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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 19 October 1999 at 4.00 pm.

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

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors BILL MIDDLETON, GLENNIS MIDDLETON and BILL ROBERTON.

Councillor MURRAY, Vice-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 the consideration of Items 2 to 7 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. REVIEW OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES STAFFING ESTABLISHMENT

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 6 October 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 965/99 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel noting the reduction in funding provided for Criminal Justice Social Work Services by the Scottish Executive in 1999/2000 and making proposals with regard to the structure of the service to meet the funding shortfall and to streamline the service within Best Value principles.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the establishment of the following posts:-

(a) 0.5 Community Service Supervisor SCP15-18;

(b) one Administration Assistant grade AP3; and

(c) 1.6 Clerical Assistant grade GS1/2; and

(ii) to delete the following posts:-

(a) Senior Administration Assistant (post no 04/23);

(b) Administration Assistant (post no 04/24);

(c) Senior Clerical Assistant (post no 04/26);

(d) Supervised Attendance Officer (half-time) (post no 04/20); and

(e) Planning Officer (post no 04/02).

3. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT): DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 8 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 1018/99 by the Director of Education and the Director of Personnel outlining proposals to create a dedicated Education ICT Team to provide support and assistance to enhance learning and teaching opportunities within all Angus schools.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the establishment of the post of Education ICT Assistant, grade AP1; and

(ii) to redesignate the following posts:-

(a) IT Officer to Education ICT Officer (School and Administration Support); and

(b) Programmer (part-time) to Education ICT Support Officer (part-time).

4. SINGLE STATUS NATIONAL AGREEMENT - PRESERVATION ARRANGEMENTS

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 31 August 1999, there was submitted Report No 1046/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the implications of the new Single Status Agreement for preservation arrangements and suggesting an approach for Angus Council. As implementation of the Agreement had removed former preservation arrangements in the Manual Workers and APT&C National Agreements, it was incumbent upon the Council to reach a decision on what preservation arrangements would apply if an individual was redeployed into a post on a lesser grade, as a consequence of restructuring.

The Report highlighted that the proposal to preserve on a cash conserved basis for a maximum period of three years would ensure consistency of approach with the preservation arrangements agreed nationally for the introduction of the recommended Job Evaluation Scheme.

The Committee agreed to note and approve the contents of the Report.

5. PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 31 August 1999, there was submitted Report No 1047/99 by the Director of Property Services advising of the outcome of negotiations for various property transactions.

The Committee agreed to note the conclusion of negotiations for the items contained in Appendices 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Report.

6. HAND AND ARM VIBRATION SYNDROME

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 5 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 989/99 by the Contract Services Manager advising of progress made to date in assessing and minimising the risk of Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) to Contract Services and Recreation Services staff and proposing a further course of action.

A pilot scheme of Audiometry/HAVS Health Assessment had been undertaken within Contract Services and Recreation Services with a total 101 staff having been assessed, 80 of whom had displayed no features of HAVS and, of the 21 staff that did display symptoms, none required any restriction to be placed on them.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the results of the health surveillance carried out; and

(ii) to appoint Sunderland City Occupational Health Services to undertake appropriate Audiometry/HAVS Health Assessment during the coming year at a total estimated cost of £2,330.

7. FIVE YEAR TERM CONTRACT (1999 TO 2004) FOR WATER TESTING AND TREATMENT (LEGIONELLA)

There was submitted Report No 1050/99 by the Director of Property Services concerning tenders received for the five year term contract (1999 to 2004) for water testing and treatment (Legionella). The works would comprise routine water testing and treatment of water installations within identified Council properties, in order to safeguard against the occurrence of legionella, together with essential urgent repair works to ensure systems remained free from legionella.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve acceptance of the lowest tender submitted for the five year term contract (1999-2004) for Water Testing and Treatment (Legionella) being that of Building Environmental Hygiene Ltd, Dundee, in the amount of £376,625, following amendment to correct errors;

(ii) to approve the estimated total cost of £441,425 (at out-turn prices); and

(iii) to note that the expenditure in the current year would be met from the allowance of £46,840 contained within the Final Revenue and Capital Budgets 1999/2000, with appropriate provision being made for expenditure in future years.

8. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 31 August 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

9. OVERTIME AND ADDITIONAL HOURS COSTS 1998/99

There was submitted Report No 859/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of overtime and additional hours costs within the Council during financial year 1998/99. The Report indicated that, in response to the Accounts Commissions’ Managing People Audit of Management Arrangements in Local Authorities, it had been recognised that improvements could be made in the quality of information available to the Chief Officers Management Team and the appropriate Committee(s). This Report was being submitted for information purposes only.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

10. TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE COSTS 1998/99

There was submitted Report No 860/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of travel and subsistence costs within the Council during the financial year 1998/99.

The Report indicated that, in response to the Accounts Commissions’ Managing People Audit of Management Arrangements in Local Authorities, it had been recognised that improvements could be made in the quality of information available to the Chief Officers Management Team and the appropriate Committee(s). This Report was being submitted for information purposes only.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

11. SICKNESS ABSENCE 1998/99

With reference to Article 18 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 1045/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within the Council during the financial year 1998/99. The Report summarised the information which had been submitted to the Committee on a quarterly basis and analysed the absence data for the Council for the 1998/99 financial year.

Councillor Murray referred to figures published by the Confederation of British Industry which had highlighted the large cost of sickness absence throughout the country and stressed that the Council was committed to addressing this matter.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

12. PROGRESS REPORT - PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT STRATEGY FOR MANAGING THE "YEAR 2000" PROBLEM

With reference to Article 31 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 1049/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the progress achieved in implementing the strategy adopted by his Department in response to the departmental and corporate aspects of the Year 2000 problem.

The Committee agreed to note the actions taken to date by the Director of Property Services and the progress so far achieved.

13. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW - PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT ESTATES SERVICES

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 12 May 1998, there was submitted Report No 1048/99 by the Director of Property Services giving details of a review of the Property Services Department’s Estates Services which had been undertaken within the context of the Council’s Best Value Action Plan and seeking approval of the Service Improvement Plan prepared as a consequence of the review. The Report indicated that the Review Team had assessed that the performance of the estates services was of an acceptable standard. A copy of the Service Review had been placed in the Members’ Lounge.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report;

(ii) to note and approve the terms of the Report on the Service Review of the Property Services Department’s Estates Services; and

(iii) to approve the proposed Service Improvement Plan arising from the review, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

14. CAPITAL PROJECT APPRAISAL - BIRKHILL PRIMARY SCHOOL

There was submitted Joint Report No 1013/99 by the Director of Education and the Director of Property Services describing the need to extend Birkhill Primary School in view of the continued increase in the school roll and recent Government policy to reduce class sizes, which had created significant problems in meeting the demand for places at the school. The Report was in the form of a Capital Project Appraisal which identified and commented on the options open to the Council.

The Committee, having heard from Councillor Ellis, Local Member, welcomed the project, and for its interest agreed:-

(i) to approve the extension of Birkhill Primary School at an estimated cost of £480,000 at outturn prices, subject to the availability of adequate financial resources;

(ii) to note that the phasing of expenditure outlined in the Report would be reflected in the revised Capital Programme for 1999/2000 and beyond;

(iii) to note the overall proposed funding indications and that the Director of Education would be asked to prepare a further report once the level of funding available in future years was clarified; and

(iv) to approve the preparation and issue of tender documents for phase 1 of the project.

15. PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT - SERVICE PLAN 1999

There was submitted Report No 1035/99 by the Director of Property Services, together with the Property Services Department’s Service Plan for 1999/2000, which had been prepared in the context of the Council’s corporate priorities and key themes.

The Report highlighted that there had been significant achievements in property investment and development during the first three years of the Council with staff dedicated to delivering capital and revenue programmes. The Plan set out the strategy to continue this remit and ensure that best value was obtained from the Council’s Property Asset and Investment Programme.

The Committee agreed:-

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

(ii) to approve the Service Plan for 1999/2000 in respect of the Property Services Department.