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Personnel and Property Committee

ANGUS COUNCIL MINUTE of MEETING of the PERSONNEL AND PROPERTY SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 13 March 2001 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors ROB MURRAY, ALISTAIR GRAY, ALEX KING, The Hon R J LESLIE MELVILLE, IAN MACKINTOSH, PETER MURPHY, PETER NIELD, BILL ROBERTON and DAVID SELFRIDGE.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors BILL MIDDLETON, STEPHEN LESLIE, GLENNIS MIDDLETON and BRIAN MILNE.

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 consideration of items 2-15 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. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF CLOVA PRIMARY SCHOOL

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 May 2000, there was submitted Report No 311/01 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee of a decision by Angus Housing Association Limited not to proceed with the acquisition of the former Clova Primary School and the outcome of subsequent negotiations with the adjoining owners.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to note the decision of Angus Housing Association Limited not to proceed with the acquisition of the site of the former Clova Primary School; and

(iii) to approve the disposal of the site to an adjoining owner on the provisional terms and conditions detailed in the Report.

3. TERM CONTRACT BASED UPON SCHEDULES OF RATES - MINOR PROJECTS UP TO £100,000 IN VALUE ­ 2001/2004

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Report No 312/01 by the Director of Property Services containing details of tenders received in respect of the term contract for minor projects up to £100,000 in value, based upon schedules of rates for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2004.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to authorise the placing of orders in the most advantageous manner, with the contractors for each trade, area and method of measurement as identified in Appendix A to the Report, for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2004;

(ii) to authorise the Director of Property Services, where it was considered to be in the best interests of the Council, to review as necessary the limiting values of contractors;

(iii) to authorise the Director of Property Services to negotiate with and appoint contractors from other contract areas where a deficiency of contractors arose in a given trade and area due to circumstances outwith the control of the Council; and

(iv) to empower the Director of Property Services, where appropriate, to recover all additional costs incurred as a result of such action from any defaulting contractor who had contributed towards such a deficiency on the understanding that the outcome of all such negotiations were subsequently reported to this Committee.

4. GOWANLEA, ARBROATH ­ ALTERATIONS TO PROVIDE OFFICE ACCOMMODATION AND DAY SERVICE FACILITIES (TENDER RE-ISSUE) ­ TENDER LIST

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 March 1998, there was submitted Report No 313 /01 by the Director of Property Services proposing a list of contractors to be invited to tender for alterations to provide office accommodation and day service facilities at Gowanlea, Arbroath. The project had not commenced in 1998 for funding reasons and agreement had only recently been reached to allow it to proceed now.

The Committee agreed to authorise the invitation of tenders from the undernoted contractors subject to satisfactory financial assessments as required by the Director of Finance:-

WH Brown Construction Ltd, Dundee

Hall & Tawse Ltd, Dundee

Muirfield Contracts Ltd, Dundee

Taycon Construction Ltd, Dundee

5. PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 January 2001, there was submitted Report No 314/01 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.

6. PROPOSED LEASE OF 26 MARYWELL BRAE, KIRRIEMUIR

With reference to Article 28 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 316/01 by the Director of Property Services with regard to a proposed lease of the office accommodation at 26 Marywell Brae, Kirriemuir.

The Committee agreed to refer this item to the Policy and Resources Committee, in order to allow some revisions to be made to the provisional terms and conditions of the lease.

7. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF LAND AT LINDSAY PLACE, EDZELL

There was submitted Report No 318/01 by the Director of Property Services indicating that a site owned by the Council at Lindsay Place, Edzell had been allocated for residential development for a considerable period of time. A requirement had arisen for a new health centre in Edzell and it was suggested that the site might be suitable for a joint residential development and a new health centre.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the disposal of a site measuring 0.311 hectares or thereby at Lindsay Place, Edzell to Servite Housing Association on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report and to grant an option to purchase the remaining area of 0.114 hectares should the development of a new health centre not proceed;

(ii) to authorise the Director of Property Services to continue discussions and negotiations with the person named in the Report regarding the sale of the site measuring 0.114 hectares for the construction of a new permanent health centre; and

(iii) to note the agreement to lease a site at Lindsay Place, Edzell for the construction of a temporary health centre, pending a decision being taken on the site for the permanent centre.

8. ARBROATH ABBEY VISITOR CENTRE ­ EXHIBITION DISPLAY WORKS ­ TENDER REPORT

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Planning and Transport Policy Committee of 8 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 324/01 by the Director of Property Services containing details of tenders received for the formation of a permanent exhibition at Arbroath Abbey with displays within the new reception Visitor Centre and additional works in the existing Abbot's House Gatehouse.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve acceptance of the lowest tender submitted for these works, that of Fantastic Fabrications, Edinburgh, in the amount of £132,163.71; and

(ii) to note that an allowance of £147,509 had been made for this work and was contained within the contract already accepted with Clachan Construction Limited.

The items detailed at Articles 9 and 10 below were, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as matters of urgency in order that no delays would occur with the replacement programmes.

9. REPLACEMENT OF CURTAIN WALLING AT FORFAR ACADEMY ­ PROGRESS REPORT

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 January 2001, there was submitted Report No 380/01 by the Director of Property Services containing an outline of recent progress achieved on the above project, including details of tenders received, results of the ability to perform assessment and summaries of the issues still to be resolved, and actions currently being undertaken.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the selection of Torith Ltd, Dundee, as the preferred contractor to progress the project, utilising their offer as the basis to negotiate a revised price and programme of works which offered the best solution to the school;

(ii) to note that (i) above was without prejudice to the position of the Council should such negotiations not prove ultimately successful;

(iii) to note that revised programme options were being considered;

(iv) to note the current funding shortfall and action being undertaken with a view to reducing the gap as far as possible;

(v) to note that delegated powers might be required to meet the deadlines pertaining to the requisite manufacturing period of the curtain walling system; and

(vi) to delegate powers to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Director of Finance, the Director of Law and Administration, the Director of Education and the Director of Property Services, together with the respective Conveners and the Leader of the Administration, to authorise acceptance of the negotiated contract, assuming a satisfactory resolution of the programme and funding issues was reached, with a report being submitted to the appropriate Committees.

10. ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSION TO BIRKHILL PRIMARY SCHOOL (PHASE 2) ­ COMPLETION CONTRACT

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of this Committee of 15 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 379/01 by the Director of Property Services containing details of the tender negotiated with the second-lowest tender for the completion of Phase 2 of the alterations and extension to Birkhill Primary School following the appointment of liquidators in respect of J & G Construction Limited, Dundee.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve acceptance of the tender for completion of the project, that of Muirfield (Contracts) Limited, Dundee in the amount of £248,576.53;

(ii) to note the estimated revised total cost of £299,606 for this project which was an increase of £19,466 over the original estimated project cost;

(iii) to note that a claim would be lodged with the liquidators for the £19,466 increased cost;

(iv) to note that an allowance of £280,000 for this project had been made in the Capital Monitoring ­ Composite Capital Programme 2000/2001 and that additional provision might require to be made; and

(v) to note the additional revenue expenditure arising from this project (first full year 2002/2003) as contained in the Report.

11. STAFFING IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSUMER PROTECTION DEPARTMENT ­ ADDRESSING NEW BURDENS

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 224/01 by the Director of Personnel and the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection recommending the establishment of new posts and adjustment to existing posts within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Service in order to meet new burdens in terms of service provision and enforcement responsibilities.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to an increase in established posts to include:

(ii) to the continuation of the current seasonal post of Student (Waste Strategy) for a three year period on the basis of 16 weeks per annum, grade AP1;

(iii) to the deletion of the established post of Animal Health Officer/Pest Control Adviser, grade Tech 1-4; and

(iv) to the continuation of the temporary post of Technical Officer (Waste Strategy), grade Tech 1-4, for a further period of three years.

12. HOUSING DEPARTMENT ­ SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Housing Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 219/01 by the Director of Housing and the Director of Personnel proposing a change to the post of Systems Administrator within the Housing Department as prior to filling the post, an Internal Audit report had highlighted the need to expand the role of the position beyond that originally envisaged.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

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

(ii) to approve a grade of AP3 for the post of Systems Administrator.

13. TRUNK ROAD CONTRACTS ­ NORTH-EAST UNIT

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of the Roads Committee of 8 March 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 325/01 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Personnel updating the Committee on the decisions of the Scottish Executive on the Trunk Road Network in Scotland and the impact to the Council on losing the North-East Unit contract which had been awarded to BEAR Scotland Limited.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed;-

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

(ii) to note that the two members of staff who had been seconded to the TPU Trunk Road works since 1996 would return to the Council's Roads Department establishment with effect from 1 April 2001.

14. EMERGENCY PLANNING UNIT

There was submitted Joint Report No 319/01 by the Chief Executive and the Director of Personnel reviewing the provision of Emergency Planning Services within the Chief Executive's Department and recommending the establishment of a new post of Assistant Emergency Planning Officer.

The Report indicated that the risk assessment which determined the workload and financial settlement from the Scottish Executive was exactly the same for Angus as for the whole of the Tayside Regional Council area when five full time Emergency Planning Officers were available, and it had become increasingly apparent that the workload in Angus was now significantly greater than could be met by one full-time officer.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

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

(ii) to approve the establishment of the post of Assistant Emergency Planning Officer, Grade AP2.

The following matter was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency in order that the increased workload in the Finance Department might be addressed.

15. REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION ­ IMPLICATIONS OF NEW APPEALS REGULATIONS

There was submitted Joint Report No 376/01 by the Director of Finance and the Director of Personnel reviewing the general progress made in benefits administration following the inspection by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate and in particular reviewing two temporary posts in the Finance Department and their contribution to improving standards and reducing costs to the Council.

The Report also advised of the implications of new Appeals Regulations and recommended the establishment of an additional post, but with no additional budget requirement, to deal with the major increase in workload.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to make permanent the two temporary Senior Revenues Assistant posts grade AP2; and

(iii) to approve the establishment of one Senior Revenues Officer post grade AP6.

16. JANICE TORBET, DIRECTOR OF PERSONNEL

At this stage of the proceedings Councillor Murray made reference to Janice Torbet, Director of Personnel who was leaving the employment of the Council on 6 April 2001 to take up the position of Director of Human Resources with Tayside University Hospital Trust. He paid tribute to Mrs Torbet for all her work since her appointment to the Council in May 1995 and for the professional and courteous manner in which she had conducted the business of her Department.

Mrs Torbet replied in suitable terms.

17. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 January 2001 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 15 February 2001, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted ( Appendix I).

(c) Central Consultative Committee

The minute of meeting of the Central Consultative Committee of 15 February 2001, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted (Appendix II).

(d) Appeals Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Appeals Sub-Committee of 20 February 2001, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted (Appendix III).

18. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ­ ESTABLISHMENT OF ADDITIONAL POSTS OF COMMUNITY EDUCATION WORKER AND PART-TIME CLERICAL ASSISTANT

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 295/01 by the Director of Education and the Director of Personnel seeking approval to establish a professional Community Education Worker post and part-time Clerical Assistant post within the Education Department to support the continuing development of the Angus Youth Congress and of Young Scot Angus.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to approve the establishment of an additional post of Community Education Worker within the Education Department, CEW Grade (SCP 23-31); and

(iii) to approve the establishment of a Clerical Assistant post within the Education Department (GS1/2) on a part-time 10 hours per week basis.

19. INCREASE IN CLERICAL SUPPORT TO SOCIAL WORK CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 259/01 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel recommending an increase in the staffing establishment of Clerical Assistants within the Social Work Criminal Justice Services from 3.1 to 3.5 as a result of increased workloads.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

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

(ii) to approve an increase in the established hours of post number 04/29, 0.6 Clerical Assistant (GS1/2) from 22.2 hours per week to 37 hours per week.

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

20. STAFFING ESTABLISHMENT FOR CLIFFVIEW COURT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 260/01 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Personnel proposing the establishment of social care posts for the Cliffview Court project in Arbroath to allow for appropriate social care to be provided in these premises.

The Committee agreed:-

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

(ii) to approve the establishment of the undernoted posts:-

(a) one Project Manager (SCP 34-37);

(b) 5.8 whole time equivalent Senior Social Care Officer (SCP27-30); and

(c) 5.9 whole time equivalent Support Workers (SCP 16-22).

21. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 June 2000, there was submitted Report No 320/01 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 2000.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

22. PROVISION OF GAS SAFETY SYSTEMS

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 321/01 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to cover the cost of the installation of gas safety systems in certain non-housing properties in conformance with legislation and best practice.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the requirement for installation of manual and automatic shutdown systems in boiler houses in certain non-housing Council properties; and

(ii) to approve the bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £19,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund for the installation programme.

23. REPLACEMENT OF THERMOSTATIC MIXING VALVES AND OTHER REMEDIAL MEASURES ­ PHASE I ­ HEALTH AND SAFETY

There was submitted Report No 322/01 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval for the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to cover the cost of the first phase of repairs and renewals of thermostatic mixing valves and a range of additional remedial measures in non-housing properties.

The Report indicated that a need for a programme of health and safety repairs and renewals to hot and cold domestic water systems in non-housing Council properties, which could not be contained within the Property Maintenance elements of the respective departmental revenue budgets for 2000/01, had been identified.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the requirement for the repair and renewal of thermostatic mixing valves and associated additional remedial measures in non-housing properties;

(ii) to approve the bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £53,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund for Phase 1 of the repair and renewal programme; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Property Services to submit further reports detailing the later phases of this programme.

24. PROPERTY RENEWAL AND REPAIR FUND ­ UPDATE OF FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS AND PLANNED PROGRAMME OF URGENT REPAIRS

There was submitted Report No 317/01 by the Director of Property Services providing an update to the programme of additional repairs, utilising the Renewal and Repair Fund, which had been undertaken during 2000/01.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the changes in the estimated cost of projects as reported previously; and

(ii) to homologate the provision of £9,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund during financial year 2000/01 for the execution of additional urgent property repairs.

25. LOCHSIDE CARAVAN PARK ­ WALL STABILISATION

There was submitted Report No 323/01 by the Director of Property Services seeking homologation of an urgent property repair at Lochside Caravan Park.

The Report indicated that, following the annual inspection of the main building, it was discovered that areas of the drystone effect facing walls were becoming detached and could potentially create a safety hazard and, in view of the urgency involved, the repair had been implemented with the agreement of the Director of Finance.

The Committee agreed to homologate the decision to provide £8,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund during financial year 2000/01 for the execution of the urgent property repair at Lochside Caravan Park.

26. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF SCHOOLHOUSE AT FERRYDEN PRIMARY SCHOOL

There was submitted Report No 315/01 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee that the schoolhouse at Ferryden Primary School was vacant and surplus to Council requirements as no other Department had expressed an interest.

The Committee agreed to declare surplus to requirements the schoolhouse at Ferryden Primary School and to instruct the Director of Property Services to arrange for the marketing and disposal of the property.

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