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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 13 June 2000 at 4.00 pm

Present: Councillors BILL MIDDLETON, ROB MURRAY, 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.

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor ALISTAIR GRAY.

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 2-10 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.

Councillor Selfridge declared an interest in the following item and took no part in the discussion thereof.

2. APPLICATIONS FOR REGRADING

Education Department

There were submitted Reports Nos 634/00, 635/00, 636/00 and 637/00 by the Director of Personnel concerning applications for the regrading of the posts of Senior School Technician, School Technician, General Assistant and Administration Assistant, respectively, within the Education Department.

THE CONVENER, SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR MURRAY, MOVED (1) THAT THE CURRENT GRADES IN RESPECT OF THE POSTS OF SENIOR SCHOOL TECHNICIAN AND SCHOOL TECHNICIAN WERE APPROPRIATE AND THAT THE APPLICATIONS FOR REGRADING BE REFUSED; (2) THAT THE POSTS OF GENERAL ASSISTANT BE REGRADED TO GS1/2; AND (3) THAT THE POST OF ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT BE REGRADED TO AP4.

Councillor Nield, seconded by Councillor Murphy, moved, as an amendment, that consideration of these applications be deferred to enable a further more detailed report to be submitted on the full implications of the regrading applications.

On a vote being taken, the members voted:-

For the motion:-

Councillors Bill Middleton, Murray, King, Leslie, Leslie Melville, Glennis Middleton, Milne and Roberton (8);

For the amendment:-

Councillors Murphy and Nield (2)

No vote:-

Councillor Mackintosh.

The motion was declared carried and the Committee agreed accordingly.

3. 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 645/00 by the Director of Personnel reviewing the Employee Benefits Package and outlining proposals to continue with and introduce extensions to the package.

The Report indicated that the take-up by employees of the products/services in the package was evidence of the growing success of this initiative and extensions to the package would continue to enhance the benefits available to all employees.

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

4. EARLY RETIREMENT/VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY

With reference to Article 20 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 639/00 by the Director of Personnel highlighting the number of staff released on early/ill health retirement during 1999/2000.

The Report indicated that the number of staff released on early retiral/voluntary redundancy during this period had been at a very low level with only eight employees released. Thirty two employees had been released on ill health grounds, which was an increase on the previous year.

The Committee agreed to note the number of staff released from the Council on early/ill health retirement grounds during 1999/2000.

5. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF LAND AT COOKSTON, BRECHIN

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 1 June 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 600/00 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Recreation Services advising the Committee of the proposed disposal of a site extending to 0.23 hectares at Cookston, Brechin to the adjoining owners.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the disposal of this site to the adjoining owners on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report.

6. PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 May 2000, there was submitted Report No 663/00 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.

7. ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSION TO ABERLEMNO PRIMARY SCHOOL - TENDER LIST

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 20 April 2000, there was submitted Report No 673/00 by the Director of Property Services concerning a list of contractors to be invited to tender for the alterations and extension to Aberlemno Primary School.

The Committee agreed that the first 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:-

WH Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd, Dundee

Muirfield Contracts Ltd, Dundee

WW Pert & Company Ltd, Montrose

Stewart Milne Construction, Aberdeen

Torith Ltd, Dundee

Webster Contracts Ltd, Kingsmuir, Forfar

Reserves:

Hatrick-Bruce Ltd, Milnathort

J & G Construction Ltd, Dundee

8. ALTERATIONS TO FORM NURSERY AT LIFF PRIMARY SCHOOL, LIFF -- TENDER REPORT

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of this Committee of 12 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 674/00 by the Director of Property Services reporting on tenders received in respect of alterations to form nursery accommodation at Liff Primary School.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve acceptance of the lowest tender for the several works, that of J & G Construction Ltd, Dundee in the amount of £53,164.70;
  2. to approve the estimated total cost of the project of £55,665 (at out-turn prices);
  3. to note than an allowance of £55,802 for alterations to form a nursery in the existing school building was included in the overall project provision of £314,000 and provision made in the Final Revenue and Capital Budgets Volume 2000/2001; and
  4. to note the revenue implications arising from this project (first full year 2001/2002) as contained in the Report.

9. ALTERATIONS TO FAIRLIE HOUSE, KIRRIEMUIR - TENDER LIST

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 29 February 2000, there was submitted Report No 675/00 by the Director of Property Services concerning a list of contractors to be invited to tender for alterations to be carried out at Fairlie House, Kirriemuir to form offices and ancillary accommodation.

The Committee agreed that the first 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.

WH Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd, Dundee

Clachan Construction Ltd, Perth

Hall & Tawse Ltd, Aberdeen

RS Hill, Douglastown, by Forfar

J & G Construction Ltd, Dundee

Taycon Construction Ltd, Dundee

Reserves:

Andrew Shepherd & Sons Ltd, Forfar

John Mowlem & Company PLC, Aberdeen

The following item was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter or urgency in view of the need to conclude the tendering process timeously.

10. OFFICE ACCOMMODATION AT RAVENSWOOD, FORFAR ­ TENDER REPORT

With reference to paragraph 3 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of this Committee of 9 August 1999, there was submitted Report No 723/00 by the Director of Property Services reporting on tenders received for the supply of a temporary office unit at Ravenswood, Forfar.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve acceptance of the lowest acceptable tender for the prefabricated accommodation unit, that of RB Farquhar Ltd, Huntly in the amount of £22,847;
  2. to note the placing of an order under the Schedule of Rates Contract 1998/2001 for the fitting out and related site works at an estimated cost of £26,500;
  3. to note the estimated total cost of the project of £94,533 at out-turn prices;
  4. to note that this expenditure could be met from the allowance of £95,000 in respect of this project which had been made in the 2000/2001 Capital Estimates; and
  5. to note the additional revenue implications arising from the project (first full year 2001/2002) as detailed in the Report.

11. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 May 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

12. STAFFING ADJUSTMENT ­ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT

There was submitted Joint Report No 640/00 by the Director of Information Technology and the Director of Personnel proposing an adjustment to the staffing establishment of the Information Technology Department with a view to enabling the Council and its Departments to be prepared and protected in terms of security of computer systems and information.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the establishment of one new post of Senior Support Engineer, Grade AP8 in the Information Technology Department, the post to be filled from within the current staffing complement of the Department, with the resulting vacant post being deleted from the establishment.

13. PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT SERVICE PLAN 2000/2001

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 641/00 by the Director of Personnel seeking approval of the Personnel Department's Service Plan for 2000/2001. The Plan outlined how the Personnel Department intended to achieve its aims of assisting Departments in their efforts to provide a working environment conducive to the delivery of effective services to customers of the Council and, through its Training Services, support the economic development of Angus by increasing the skills of the local workforce.

The Committee agreed to approve the Personnel Department's Service Plan for 2000/2001.

14. ANGUS COUNCIL TRAINING SERVICES - REVIEW OF PROGRESS 1999/2000

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 February 1999, there was submitted Report No 642/00 by the Director of Personnel advising members of the successful outcome of a series of measures for the reorganisation of the Angus Council Training Services Section of the Personnel Department and seeking approval for staffing changes with a view to continuing the Section's progress which had been significant in terms of continuing to deliver high quality training.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the outcome of the series of measures for the reorganisation of the Training Services Section; and
  2. to approve the following changes to the establishment of the Personnel Department:-
    1. to establish two IT Training Instructor posts (AP3) which were currently established on a temporary basis; and
    2. to establish one post of Training Projects Supervisor (AP3) to be filled by an employee who was currently engaged on a supernumerary basis.

15. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW ­ EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT SERVICE

There was submitted Report No 643/00 by the Director of Personnel informing members that a review of the Personnel Department Employee Development Service had been undertaken within the context of the Council's Best Value Action Plan and seeking approval for the Service Improvement Plan prepared as a consequence of that review.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the terms of the Report;
  2. to note and approve the terms of the Service Review of the Personnel Department's Development Service; and
  3. to approve the Service Improvement Plan arising from the Review, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

16. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 February 2000, there was submitted Report No 644/00 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within the Council for the period 1 January to 31 March 2000.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

17. SINGLE STATUS JOB EVALUATION SCHEME

With reference to Article 27 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 May 2000, there was submitted Report No 646/00 by the Director of Personnel recommending that, pending introduction of the Single Status Job Evaluation Scheme, no further appeals against salary grades be considered by the Appeals Sub-Committee of this Committee, with the exception of those appeals currently registered.

The Report indicated that all former APT & C and Manual Worker posts would be evaluated under the new Scheme and, in the light of such a comprehensive evaluation, no further regrading appeals would be considered meantime, to enable all resources to be made available to implement the Scheme within the timescale. For similar reasons, the Scottish Council had agreed that no further grading appeals be accepted at national level meantime.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note and approve the contents of the Report; and
  2. to note that the Director of Personnel would submit a further Report outlining proposals for considering appeals under the Single Status Job Evaluation Scheme.

18. PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT ANNUAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REPORT

There was submitted Report No 677/00 by the Director of Personnel advising members of significant Health and Safety issues relating to the Personnel Department which had occurred during 1999/2000 and setting out a Health and Safety Action Plan for the forthcoming year. Responsibility for achievement of the targets in the Plan would be allocated within the Personnel Department.

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

19. ARBROATH CIVIC TRUST AWARD

The Director of Property Services reported that the Arbroath Civic Trust had presented an award to the Property Services Department for excellence in the building design of the new Andy Stewart Court Sheltered Housing Scheme at Cliffburn, Arbroath.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the position; and
  2. to commend all staff concerned in achieving this recognition.

20. MONIFIETH HIGH SCHOOL POOL OPERATION ­ VIREMENT PROPOSALS

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 1 June 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 592/00 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of a proposal to operate Monifieth High School sports facilities during the summer and October school holiday periods which would benefit local residents and visitors to the area, in addition to continuing to provide the Council with information as to the uptake levels for this type of community use of educational facilities.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve the opening of the Monifieth High School pool and sports facilities during the summer and October school holiday periods;
  2. to approve the virement of funding to allow the set up and staffing costs to be met for the financial year 2000; and
  3. to approve continuation of the feasibility study to examine the longer term proposals for the operation of the Monifieth High School facilities.

21. PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY SURFACING PROGRAMME

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 1 June 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 589/00 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Property Services seeking approval to develop proposals for the expenditure of finance allocated in 2000/2001 for the provision of play equipment and impact absorbing surfaces.

The Report indicated that, since 1996, the Council had carried out an ongoing programme of improvements to play equipment and provision of safety surfacing and there was now a requirement to carry out a risk assessment of all play areas. As a result of the risk assessment, there would be a requirement to prepare a detailed action plan and funding of the plan would be in excess of the current finances available.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to instruct the Director of Recreation Services to submit a phased programme of replacement and refurbishment of existing play areas; and
  2. to approve a bid for £97,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in respect of this programme.

22. PUBLIC BUILDING CLEANING: CLIENT MONITORING 1999/2000

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 30 May 2000, there was submitted Report No 567/00 by the Director of Property Services outlining the monitoring of notified complaints in respect of the Public Building Cleaning contract carried out by Contract Services.

The Report concluded that, on the basis of the complaints recorded, it was clear that Contract Services continued to provide a very satisfactory standard of service in accordance with the terms of the contract.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the contents of the Report.

23. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW ­ CAPITAL PROGRAMMES SERVICES

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 664/00 by the Director of Property Services advising members that a review of the Property Services Department's Capital Programmes Services 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 that review. A copy of the Service Review had been placed in the Members' Lounge.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. (ii) to note and approve the contents of the Report on the Service Review of the Property Services Department's Capital Programmes Services; and
  3. to approve the Service Improvement Plan arising from the review, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

24. PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT: HEALTH AND SAFETY ANNUAL REPORT 1999/2000

With reference to Article 20(b) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 September 1997, there was submitted Report No 665/00 by the Director of Property Services, together with a copy of the Property Services Department's Annual Health and Safety Report for 1999/2000.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

25. MONTROSE TOWN HOUSE ­ FURNITURE

There was submitted Report No 666/00 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of measures taken with regard to the storage of furniture etc from Montrose Town House and containing proposals for disposal of certain items and the restoration of others with a view to complementing the work of refurbishing this building.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the arrangements made for storing furniture and artefacts;
  2. to authorise the re-upholstering of certain chairs; and
  3. to authorise the disposal of those items with no civic value by sale at auction.

26. PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT - SERVICE PLAN 2000/2001

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 667/00 by the Director of Property Services presenting the Property Services Department's Service Plan for 2000/2001 which had been prepared in the context of the Council's corporate priorities and key themes. The Report indicated that there had been significant achievements in property investment and development since 1996 and the Plan set out the strategy to continue this and to ensure that best value was obtained from the Council's Property and Investment Programme.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to approve the Service Plan for 2000/2001 in respect of the Property Services Department.

27. PROVISION OF FINGER GUARDS IN COUNCIL PROPERTIES ­ PHASE 1

With reference to Article 6(b) of the minute of meeting of the Finance and Information Technology Committee of 1 September 1998, there was submitted Report No 668/00 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to allow the first phase of the installation of finger guards in selected non-housing properties as part of required remedial safety measures.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for remedial safety measures to be carried out in specific non-housing properties;
  2. to note the agreed funding package from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund and the Education Client Revenue Budget for Phase 1 of this programme;
  3. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £33,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund for Phase 1 of a Remedial Safety Measures Programme; and
  4. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress Phase 1 of these works immediately and submit further reports detailing the later phases of this programme.

28. WARM DEAL PROJECT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Housing Committee of 23 May 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 533/00 by the Director of Housing and the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of partnership working between the Housing and Personnel Departments on the Warm Deal Project which would enable Angus householders to benefit from increased energy efficiency, assist local unemployed people into employment through the New Deal Programme and enable the Council to maximise its use of funding available from the Scottish Executive for these purposes.

The Report indicated that, in 1999/00, the available grant allocation for Angus Council had been £50,000 but, for a number of reasons, the actual uptake of funds was only £10,769 although it was envisaged that the full £50,000 grant allowance for 2000/2001 would be utilised.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the Council's participation in the Warm Deal Project, as detailed in the Report.

The following matters were, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as matters of urgency in view of the need to implement the proposals contained therein timeously.

29. LEISURE SECTION ­ CHANGES TO STAFFING ESTABLISHMENT

With reference to Article 18 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 1 June 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 593/00 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Personnel recommending changes to the existing establishment of the Leisure Section within Recreation Services to provide more effective management of the Leisure Management Information System (Leisuremost).

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to the deletion of Post No 03/02, Development Officer, AP4;
  2. to the establishment of one post of Development Assistant, AP2; and
  3. to the establishment of one post of Senior Clerical Assistant (Leisuremost), GS3 (20 hours).

30. HEALTH AND SAFETY WORKS AT CROMBIE AND MONIKIE COUNTRY PARKS

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 729/00 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for additional funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to allow the necessary safety works to be completed at Crombie and Monikie Reservoirs at an estimated cost of £36,500, bringing the total cost of the project to £91,500.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the additional provision of £36,500 in respect of this project;
  2. to approve the revised total cost of the project in the amount of £91,500 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to complete these urgent works at the earliest possible date.
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