Agenda item

People Strategy

To consider the attached report.



P Maginnis (Service Director- Corporate Services) introduced the People Strategy report, updating the meeting on the new strategy which runs until March 2023. The new Strategy was in draft and being reviewed at present.


She went on to provide some highlights from this detailed report.


Councillor Brookes asked about the vacancies that the Council was were experiencing at present and were we experiencing higher levels of turnover for this time of year. She was told that we were not; turnover was comparable with other organisations.


Councillor Bassett asked if we had many applications for the Resourcing Apprentices. He was told that officers were not sure at present but would find out and put in the minutes. He then asked what were HRBP Power Hours? He was told that it stood for HR Business Partners who led these sessions, taking managers and staff through various issues.


ACTION:         To find out the number of applicants for the Resourcing Apprentices scheme.


Councillor Bassett noted that there was a review on ‘creating our tomorrows’; should this go out to Councillors a well as they would be heavily involved. He was told that this survey was focused on Hybrid and agile ways of working and how officers wanted to work. This would not have suited members.


Councillor Bassett noted that there was not a lot on Member interaction in this, and it could get quite confusing on what was happening. Could we have some sort of presentation on the buzzwords going around so we had some sort of comprehension on them. P Maginnis said that they could put together a glossary of terms for the minutes.


ACTION:         To put in a glossary of terms used by the Council in the next set of minutes (Attached).


The Chairman added that would be very useful and asked if there was a need to scrutinise any areas that were finding it hard to recruit to, it may be that we could look into it.


Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked how many vacancies we were carrying at present and how many temporary staff were there and were there any vacancies that we would not fill. He was told that currently going through such an exercise to identify vacancies and if we did need to fill them; we can bring back information on vacancies and temporary staff along with some comments on why we had them.


ACTION:         To provide information on number of vacancies and temporary staff currently in place with a short explanatory comment.


Councillor Hadley asked how many people were in the People team. He was told there were 8 people. He then asked if they had used ‘Agile Approach’ before for project work, as opposed to normal task to timescale approach. He was told that they had in the organisation; it’s the difference between a ‘waterfall’ approach as opposed to an ‘Agile’ one based on building the project, on feedback, and continuous review. Councillor Hadley replied that it could be said that an Agile Approach was making it up as you went along. He hoped that was not the case, but he shall keep an eye out. P Maginnis said that it suited the project they were working on.


Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked about the new legal team and their structure. He was told that four posts had gone out to advert; they are of a senior level backed with market comparable salaries, so we were hoping we would get a good response. Among the posts were a litigation lawyer, planning lawyer and support for housing – within these roles there will be a deputy monitoring officer and a deputy data protection officer to provide more resilience for the council.


Councillor Whitehouse asked how we could ensure that governance and legal issues were fully taken into account. He was told by P Maginnis, that the head of legal (and also the monitoring officer) has unfettered access to all senior managers and also sits in on the corporate governance meetings. Although the role reports directly to her she has that autonomy to attend meetings to ensure her role as monitoring officer was fulfilled. The Chief Executive clarified that what mattered was the persons skills and expertise they brought to the table and not their rank they sit at.


Councillor S Patel asked about the employee survey with 57% feedback. Was that normal or was it lower or higher than normal. She was told that it was a fair result, they would normally be looking for a 65 to70% return. But this continues to improve each time we did it. We did regular short ‘workbuzz’ surveys every quarter and then we have an annual survey.




The Committee considered the report as information on the continuing People Strategy for 2022.



Supporting documents: