The Associate Director - Customer introduced a report that provided an update on the progress of the Council’s ‘Our Futures Programme.’ The Committee were reminded that the original delivery plan entailed creating a new operating model for the Council, with a view to reflecting the Council’s ambition to be a ‘world class’ organisation, with a sustainable cost base and a ‘one council’ staff team.
In relation to Phase 1 (senior leadership team) recruitment had begun, with internal recruitment during August 2020, which had resulted in 8 internal appointments being made to Associate Director positions. It was noted that a permanent recruitment had been made to the position for Associate Director, Social Care.
The Phase 2 consultation, launched on 4th November 2020, closed on 21st December 2020 and 130 counter proposals had been received. Following consideration of the responses by the Senior Management Team, a formal consultation response was due to be sent to all staff on 22nd January 2021. It was noted that the new operating model would be embedded and reviewed during the financial year 2021/22.
A Member asked about the types of responses received during the consultation period, The responses varied in nature from basic queries regarding job titles to more detailed counter proposals. Clarification was sought relating to posts that had been made redundant and individuals that had not been job matched elsewhere within the organisation. It was explained that staff who were at risk of redundancy had the opportunity to apply for a maximum of five vacant roles within the Council. A range of support measures had been introduced for staff to support them through the process which included workshops, CV writing sessions and access to a confidential counselling service via the Council’s occupational health provider.
Following discussion regarding the use of agency workers, it was explained that a reduction in the number of agency workers was a critical part of the implementation plan. It was highlighted however, that whilst reliance on agency workers was key, there would remain an element of using agency staff especially in critical service areas to cover staff sickness.
Referring to the projected costs and savings and whether it was anticipated that these would be achieved, Members were informed that the cost savings were required to deliver £5.2M in the period 1st April 2021 to 30 September 2022 for both phases. Phase 1 was on course to deliver recurrent savings of £987,352 year-on-year and costs for implementation of Phase 2 would be provided at the next meeting.
The Chair placed on record recognition of the work that had been carried out to date.
Resolved – That the report be noted.