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Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
At this juncture, the Head of Legal, HR and Democratic Services/Monitoring Officer, left the meeting.
No declarations of Interest.
To consider a report by the Chief Executive for the future strategic direction of the Council, including a proposal to restructure the Council’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) (copy attached).
The Chief Executive, Graham Boase, introduced the Review of Senior Leadership Structure report.
The restructure of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) involved the creation of an additional Corporate Director post (i.e. Corporate Director for Support Services). It was clarified that the creation of a new senior management position at this level required a formal Council decision.
The restructure report highlighted a two phased approach and emphasised the serious lack of senior management and leadership capacity required in order to address future challenges the Local Authority would face.
A meeting of the Council’s Member SLT Remuneration Panel, chaired by Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, had taken place on 14 February 2022. The HR Manager had briefed the Panel on the independent assessment, carried out by Kornferry Hay, of the grading of the proposed new Corporate Director for Support Services post. The grading of the new post was evaluated based on SLT 3 (£107,374 - £110,670) and there would be no change to the two existing Corporate Director evaluations. The Remuneration Panel had supported the restructure proposed.
The Leader, Councillor Hugh Evans, confirmed that on the appointment of Graham Boase as Chief Executive in August 2021, he had been asked to reflect on the needs of the Council, ambition of the Council and the structure to deliver that ambition. Due to pressures endured the previous 12 months, there had been capacity pressures and the restructure was to alleviate some of those pressures.
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill PROPOSED approval to the Senior Leadership Re-structure report, SECONDED by Councillor Hugh Evans.
At this juncture, Councillor Gwyneth Ellis requested members to vote against the proposal. In her opinion, the proposed restructure did not offer the best value for money, especially in the current financial crisis residents were facing.
The report described the current structure but there was no analysis of the Council’s current performance and how the performance was expected to improve in the future. Such an analysis would allow Councillors to identify the disadvantages of the current structure and how the new structure would be advantageous. Councillor Ellis also stated the report did not give a detailed breakdown of the cost of the restructure. She also stated that Councillors could not judge whether the scheme would be successful or not if implemented because there were no targets to be judged against. Councillor Ellis agreed it would be very difficult to define the benefits of restructure but it was not impossible. Councillor Ellis confirmed she was not against the restructure as such, but would prefer to see a full analysis of the cost and benefits expected.
Councillor Gwyneth Ellis PROPOSED to vote against the Senior Leadership Restructure report, SECONDED by Councillor Glenn Swingler.
Indepth discussions took place and the following points were raised:-
· It was clarified that there was a need for the re-structure and if it were not to improve the future for the Local Authority, the Chief Executive would certainly be held to account.
· It was confirmed that all members of SLT were in agreement with the restructure and the Chief Executive would be the person to be held to account.
· The current structure did not enable the Corporate Executive Team (CET) to provide the appropriate strategic leadership. The extra capacity was required for the Authority to be able to deliver on all of the challenging agendas discussed during the meeting.
· Councillors Glenn Swingler and Paul Penlington confirmed they agreed with Councillor Gwyneth Ellis and encouraged members to vote against the proposed restructure.
A vote took place and the result was as follows:-
In favour of the Re-structure - 27
Against – 6
Abstain – 1 ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The meeting concluded at 3.15 p.m.