Shaping the Council Committee – 22 October 2010

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

Councillors L Foster, Davison and Swift.

The committee met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

88 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

89 SUBSTITUTES – It was confirmed that the normal council substitute arrangements applied to this committee. The chair expressed his disappointment that no members of the opposition were in attendance at the meeting.

90 EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item (minute 91 refers) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of part 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

91 THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL – With reference to minute 87 of the last meeting of the committee, the Chief Executive submitted a further report which considered the next stages in the review of the senior management structure of the council.

At its last meeting the committee had approved the principles and analysis of the proposed future structure of the council, and had requested further work to be undertaken. It had also approved and adopted the service director coverage in the new infrastructure area. This broad structure had been examined in the context of both national and local demands/aspirations and predicted resource constraints. The latest report considered further two possible options to reflect the changes in the external environment since July 2010.

The council needed to strengthen council management to reinforce a “one council” approach. The management structure of the council had to have the capacity at the executive top level to achieve corporate and council goals and objectives. The one council approach had to recognise that there were a range of crucial organisational critical things that were best managed together from the centre to allow services to concentrate on getting things right for the public. This had not always been the case but with reduced resources this had to happen in the future.

Attached as appendix 1 to the report was the current management structure of the council and attached as appendices 2 and 3 were two different options for the future management structure. The first structure at appendix 2 redefined the role of Deputy Chief Executive as Corporate Services lead with finance being maintained as a separate service in its own right given the challenges ahead. The second option at appendix 3 suggested the creation of a Director of Corporate Services post in a flatter management structure. This would leave the new post capacity to deal with all the corporate services and policy issues with the need to redistribute functions from the existing Deputy Chief Executive role and the community planning and resources services areas. This would also have some other impact on the infrastructure and neighbourhood services areas. The report also contained some analysis of these options and set out the financial implications in paragraph 6.3.

Members commented on the detail of the two proposed structures. In relation to the second option in appendix 3 it was felt that there was a need to ensure that the corporate service area was not wholly inward looking and should have some element of outward facing responsibilities. To reflect this it should perhaps be called corporate and community services or vice versa.

Resolved – (a) That option 2 as set out in appendix 3 of the report be approved and adopted as the council’s senior management structure, subject to the corporate services service area being retitled Corporate and Community Services; (b) that arrangements be made as quickly as possible to appoint service directors into the new structure using the council’s HR processes; (c) that further work also be undertaken as quickly as possible on the detailed functions to be included in each service area with service directors being involved in that work, and (d) that arrangements be made for three further meetings of this committee prior to the Christmas break, with two further meetings to be scheduled in January/early February, and that arrangements be made for a presentation to the first of those meetings in relation to the work around the creation of an intelligence hub.