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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 28 November 2000 at 4.00 pm

Present: Councillors BILL MIDDLETON, ALISTAIR GRAY, ALEX KING, STEPHEN LESLIE, The Hon R J LESLIE MELVILLE, IAN MACKINTOSH, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BRIAN MILNE, PETER MURPHY, PETER NIELD and DAVID SELFRIDGE.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors ROB MURRAY and BILL ROBERTON

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 and 3 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 6, 8 and 9.

2. TERM CONTRACT FOR URGENT REPAIR AND JOBBING CONTRACTS MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTIES (EXCLUDING COUNCIL HOUSING) 2001/2004

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 March 1997, there was submitted Report No 1212/00 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee that, following advertisement, the firms listed in Appendix A to the Report had expressed an interest in tendering for minor works and repairs, up to the value of £5,000 in respect of various Council properties, excluding Council housing, for a three year period.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the lists of contractors who had expressed an interest in tendering for the works, as detailed in Appendix A to the Report; and
  2. to authorise the Director of Property Services to issue tender documents to the selected contractors for their respective trades in respect of each area, on the basis of a three year term contract, subject to satisfactory financial assessments as required by the Director of Finance.

3. PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 October 2000, there was submitted Report No 1213/00 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, 3, 4 and 5 of the Report.

4. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 October 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Executive Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 7 November 2000, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted (APPENDIX I).

5. 2001/02 REVENUE BUDGET

There was submitted Report No 1214/00 by the Director of Finance advising the Committee of the latest position with regard to the preparation of the Personnel (including Training Services) and Property Services (including Local Offices) Departmental 2001/2002 Revenue Budgets and associated issues. Appended to the Report were summaries of the departmental provisional base budgets for 2001/2002 as submitted to the Director of Finance and subsequently reviewed by the Technical Validation Group.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report for
  2. its interest at this stage in the budget process; and
  3. to note that more detailed reports with specific recommendations would be brought forward later in the budget cycle.

6. 2000/2004 FINANCIAL PLAN AND 2001/2002 CAPITAL BUDGET

There was submitted Report No 1215/00 by the Director of Finance advising the Committee of the latest position with regard to the preparation of the 2000/2004 Financial Plan (incorporating the 2001/2002 Capital Budget) for the Property Services Department, together with the Departmental Financial Plan submissions for 2000/2004 as submitted to the Director of Finance and subsequently reviewed by the Technical Validation Group.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report for its interest at this stage in the Financial Plan process; and
  2. to note that more detailed Reports with specific recommendations would be brought forward later in the Financial Plan cycle.

7. RESTRUCTURING HOME CARE SERVICES

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 14 November 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1051/00 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel advising the Committee on progress in managing one of the major cost pressures within the Social Work Department and proposing further action to address this issue. The Report also proposed changes to the terms and conditions of Home Car staff to reflect revised working arrangements.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve the establishment of 155 Home Care Domestic Assistant posts (Grade MW2) for 20 hours per week each;
  2. to approve the establishment of 61 Social Care Officer posts (SCP 16-23) for 20 hours per week each;
  3. to approve the establishment of 24 Social Care Officer posts (SCP 16-23) for 30 hours per week each; and
  4. to approve the establishment of one Training Officer post (AP6).

Arising therefrom, the Committee noted concerns expressed by Councillor Glennis Middleton at recent press reports relating to the Council's home care services which in her view had been misleading and had caused undue concern to service users. Letters had now been issued to all concerned and the two MSP's who had become involved with this matter clarifying the position.

8. CO-ORDINATION OF SUPPORTED DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL SCHEME

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 14 November 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No. 1052/00 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel updating members on the funding related to community care developments and proposing arrangements for co-ordinating the supported discharge and admission prevention programme.

Having noted that funding arrangements had been confirmed by Tayside Health Board for the supported Hospital Discharge Teams, the Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve the establishment of one Senior Social Care Officer post (SCP 27-30); and
  2. to approve the establishment of four Senior Social Care Officer posts (SCP 27-30) each for 30 hours per week.

9. ILL HEALTH RETIRAL PROCEDURE

There was submitted Report No. 1216/00 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee that while there had been an established protocol for processing ill health retirals for non teaching employees within the Council, Audit Scotland had requested that this be written in a step by step procedural format.

The Committee agreed to note and approve the ill health retiral procedure for non teaching staff as outlined in the Appendix to the Report.

10. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 June 2000, there was submitted Report No. 1217/00 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the level of sickness absence within the Council for the period 1 April to 30 June 2000.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

11. SCOTLAND'S HEALTH AT WORK ­ GOLD AWARD

There was submitted Report No 1218/00 by the Director of Personnel advising the Committee that the Personnel Department had recently achieved Scotland's Health at Work Scheme Gold Award.

The Report indicated that this achievement reflected the commitment and enthusiasm of individual members of staff and their willingness to organise and participate in a range of health and fitness activities. The Personnel Department had been assessed against the gold criteria by an independent assessor from Grampian Health Board who had conducted interviews with staff on their commitment to the scheme and also on the basis of a portfolio which was submitted outlining the Department's approach.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to extend sincere congratulations and thanks to all the staff who had participated;
  2. to authorise appropriate members of staff to enter into discussions with the National Managing Organisation of the event on the basis of them using the model applied by the Council as an example of good practice for other authorities; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Personnel to submit a further Report in relation to taking forward and maintaining these achievements throughout all departments of the Council.

12. IMPLICATIONS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998

There was submitted Report No 1219/00 by the Director of Property Services detailing the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the services provided by the Department and the actions being taken to ensure compliance.

The Report indicated that the introduction of the Act did not present many significant difficulties for the operations of the Property Services Department provided the actions detailed were fully implemented.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

13. PRIMARY SCHOOLS ­ NON-TEACHER STAFFING LEVELS

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 21 November 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1090/00 by the Director of Education and the Director of Personnel summarising the current and proposed non teacher staffing levels in primary schools and recommending minor adjustments to these levels.

The Report indicated that two of the three phases of the Excellence Fund Implementation Programme had been successfully implemented and that a number of new posts had been created and filled between August 1999 and August 2000.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the staffing levels as set out in the Appendix to the Report, with effect from August 2001.

14. VACANT SCHOOL BUILDINGS IN ANGUS

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 21 November 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1220/00 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Education advising the Committee that the former schools at Hillside, Craigo and Andover were now vacant and surplus to Council requirements as no other Department had expressed an interest.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to declare as surplus to requirements the former Hillside, Craigo and Andover Primary Schools and instructed the Director of Property Services to arrange for the marketing and disposal of these properties.

15. SURPLUS PROPERTY ­ FIRST FLOOR OFFICES AT 4 BROTHOCK BRIDGE, ARBROATH

There was submitted Joint Report No 1221/00 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Social Work advising the Committee that the first floor office at 4 Brothock Bridge, Arbroath was surplus to Council requirements as no other Department had expressed an interest.

The Committee agreed to declare as surplus to requirements the first floor office premises at 4 Brothock Bridge, Arbroath and instructed the Director of Property Services to arrange for the marketing and disposal of the property.

16. SURPLUS PROPERTY ­ FIRST FLOOR FLAT AT 22 HIGH STREET, CARNOUSTIE

There was submitted Report No 1222/00 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee that the first floor flat at 22 High Street, Carnoustie was now vacant and surplus to Council requirements as no other Department had expressed an interest.

The Committee agreed to declare as surplus to requirements the first floor flat premises at 22 High Street, Carnoustie and instructed the Director of Property Services to arrange for the marketing and disposal of the property.

17. REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES ­ ACCOMMODATION FOR FORFAR OFFICE

There was submitted Joint Report No 1064/00 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Law and Administration advising the Committee on the outcome of negotiations for lease of the ground floor accommodation at 9 West High Street, Forfar to provide upgraded accommodation for the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The Report indicated that conclusion of this lease would, in addition to providing upgraded facilities for staff, provide a better and more accessible service to the general public.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve the relocation of the office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages from the present accommodation at The Cross, Forfar to new accommodation on the ground floor at 9 West High Street, Forfar; and
  2. to approve the lease of the ground floor accommodation at 9 West High Street, Forfar on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report.

18. A92 DUNDEE ­ ARBROATH DUALLING - PROPOSED DEMOLITION OF HOUSES AT GRANGE ROAD, MONIFIETH

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of the Roads Committee of 23 November 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1235/00 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Roads advising the Committee of the current position with regard to four houses at Grange Road, Monifieth which were included in the draft Angus Council (A92 Dundee ­ Arbroath Dualling) Compulsory Purchase Order 1999 and recommending demolition of these properties.

The Report indicated that following conclusion of the acquisition of 3 and 4 North Grange Cottages, Grange Road, Monifieth, the Council would have vacant possession of all four houses at this location.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the recommendations as detailed in the Report.

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