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Personnel and Property Services Committee

MINUTE of MEETING of the PERSONNEL AND PROPERTY SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 18 June 2002 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BILL MIDDLETON, RON SCRIMGEOUR, ALEX KING, The Hon R J LESLIE MELVILLE, IAN MACKINTOSH, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BRIAN MILNE, PETER MURPHY, ROB MURRAY, PETER NIELD, HELEN OSWALD, BILL ROBERTON and DAVID SELFRIDGE.

Councillor BILL MIDDLETON, Convener, in the Chair.

Prior to the commencement of business, the Convener welcomed Councillor Helen Oswald to her first meeting as a member of this Committee.

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, 6, 8 and 9.

2. PROPOSED LEASE OF FORMER ST VIGEANS PRIMARY SCHOOL, ARBROATH

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 May 2002, there was submitted Report No 768/02 by the Director of Property Services advising the Committee that provisional terms and conditions had now been agreed with Angus College for the lease of the former St Vigeans Primary School which was vacant and surplus to the Council's requirements.

The Committee agreed to approve the lease of the former school to Angus College on the provisional terms and conditions detailed in the Report.

3. PROPOSED LEASE OF FIRST FLOOR OFFICES AT RAVENSWOOD, FORFAR

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 14 March 2000, there was submitted Report No 743/02 by the Director of Property Services recommending an amendment to the previously approved terms and conditions for the lease of the first floor offices at Ravenswood, Forfar to Tayside University Hospitals Trust.

The Committee agreed that the Director of Property Services and the Director of Law and Administration be authorised to enter into negotiations with the Trust to conclude the lease of these offices, along with the amended outline terms and conditions detailed in the Report.

4. DELEGATED BUILDING WORKS ­ QUARTERLY REPORT

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 May 2002, there was submitted Report No 744/02 by the Director of Property Services containing details of tenders accepted and orders placed by him under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers and the Financial Regulations, during the period 9 April 2001 to 31 March 2002.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

The following matter was on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency, in order that the immediate requirements could be addressed.

5. PROPOSED LEASE OF PROPERTIES IN ARBROATH, MONTROSE AND FORFAR

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 14 May 2002, there was submitted Joint Report No 814/02 by the Director of Property Services and the Director of Social Work advising of the need for additional accommodation in the Social Work Department at Arbroath, Montrose and Forfar, together with proposals to meet this requirement.

The Report indicated that the proposals would address immediate accommodation requirements in response to new burdens and responsibilities and the expansion of services such as Home Care, while ensuring that services were based throughout Angus.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to authorise the Director of Property Services to enter into negotiations for the lease of property at Peasiehill Road, Arbroath; Elliot Industrial Estate, Arbroath; Marine Avenue, Montrose and Carseview Road, Forfar and report back in due course on the outcome of these negotiations.

6. PERSONNEL SERVICES: TRAINING SERVICES ­ ESTABLISHMENT

There was submitted Report No 746/02 by the Chief Executive proposing changes to the establishment of the Training Services Section of Personnel Services which would involve the redesignation and regrading of one of the existing Information Technology Instructor posts and increasing the hours of the part-time Clerical Assistant post responsible for administering IT training.

The Report indicated that the Training Services Section delivered the IT training to both Council employees and to trainees on various Government employment programmes and in addition, it had been an accredited training and test centre for the delivery of the European Computer Driving Licence since March 2000.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the establishment of a post of Senior IT Training Instructor, Grade AP5, to be filled by an existing IT Training Instructor, with the resultant vacant post to be deleted from the establishment; and
  2. to approve an increase in the hours of Post No 07/27, Clerical Assistant, Grade GS1/2 from 21¾ hours to full-time working.

7. ESTABLISHMENT CHANGES

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 May 2002, there was submitted Report No 747/02 by the Chief Executive summarising changes in the establishment of the Environmental and Consumer Protection, Social Work, Chief Executive's and Education Departments and a proposed change in the establishment of the Law and Administration Department.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the changes to the establishment of these Departments, as detailed in the Report.

8. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 May 2002 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Appeals Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Appeals Sub-Committee of 11 June 2002, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted (APPENDIX I).

9. JOINT NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE FOR CHIEF OFFICIALS

There was submitted Report No 745/02 by the Chief Executive highlighting the position of officers within the scope of the Joint Negotiating Committee for Chief Officials in light of the outcome of the salary review for Chief Executives and recommending that the salaries of these officers be revised to ensure the Council could continue to recruit and retain a high calibre of first and second tier officers from within a competitive marketplace.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note that the salary of the Chief Executive had been increased in terms of the SJNC for Chief Officials Salaries Agreement and that the increase would be phased in over a two year period, commencing 1 April 2002;
  2. to revise the salary of chief officers to maintain the current relationship to the salary of the Chief Executive;
  3. to revise the salaries of second tier officers, on the basis of the salary relationship to their Chief Officer at appointment; and
  4. to phase in the revised salaries over a three year period, commencing 1 April 2002.

10. EARLY RETIRAL/VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY 2001/2002

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 748/02 by the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance advising of the number of employees released on early retiral/voluntary redundancy and ill health retirement during the period 2001/2002.

The Report indicated that three employees had been released on early retiral/voluntary redundancy compared with twelve during 2000/2001 and eleven had been released on ill health grounds compared with twenty six in 2000/2001.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

11. REGRADING APPLICATIONS/APPEALS

With reference to Article 17 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 June 2000, there was submitted Report No 749/02 by the Chief Executive proposing that the present moratorium on regrading applications/appeals be rescinded and that it be delegated to the Personnel Services Manager to make decisions on grades in response to regrading applications.

The Report indicated that introduction of the single status job evaluation scheme was taking much longer to implement than was originally envisaged. To continue to put a hold on regrading claims/appeals could potentially lead to conflicts with the Scottish Joint Council and the trade unions which would be damaging to employee relations with a lowering of morale amongst employees.

It was also proposed the Scheme of Delegation be extended by delegating to the Personnel Services Manager responsibility for making decisions on grades on a similar basis as he already had with regard to temporary posts. Should an employee wish to appeal the decision of the Personnel Services Manager, they would do so direct to the Appeals Sub-Committee of this Committee.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to lift the present moratorium on regrading applications/appeals; and
  3. to delegate responsibility to the Personnel Services Manager, under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers, to make decisions on grades in response to regrading applications.

12. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PACKAGE

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 750/02 by the Chief Executive reviewing the Employee Benefits Package and outlining proposals to continue with and introduce extensions to this package.

The Report indicated that the take-up by employees of the products/services in the package had been mixed during the last year, but the overall trend was one of growth, especially in the areas of car and home insurance, health care cash plans, independent financial advice and holiday savings.

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

13. A GUIDE TO RISK ASSESSMENT

There was submitted Report No 751/02 by the Chief Executive advising of the development of a number of measures to assist effective safety management throughout the Council, including the production of a booklet entitled "A Guide to Risk Assessment".

The Report indicated that the Council's Safety Team had also provided advice and guidance on this issue but frequently received enquiries on the subject, and had therefore arranged to produce the booklet, which contained practical advice on the whole process of risk assessment.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report and the booklet to which it referred.

14. CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S DEPARTMENT (PERSONNEL SERVICES) ­ SERVICE PLAN 2002/03

With reference to Article 21 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 752/02 by the Chief Executive advising the Committee of the progress of Personnel Services against its Priority Objectives for 2001/2002 and seeking agreement to the Priority Objectives for the service during 2002/03, prior to inclusion within the Service Plan of the Chief Executive's Department.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the Priority Objectives of Personnel Services 2001/02 Progress Report, as outlined in Appendix 1 of the Report;
  2. to approve the Priority Objectives for Personnel Services 2002/03, as outlined in Appendix 2 of the Report; and
  3. to note that both appendices would be incorporated within the Service Plan of the Chief Executive's Department.

15. PERSONNEL SERVICES: ­ TRAINING SERVICES PROGRESS 2001/02

There was submitted Report No 753/02 by the Chief Executive describing the activities of the Training Services Section of Personnel Services during 2001/02.

The Report indicated that the section managed and delivered a range of training and employment programmes for young and unemployed people under contracts with the Employment Service and Scottish Enterprise Tayside. In addition, it delivered information technology training to Council employees. Its twin and related objectives were to increase the skills base available to existing and potential employers throughout Angus and assist people to gain employment.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to note that future progress reports on the work of the Training Section would be submitted to this Committee at six monthly intervals.

16. PERSONNEL SERVICES ­ ANNUAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REPORT

With reference to Article 18 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 754/02 by the Chief Executive advising the Committee of health and safety events and issues within Personnel Services during 2001/02 and setting out planned health and safety actions for 2002/03.

The Report indicated that, while it did not address the corporate support activities of the Services' Health and Safety Team, no significant health and safety problems had occurred during 2001/02, nor were there any identified risk assessment, auditing or inspection of activities. A major achievement had been the retention of Scotland's Health at Work Scheme Gold Award following re-assessment in October 2001.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to extend congratulations to all staff concerned in retaining the Health at Work Scheme Gold Award.

17. PUBLIC BUILDING CLEANING ­ CLIENT MONITORING 2001/2002

With reference to Article 13(a) of the minute of meeting of the Contract Services Committee of 4 June 2002, there was submitted Report No 652/02 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 Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the contents of the Report.

18. UPGRADING OF THE WEBSTER THEATRE, ARBROATH

With reference to Article 20 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation & Cultural Services Committee of 6 June 2002, there was submitted Joint Report No 679/02 by the Director of Leisure Services and the Director of Property Services proposing an upgrading of the Webster Theatre, Arbroath, to bring it up to minimum reasonable modern standards and seeking approval for officers to carry out further detailed work on costs and funding with a view to submitting a further report for consideration.

The Report indicated that this project would see a much needed improvement to the building which already contributed to the cultural life of Angus.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve in principle the upgrading of the Webster Theatre, Arbroath;
  2. to note that this project would be developed in accordance with the Council's Capital Project Appraisal procedures;
  3. to authorise officers to undertake further necessary work to firm up on costs and identify funding arrangements;
  4. to authorise applications for external funding to be submitted where appropriate; and
  5. to note that a fully costed project would be brought back for consideration.

19. ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION RENEWAL ­ BRECHIN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ­ HEALTH AND SAFETY

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 Joint Report No 755/02 by the Director of Property and the Director of Leisure Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to undertake renewal of the electrical system in Brechin Library and Museum, at an estimated cost of £22,000.

The Report indicated that a recent inspection and testing in these premises had identified that the electrical installation, while continuing to be safe at present, required to be renewed as soon as possible.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for renewal of the electrical installation at Brechin Library and Museum; and
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £22,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in 2002/03.

20. PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY SURFACING PROGRAMME

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 6 June 2002, there was submitted Joint Report No 671/02 by the Director of Leisure Services and the Director of Property Services updating the Committee on progress in implementing the Risk Assessment reduction programme and recommending sites for action within 2002/03 to further reduce levels of risk.

The Report indicated that it was proposed to continue the phased playground equipment safety surfacing programme by undertaking works at a further eight sites which had been identified as priorities in the high risk category programme.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to the continuation of improvements to play equipment and surfacing at the play areas identified in the Report as having comparatively high levels of risk, to be funded from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund; and
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £33,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund.

21. SAFE ACCESS TO ROOFS, INCLUDING FLAGPOLES

There was submitted Report No 756/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to undertake the installation of safe access to roofs and flagpoles in the Council's non-housing properties, at an estimated cost of £24,000.

The Report indicated that, following the introduction of the Health and Safety Executive booklet "Roof Work", it had become apparent that the current access arrangements to roofs for maintenance purposes were inadequate.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for the installation of safe means of access to roofs and flagpoles in Council non-housing properties;
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £24,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in Financial Year 2002/03 for the execution of the programme of works to install safe access to roofs in non-housing properties; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress these works immediately.

22. RENEWAL OF WINDOWS AT FAIRLIE HOUSE ­ PHASE I

There was submitted Report No 757/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in 2002/03 to undertake Phase 1 of renewal works to windows at Fairlie House, at an estimated cost of £11,000.

The Report indicated that a large number of the windows within the portion of this building owned by Angus Council now required renewal.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirements for remedial works to the windows at Fairlie House;
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £11,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in Financial Year 2002/03 for the execution of Phase 1 of a programme of remedial works; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress Phase 1 of these works immediately and submit a further report detailing Phase 2 of the programme.

23. PROVISION OF FINGER GUARDS IN COUNCIL PROPERTIES ­ PHASE 3

With reference to Article 31 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 758/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund which would progress Phase 3 of the installation of finger guards in selected non-housing properties at an estimated cost of £15,500.

The Report indicated that, following detailed investigation and having undertaken a risk assessment, it had been determined that the appropriate course of action was to install protection at all doors in non-housing properties.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for remedial safety measures to be carried out in non-housing properties;
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £15,500 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in 2002/03 for Phase 3 of a remedial safety measures programme; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress Phase 3 of these works immediately.

24. FIRE SEPARATION OF ROOF VOIDS ­ PHASE I

There was submitted Report No 759/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in 2002/03 to undertake Phase 1 of remedial works to fire barriers within roof voids in certain non-housing properties, at an estimated cost £27,500.

The Report indicated that, following a number of fires in local authority properties, it had been established that a contributory factor to the spread of fires and the extent of subsequent damage had been the lack of adequate fire barriers in roof voids.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for remedial works to the fire barriers in certain Council non-housing properties;
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £27,500 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in Financial Year 2002/03 for the execution of Phase 1 of a programme of remedial works; and
  3. 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.

25. LOCHSIDE LEISURE CENTRE ­ STRUCTURAL REPAIRS

With reference to Article 24 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 760/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to undertake essential structural and associated general building works at Lochside Leisure Centre at an estimated cost of £24,200.

The Report indicated that the Centre had a long standing subsidence problem and although this had now been stabilised, structural and general building works were required to a small section of the west elevation of the property.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for the necessary structural and general building work to stabilise a small section of walling;
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £24,200 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in financial year 2002/03 for the execution of the necessary structural and general builder works at Lochside Leisure Centre; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress these works.

26. REPLACEMENT OF THERMOSTATIC MIXING VALVES AND OTHER REMEDIAL MEASURES ­ PHASE 3A ­ HEALTH AND SAFETY

With reference to Article 25 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 761/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to progress Phase 3A of repairs and renewals of thermostatic mixing valves and a range of additional remedial measures in non-housing properties, at an estimated cost of £27,500.

The Report indicated that Phase 3A would involve a range of additional remedial measures which, although of a slightly less urgent nature, still required to be undertaken.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the requirement for the repair and renewal of thermostatic mixing valves and associated additional remedial measures in non-housing properties;
  2. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £27,500 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in 2002/03 for Phase 3A of a repair and renewal programme; and
  3. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress Phase 3A of the these works immediately and submit a further report detailing the final Phase (Phase 3B) of this programme.

27. ACCESS FOR THE DISABLED ADAPTATIONS PROGRAMME ­ PHASE 2

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 14 March 2000, there was submitted Report No 762/02 by the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to allow the second phase of an extensive programme of adaptations in non-housing properties to be undertaken, at an estimated cost of £165,000.

The Report indicated that the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 placed a responsibility on the Council to take appropriate measures to ensure, so far as practicable, equality of access to Council services for all members of the community with disabilities and there had been identified a need to undertake accessibility adaptations in non-housing properties as part of these measures.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £165,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund in 2002/03 for Phase 2 of an access for the disabled adaptations programme; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Property Services to progress these adaptations and submit further reports detailing later phases of this programme.

28. HEADSTONE STABILISATION

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 6 June 2002, there was submitted Joint Report No 669/02 by the Director of Leisure Services and the Director of Property Services seeking approval to the provision of supplementary funding from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund to undertake Phase 2 of safety repairs to headstones in various burial grounds throughout Angus, at an estimated cost of £15,000.

The Report indicated that an increasing deterioration in the fabric and stability of headstones had been identified in cemeteries and churchyards and the full cost of undertaking repairs could not be contained within the Property Maintenance Revenue Budget for Leisure Services.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve a bid for supplementary funding in the sum of £15,000 from the Property Renewal and Repair Fund; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Leisure Services to undertake Phase 2 of these repairs.

29. PROPERTY SERVICES HEALTH AND SAFETY ANNUAL REPORT 2001/2002

With reference to Article 32 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 763/02 by the Director of Property Services, together with a copy of the annual health and safety report, 2001/2002, for the Property Services Department.

The Report indicated that a wide range of health and safety issues had been covered during the course of the year within the Property Services remit and highlighted the action taken to reduce risk through planned programmes.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

30. END OF YEAR REPORTS ­ 2001/2002

(a) Energy Budget

With reference to Article 26(b) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 August 2001, there was submitted and noted Report No 764/02 by the Director of Property Services presenting the 2001/2002 end of year status of expenditure on the individual Council heating fuel and electricity budgets for non-housing properties.

(b) Property Maintenance

With reference to Article 26(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 August 2001, there was submitted and noted Report No 765/02 by the Director of Property Services presenting the 2001/2002 end of year status of expenditure on the maintenance of non-housing properties.

31. PROGRESS REPORT ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS 2002/03

With reference to Article 25 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 August 2001, there was submitted Report No 766/02 by the Director of Property Services reviewing progress on projects up to the end of April 2002, for which funding provision had been made within the 2002/2003 Capital Programme. A full copy of the Report had been placed in the Members' Lounge.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

32. PROPERTY SERVICES DEPARTMENT ­ SERVICE PLAN 2002/2004

With reference to Article 33 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 June 2001, there was submitted Report No 767/02 by the Director of Property Services presenting the Property Services Department's Service Plan for 2002/2004 which had been prepared within the context of Council's strategic planning process.

The Report indicated that the Plan outlined the way in which the Property Services Department would continue to deliver its services to the Council during the next two years, together with the improvement action points identified by Audit Scotland.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to approve the Service Plan for 2002/2004 in respect of the Property Services Department; and
  3. to commend all staff within the Property Services Department for their achievement in delivering the capital and revenue programmes.
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