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Personnel and Property Committee

MINUTE of MEETING of the PERSONNEL AND PROPERTY SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 1 February 2000 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 consideration 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 and 8.

2. APPLICATIONS FOR REGRADING

(a) Property Services Department

There was submitted Report No 120/00 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for the regrading of the post of Programme Technician within the Property Services Department.

The Committee agreed that the post of Programme Technician (Post No 03/07) be regraded to Technical Grade 5.

(b) Education Department

There was submitted Report No 119/00 by the Director of Personnel concerning an application for the regrading of three Word Processor Operator posts, within the Education Department.

The Committee agreed that the posts of Word Processor Operator (Posts Nos 02/04, 06/06 and 07/05) be regraded to AP1 and redesignated Administration Assistants.

3. PROPOSED EXTENSION OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PACKAGE

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Report No 122/00 by the Director of Personnel setting out a proposal for the introduction and launch of a "holiday savings" product as an extension to the Employee Benefits Package with a view to enhancing the benefits available to employees and demonstrating the Council’s continuing development of a package supporting the key theme of valuing staff.

  1. The Committee agreed:-
  2. to approve the inclusion of a "holiday savings" product within the Employee Benefits Package; and
  3. to note that all costs associated with this initiative would be met by the participating Company.

4. ROADS DEPARTMENT ­ REVIEW OF ESTABLISHMENT AND STRUCTURE

With reference to Article 18 of the minute of meeting of the Roads Committee of 27 January 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 111/00 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Personnel detailing a proposal for amendments to the Roads Department establishment and structure brought about by improvements through Best Value processes, the introduction of the "Hilight" computerised street lighting management system and generally a realignment of staffing resources to support the delivery of cost effective services.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the following changes to the establishment of the Roads Department:-
    1. the regrading of Post No 04/05 Lighting Supervisor to Technical Grade 2;
    2. the redesignation and regrading of Post No 04/07 Lighting Inspector to Lighting Assistant, Technical Grade 1;
    3. the deletion of one post of Technician, Technical Grade 1/4;
    4. the establishment of a post of Clerical Assistant, grade GS1/2; and
    5. the establishment of a post of Engineer, grade AP5/6; and
  2. to note that the deleted post in (c) above would be known following an internal recruitment exercise to fill a currently vacant post of Senior Technician (Lighting).

5. FINANCE DEPARTMENT: REVENUES DIVISION: COUNCIL TAX AND HOUSING BENEFIT STAFFING

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 December 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 140/00 by the Director of Finance and the Director of Personnel proposing the establishment of three posts of Revenues Assistant within the Revenues Division of the Finance Department with a view to reducing the amount of overtime worked in respect of processing Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit claims.

The Committee agreed to approve the establishment of three posts of Revenues Assistant, Grade AP1 within the Finance Department.

6. PROPOSED LEASE OF OFFICES AT 9 CASTLE STREET, FORFAR

There was submitted Joint Report No 145/00 by the Director of Property Services and the Chief Executive advising the Committee of the provisional terms and conditions agreed for the lease of the first floor offices at 9 Castle Street, Forfar, for the Chief Executive’s Department.

The Report indicated that the leasing of these offices would provide much needed additional space for the Department and as the Council would then become the sole occupier of the offices at 9 Castle Street, the opportunity would be available to upgrade the entrance hallway and stairs to the Council’s specification, subject to the availability of funds.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to lease the property at 9 Castle Street, Forfar, on the terms and conditions as detailed in the Report.

7. PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 146/00 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee 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 and 3 of the Report.

8. PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF 3 NORTH GRANGE COTTAGES, GRANGE ROAD, MONIFIETH

There was submitted Report No 147/00 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of the outcome of negotiations for the acquisition of 3 North Grange Cottages, Grange Road, Monifieth and the rehousing of the current tenants.

The Report advised that the property was located on the proposed line of the new A92 dual carriageway and was included in the Angus Council (A92 Dundee-Arbroath Dualling) Compulsory Purchase Order 1999.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the acquisition of 3 North Grange Cottages, Grange Road, Monifieth on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report; and
  2. to note that the tenants of the property had been rehoused and that compensation had been agreed under the Director of Property Services’ delegated authority.

9. ARBROATH BUS STATION

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Planning and Transport Policy Committee of 27 January 2000, there was submitted Report No 95/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport advising the Committee of an approach made to the Council to lease the vacant office premises at Arbroath Bus Station for retail use.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the approach made to the Council for the lease of the vacant office accommodation at Arbroath Bus Station;
  2. to decline the proposal that this accommodation be leased for retail use; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to actively market these premises for office rather than retail use.

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

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 148/00 by the Director of Property Services reporting on tenders received for alterations and an extension to Murroes Primary School, Duntrune.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve acceptance of the lowest tender received for the several works, that of Shepherd General Builders, Forfar in the amount of £196,017.82;
  2. to approve the estimated total cost of the project of £253,423 (at out-turn prices);
  3. to note that an allowance of £265,000 had been made in the updated capital estimates included in the Capital Monitoring ­ Composite Capital Programme 1999/2000 Report; and
  4. (iv) to note the revenue implications arising from this project (first full year 2001/2002) as detailed in the Report.

11. LAND AT COOKSTON ROAD, BRECHIN

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 20 January 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 30/00 by the Director of Property Services, the Director of Housing and the Director of Recreation Services advising members of the proposed appropriation of land at Cookston Road, Brechin from the Housing Account to the Recreation Services Account.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the appropriation of this ground measuring 4.7 ha or thereby at Cookston Road, Brechin from the Housing Account to the Recreation Services Account at a valuation of £28,500.

12. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 November 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

13. WORK EXPERIENCE ­ HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 25 January 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 96/00 by the Director of Education and the Director of Personnel outlining some of the Health and Safety requirements relating to Work Experience and recommending the establishment of an additional part time post of Training Assistant in the Education Department, which would enable the Council to put the process of work experience risk assessments on a more systematic basis.

The Committee agreed to approve the creation of an additional part-time post of Training Assistant (0.5 full time equivalent) Grade AP1 as part of the permanent staff complement of the Education Department.

14. MANAGEMENT OF STRESS AT WORK

There was submitted Report No 125/00 by the Director of Personnel incorporating a suggested Management of Stress at Work Policy for adoption by the Council.

The Report indicated that work place stress was a growing concern for employers and in addition to direct absenteeism, it was generally accepted that employees suffering from stress under perform at work. There also appeared to be a growing trend of employees pursuing their employer through the Courts for damages resulting from the effect of work related stress. The Report detailed the mechanism for implementing the policy and appended to the Report The Management of Stress at Work Policy ­ Statement of Intent.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the terms of the Report;
  2. to adopt the Management of Stress at Work Policy as attached to the Report; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Personnel to submit a further report on Employee Counselling and Employee Assistance Programmes.

15. FAIRNESS AT WORK ­ EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS ACT 1999 ­ IMPLICATIONS FOR ANGUS COUNCIL

There was submitted Report No 121/00 by the Director of Personnel advising of provisions in the Employment Relations Act 1999 which came into force on 15 December 1999. This would introduce new minimum statutory entitlements for maternity leave, parental leave and time off for dependants. The Report also detailed the impact on certain contractual conditions of service currently enjoyed by employees of the Council.

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

16. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 123/00 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within the Council for the period 1 July to 30 September 1999.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

17. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

There was submitted Report No 124/00 by the Director of Personnel recommending the adoption, in principle, of the National Code of Conduct for Local Government Employees prepared by COSLA and, as appended to the Report. The Report set out proposals to establish an Officer/Working Group within the Council to develop the code, in an Angus Council context.

The National Code stipulated that policies and procedures required to be in place in respect of:-

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

Councillors Glennis Middleton and Roberton declared an interest in the following item and took no part in the consideration thereof.

18. LEASE OF PREMISES FROM ANGUS COMMUNITY CARE CHARITABLE TRUST

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 18 January 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 54/00 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Property Services advising members of a proposal for the Council to lease the communal facilities within the Angus Community Care Charitable Trust Project at St Drostans, Brechin for use as a day care facility which would contribute to the range of community care facilities available in Brechin.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the proposal for the Council to lease these facilities for use as a day care facility for residents and non-residents of the Project; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Property Services to enter into negotiations with Angus Community Care Charitable Trust regarding the terms and conditions of the lease and report back in due course.

19. PROGRESS REPORT ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS 1999/2000

There was submitted Report No 167/00 by the Director of Property Services reviewing progress on projects up to the end of December 1999 for which funding provision had been made within the 1999/2000 Capital Programme, with a full copy of the Report being placed in the Members Lounge.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

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