28 March 2023 – Minutes


Minutes of the Personnel Committee Meeting held on 28 March 2023 at 3pm in the Meeting Room (Thame Town Hall).


Town Mayor Cllr P Cowell
Deputy Mayor Cllr A Dite
Chairman of Policy and Resources Cllr M Dyer
Chairman of Community, Leisure and Recreation Cllr N Champken-Woods
Chairman of Planning & Environment Cllr H Fickling


M Sturdy (Town Clerk)


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Jones (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 10 January 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 Leadership Training Feedback

A member of the senior leadership team gave a presentation to the committee following their completion of over 50 hours of leadership training. The presentation explained how beneficial and enjoyable the training had been; Learning new skills, and greatly improving confidence in areas including: communication, emotional intelligence, creative thinking, empowerment as well as the importance of data, being curious and creating capacity to think.

Cllr’s were able to ask questions at the end; the manager identified clear areas where lessons from the course would be used within their work for the Council, as well as how they would be accountable to ensure their training is ongoing.

The training follows last year’s staffing review which identified the need for greater continuous professional development (CPD) in this area.

A second member of the senor leadership team has joined the latest intake of this course, which is due to finish in June, with other members of the team due to sign up for future intakes.


  1. The presentation was noted.


7 Review of Draft Training Matrix

The Town Clerk gave an overview of the work in progress in developing a training matrix for staff and councillors. The aspiration is to have a clear matrix which identifies training needs for each staff role and makes clear what training is mandatory, what training requires refresher training and what training is optional.

The draft format for new councilor training was discussed and the Town Clerk explained that work is ongoing in preparation for the elections in May. The final format for the training will be shared with Full Council.


  1. When complete, the final draft training matrix will be taken to Full Council for approval.


8 Staff Handbook Review

The Town Clerk gave a verbal update on the progress of the Staff Handbook. The Clerk, RFO and HR consultants are working through the current handbook to ensure compliance with employment law.


  1. The update was noted.


9 Committee Terms of Reference

The Town Clerk explained that as part of a wider review of the committees’ terms of reference (ToR), the Personnel Committee ToRs should be reviewed. Included in the discussions was the need for relevant delegations regarding personnel-related costs, within agreed budgets.

The committee felt that any changes to ToR should not be put forward until some months after the elections, this would allow any new councilors time to settle in. Once the revised ToR are in their final draft form the recommendations should be taken to Full Council.

Councillors expressed their thanks to the Committee Services and Processes Officer for the initial, excellent thorough work put into the review of committee responsibilities.


  1. The final draft of the revised committee terms of reference will be taken to Full Council for approval.


10 Staffing Matters Update

  • The Town Clerk explained that Community Governance Training equips staff with an in-depth knowledge of the issues around local council management and the skills to be able to improve the work of their council. At Level 4, the focus is on the technical competence in areas such as council law and procedures, finance and the planning system. Benchmarking with other councils has confirmed that they have seen a direct benefit of staff completing this course and as such have fully funded the training.

The officer has committed to remain in the employment of Thame Town Council for two years after completing the course or be at risk of repaying some or all of the course fees.

As a good employer it is important to support the continuous professional development of Council staff and as such the committee agreed to propose to Full Council that the remainder of the course fees are budgeted for and paid as required in 2024/25.


    1. In line with 1.13 of the Financial Regulations recommend to Full Council that they approve the remaining costs of £3,200 from the Staff Training Budget in 2024/25
  • It was noted that the Town Clerk had now passed the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) which would allow the Council to continue to make use of the General Power of Competence[1] after the May elections.

There are now four members of the council team who hold the CiLCA qualification.

  • It was noted that in relation to recruitment:
    1. a new communications and events officer joined the Council team in February and was settling in well
    2. a short-term, casual administrator had successfully helped remove a backlog of finance and HR administration work
    3. the recruitment process was underway for a part-time finance administrator
    4. no progress had been made on looking for staff to open the Information Centre on a Saturday
  • It was noted that the council had set up a Cycle to work scheme, this is a salary sacrifice scheme which helps staff to purchase bicycles and equipment which they pay for directly from their salary before tax.

The question was asked if the council have to insure the bikes until the final payment us made by staff. The answer is that staff should insure the bikes themselves.

The Scheme has been well received with 3 members of the team buying new bicycles


The meeting concluded at 4:47pm.



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



[1] Localism Act 2011 (1)