Agenda and minutes

Employment Committee
Monday, 25th February, 2019 3.00 pm

Venue: River Room - Jubilee Church Life Centre, 1-5 London Road, Grantham. NG31 6EY. View directions

Contact: Jo Toomey 

Items
No. Item

34.

Disclosure of interests

35.

Minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 197 KB

    Minutes:

    Members considered the draft minutes from the meeting held on 9 January 2019. One Member highlighted a statement that had been made which required correction; it was therefore proposed that the wording of minute 27 on the Pay Policy Statement be amended to read: “The Chief Executive explained that in a majority of instances the redundancy arrangements in Council staff’s terms and conditions were used.” Members noted that the redundancy arrangements within the Council’s terms and conditions were paid at a 2.2 multiplier per week and were uncapped, which exceeded statutory redundancy arrangements.

     

    A Member commented that they would be interested to see how the Council’s arrangements compared with the rest of the public sector. It was suggested that HR officers, working with Kealey HR (Vero) and the trade unions, review arrangements and agree an appropriate cap. It was also suggested that a further piece of work should be undertaken on the level of any multiplier. It was agreed that this should be added to the Committee’s work programme.

     

    Reference was also made to a comment made in minute number 28 when the Committee considered the Employee Handbook. During the meeting on 9 January 2019, Committee members suggested that the flavour of the handbook and some of its contents could inform the review of the Members’ Code of Conduct. The distinction between elected Members and employees was noted.

     

    Subject to the amendment noted above, it was proposed, seconded and agreed that the minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019 be agreed as a correct record.

Exclusion of press and public

It was proposed, seconded and agreed that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the following item of business because of the likelihood that information would be disclosed to them that is exempt under paragraph 3 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

15:09: The press and public were excluded from the meeting

36.

Exempt minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019

Exclusion of press and public

The press and public were excluded from the meeting during the following item of business because of the likelihood that information would be disclosed to them that is exempt under paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) because the item related to information about an individual following an allegation about the conduct of a Council employee.

37.

Monitoring Officer Report

    Minutes:

    At the Council meeting held on 31 January 2019, a question was put during the Members’ Open Questions session:

     

    Councillors might be aware that since June 2017, the Council has paid around £60,000 to a recruitment consultancy called ‘Davidson and Partners’ for professional advice regarding Senior Officer appointments including attendance and participation at Employment Committee.

     

    Presumably, the Chair of the Employment Committee is aware that the principal Director of Davidson and Partners, Mr. Hamish Davidson, is also a Company Director of a company called LKS Quaero Ltd and that our Chief Executive, Aidan Rave is also a Director of the same company.

     

    Has the ongoing business relationship between Mr. Rave and Mr. Davidson been discussed and noted at Employment Committee and has a ‘Declaration of Interest’ been recorded in the proper manner?

     

    In response to the question, the Chairman of the Employment Committee agreed to consider the matter at a meeting of the Committee. To support the Committee in its consideration, a report had been prepared by the Council’s Monitoring Officer, which outlined requirements within the Council’s Constitution and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounts Code of Practice for Local Government Accounting 2017-18 and assessed whether there had been any breaches. The report of the Monitoring Officer considered the allegations against the following principles:

     

    ·         Use of contractors

    ·         Declaration of personal interests by officers

    ·         Corrupt practices

    ·         Disclosure of related party transactions

     

    Following his assessment of each of those principles, the Monitoring Officer concluded that there had been no wrongdoing or breach of the Officer Code of Conduct or the CIPFA Code of Practice.

     

    The report highlighted a number of areas where the Monitoring Officer felt the Council’s arrangements could be made more robust, the first of the recommendations related to the creation and maintenance of a centralised register of interests for officers which encapsulated declarations required as part of the Council’s Officer Code of Conduct and the CIPFA required related party declarations. The second recommendation related to a review of the Code of Conduct for Council staff as part of the wider review of the Council’s Constitution.

     

    During discussion on the Monitoring Officer’s report, Committee Members considered the following points:

     

    ·         The role the Chief Executive played in the company where he and Mr Davidson were co-directors and his level of control within that company

    ·         Whether the company of which the Chief Executive was a Director had been contracted to do any work on behalf of the Council

    ·         At no point were LKS Quaero a potential supplier to the Council

    ·         The Monitoring Officer had seen no evidence to suggest a transactional relationship between LKS Quaero and Davidson and Partners

    ·         Those individuals (officers and Members) who were aware of the connection between the Chief Executive and Mr Davidson

    ·         Davidson and Partners were recommended to HR Officers by colleagues from North Kesteven District Council

    ·         Occasions on which Davidson and Partners were used by the Council for one-off projects prior to the procurement exercise

    ·         The arrangements for the procurement exercise through which the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

Exclusion of press and public

The press and public were excluded from the meeting during the following item of business because of the likelihood that information would be disclosed to them that is exempt under paragraph 3 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)

38.

Any other business, which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances, decides is urgent

    Minutes:

    Officers were asked whether there was an update on the matter discussed at the last meeting of the Committee and reported under minute number 32. Members were advised that the matter had been concluded and payment made to the company that provided recruitment services that led to the appointment of the Assistant Chief Executive (Housing Delivery).

     

    17:02: The meeting returned to public session

     

    Members noted the additional work plan items relating to redundancy payments:

     

    ·         That HR officers, working with Kealey HR (Vero) and the trade unions, review arrangements and agree an appropriate cap

    ·         A further piece of work should be undertaken on the level of any multiplier

39.

Close of meeting