02 October 2023 – Minutes


Minutes of the Personnel Committee Meeting held on 2 October 2023 at 1:30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


Town Mayor, Cllr A Dite
Chairman of Policy and Resources, Cllr M Dyer
Chairman of Community, Leisure and Recreation, Cllr P Cowell
Chairman of Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee, Cllr C Jones


M Sturdy (Town Clerk)


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Gilbert (personal) & Cllr Fickling (personal).


2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations.


3 Public Participation and Public Questions

There were no applications to address the Committee.
There were no questions put to the Committee.


4 Minutes

The Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 24 July 2023 were confirmed as a correct record, and were signed by the Chairman.


5 Exclusion of the Public

RESOLVED: That under Section 1, Paragraph 2 of The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business because publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted.


6 Staff Handbook

The clerk gave an update on the progress to review the Staff Handbook, confirming that whilst it is still in progress it is taking longer than anticipated.


  1. To note the update


7 Annual Appraisal

Cllr Cowell joined the meeting during this item.

The annual appraisal process has now been completed and where required actions are being followed up.


  1. To note the processes have been followed.


8 Staffing Costs and Gradings

The clerk presented a report with an update on the cost-of-living increase for 2023/24, confirming that the offer made by The National Employers for Local Government has to-date NOT been accepted by national unions. The result is that only an estimate can be made regarding the impact on this year’s budget at this time. The final agreement will be back dated to April 2023.

A proposal for the 2024/25 salary budget, based on the current staff structure was put to the committee, this would include 3% for the estimated cost-of-living increase on top of any incremental rises through role scale points. The committee approved that this recommendation be put to Full Council and the Budget Working Group but noted that by the time the budget is finalised more information predicting inflation for next year may be available.

Any scale point increased would take effect from 1 April 2024 but the 2024/25 cost-of-living increase would not be implemented until agreed with the National Employers for Local Government.

The clerk proposed additions to the staffing structure to implement positive change, raise funds and bring about efficiencies in the long term. The draft proposal would see a further increase in the overall budget for 2024/25. The committee agreed in principal that the budget should be recommended to Full Council and the Budget Working Group with a more detailed proposal provided, including job descriptions and a timeframe.

The clerk and committee discussed moving forward with some elements of the staff changes under the clerk’s delegated authority and within the current year’s budget.


  1. The progress on the 2023/24 cost-of-living increase be noted.
  2. The committee recommend that additional funds are added to the 2024/25 budget to allow for additional staff.
  3. The clerk progresses with resource review within budget to move forward with internal efficiencies.

RECOMMENDED to Full Council that:

  1. A 3% cost-of-living increase, including any incremental scale point adjustments be allowed for in the 2024/25 salary budget.


9 Staffing Matters

The clerk gave an update on staff health, safety and welfare including the results from the latest radon testing which were returned well below the limit for action of 300Bq m3  at 35 and 69. Works to improve ventilation are planned for the main basement and will be followed with a re-test of that area.

Following notice of staff retirement, the clerk updated the committee on draft role replacement plans as well as options to increase the skills and resources. At this point the aim is to identify possible costs for the budget (as above).

In principle the committee were in support of the staffing changes but understood that a more detail would be required to move forward in 2024/25.

Staff training has been integral to the ongoing development of the Town Council team and will remain so going forward with training and refresher training including:

  • Working at Heights Training
  • Manual Handling Training
  • Chainsaw Use
  • IOSH H&S Management
  • Leadership
  • Project Management

The clerk confirmed there will be an overspend in the training budget for 2023/24.

The clerk is reviewing their continuous professional development (CPD) to consider the skills of the team to prevent duplication of effort and direct their own training more towards motivating and empowering the team by promoting continuous improvement and development for the benefit of the community.

The committee discussed potential CPD options for the clerk and agreed to review later.


  1. The report on staffing matters be noted.



The meeting concluded at 3:00pm.



Signed …………………………               Date: ……………………..