for the period 1 January to 31 March 1999.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

19. 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 614/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the levels of employee turnover within the Council, during the 1998/99 financial year.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

20. EARLY RETIRAL/VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 615/99 by the Director of Personnel seeking agreement for the continuation of the Early Retiral and Voluntary Redundancy Scheme, which had been put in place in line with the Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 1998. In addition, the Report outlined the number of staff released on early/ill health retirement during the period 1996 to 1999.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to continue the Early Retiral/Voluntary Redundancy Scheme outlined in the Report;

(ii) to delegate authority to the Executive Sub-Committee to consider applications for early retiral/voluntary redundancy from those employed under the Chief Officers’ Scheme, in line with the terms of the Report;

(iii) to delegate authority to the Chief Executive and the Director of Personnel to approve requests under the Scheme for all other employees (those who were not members of the Chief Officers’ Scheme) in consultation with the Director of Finance and the appropriate Chief Officer;

(iv) to delegate authority to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Convener of the Finance and Information Technology Committee, to agree on virement from the total capital and revenue budget or the revenue balance, when necessary, to cover the cost of early retirement/voluntary redundancy;

(v) to authorise the Director of Personnel to review the incidence of ill health retiral and the current ill health procedures and to bring forward a further Report in due course; and

(vi) to authorise the Director of Finance and the Director of Personnel to bring forward a joint Report on an annual basis to monitor retirals on efficiency, redundancy and ill health grounds.

21. ESTABLISHMENT OF ADDITIONAL CLERICAL SUPPORT - EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 8 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 572/99 by the Director of Education and the Director of Personnel seeking approval to establish two posts of Clerical Assistant within the Education Department, to support the Department’s Portable Appliance Testing Service and the Early Intervention Project.

The Committee agreed to approve the establishment of two posts of Clerical Assistant, Grade GS1/2 (SCP 3-12).

22. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT):

DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - NGfL

With reference to Article 13(a) of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 8 June 1999 and Article 22 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 568/99 by the Director of Education, the Director of Information Technology and the Director of Personnel outlining proposals to create a dedicated Education ICT Team. The aim of providing ICT equipment would be to enhance the learning experiences of learners throughout the curriculum, thereby improving standards and providing opportunities for personal development. By creating an Education ICT Team, it was intended to develop provision in a systematic co-ordinated manner while ensuring schools were properly supported.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the establishment of the posts of Education ICT Officer (Curriculum Issues) (Grade AP8), Support Engineer (Grade AP3/6) and Clerical Assistant (Grade GS1/2);

(ii) to approve the redesignation of one post of Adviser (5-18) to Education ICT Manager; and

(iii) to instruct all three Directors to bring forward a further Report on the final composition of the proposed Education ICT Team.

23. FRIOCKHEIM PARK - LEASE OF GROUND TO FRIOCKHEIM TRYST

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 3 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 528/99 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Property Services seeking approval for the lease of an area of ground in Friockheim Park to Friockheim Tryst for a Communal Garden.

The Report indicated that Friockheim Community Association had been successful in a bid to the National Lottery Charities Board for the proposed development at Friockheim. Part of the project was the development of a community garden in the north-east corner of the Park. In order to enable the development of the garden, the Community Association required to lease the ground from the Council.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve, in principle, the lease of an area of ground in Friockheim Park for the development and maintenance of a communal garden; and

(ii) to authorise the Director of Recreation Services, in consultation with the Director of Law and Administration and the Director of Property Services, to negotiate the details of the lease, subject to final approval by the Conveners of the Recreation and Cultural Services and Personnel and Property Services Committees.

24. PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY SURFACING CONTRACT

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 3 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 527/99 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Property Services outlining proposals for the expenditure of 1999/2000 finance allocated for the provision of play equipment and impact absorbing surfaces.

The Report indicated that the Department had been in discussion with communities with regard to the redevelopment of play areas and had identified a number of playgrounds which required improvement in the current financial year. It was also the Director’s intention to discuss with local members and relevant community groups, proposals for the individual play areas, prior to completion of the tender documents.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the programme of replacement and refurbishment of playground equipment and safety surfaces within the financial resources available in 1999/2000 at the following locations:-

Friockheim Public Park

Edzell Village Muir Road

Lochside, Forfar - Vandalism Replacement

Carnoustie Seafront Replacement Installation

Inch Park, Brechin

Gallowshade, Forfar

Knowehead, Kirriemuir Redevelopment; and

(ii) to approve a bid for £67,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.

25. PROPERTY RENEWAL AND REPAIR FUND - UPDATE OF FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS AND PLANNED PROGRAMME OF URGENT REPAIRS

There was submitted Report No 624/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the next phase of programmes of urgent repairs to be undertaken, utilising the Renewal and Repair Fund. In addition, the Report provided an update to the programme of additional repairs carried out in 1998/99.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the changes in the estimated cost of projects previously reported;

(ii) to homologate the provision of £30,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in financial year 1998/99 for the execution of additional urgent property repairs;

(iii) to approve the next phase of planned programme work at an estimated cost of £583,400 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund for the execution of urgent property repairs; and

(iv) to note that additional Priority 1 work to the value of £236,000 had been identified and would be the subject of future reports.

26. SUPPLEMENTARY FUNDING FOR THE PROVISION OF STAFF AND DISABLED TOILETS AT RAVENSWOOD OFFICES, FORFAR

With reference to Article 25 above, there was submitted Report No 623/99 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for additional works to be undertaken for the provision of staff and disabled toilets at Ravenswood Offices, Forfar. The additional works would allow the ground floor of the office to be brought up to a good standard of accommodation, which would be in line with recent improvements made to other offices and would include the provision of facilities for the disabled.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the requirement for additional improvements to the offices, as detailed in the Report; and

(ii) to approve the bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £36,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.

27. ABERLEMNO PRIMARY SCHOOL - REPLACEMENT OF TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION

With reference to Article 25 above, there was submitted Joint Report No 625/99 by the Director of Education and the Director of Property Services, outlining a proposal to replace temporary accommodation at Aberlemno Primary School, with a permanent extension and to undertake complementary works at an estimated cost of £176,000, provided from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the project and the provision of £176,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund; and

(ii) to authorise the Director of Property Services to progress these urgent works.

28. PROPERTY RENEWAL AND REPAIR FUND

FUNDING TO PROVIDE ACCOMMODATION AT ARBROATH BUSINESS CENTRE FOR RELOCATED PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT TRAINING STAFF

With reference to Article 25 above, there was submitted Report No 630/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the estimated cost of alterations to provide office accommodation in the Arbroath Business Centre for the relocation of Angus Council Training Services staff based in Ferryden, Montrose. The Report indicated that funding had been identified from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to carry out the alteration works.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the project and the provision of £36,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund for alteration works to Arbroath Business Centre; and

(ii) to authorise the Director of Property Services to progress these urgent works.

29. PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT CORPORATE ENERGY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY - RESOURCES

With reference to Article 18 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 March 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 626/99 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Personnel outlining proposals for resource provision to be made to enable the Property Services Department to effectively undertake its corporate energy management responsibilities.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the establishment of new temporary posts of Energy Technician (Grade Tech 5) and Clerical Assistant, (Grade GS1/2) in the Energy Management Team, on a three year fixed term contract; and

(ii) to the provision of £45,000 specific funding incorporated within the Corporate Energy Budget, initially funded from savings achieved in the 1999/2000 Corporate Energy Budget.

30. PROVISION OF AUDIO VISUAL PROJECTION EQUIPMENT AT TOWN AND COUNTY HALL, FORFAR

With reference to Article 25 above, there was submitted Report No 617/99 by the Director of Property Services outlining the shortcomings of the existing system of visual presentations in the Council Chamber and proposing a new system to meet the needs of the new Council and improve the quality of visual presentations. The Report indicated that a quality audio visual system should be an integral part of the Council Chamber, not only for presentations to members but also for use by other bodies and that the equipment for such presentations would enable good quality professional presentations to be made.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the system of audio visual presentations for the Town and County Hall, Forfar, as outlined in the Report;

(ii) to authorise the Director of Property Services to seek competitive quotations for the system outlined;

(iii) to authorise the Director of Property Services to accept the most favourable offer after consultation with the Director of Finance, the Chief Executive and the Convener of the Personnel and Property Services Committee; and

(iv) to note that a bid for the funding required was being made from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.

31. PROGRESS REPORT - DEPARTMENTAL STRATEGY FOR MANAGING THE "YEAR 2000" PROBLEM

With reference to Article 29 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 December 1998, there was submitted Report No 628/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the progress made in implementing the strategy adopted by the Department, in response to Departmental and corporate aspects of the Year 2000 problem.

The Committee agreed to note the action taken to date by the Director of Property Services and the progress achieved, as outlined in the Report.

The following item was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency due to the potential costs that could fall to the Council.

32. UNAUTHORISED PORTACABIN AT ST NINIAN’S SQUARE, BRECHIN

There was submitted Report No 680/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of an unauthorised portacabin erected on St Ninian’s Square, Brechin for use as a Tourist Information Office. The Report outlined the implications for Angus Council and set out an alternative option in relation to an appropriate site for the portacabin.

Having heard from Councillors Nield, Glennis Middleton, Murray and King, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note that a portacabin measuring approximately 6 metres x 3 metres had been erected on St Ninian’s Square, Brechin without the permission of Angus Council;

(ii) to note the implications for Angus Council in terms of public liability and possible costs if the portacabin remained in place without the Council’s approval;

(iii) to authorise the removal of the portacabin if those who had placed it there did not remove it within 48 hours, noting that a provisional agreement had been reached for the portacabin to be moved to an alternative site;

(iv) to give consideration to an alternative site at the Caledonian Railway Station;

(v) to consider supporting a Town Centre Tourist Information facility, if the approval of the Angus and Dundee Tourist Board was obtained by those promoting the facility; and

(vi) to refer the matter to the Development Control Committee on 17 June 1999, to enable an update to be given.