Agenda and minutes

Human Resources Committee
Wednesday 13th January, 2016 3.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Lorraine Blackburn  Tel: (01279) 502172 Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To receive the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2015


The Chairman referred to Minute 7 (Professional Career Vocational Study Policy) and commented that that career graded roles within Planning and Building Control should be given attention.


RESOLVED -  that the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2015 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman welcomed the Chief Executive, Liz Watts to the meeting.  He explained that she would be providing Members with a summary of the proposed new Senior Management Group Structure as part of the report on the Workforce Plan.


The Chairman reminded Members that although he ran the meetings with a degree of informality, he asked that Members address any questions through the Chair.



Workforce Plan pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive thanked Members for the opportunity to explain the new leadership team proposals currently undergoing consultation.  She explained that it was important that the people affected by any restructure, were advised first.  Those affected had now been advised and all staff had been emailed and two staff briefings had also taken place.


The Chief Executive explained that the current structure and meetings schedule was “top heavy” and that the proposed new approach was “flatter” and moved away from a directorate approach, towards a single leadership team, with a decrease of full time equivalents (FTEs) at Senior Management Group level from 16 to 12. 


The Chief Executive explained the key changes and the rationale behind the new Head of Service (HOS) roles adding that there would be no line management between HOS and Directors.  HOS would have autonomy, responsibility and accountability to run their service areas, allowing Directors to concentrate on driving forward corporate priorities and large projects, such as the Old River Lane development.  However, Directors and the Chief Executive would each mentor three HOS, ensuring that they had the support mechanisms in place to operate effectively. 


The Chief Executive explained that the Director vacancy would not be advertised until the consultation period had ended on 3 February 2016. 


Councillor P Ruffles questioned whether the Council had experience of working this model or whether the Chief Executive had seen it work in other councils.  The Chief Executive explained that she had worked in an organisation where this management structure had been in place and was confident in the proposed structure, with HOS having responsibility and autonomy. She referred to other large issues which would impact on the Council in the future, such as devolution, housing and the need for Local Government to shape itself and work more with its external partners.  The Chairman referred to the Council’s Director of Transformation during the Changing the Way We Work process. 


The Chief Executive explained that the restructure had been shared with some external partners, such as those in shared services and at the end of the consultation period, any comments received would be considered.  She explained that if any substantive changes were made as a

 result of the consultation, they would be discussed with the Executive.


Councillor S Bull expressed concern regarding the 25% reduction in SMG posts.  The Chief Executive said that for a council the size of East Herts, the organisation was top heavy in terms of its SMG posts and that she had aimed to put services together which made sense from a resident viewpoint, e.g. a new Head of Housing, Health and Community Safety.


In response to a query from Councillor I Devonshire regarding the savings to be achieved by a reduction from 16 to 12 and whether projects such as the Old River Lane would necessitate being managed by the creation of a team, the Chief Executive explained that there would be broadly, a saving of around £200,000 from the restructure.  She further stated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 508.


Human Resources Management Statistics - Quarterly Report pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Human Resources (HR) and Organisational Development submitted a report setting out Human Resource information for the period 1 October 2015 to11 December 2015.


The HR Officer provided a summary of the key points.  The HR Officer stated that staff turnover was 8.7% in the first nine months of 2015/16 and that projected turnover for 2015/16 was 7.88% against a target of 10%.  Voluntary leavers was 6.53%, projected to be 8.7% against a target of 7%.


The HR Officer explained that short term sickness for the period 2015/2016 per full time equivalent (FTE) was currently forecast at  3.36 days against a target of 4.5 days.  The current projected long term sickness absence per FTE was 1.74 days against a target of 2 days. 


Updates were provided in relation to work related accidents, learning and development, performance management and equalities monitoring indicators.  A summary was provided of polices currently under review including the number of agency staff working for the Council by service area as at 11 December 2015.


In response to a query from Councillor P Ruffles regarding the two new starters who did not attend corporate induction, the HR Officer explained that another corporate induction would take place on 14 January 2016.  In relation to the number of courses/events offered, the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development explained that many were offered openly to staff and some were service specific.  The Chairman referred to extended learning also offered online.


The Committee approved the report, as now detailed.


RESOLVED – that the Human Resources Quarterly Management Statistics report, as now submitted, be approved.



Local Joint Panel - Minutes of the meeting: pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Members are asked to bring with them their copy of the agenda of the Local Joint Panel meeting held on 2 December 2015.


To consider the recommendation on the matter below:


(A)     Expenses Policy


          Minute 11 refers




RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the Local Joint Panel meeting held on 2 December 2015 be received.


(See also Minute xxx)



Expenses Policy


The Committee considered and approved the recommendation of the Local Joint Panel meeting held on 2 December 2015 on a revised Expenses Policy.


RESOLVED – that the Expenses Policy, as now submitted, be approved.


(See also Minute xxx)