Agenda item

Our Futures Programme - Workforce Update


The Chief Executive introduced a report that provided an update on the progress of the Council’s ‘Our Futures Programme’.


In April 2019 Cabinet had approved a business case for a transformation programme to deliver a new operating model for the Council.  This had been prompted by rising demand for key services in the context of reduced Government funding and changing customer expectations.  The business case reflected the Council’s ambition to be a ‘world class organisation’, with a sustainable cost base and a ‘one council’ staff team.


The focus of the report was on the restructuring programme which had two phases.  Phase 1 involved a reorganisation of the Council’s Senior Leadership Team; the process was currently underway and was expected to be completed by the end of August 2020.  Phase 2 of the programme had a wider scope and would affect all staff below the Senior Leadership Team.  It is not anticipated that there would be large scale redundancies as the Council has vacant posts, rather the Council sought to implement a new ‘job family’ framework.  It was acknowledge that there had been a long running frustration regarding the high level of agency staff within the organisation and the aim would be to reduce agency staff in the future. 


The Chair then invited comments and questions from Members.


During the course of the discussion, the following points were raised:

·  It was noted that Slough had historically had a number of temporary members of the Senior Leadership Team.  It was query if the new Senior Leadership Team members would be full time, permanent posts.  In response, assurance was provided that the roles would be permanent.  The ambition of the restructure was to appoint leaders with strong generic leadership skills that would enabled the Council to be resilient and ‘fleet of foot’.  It was confirmed that the £1 million saving generated by the Phase 1 restructure would be delivered by reduced salary costs.

·  Clarification was sought regarding the plans to establish ‘job families’ and what these would look like.  It was explained that traditionally local authorities had worked in ‘vertical silos’ that did not enable people to be deployed in a flexible way.  Job families would allow peoples skill sets to operate ‘horizontally’ across the organisation. 

·  It was asked if the new structure meant there would be greater flexibility of departmental budgets.  It was confirmed that there would be a more flexible use of budgets across the Council and resources would be used in departments were there was the greatest need.  Departmental budgets would be re-allocated and there was an ambition for cultural change which promoted a collegiate approach.

·  Clarification was sought regarding the Associate Director posts and the rationale for the creation of ‘job families’.  It was explained that the ambition was to appoint strategic leaders and each Associate Director would be responsible for a ‘cluster of services’. 

·  It was asked if there would be any external recruitment to the Senior Leadership Team.  It was reported that three of the Director posts had been ‘job matched’ and there had been no job matches at Associate Director level.  An external recruitment partner would be facilitating the internal appointment process and the same partner would also be involved in the external recruitment process.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

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