Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Calver (with no substitute), Chittock (with no substitute), King (with Councillor Broderick substituting) and Raby (with Councillor Alexander substituting).

 

15.

Minutes of the Last Meeting of the Human Resources & Council Tax Committee held on 24 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on 24 September 2018.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Chapman, seconded by Councillor S A Honeywood and:-

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Human Resources and Council Tax Committee, held on 24 September 2018, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

16.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

For the record and as a point of information, Councillor Griffiths reminded the Committee that he was a member of the GMB union and a Shop Steward but not at Tendring District Council.

 

17.

Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 37

Subject to providing two working days’ notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.

Minutes:

There were none on this occasion.

 

18.

Update on Apprenticeships

The Council’s Work Based Learning Manager (Debianne Messenger) will attend the meeting and give an oral update to the Committee on Apprenticeships.

Minutes:

The Council’s Work Based Learning Manager (Debianne Messenger) provided the Committee with an update on Apprenticeships.

 

The main points covered included:

 

1.         What is an Apprenticeship?

 

(a)       Frameworks

 

(i)     National Vocational Qualification;

(ii)    Functional skills in English, Maths and ICT.

 

(b)       Standards

 

(i)     NVQ not required but delivered;

(ii)    End point Assessment

 

2.         Career Track Numbers

 

(a)       42 apprentices (plus six new starts imminent)

(b)       27 apprentices with TDC

(c)       External employers too including Colchester Borough and Maldon District Councils

(d)       Work ongoing to expand employer base

 

3.         Apprenticeship Reform

 

(a)       April 2017 – changes to funding for apprenticeships including levy on employers

(b)       Providers applied to become independent (including TDC)

(c)       New standards were introduced including funding rules and OFSTED inspections

 

4.         Apprenticeship Levy

 

(a)       Levy applies to all employers with an annual pay bill of over £3million

(b)       0.5% of annual pay bill goes into a digital account

(c)       For local authorities target of 2.3% of staff as new apprentices by 2020

 

Members raised questions which were responded to by the Work Based Learning Manager and the Head of People, Performance and Projects, as appropriate.

 

The Chairman thanked the Work Based Learning Manager for her update.

 

19.

Report of Deputy Chief Executive - A.1 - Formal confirmation of Council Tax amounts for 2019/20 following the notification of the precepts from the major Precepting Authorities pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Minutes:

Before the commencement of this item the Chairman read out the following:-

 

“Members are reminded of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which provides that any Member, who is in arrears by at least 2 months with their Council Tax payments, cannot vote on matters concerning either the level of, or administration of, Council Tax.  It is important to note that this also covers Council Tax liabilities outside of the District and property which may not be your main residence. If present at the meeting, a Member to whom this provision applies must disclose the fact and may speak on the item, but cannot vote.  Non-compliance with this section is a criminal offence.  Therefore, should this provision apply to any Member, this should be disclosed.”

 

The Committee’s confirmation was sought in respect of the final Council Tax amounts for 2019/20 including the precepts issued for 2019/20 by Essex County Council and the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

 

Members were informed that, once the precepts were received from the major precepting authorities, the Human Resources and Council Tax Committee had the delegated responsibility to agree the total Council Tax for 2019/20. The total Council Tax for the year was made up of the District and Parish / Town Council amounts approved by this Council and the corresponding amounts agreed by the major precepting authorities. Legislation required this formal confirmation even though the process was dictated by legislative formulae and there was no actual judgement or choice to be made.

 

The Committee was aware that the District and Parish/Town Council precepts for 2019/20 had been approved at the meeting of the Council held on 5 February 2019 and were set out in Appendix B to the report. Since that date the precepts from the major precepting authorities for 2019/20 had been received.  The table set out below showed the precepts issued for 2019/20 for Essex County Council, Essex Police services and Essex Fire services:-

 

Precepting Authority

Council Tax Amount (Band D equivalent)

Increase

Essex County Council

£1,270.44

3.99%

Essex Fire Services

£72.45

2.94%

Essex Police Services

£192.96

14.16%

 

It was reported that when added to the amounts relating to the District and Parish / Town Council Services, as approved by Council on 5 February 2019, the average Band D Tax totalled £1,742.98for 2019/20. Appendix A to the reportset out the full precept details and Appendix Cset out for confirmation the 2019/20 Council Tax amounts including the precepts from the major precepting authorities by property band for the unparished and parished areas of the District.

 

It was moved by Councillor Ferguson, seconded by Councillor S A Honeywood and unanimously:-

 

RESOLVED that -

 

(a)    the precepts issued by Essex County Council, Essex Police and Essex Fire for 2018/19, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be noted; and

 

(b)     the amounts of Council Tax for 2019/20 for each of the categories of dwellings, as shown in Appendix C to the report, be confirmed.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive - A.2 - Staff Statistics Report pdf icon PDF 462 KB

To provide the Committee with updated and current staffing statistics.

Minutes:

There was submitted a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Services) (A.2) presented by Human Resources Operations Manager (Katie Wilkins), which provided the Committee with updated and current staffing statistics including:

 

(1)       Number of Staff Employed – Full-Time and Part-Time;

(2)       Gender Profile;

(3)       Age Profile;

(4)       Disability Profile;

(5)       Ethnicity Profile; and

(6)       Sickness Absence (information was included on the management procedures and preventative action taken together with the sources of support available for staff).

 

The Committee had circulated to them at the meeting further updated gender pay gap figures which demonstrated that the Council’s gender pay gap (which was already minimal) had reduced even further.

 

Officers responded to questions raised by Members on various topics and where an answer was not immediately available, the Human Resources and Business Manager undertook to respond to Members as soon as possible after the meeting.

 

Following discussion it was RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

 

21.

Report of Deputy Chief Executive - A.3 - Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 and Pay Assimilation pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To present a Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was submitted a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Services) (A.3) presented to the Committee by the Head of People, Performance and Projects (Anastasia Simpson) on the proposed Pay Policy Statement for 2019/2020 and pay assimilation.

 

The Committee was reminded that Section 38(1) of the Localism Act 2011 required local authorities to produce a Pay Policy Statement and that those matters which were required to be included in the statutory Pay Policy Statement were as follows:

 

  • A local authority’s policy on the level and elements of remuneration for each Chief Officer;

 

  • A local authority’s policy on the remuneration of its lowest-paid employees (together with its definition of “lowest-paid employees” and its reasons for adopting that definition);

 

  • A local authority’s policy on the relationship between the remuneration of its Chief Officers and other Officers; and

 

  • A local authority’s policy on other aspects of Chief Officers’ remuneration: remuneration on recruitment increases and additions to remuneration, use of performance related pay and bonuses, termination payments and transparency.

 

It was reported that the Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 had been designed to give an overview of the Council’s framework regarding pay and rewards for staff within the Council. The framework was based on the principle of fairness and that rewards should be proportional to the weight of each role and each individual’s performance. The framework aimed to ensure the ability of the Council to recruit talented individuals whilst reassuring the citizens of Tendring that their money was being used efficiently.

 

It was further reported that a pay assimilation exercise had been carried out by the Council, in order to move across to the new nationally agreed pay bands for 2019/20, which had resulted in multiple inflationary variations across the pay scale. The new spine would replace entirely the current spine and accordingly employees would assimilate across from their current Spinal Column Point (SCP) to the new corresponding SCP in April 2019. Changes included:-

 

New Pay Spine 1 April 2019

 

·           A bottom rate of £9.00 per hour (£17,364) on new Spinal Column Point (SCP) 1 (equivalent to old SCP’s 6 & 7).

·           ‘Pairing off’ old SCP’s 6-17 incl. to create new SCP’s 1-6 inclusive.

·           Equal steps of 2.0% between each new SCP’s 1 to 22 inclusive (equivalent to old SCP’s 6-28 inclusive.)

·           By creating equal steps between those pay points, new SCP’s 10, 13, 16, 18 and 21 were generated to which no old SCP’s would assimilate.

·           On new SCP’s 23 and above (equivalent to old SCP’s 29 and above), 2.0% increase on 2018 rate.

 

Members were informed that by adopting the new National Joint Council (NJC) pay spine locally, two issues had been identified by officers (other authorities had reported similar issues):

  • The current Grade 3 would lose all potential for progression and become a spot salary.
  • The current Grade 5 would be made up of 7 SCP’s. This was above the NJC recommendation of a maximum of 6 SCP’s in one grade.

 

The NJC had therefore recommended that local employers considered various options  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Report of Deputy Chief Executive - A.4 - Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Update Report pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To update Human Resources & Council Tax Committee on the work that has been undertaken to date, and future activities planned, to support the armed forces/veteran community, including Tendring District Council’s participation in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

Minutes:

There was submitted a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Resources) (A.4) presented by the Human Resources and Business Manager (Katie Wilkins) that updated Human Resources Committee on the work that had been undertaken to date, and future activities planned, to support the armed forces/veteran community, including Tendring District Council’s participation in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

 

The Committee was aware that the ERS encouraged employers to support the Armed Forces/veteran community and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompassed bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledged, demonstrated or advocated support to the armed forces/ veteran community, and aligned their values with the Armed Forces Covenant (the Armed Forces Covenant was a promise by the nation ensuring that those who served or who had served in the armed forces, and their families, were treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they served with their lives).

 

It was reported that the covenant focussed on helping members of the armed forces community to have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen. This support was provided in a number of areas including:-

 

  • Education and family well-being;
  • Having a home;
  • Starting a new career;
  • Access to healthcare;
  • Financial assistance;
  • Discounted services.

 

Members were informed that this Council currently held ERS bronze award status, in achieving this, the Council had demonstrated its commitment to being ‘armed forces-friendly’ and that it was open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners. 

 

The Committee was advised that Officers were keen to develop this work, not only to support the priorities outlined in the Armed Forces Covenant; but also to support the Council’s recruitment priorities. Colchester Barracks discharged around 400 military personnel each year, a number of which decided to remain in the Colchester and Tendring area. Those personnel were highly trained and skilled and as such the Council was keen to tap into this talent pipeline.

 

Members were made aware that Officers were now working in partnership with Samantha Goodman (Armed Forces Development Officer, at Colchester Borough Council (CBC)), towards the attainment of silver accreditation. Samantha had led CBC’s submission and achievement of silver status in 2018. Tendring District Council also has an Elected Member Lead for work relating to support for the Armed Forces (Councillor Christopher Amos).

 

It was reported that Employers could self-nominate for the ERS. Once the nomination had been validated it would be considered by a selection board at national level for gold awards and regional level for silver awards. The selection boards would be a panel chaired by a senior military officer and they would consider each nomination against the award criteria. Organisations selected for gold and silver awards would be formally notified in writing and invited to the relevant award event.

 

Appendix 1 to the report detailed both the activity undertaken to date, and the proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider the following resolution:

 

“That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Item 11 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, as amended, of the Act.”

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Item 11 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, as amended, of the Act.

 

24.

Exempt Minute of the Last Meeting of the Human Resources & Council Tax Committee held on 24 September 2018

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the exempt minute of the last meeting of the Human Resources & Council Tax Committee held on 24 September 2018.

Minutes:

The exempt minute of the meeting of the Human Resources and Council Tax Committee held on 24 September 2018 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.