Agenda item

Our Futures Programme - Workforce Update


The Associate Director - Customer introduced a report that provided an update on the progress of the Council’s ‘Our Futures Programme’.


It was reported that the consultation period for Phase 1 (senior leadership team) of reorganisation had now concluded.  All of the Executive Director posts had been filled through the consultation process.  8 of the 12 Associate Directors had been recruited, with 4 posts being advertised externally.


Phase 2 (formation of a new operating model – affecting all staff below the senior leadership team) of the reorganisation had been delayed and was now planned to be launched on 4th November 2020.

The Chair then invited comments and questions from Members.


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


  • Clarification was sought regarding the term ‘consultation period’.  It was explained that during Phase 2, some roles would be job matched and some roles would be altered.  The consultation period fulfilled the legal duty to consult, as set out in section 188 of the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act, when an employer proposed to make 20 or more employees redundant.  It was explained that a mapping exercise had been undertaken across the entire workforce to inform the design of the new Council structure.  Trade Unions had been involved in the job evaluation process.
  • A Member highlighted that at a number of Scrutiny Panel meetings officers had reported a backlog of outstanding works due to staff shortages; namely the parking and housing departments.  It was explained that in March 2020, it had been agreed that an additional parking engineer post would be created, however there had been a delay in the recruitment process and the advertisement for the role had only recently been published.  The Associate Director, Customer agreed to provide the Committee with additional information, following the meeting, to clarify the reasons for the delay.
  • Concerns were raised regarding the closure of Landmark Place, the Council’s customer service centre and how assistance would be provided to those residents unable to access online services.  It was agreed that additional details of the Council’s locality hub strategy would be provided in the next report to the Committee.
  • It was noted that Phase 2 aimed to deliver a £4.3 million saving to the Council, and that most of the savings would be achieved by efficiencies.  A Member asked for an indication of the number of job losses anticipated during the Phase 2 process.  It was explained that the aim was to secure permanent staff in posts currently filled by temporary or agency staff.  Some vacant posts were currently being held as potential roles for those staff displaced through the consultation period, in order to reduce the number of redundancies.  It was recognised that this was an anxious period for staff and the Council was offering support via various workshops and training.
  • Referring to the diagram provided in section 5.2 of the report (the ‘inverted triangle’) a Member asked for details regarding the estimated number of residents who would ‘self service’ and use the Council’s online service portals rather than seeking  face-to-face services and information.  It was agreed that this information would be circulated to the Committee.
  • A Member asked if there was a moratorium on recruitment during the consultation period.  It was explained that there was no recruitment freeze, however all recruitment was currently being monitored by the Corporate Management Team.  Some vacant posts were being held as potential suitable roles for staff either displaced or facing redundancy through the transformation process.
  • It was noted that the Council had not yet recruited a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) officer and it was asked why there had been a delay recruiting to this position.  The Associate Director, Customer agreed to provide a response to the Committee following the meeting. 


Resolved –

(a)That the report be noted.

(b)That the Associate Director, Customer be requested to circulate the additional information requested, as detailed above, to the Committee.

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