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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 2 February 1999 at 4.00 pm.

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

Councillor 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 consideration of items 2 - 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, 8 and 9

2. APPLICATIONS FOR REGRADING

(a) Chief Executive’s Department

There was submitted Report No 118/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for regrading of a post of Senior Clerical Assistant within the Chief Executive’s Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Senior Clerical Assistant GS3, (Post No 02/04) be redesignated and regraded Administrative Assistant Grade AP1.

(b) Education Department

There was submitted Report No 119/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for regrading of 8 posts of School Librarian within the Education Department.

The Committee agreed that the posts of School Librarian (Post Nos 101/11, 102/07, 103/10, 104/07, 105/08, 106/07, 107/09, 109/07) be regraded to AP3/4.

(c) Social Work Department

There was submitted Report No 120/99 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for regrading of the post of Clerical Assistant (Care, Assessment & Review), within the Social Work Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Clerical Assistant (Care, Assessment & Review) (Post No 02/53) be redesignated and regraded Senior Clerical Assistant Grade GS3.

3. CULTURAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT - STAFFING REVIEW

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 21 January 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 52/99 by the Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Personnel proposing changes to the staff structure of the Cultural Services Department. The Report indicated that the proposals would also give experienced members of staff the opportunity for greater personal development.

The Committee for its interest, agreed:

(i) to note the proposed changes to the establishment of the Cultural Services Department, as outlined in the Report; and

(ii) to approve:

(a) the deletion of post No 01/ 02, Head of Public Services;

(b) the establishment of a post of Libraries and Information Services Manager, Grade AP8;

(c) the establishment of a post of Support Services Manager, grade AP8;

(d) the deletion of one post of Librarian, the Post No of which would be identified following appointment to the post in (b) above;

(e) the regrading of one post of Assistant Librarian from AP3 to AP4, the Post No of which would be identified following appointment to the post in (b) above;

(f) the establishment of a post of Library Assistant (10 hours per week), Grade GS1/2; and

(g) the deletion of post No 04/02, Assistant Librarian, Grade AP5.

4. PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT: ANGUS COUNCIL TRAINING SERVICES - REVIEW OF OPERATIONS

With reference to Article 17 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Report No 125/99 by the Director of Personnel advising members of the findings of a review of the operations of Angus Council Training Services (ACTS). The Report set out a series of proposals, including the rationalisation of staffing, which was intended to address problems which had been identified.

The Committee agreed:

(i) to note the findings of the review of Angus Council Training Services (ACTS), carried out by the Director of Personnel and the Director of Finance, as detailed in the Report;

(ii) to approve the series of actions proposed as a consequence of these findings and, in particular, the following changes to the establishment of the Personnel Department:-

(a) to delete 3 posts of Training Projects Supervisor, Grade AP3 and 1.4 posts of Training Development Officer Grade AP3;

(b) to note that the specific posts for deletion in terms of (a) above would be identified once the posts were vacated, either through early retiral or redeployment;

(c) to delete the post of Temporary Training Co-ordinator (IT), Grade AP5/6, (currently vacant) and 2.5 posts of Temporary Training Instructor (IT), Grade AP3;

(d) to note that the posts detailed at (c) above would be replaced by two fixed term posts as detailed at (g) below;

(e) to delete the following posts (all of which were currently vacant):-

two posts of Training Projects Supervisors (post Nos 07/06 and 07/07), Grade AP3;

the post of Clerical Assistant (post No 07/12), Grade GS1/2;

the post of Senior Training Development Officer (post No 07/14), Grade AP5/6;

two posts of Training Development Officer (post Nos 07/16 and 07/23), Grade AP3;

the post of Senior Training and Skills Development Officer (post No 07/20), Grade AP5/6;

the post of Senior Training Administration Officer (post No 07/24), Grade AP4; and

the post of Senior Clerical Assistant (post No 07/25), Grade GS3.

(f) to establish the post of Administrative Assistant, Grade AP2, with the post being filled from within the current staffing complement of ACTS and the resulting vacant post being deleted from the establishment;

(g) to establish 2 posts of IT Training Instructors Grade AP3 (one year fixed term contracts);

(h) to regrade the post of Senior Training Projects Officer, (post No O7/02) from AP5/6 to AP5, with the regrading taking effect only when the current post holder left the post; and

(i) to redesignate the post of Project Administrative Assistant post No 07/1 to Senior Clerical Assistant;

(iii) to authorise the Director of Personnel to liaise with the Director of Property Services to arrange the relocation of ACTS staff based in Ferryden, Montrose to the Arbroath Business Centre and to identify suitable alternative accommodation for the staff and operations based at Old Ladyloan School, Arbroath;

(iv) to authorise the Director of Personnel and the Director of Finance to enter into discussions with Scottish Enterprise Tayside to explore the possibility of revising current funding arrangements for the training schemes managed by ACTS;

(v) to authorise the Director of Personnel to enter into discussions with other training providers in the area to explore the feasibility of the delivery of certain training programmes on a partnership basis, should the proposals set out in the Report not address current budget and operational problems satisfactorily; and

(vi) to note that the Director of Finance would apply virement measures equal to the projected £140,000 overspend in ACTS revenue budget for 1998/99, to ensure that the Council’s overall cash limited budget policy was maintained.

5. HILLSIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL - APPOINTMENT OF PLANNING SUPERVISOR

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 December 1998, there was submitted Report No 133/99 by the Director of Property Services reporting on tenders received for the provision of Planning Supervisor services, for Hillside Primary School.

The Committee agreed to homologate the action taken by the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and the Director of Property Services in accepting the second lowest tender for the provision of Planning Supervisor services, for Hillside Primary School, that of Neill Wilson Partnership, Forfar in the amount of £4,277.

6. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF SITE AT TAYOCK, MONTROSE

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 12 January 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 29/99 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection, advising the Committee of the level of interest in acquiring a Council owned site at Tayock, Montrose and proposing that the site be marketed for sale or lease.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to advertise for sale or lease on the open market a site measuring 3.90 Ha or thereby, at Tayock, Montrose.

7. SCHEDULE OF PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 October 1998, there was submitted Report No 129/99 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for various transactions.

The Committee agreed to note the conclusion of negotiations for the items contained in Appendices 1 - 4 of the Report.

8. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 December 1998 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) 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 17 December 1998. (APPENDIX)

9. CENTRAL SAFETY COMMITTEE

The Committee noted that as a result of Councillor Rob Murray resigning from the Central Safety Committee, a vacancy required to be filled from the membership of the Personnel and Property Services Committee.

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillor David Selfridge.

10. ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 23 October 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 128/99 by the Director of Law and Administration, the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Director of Personnel, addressing the possibility of employing an Enforcement Officer in respect of Civic Licensing, Liquor Licensing and Consumer Protection matters. The Report indicated that the need had been identified for an enforcement facility to support the licensing functions carried out by the Law and Administration and Environmental and Consumer Protection Departments.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:

(i) to establish the temporary post of Enforcement Officer, Grade AP4, on a two year fixed term basis; and

(ii) to establish a half-time post of Clerical Assistant Grade GS1/2 to be funded from the policy-led Budget.

11. FINANCIAL ADVISORS TO EMPLOYEES

With reference to Article 3(c) of the minute of meeting of Angus Council of 19 February 1998, there was submitted Report No 121/99 by the Director of Personnel setting out proposals for the introduction and launch of a financial advisory service to employees, as an extension to the Employee Benefits Package. The extension of the package by the inclusion of a financial advisory service to employees demonstrated the Council’s continuing development of a conditions of service package which supported the Key Theme of "Valuing Staff".

The Committee agreed:

(i) to approve the introduction and launch of a financial advisory service to employees as outlined in Section 3 of the Report; and

(ii) to note that all costs associated with the production of a leaflet, to be incorporated in the Employee Benefits Package folder, would be underwritten by the participating companies.

12. INVESTORS IN PEOPLE - APPOINTMENT OF ADVISER

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 23 October 1998, there was submitted Report No 141/99 by the Director of Personnel proposing the appointment of an Investors in People Adviser, to promote Investors in People and support departments with its implementation.

The Report indicated that, on 11 January 1999, the Council had made a public commitment to work towards the implementation of Investors in People throughout Angus Council Departments. The member of staff, when appointed, would require to give a full-time commitment to the necessary actions and to work with departments to promote good practice in order to achieve the Investors in People standard.

The Committee agreed to establish the post of Investors In People Adviser, Grade AP5/6, on a two year fixed-term basis.

13. LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY FOR CHILDREN’S PANEL MEMBERS

With reference to Article 21 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 122/99 by the Director of Personnel proposing the adoption of a policy on leave of absence which would apply to any employee of Angus Council who was, or was training to be, a Member of a Children’s Panel.

The Report indicated that the Children’s Hearing System had a vital and continuing part to play at the centre of child care in Scotland in which Children’s Panel Members played a major part. The Panel system could not operate without individual members of the public willing to serve as members and, in recognition of this, it was proposed that the policy as set out in the Report be adopted.

The Committee agreed to approve the policy on Leave of Absence for Children’s Panel Members, as outlined in the Report.

14. INDUCTION POLICY AND ARRANGEMENTS

There was submitted Report No 124/99 by the Director of Personnel proposing the adoption of a policy statement on induction.

The Report indicated that the proposed policy expanded on the existing commitment of the Council and re-emphasised the importance of induction in setting out principles which would underpin effective induction. Implementation of these arrangements would also assist the Council in its goal of achieving the Investors in People Standard.

The Committee agreed:

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

(ii) to approve for adoption by the Council, the policy statement on induction, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

15. UNISON WORKPLACE LEARNING PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL

There was submitted Report No 66/99 by the Director of the Personnel outlining a proposal to enter into partnership with UNISON to deliver a "Return to Learn" programme and, if required, the "Communication Skills" course to Angus Council employees, initially on a pilot basis.

The Report indicated that UNISON’s "Return to Learn" programme had been successfully delivered through the Workers Educational Association and in partnership with other employers. It provided employees who were on a lower grade in the organisation with the confidence to develop their learning skills, which was beneficial both to the individual and the employing department. This provision would also further progress the Investors in People standard.

The Committee agreed to enter into partnership with UNISON to make the "Return to Learn" programme available to Angus Council employees, initially on a pilot basis.

16. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 18 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 December 1998, there was submitted Report No 123/99 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within Angus Council for the period 1 July - 30 September 1998.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

17. PROPERTY MAINTENANCE OF HEADQUARTERS BUILDINGS AND LOCAL OFFICES

There was submitted Report No 130/99 by the Director of Property Services reporting on measures being taken to contain costs within the respective budgets for Local Offices and the property costs element of the revenue budget for Headquarters Buildings.

The Report indicated that a range of unforeseen expenses had been identified which were associated with the management of the 1998/99 Revenue Budget for Local Offices and the property costs element of the Revenue Budget for Headquarters Buildings. A strategy for containing the projected overspend in the current financial year had been agreed by the Director of Finance and it was proposed, as part of this strategy, that savings be made in the property maintenance elements of the respective budgets and alternative funding made available.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:

(i) to note the need for measures to be taken to contain expenditure within the Revenue Budget provisions for Local Offices and the property costs element of the Revenue Budget for Headquarters Buildings; and

(ii) to approve £90,000 alternative funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in the current financial year.

18. THE REID HALL, FORFAR - URGENT REPAIRS

With reference to Article 19 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Report No 131/99 by the Director of Property Services reporting on the outturn cost for urgent repairs to the Reid Hall, Forfar, and indicating the requirement for additional funding. The Report indicated that the works comprised the renewal of existing emergency lighting and fire alarm systems to bring them up to a condition which fully satisfied the requirements of Tayside Fire Brigade.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note that the latest cost for the project was now £40,000;

(ii) to note that the current provisions from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund were insufficient; and

(iii) to homologate the decision by the Director of Property Services to allocate £11,000 additional funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.

19. PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE, VICTORIA PARK, ARBROATH - URGENT REPAIRS

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 5 November 1998, there was submitted Report No 132/99 by the Director of Property Services reporting on the outturn costs and the requirement for additional funding for the provision of urgent repairs to the pedestrian footbridge at Victoria Park, Arbroath. The Report indicated that the works comprised the demolition and infilling of the two spans crossing the Seaton Den burn and the construction of a footpath.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:

(i) to note that the latest cost for the project was now £71,000;

(ii) to note that the current provisions from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund were insufficient; and

(iii) to homologage the decision by the Director of Property Services to allocate £8,000 additional funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.