Shaping the Council Committee – 21 December 2010

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

Councillors L Foster, Collinson and Swift.

The committee met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

98 SUBSTITUTIONS – It was reported that Councillor Collinson was substituting for Councillor Davison.

The chair referred to the non attendance of the two Conservative Members of the committee or any substitute members and expressed his disappointment that they were not at the meeting. The dates of meetings of the committee had been set following full consultation with all members of the committee and he could see no reason why members of the Conservative Group were not in attendance.

99 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL PREJUDICE INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal prejudice interests.

100 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of meetings of the committee held on 15 November 2010 be proved as a correct record.

The Chief Executive referred to minute 95 and reported that following the last meeting he had written to the Deputy Chief Executive and all Service Directors about the review process and job descriptions had been prepared. Following consultation with the Trade Unions and in accordance with the council’s HR processes appointments had been made to the six Service Director posts in the new structure. He also reported that the Deputy Chief Executive would be leaving the authority in February 2011 following his appointment as Chief Executive of a council in Scotland.

The Committee noted and endorsed the appointments made as set out above.

101 EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following items (Minutes 102 and 103 refer) on the ground that they involve 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).

102 THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL – SERVICE STRUCTURES – The Chief Executive referred to the review of the Senior Management structure of the council and in particular the potential service groupings following the decision of the committee to approve a structural option of six service areas. This committee had approved the principles and analysis of the proposed future structure of the council, approved the service structure of six service groupings and had instructed the Chief Executive to carry out an appointment process for those posts.

In line with minute 100 above, the Chief Executive reported on the appointment of the six Service Directors. He also referred to the need for the new council management structure to reinforce a “one council” approach. It needed to be effective in terms of making best use of reduced resources. The management structure of the council at the top level would be required to achieve corporate and council goals and objectives as well as providing leadership to services.

It was now necessary to engage the Service Directors together with this committee in the allocation of functions to each service area and the determination of the next level of management below Service Directors. This was crucial as it would be necessary for the next tier of management to manage the day to day working of service areas to enable Service Directors to concentrate on the need to set the strategic direction of the council and reinforce the one council approach. The majority of functions would probably fit neatly within each service grouping, but there were some areas that needed further analysis and discussion as detailed in the report. The Chief Executive was asked to work with his new Service Directors to develop proposals for their service areas for submission to a future meeting of the Committee. It was essential that the Service Directors should have a detailed input into this work.

Reference was also made to the current work being carried out in relation to Worksmart and the need to link this into the Shaping the Council exercise. It was suggested that the minutes of the Worksmart board and any other appropriate documentation be submitted to this committee on a periodic basis for information.

Resolved – (a) That the report be noted; (b) that the appointment of the Service Directors as detailed above and in minute 100 be approved and adopted; (c) that further work be carried out with Service Directors to prepare detailed structures and functions for discussion at the next meeting of the committee, and (d) that arrangements be made for minutes of the Worksmart board and other appropriate documentation to be submitted for information to this Committee.

103 THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL – INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICE – The Chief Executive referred to the impending retirement of the current Service Director Highways and Planning and submitted a report which considered options for the merger of infrastructure related activities in asset management and culture and highways and planning. This committee had previously agreed a new senior management structure and that further work be undertaken to identify functions to be included in each of the new service areas. Previous meetings of the committee had also discussed and agreed proposals for a new infrastructure service which would bring together key similar and complementary technical functions involved in asset management, construction, design and maintenance relative activities, currently in asset management and culture and highways. Discussion had also taken place on bringing together strategic regeneration and planning issues and the potential benefits of joining development control with the wider strategic planning activity to reflect the new emphasis on local determination of planning.

A number of options were available for the structure of the new infrastructure service and the Chief Executive submitted two potential options at appendices 2 and 3 for detailed consideration.

The model used within these options could also be used to by other Service Directors when determining their functions and structures in line with minutes 102 above.

Members considered the options submitted together with some of the areas and functions which would need further consideration before it was determined in which service area they would eventually lie.

Resolved – (a) That option 1 as set out in Appendix 2 to the report be approved as the preferred option for the infrastructure service; (b) that further consideration be given to where IT Services and Leisure Services are best placed, and (c) that further discussion also take place on the best location for the development control function, considering the wider review of the council management structure.