Corporate Services Cabinet Member – minutes – 14 August 2009

294 (24) CREATION OF RECESSION SUPPORT OFFICER – The Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development submitted a report seeking approval to establish a six month temporary post to support the impact of the recession in North Lincolnshire.

In broad terms the current national and international situation had been brought about by three key factors: the credit crunch, the collapse of the housing market, and the steep increases in oil, food and energy prices. A recent report towards the end of 2008 predicted the UK economy would enter a recession this year.

The UK economy shrank at its fastest rate since the early 1980’s in the final three months of 2008. With that being the second successive quarterly fall in GDP, it meant that the UK was officially in recession. Alongside that news, statistics showed that unemployment had risen at its fastest rate since the last recession.

Given the national picture, it was appropriate for the council to consider its position in terms of measures employed to alleviate some of the areas which would be the most affected by the recession locally to North Lincolnshire. The council interacted in a wide range of areas, which would include both local residents who could be affected by the economic downturn, as well as local businesses who could also be struggling to cope.

Although the council had little or no scope to influence the position of the national economy, at a local and sub regional level there could be some areas in which it could have a noticeable or significant impact for those individuals and businesses concerned. The council could also seek to influence national thinking on the role of local government generally in dealing with the recession, looking to ensure that local needs were recognised in national strategy.

The council’s recession group felt that the creation of a post of Recession Support Officer would add value to a one council approach to the recession.

Resolved – That the creation of the post of Recession Support Officer (grade 8) be approved.

The following items contain exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

295 (25) REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS ADVISER – The Service Director Community Planning and Resources submitted a report seeking approval to determine future arrangements for the role of Regional Partnerships Adviser.

In 2008, the council’s Executive Management Team recognised the need for an increased level of support to council representatives on key regional and sub-regional networks and partnerships.

It was considered that the Head of Public Relations and Communications had the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience for that kind of work. A delegated decision in August 2008 then set up the role for a one year period. The decision specified that the role be evaluated after nine months to determine whether it should be extended.

Discussions with the Chief Executive and elected members confirmed the increasing value that the role brought to the council as a whole, this was also recognised by regional and sub-regional bodies.

Resolved – (a) That the fixed term post of Regional Partnership Adviser, to take effect from 1 October 2009, as set out in the report, be approved, (b) that the Head of Public Relations and Communications be redesignated as Regional Partnerships Adviser from 1 October 2009, (c) that consultations take place on the most appropriate management arrangements for the residual functions in Public Relations and Communications, and (d) that a further report be submitted to Corporate Services Cabinet Member with detailed proposals on management responsibilities for those functions from 1 October 2009.

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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.