To update Council on the recruitment to the Senior Management Structure.
Further to C/47 (2018/19), the Chief Executive provided an update on the Customer Connect Programme and recruitment to the Senior Management Structure, first expressing gratitude to all staff who had continued to deliver services whilst the Council moved forward with its transformation.
Following conclusion of the employee consultation on Phase 1 Leadership, Strategy and Support Services on 16 November 2018, representations had been considered by the Head of Paid Service. This had not resulted in any substantial changes requiring further Council approval.
Applications for voluntary redundancy had been considered in accordance with the Council’s Redundancy Policy agreed criteria, with 20 applications having been approved.
Recruitment had commenced with regard to the senior leadership structure, with interviews having taken place for the two Director posts, a cross-party Panel of Members having been drawn from the Human Resources Committee. The successful candidates had been confirmed for those two posts, and the Chief Executive took the opportunity to thank all those who had applied for the roles. Recruitment was ongoing for the remainder of the leadership posts, interviews having recently taken place for the lead operational and specialists posts. The successful candidates were currently considering formal offers and the appointments were due to be announced during the following week. All other Phase 1 interviews were due to commence during week commencing 11 March 2019.
Following the consultation process, it had been considered appropriate for some transitional arrangements to be made pending recruitment to the statutory roles under the new structure. It was intended that the responsibility for Returning Officer (once confirmed by Council) would transfer following the May elections from 1 June and that the existing Returning Officer would continue in the interim. A report to the March Council meeting would update on this as the leadership recruitment continued. The Monitoring Officer function would also be retained by the Director of Policy and Resources during this transition. With regard to the statutory officers of Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer, the recruitment process was ongoing and the Assistant Director (Resources) (Section 151 Officer) would remain in that role until 31 May 2019 to support the production and statutory close down of the 2018/19 accounts. Council would be notified with regards to the appointment process and the Constitution updated once the appointments had been determined.
Councillor Giles Archibald moved the recommendations contained within the report. Councillor Philip Dixon, who was Vice-Chairman of the Human Resources Committee and who had chaired the Panel which had made the appointments to the Director posts, seconded the proposal. He informed Members that the Panel had been impressed by all those interviewed and reported that the decisions on the appointments to the two Director posts had been unanimous. He thanked the Human Resources Team the other Members who had sat on the Panel for their part in the process.
Councillor Ben Berry acknowledged the importance and expressed support for this part of the Customer Connect process and looked forward to continue to work with the newly-appointed Directors. He took the opportunity to commend those officers who would be leaving the Authority, in particular the current Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) and Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer), and expressed thanks for their work over the past years. The Chief Executive welcomed Councillor Berry’s comments and explained that Members would have an opportunity to show their appreciation to those officers who had chosen different paths at a future time.
RESOLVED – That
(1) the update on the Customer Connect Programme and recruitment to the Senior Management Structure be received; and
(2) the following be noted:-
(a) the following appointments, with effect from 1 April 2019:-
· David Sykes as Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources; and
· Simon Rowley as Director of Customer and Commercial Services; and
(b) the transitional arrangements, as set out at paragraph 3.4 and 3.5 of the report and outlined above.