Agenda and minutes

Human Resources Committee - Thursday, 20th July, 2023 5.00 pm

Venue: City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 9NE

Contact: Amy Rodwell  0117 92 24357

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and the Clerk noted that there were some AGM procedural items to be covered that weren’t included in the meeting papers, which were as follows:

 

The Committee noted that at its meeting on 9th May 2023, Annual Full Council appointed Councillor Lorraine Francis as Chair and Councillor Farah Hussain and Vice-Chair of the Human Resources Committee for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.

 

The Committee noted the membership of the Human Resources Committee for 2023/24 as set out below:

Councillors Lorraine Francis, Lesley Alexander, Richard Eddy, Tim Wye, Farrah Hussain, Kerry Bailes, Amirah Cole, Sarah Classick and Mohamed Makawi.

 

The Committee agreed that meetings for 2023/24 would be held on the following dates, all commencing at 5pm:

21 September 2023

14 December 2023

15 February 2024

25 April 2024

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Sarah Classick and Mohamed Makawi.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There was none.

 

4.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To agree the minutes of the last meeting as a correct record.

Minutes:

Resolved; That the minutes of the previous meeting on 27th April 2023 be approved as a correct record.

 

Matter arising

Minute item no.6 regarding concerns around the transfer of security and cleaning staff to Bristol Waste Company.

 

Members were concerned that the Council’s Constitution did not allow for consideration of matters from staff who have transferred from the Council to other employers (including wholly-owned BCC companies).

 

The Chair raised the Committee’s concerns with the Chair of OSMB and the Committee were advised that this was not within the Terms of Reference for the Human Resources Committee. Any queries relating to this matter could be redirected to the service going forwards. It was noted that this matter was to be discussed at an upcoming informal meeting of OSMB.

 

5.

Public Forum pdf icon PDF 106 KB

30 minutes is allowed for this item

 

Any member of the public or councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by5 pm on Friday 14th July 2023.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on 19th July 2023.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee received and noted the following Public Forum items:

·       One question from Suzanne Audrey regarding the Executive Director of Children and Education. Suzanne was not present at the meeting.

 

6.

Trade Union Forum

A total of 15 minutes is permitted for Trade Union Forum.

 

Each Trade Union will be allowed up to 5 minutes to speak to their submitted statements or raise a supplementary question arising from a submitted question. If only one trade union is in attendance a 5-minute time slot will be allowed.

 

All statements and questions must be in writing and meet the deadlines as set out below -

 

Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by5 pm on Friday 14th July 2023.

 

Written statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 19th July 2023.

 

Minutes:

There was none.

 

7.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To note the work programme.

Minutes:

The Head of HR introduced the item and noted that there would be some familiarity in the Work Programme from the last municipal year. The team had incorporated suggestions from the Committee and had amended the programme as appropriate.

 

It was noted that specifically, the Council’s Pay Policy Statement had been brought forwards to December to allow more time for discussion. Cllr Wye raised the need for the inclusion of interims and consultants in the Pay Policy Statements and was advised that this would be covered in this item as well as  the ‘HR Dashboard – Agency Workers’ section of the work programme that was also currently scheduled for the Committee meeting on 14 December.

 

8.

Human Resources Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director for Workforce & Change introduced the item and noted that the annual report was to be approved by the Committee for consideration at the Full Council meeting in September. The team had drafted the report based on the Committee’s activity over the last municipal year and welcome comments and feedback from Members. Discussion points were as follows:

·       The Head of Human Resources highlighted the key themes over the last year that had been included in the report and noted that the Committee had met informally with the Staff Led Group Chairs where there were some useful discussions around equalities. 

·       Cllr Eddy thanked officers for their hard work and suggested that this be reflected in the report.

·       Cllr Wye raised the Pension Fund discussions around ethical and carbon investment at the last Committee meeting and noted the previous engagement with APF regarding the design of future member surveys. . It was noted that this had been included in the annual report and could be discussed again during this municipal year.

 

9.

Office Accommodation Programme

To note the verbal update.

Minutes:

The Director of Property, Assets and Infrastructure joined the meeting to provide an update on the office accommodation programme as Members had asked for an update on the council’s desk booking system at the previous meeting. Key points were as follows:

·       The desk booking system was part of a wider piece of work linked to the Property Programme which went to Cabinet for approval in June 2023.

·       The programme aims to reduce the number of buildings used for office space as well as looking at the disposal of vacant buildings to create savings.

·       A number of staff/teams based at 100 Temple Street were being moved to City Hall in order to explore a commercial let in the North side of the building. To enable the move, the team had reviewed the desk space at City Hall which was only reaching 35/40% capacity previously and as a result, the desk ratio per team had changed.

·       Phase one of the move would be taking place throughout July and a new booking system had been put in place.

·       There had been lots of engagement with teams prior to the move and there had been no challenges from staff to date, but the system would remain under review.

·       There would be no change to the Councillor area. 

·       It was noted that the Cash Hall was a useful space for ‘drop ins’ but shouldn’t be used for office space; This would continue to be a fluid space which was also not yet at capacity.

Members asked questions and discussion points were as follows:

·       Members raised concerns at the last meeting around desk booking that was previously managed by one person in the service on top of their existing workload, but this was not the case, it was the responsibility of managers. It was clarified that under an earlier system, the responsibility for desk booking was with the manager or a nominated deputy, and that this has since been changed so that each employee can book their own desk on a spreadsheet that could be accessed by all colleagues.

·       There are a number of unallocated spaces at City Hall so if colleagues need to drop in or come into the office at last minute then they would still be able to find a space to work. The building was not at capacity and there was no plan to change this flexible approach.

·       It was confirmed that the Create Centre was still in use, but some teams such as the Sustainability Team had recently moved to City Hall. The next phase of the programme would be locality hubs followed by a review of vacant buildings.

(Cllr Bailes left the meeting at this point)

·       There was a discussion around energy efficiency/usage in council buildings and Members were advised that a report on decarbonisation plans would be going to an upcoming Cabinet meeting. For any plans to dispose of a building/asset in future, there would also be a report to Cabinet.

·       It was noted that there was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

That under s.100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that it (they) involve(s) the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph(s) *insert paragraph here* (respectively) of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

Resolved - That under s.100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that it (they) involve(s) the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph(s) 1 (respectively) of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Act.

 

11.

Exempt Personnel Reports

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Extension of Interim Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service)

 

The Director of Workforce & Change introduced the report for the extension of interim Chief Executive which was for the Committee to approve the terms and conditions for the extension of the appointment of Stephen Peacock as Interim Chief Executive to 31 December 2024.

·       It was noted that there had been an error in the date in the report at point number 7 which should read as follows: “On 11 August 2022 the Human Resources Committee agreed the terms and conditions for this appointment.”

·       The current contract would end on 30th June 2024 which was initially agreed to ensure there would be stability in the organisation for the remainder of the Mayoral term, leaving the decision on future arrangements to the new committee system.

·       To seek a political steer for the plans beyond June 24, at the Mayor’s suggestion, the Director: Workforce and Change and   the Monitoring Officer  met with the party group leaders who indicated that rather than starting a recruitment process in the lead up to an election, consideration be given to commence the recruitment in June/July next year.  To give time for the recruitment process to run and to allow for any notice period, they have also requested consideration given to extending the existing interim contract by 6 months to 31 December 2024. –All other  terms and conditions of the contract would remain.

·       A meeting of the Selection Committee had taken place on 13th July 2023 where the contract extension was agreed, and the next step was for the Human Resources to Committee approve the terms and conditions of the contract which would remain the same, which would be followed by consideration at Full Council in September.

·       It was noted that the terms and conditions for the recruitment of a permanent Chief Executive would be debated at a future HR Committee meeting.

Members agreed this approach and therefore it was:

Resolved; that the Committee approved the terms and conditions for the extension of the appointment of Stephen Peacock as Interim Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) to 31 December 2024.

 

Appointment of Denise Murray as the Government’s Finance Commissioner for Slough Borough Council

 

The Director of Workforce & Change introduced the report which was brought to the Committee for noting.

 

·       Denise Murray, Director of Finance and S.151 Officer, was appointed to the role of Government’s Finance Commissioner for Slough Borough Council from May 2023 until November 2024 for up to 3 days per week.

·       During this time Denise will continue her role at Bristol City Council with the support from the Head of Financial Management (Deputy s151officer), Chief Internal Auditor, Head of Revenues and Benefits, Head of Procurement and Contract Management, and a new permanent Head of Strategic Finance who commenced in May 2023.

·       Slough Borough Council will be subject to a fee payable to Bristol City Council which would be used for backfilling.

·       Cllr Wye asked for costings around this, and officers advised that they would come  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.