Agenda and minutes

Stronger Council Select Committee - Tuesday 18th April 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: A Hendry (01992 564246)  Email:


No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Chairman will read the following announcement:


“The Chairman would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).


If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.


This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”

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The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.




Substitute Members (Council Minute 39 - 23.7.02)

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

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The Committee noted that Councillor H Kane would substitute for Councillor I Hadley for the duration of this meeting.




Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

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There were no declarations of interest made pursuant to the Member’s Code of Conduct.




Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To agree the notes of the meeting of the Select Committee held on 24 January 2023.


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That the notes of the meeting held 24 January 2023 were agreed as a correct record.




Terms of Reference & Work Programme pdf icon PDF 69 KB

(Chairman/Lead Officer) The Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed the terms of reference and work programme for the select committee. Members are invited at each meeting to review both documents. 


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For the last time, the Select Committee noted their terms of reference and work programme.


The Committee wanted item 10 of their work programme “Review of Officers appearing via Zoom at various meetings – especially Planning meetings” (noting now that this would be on Teams and not Zoom), to be carried on and considered by another appropriate Scrutiny Committee in the new municipal year as it was considered an important item to be scrutinised.




Launch of the new People Strategy 2023-2027 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the refreshed Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) People Strategy for 2023-2027.


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J Budden (Service Manager- People, Culture and Wellbeing) introduced the Peoples Strategy report. She noted that this People Strategy had been updated to reflect the revised Corporate Plan and aligns with the corporate objectives which take effect in April 2023.


The 2023-27 People Strategy focused on three main pillars:


           Maximising organisational capacity and capability

           Effective and inspirational leadership, values, and culture

           Enhancing employee experience and engagement.


The three pillars would include attracting and retaining talent by leveraging digital recruitment methods and establishing a strong employer brand and to retain the exceptional workforce, the Council would provide competitive employee benefits, flexible and hybrid working arrangements, and clear career progression pathways.


The Council would also support employees through the comprehensive workforce plan, by offering internships, apprenticeships, and mentorship programs, and by facilitating ongoing skill development and knowledge sharing.


The Council would prioritise our teams’ skill development, values, and behaviours by setting clear expectations and encouraging managers and leaders to provide consistent feedback. And, by fostering visionary leadership and culture, it will propel this local authority toward a sustainable future embracing new ideas and innovation.


The Council would focus on building an inclusive environment that fosters diversity and embraces the unique strengths and perspectives that each employee brings to the table. The local authority will establish diversity and inclusion initiatives to promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.


By integrating these themes and actions into everyone’s responsibilities, we will all contribute to a stronger, more innovative, and sustainable Council for all.


The meeting was then shown a video encompassing the above precepts.


Asked how this strategy would be evaluated and scrutinised, J Budden said that this was a top-level strategy underpinned by an aspirational service plan with its own objectives and projects. The strategy would change as the organisation changed, and this would be reviewed every quarter.


Members noted that the strategy did not discuss the Councillors. They had all the same problems and were put under a lot of stress. They were asked questions by the public but had great difficulty in relating this to officers. When officers had not come back with adequate answers it was difficult to know how to escalate this, other than by going to the Portfolio Holder or the Chief Executive. Also, new members would not know who to ask. This strategy should be expanded to cover the relationship between members and staff and how we get members trained in understanding the links between officers and members. Members were told that the People’s Team were responsible for the staff but could work with member services. They can look at the member/officer protocol and revised it. They would take back the comments to customer services about who to speak to and how to escalate a query. There was also a mentorship programme between members and employees which was included in the strategy.


Members expressed their concerns about the staff, who had gone through restructure after restructure, and then some were made  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.