Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 6, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Alison Atherton, Senior Professional - Democratic Services  Tel: 020 8424 1266 E-mail:  alison.atherton@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

43.

Membership

To note under the provisions of the formula membership the attendance of any nominee Members.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly nominated Member:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Nominated Member

 

Councillor Graham Henson

Councillor Sachin Shah

 

44.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Panel;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no declarations of interests made by Members.

45.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To appoint a Vice-Chair for the 2015/16 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor Keith Ferry as Vice-Chair of the Chief Officers’ Employment Panel for the 2015/2016 Municipal Year.

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 51 KB

That the minutes of the meeting of the Chief Officer Employment Panel held on 2 March 2015 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2015, be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

47.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential information in breach of an obligation of confidence, or of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972:

 

Agenda Item No

 

Title

Description of Exempt Information

6.

Implementation of the New Senior Management Structure

Information under paragraph 1 (contains information relating to any individuals).

7.

Appointment of Director of Finance and Chief Finance (Section 151) Officer

Information under paragraph 1 (contains information relating to any individuals).

 

   

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That in accordance with Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) for the reasons set out below:

 

Item

Title

 

Reason

6.

Implementation of the New Senior Management Structure

Information under paragraph 1 (contains information relating to any individual).

 

 

 

7.

Appointment of Director of Finance and Chief Finance (Section 151) Officer

Information under paragraph 1 (contains information relating to any individual).

 

RESOLVED ITEMS

48.

Implementation of the New Senior Management Structure

Report of the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced the confidential report which set out the next stage in the implementation of the revised senior management structure for the Council.

 

A Member commented that the decision to move regeneration under the Chief Executive was not in the interests of taxpayers if it resulted in the redundancy of the Corporate Director at a cost detailed in the officer report.  The Divisional Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development outlined the employment position and the Chief Executive explained the rationale and benefits of the decision, including the wider savings from the restructure of almost £1m per annum.

 

A Member questioned why this structure had not been proposed at the time of the review 4 years previously.  The Chief Executive explained that the economic climate had changed significantly during the last 4 years and the new structure reflected both this and the changes in the administration’s priorities for regeneration and commercialisation.  The Leader reiterated that the Administration had changed and things had moved on.

 

A Member stated that the wider savings could not be delivered if the re?structure had not been agreed and that the savings were a reoccurring saving against the base budget whereas a redundancy payment was a one off cost.

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the employment of the Corporate Director, Environment & Enterprise be terminated on the grounds of redundancy and a compensation payment be made in accordance with the Council’s Redundancy Compensation Scheme and any other contractual payments that may become due, noting that any such payments may result in the total severance payment detailed in the officer report ;

 

(2)          the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, determine of the last working day and last day of service of the Corporate Director, Environment & Enterprise;

 

(3)          the job description, person specification, pay scale and process for appointment of the new Corporate Director, Community be agreed;

 

(4)               the job description, person specification, pay scale for the Corporate Director, People be agreed and the appointment process initially be by internal advert.

49.

Appointment of Director of Finance and Chief Finance (Section 151) Officer

Report of the Corporate Director of Resources.

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Resources & Commercial introduced his confidential report which set out proposals for appointing the Council’s Director of Finance and Chief Finance (Section 151) Officer.

 

A Member stated that she was concerned that the Council was not proposing to test the market for such an important appointment and reiterated the view that the post holder should be independent and report directly to the Chief Executive.  The Leader commented that although the Administration had worked closely with the interim Section 151 Officer, he recognised that the Opposition had not and sought Officers views to re-assure the Member.

 

The Corporate Director advised that the interim Section 151 had been recruited by the previous Section 151 Officer as his deputy and that they had also worked together in another London local authority prior to joining Harrow.  The Corporate Director confirmed that the appointment process for the deputy Section 151 role had tested the market and the appointment process had been rigorous including careful checking of references. 

 

The Chief Executive commented that the Members’ concerns regarding the reporting arrangements for the Section 151 Officer were well understood and that to address these the Section 151 Officer would continue to attend all Council Strategy Board meetings and have unfettered access to the Chief Executive.  Additionally, he advised that he had established separate regular meetings with the Section 151 and Monitoring Officers to ensure that the appropriate infrastructure was in place to enable these officers to discharge their statutory roles.

 

The Member requested that their concerns be noted as they had not worked with the officer, did not know her and could not be confident that she would be able to make the step up to the Section 151 role. The concerns were not in relation to the technical competence of the interim Section 151.

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the draft job description and person specification and pay scale for the Director of Finance which was appended to the report  of the Corporate Director Resources and Commercial be agreed;

 

(2)          the current interim Director of Finance be appointed to the chief officer post of Director of Finance and also be the Council’s Chief Finance (Section 151) Officer.