29 October 2013 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Personnel Committee Meeting held on 29 October 2013 at 6pm in the Meeting Room, Thame Town Hall.
Town Mayor Cllr P Lambert, Deputy Mayor Cllr J Matelot Green, Chairman of Policy and Resources Cllr M Dyer, Chairman of Culture, Leisure and Recreation Cllr N Dixon and Chairman of Planning & Environment Cllr H Fickling.
Officer: Mrs H Stewart (Town Clerk)
1 Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2 Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Public Participation
There were no requests for public participation.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2013 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
5 Monitoring Data
Three summaries relating to staff performance were presented for information.
a) Additional Hours Worked – this showed a pattern of working where additional hours worked at certain times of the year amounted to 81.25 hours in 2012-13 and 60.25 from April – September 2013 (excluding the hours worked by the Town Clerk). This had to be taken as time off in lieu over the remaining months which obviously had to be managed carefully to not let the service delivery be affected and at the same time ensure that staff were not working excessive hours.
b) Absence / Sickness Records – the figures reflected a healthy workforce with recorded absence below the national average of 6.5 days sick a year.
c) Training Records – personal development and training needs were assessed as part of the annual appraisal for each member of staff. During 2013-2014 training had included topics such as data protection, tenders and procurement, the new pension requirements and emergency first aid. A service level agreement had also been agreed with Drayton St Leonard Parish Council to provide clerking services to enable a member of staff to build on the Working With Your Council course with the intention of undertaking the CILCA qualification.
6 Staff Handbook
The amendment, to the Whistle Blower section of the staff handbook as advised by Ellis Whitham the HR adviser to the Council was noted.
7 Local Government Pension Scheme
Notice had been received that the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Pension Fund was seeking the approval of the OCC Cabinet to explore the potential merger of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire Pension Funds.
The option was being explored because officers believe it offers potential to improve the cost effectiveness of the three funds through the combination of reducing costs and improving investment performance. Ay such merger would not impact on the benefits payable to individual scheme members since these are protected under Statute.
8 Exclusion of the Public
RESOLVED: i) Pursuant to Section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 it is resolved that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and press leave the meeting during consideration of:
Agenda Item:9 Staff Contracts
Agenda Item 10: Performance Review
Agenda Item 11 Salaries and Grades
Agenda Item:12 Staffing Levels
9 Staff Contracts
Ellis Whittham had been recently taken on as the HR advisor to the Council and as part of their work programme all staff contracts were reviewed to ensure they were legally complaint and appropriate for the requirements of the Council.
A number of amendments have been suggested that will be subject to consultation with staff.
10 Performance Review
The Committee reviewed the performance, grade and salary of the Town Clerk in relation to the grade responsibilities set by the professional body for clerks. The role had taken on different and additional responsibilities since the implementation of the Neighbourhood Plan with a greater involvement in planning matters. The Committee was of the opinion that the Clerk was doing a great job and thanked her for all of her efforts and commitment.
11 Salaries and Grades
There was an overview of the performance of each member of staff with particular recognition for two employees who had provided cover for the eight weeks whilst the Town Clerk was on 8 weeks sabbatical during the year. The Committee offered special thanks to them both for assuming the extra responsibilities in addition to performing their own duties. The salary and grade for each member of staff for 2014-15 were discussed and agreed.
i) That the grades and salaries be approved for 2014-15.
12 Staffing Levels
The Neighbourhood Plan had bought a requirement for new skills and knowledge particularly about planning matters. The advice of the planning consultant, previously involved in the Neighbourhood Plan would be retained until time allowed a review of the skill set and responsibilities of the current staff. A long term solution would be required to address the gap in planning advice and for monitoring the implementation and delivery of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The meeting concluded at 7.15pm