Further Implementation of People Strategy - Service Delivery Structure
(Leader of Council) To consider the attached report (C-006-2018/19).
(1) That the proposed new structure in accordance with the Common Operating Model for the delivery of the Council’s Services, comprising of the eight new groups as detailed in Appendix 3, be agreed.
(2) (a) That eight new Service Director posts be created at a salary range from £70,000 to £75,000 to lead each new service group;
(b) That the Job Description and Person Specification for the new Service Director roles, contained at Appendix 1 of the report, be agreed;
(c) That recruitment to the new Service Director posts be commenced on the basis of an internal ring-fence process, comprising the Council’s current Leadership Team;
(d) That voluntary severance on the terms contained within the report be agreed for the Assistant Director (Housing Operations) and Assistant Director (Legal Services) posts, the costs to be met from the existing District Development Fund budget agreed for the implementation of the People Strategy;
(e) That the leaving date for the two post holders be mutually agreed with the Acting Chief Executive, to ensure sufficient management capacity was maintained until the revised arrangements were in place;
(f) That, in accordance with the new structure, the vacant Assistant Director (Planning Policy and Economic Development) post be deleted from the establishment, once the current temporary cover arrangements were no longer required to support the development of the Local Plan through the Examination in Public process;
(g) That the proposed title for the Service Director of Strategy & Member Services be reviewed to avoid possible confusion with the Strategic Director posts; and
(h) That clarification be sought concerning the exact role of the Public Relations Team in delivering internal and external communications, with a potential change of name for the Team to better reflect their role; and
(3) That a further report be submitted to the Cabinet on proposals for the structure of each individual service group, further to the appointment of the Service Directors and a review of the most efficient delivery model within their new areas of responsibility.
The Leader of Council presented a report on the proposed Service delivery structure as part of the further implementation of the People Strategy.
The Leader reminded the Cabinet that, in April 2018, it had considered a report which proposed change to the Council’s Management Board, as part of the implementation of a new Common Operating Model which would alter the way Council Services were delivered. The recommendations of Cabinet were subsequently endorsed by the Council and the recruitment of the two new Strategic Director roles had commenced.
The Leader stated that the current establishment of 15 Assistant Directors, plus the posts of Head of Transformation and Head of Customer Services would be reduced. In the new structure, it was proposed that each of the eight new service groups should be led by a new Service Director, and to reflect the additional levels of delegated authority and enhanced spans of control it was recommended that the roles were remunerated in the range of £70,000 to £75,000. In the first instance, it was the intention that a ring-fenced internal recruitment process was undertaken with the current Assistant Directors and Heads of Service, who comprised the Council’s Leadership Team. Two requests for voluntary severance from the Assistant Director of Legal Services and the Assistant Director of Housing Operations were received and it was recommended that these requests be granted.
The Leader reported that the implementation of a new Common Operating Model and Management Structure was central to the Council’s Transformation Programme in order to ensure that the authority was fit for purpose to meet future challenges. The appointment process previously agreed by the Council of the two new Strategic Director roles was an important initial step towards this objective, and in order to maintain progress, agreement was sought for the next phase of the implementation of the People Strategy, namely the new service delivery structure.
It was pointed out that Finance and ICT were generally mutually exclusive skills, and there was an argument that the specialist skills required for ICT should form its own Service. The Acting Chief Executive acknowledged that the Council would need to retain sufficient Finance and ICT skills to deal with the usual peaks and troughs of the workload demands. However, historically, ICT had always sat within a wider Directorate at the Council. The ICT department would have the necessary resource to deliver the ICT Strategy.
The Cabinet debated whether the Building Control section should remain within the Regulatory & Commercial Services sector, or be moved to the Planning Services Directorate. Arguments were heard for and against the proposal, but the Cabinet eventually voted for the Section to remain within the Regulatory & Commercial Services sector.
It was highlighted that the Service Director for Strategy & Member Services could get confused with the two Strategic Director roles, and the Acting Chief Executive agreed to review this Service Directorate title. The Acting Chief Executive also explained that, as the core activity of the Public Relations team was internal and external communications, it was ... view the full minutes text for item 16
Implementation of People Strategy
(Leader of Council) to consider the attached restricted report (C-057 – 2017/18)
(1) That the following be recommended to the Council for approval:
(a) that the Council’s current Management Board of one Chief Executive and four Service Directors be replaced by a new arrangement comprising of one Chief Executive and two Strategic Directors;
(b) that the posts of Director of Resources (vacant), Director of Governance (vacant), Director of Neighbourhoods and Director of Communities be deleted from the Council’s establishment;
(c) that the requirement for voluntary severance on the terms contained within the report be agreed for the existing post holders of Director of Neighbourhoods and Director of Communities;
(d) that the leaving date for the Director of Communities be mutually agreed between the post holder and the Head of Paid Service on the basis of sufficient management capacity being retained until the appointment of any new Strategic Director;
(e) that the role of Acting Chief Executive be continued to be undertaken by the Director of Neighbourhoods, whose substantive post would be deleted, as per the decision previously made by the Council on 22 February 2018; and
(f) that, in order to better reflect the support needs of the revised Management Board structure, the number of Executive Assistant posts be reduced from five to one, following the normal consultation arrangements of the Council and within the existing Redundancy Policy;
(2) That the costs of these measures be met from within the existing budget provision previously agreed by the Council to implement the new Common Operating Model;
(3) That the Job Descriptions for the new Strategic Director roles be agreed, to be advertised at a level of remuneration of up to £95,000 per annum;
(4) That the indicative recruitment timetable be commenced immediately; and
(5) That a further report on the development of the new Common Operating Model be submitted to the Cabinet at the meeting scheduled for 14 June 2018, outlining the proposed structure of the management levels below Management Board.
The Leader of Council presented a report on the Strategic Director posts as part of the implementation of the People Strategy.
The Leader reminded the Cabinet that the implementation of a new Common Operating Model and management structure was central to the Council’s programme of transformation in order to ensure that the authority was fit for purpose to meet future challenges. The appointment of the two new Strategic Directors was an important initial step towards this objective. The rationale and proposed changes to the Council’s Management Board, as part of the implementation of a new Common Operating Model for the way Council services were delivered, were explained and in particular the steps necessary to recruit to the two new Strategic Director roles were outlined. It was also recommended that the level of Executive Assistant support which would be required by the new Management Board, should be reduced from five to one.
The Cabinet expressed some concerns about the two Strategic Director roles having the same job description, as this could be confusing. It was suggested that, whilst there should be some overlap, specific responsibilities should be identified for each Strategic Director to lead on with perhaps one focused on Customer Service functions and the other on the Back Office functions.
The Leader responded that the Job Descriptions were the same for both roles as the intention was not to create further silos but to give the Strategic Directors a cross cutting role. It made sense to not constrain the Strategic Director roles too much at this stage. The Assistant Director of Resources (Human Resources) added that having one Job Description for both roles offered flexibility across the Council and contributed to a flexible workforce which would work across the Council. The Chief Executive would identify and allocate specific projects for each Strategic Director
Some members of the Cabinet also voiced further concerns over the proposed reduction in the number of the Executive Assistant roles from five to one. However, the Assistant Director stated that, with advances in technology, there was a diminishing need for each Director to have a dedicated individual Executive Assistant. The one proposed post would support the Chief Executive and Strategic Directors on a shared basis, and the Leader of Council in the medium term prior to a wider review of Member support. It was also envisaged that such administrative support would be provided on a more corporate basis in the future by the Business Support Team.
When asked why the Strategic Director roles were being recruited to before appointing a new permanent Chief Executive, the Assistant Director responded that the appointment of an Acting Chief Executive was felt to be the best course of action at the current time as it would provide the Council with the necessary stability during a period of flux at the senior management level. It would also allow the soon-to-be-appointed Strategic Directors to bed into their new roles before the appointment of a new and permanent Chief Executive Officer.
(Leader of Council) To consider the attached report (C-033-2017/18).
(1) That a provision of £2 million be included in the Budget for 2018/19 for redundancy and pension strain costs to facilitate the implementation of the Common Operating Model;
(2) That a provision of £34,000 be included in the Budget for 2018/19 for the programme of ‘recruit to stay’ activity for Officers at Director and Assistant Director level in the new Common Operating Model;
(3) That a provision of £35,000 be included in the Budget for 2018/19 for outplacement services;
(4) That Section 10 of the Council’s Procurement Rules be waived to enable Aylesbury Vale District Council to be the Council’s nominated supplier for the provision of advice on the ‘recruit to stay’ process and necessary assessments;
(5) That Solace be appointed as the Council’s nominated supplier for the provision of recruitment advice to the Senior Management Selection Panel;
(6) That Section 10 of the Council’s Procurement Rules be waived to enable Hays to be the Council’s nominated supplier for the provision of outplacement services; and
(7) That a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Cabinet by the Chief Executive on the details of the Council’s new Common Operating Model.
The Leader of Council presented a report on the budget provision required to implement the Common Operating Model, as part of the People Strategy.
The Leader reminded the Cabinet that the Work Streams included in the recently agreed People Strategy included reviews of the Council’s current management structures and the overall structure of the workforce – known as the Common Operating Model. Work had started on these projects and the Local Government Association (LGA) had been commissioned to recommend changes in the management structures using a tool called Decision Making Accountability.
The Leader stated that, in order to implement the new Common Operating Model, additional resources would be required and the Cabinet was being requested to approve the recommended budget provisions relating to redundancy and pension strain costs, as well as costs associated with the necessary recruit to stay assessments and appointment activity. There would also be associated costs with supporting employees to equip them with the best chance of finding employment and/or making the transition into retirement.
The Leader informed the Cabinet that the estimated redundancy and pension costs ranged between £1.77 million and £2.75 million which would achieve a reduction in the salary budget of £2.53 million. This range of numbers indicated that if all the changes were to take place at once the combined payback period would be between 8.4 months and 13.0 months. However, the actual costs and payback period would only be possible when the leavers had been identified and their dates of leaving agreed. Recruitment assessments and appointment costs were based on internal recruitment; if external recruitment were to take place for all or some of these roles then these costs were likely to increase.
Cllr Philip (Planning & Governance) commented that the Council valued its staff, and it was important to treat them with respect and consideration. The implementation of the Common Operating Model would make the Council more responsive to residents, a better place to work for staff, and this was the right thing to be doing. Cllr Mohindra added that the Council was seeking a culture change within the organisation, not cost savings.
The Leader also highlighted that the functions performed by the Council in the future would change, and the future capacity would need to be examined; the Council would need to build on the partnership working that it was currently involved with. Transformation was an ongoing project. The Chief Executive emphasised that there were eight Directors when he joined, and now there were five. There was no intention to cut services, the Council would look to use technology to better respond to the needs of residents, and reduce the current number of management levels. The report before the Cabinet simply requested that provision be made in the budget for 2018/19, further reports on the new structure would come forward in the future.
Cllr Brookes expressed some concern that not all of the redundancies would be voluntary, and enquired as to why Aylesbury Vale District Council was being procured for advice ... view the full minutes text for item 88