Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BQ

Contact: Maria Lugangira 020 8359 2761 Email: maria.lugangira@barnet.gov.uk 

Note: Public Questions and Comments must be submitted by 10am on the third working day before the meeting. The deadline for this meeting is 10am on Thursday 1 December. 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

2.

Absence of Members

3.

Disclosable Pecuniary interests and Non Pecuniary interests

4.

Report of the Monitoring Officer (if any)

5.

Public Question and Comments (if any)

6.

Members Item (if any)

7.

Recruitment and Retention Payments Policy pdf icon PDF 241 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Strategic HR Director presented the report which sought approval of two schemes covering recruitment as part of the unified rewards agreement.

     

    He clarified for the committee that recruitment or retention Payments would be paid in circumstances “where market pressures would otherwise prevent the Council from being able to recruit staff to and retain staff in sufficient numbers for the posts concerned at the normal salary for a job of that weight”.

     

    He advised that a report updating Members on position as stood in October 2017 would be brought back to a future meeting of the Committee.

     

    Having considered the report, the Committee RESOLVED;

     

    1.            That the General Functions Committee agrees to the introduction of recruitment and retention schemes that allow the Council to pay supplements to basic salary where there are recruitment or retention difficulties in areas of the workforce with effect from 1 October 2016.

8.

Recruitment of the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 268 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Strategic HR Director presented the report which sought approval to proceed with the external recruitment for the Chief Executive’s position which would also involve the setting up a meeting of the Chief Officers Appointment panel

     

    With regards to the role of the Returning Officer the Strategic HR Director confirmed that as this is considered to be secondary employment, the Chief Executive (when undertaking the role) would be expected to take either annual leave or special unpaid leave when fulfilling this function.

     

    Having considered the report, the Committee RESOLVED to;

     

    1.    Agree the approach and timetable for the recruitment and selection of a Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service as detailed in paragraph 1.6 and Appendix 1

    2.    Agree to the advertising of, and recruitment to, the Chief Executive’s post.

    3.    Decide on (and report back to Council) the salary package for the Chief Executive as this is in excess of £100,000 per annum (in accordance with section (e) of the General Functions Committee Terms of Reference)

    4.    To set the parameters for the remuneration of Chief Executive on recruitment (in accordance with section g. of the General Functions Committee Terms of Reference)

    5.    Should an internal appointment be made to the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, agree to the advertising of, and recruitment to, any subsequent vacant posts which arise as a result of the appointment above Assistant Director Level.

     

9.

Libraries Services Transformation Programme pdf icon PDF 276 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Assistant Director, Early Intervention and Prevention introduced the report which sought approval from the Committee to proceed with proposed restructure of the Library Service. Also in attendance were the Head of Libraries, Workforce and Community and the Libraries Manager.

     

    The report follows on from approval granted by Full Council 4 April 2016 on ‘Barnet’s Future Library Service’.

     

    The Committee were informed that the context of the report was about the overall library strategy which was seeking to make savings of about £2.2m whilst keep all 14 libraries open.

     

    The Assistant Director highlighted the key significant changes which were around (i) the technology-enabled opening system – leading to an increase in the overall number of opening hours across the service and (ii) the reduction of staff from 114FTE to the proposed 63.9FTE.

     

    The revised staffing structure was to reflect the changes to the library service revenue budget between 2016/17 and 2019/20.  The cost of the new structure was in line with this revised budget and was reduced by a total of £1.7m.  Implementing the new structure would enable the service to meet MTFS savings targets.

     

    Close work had been undertaken with the unions to ensure staff were provided with the appropriate support. He clarified that it was still too early in the process to confirm exactly how many redundancies there would be but that the forecast was 20FTE – steps would be taken to try and reduce that number.

     

    Clarification was sought on who in the proposed new structure would co-ordinate the relationship between the Council and the Partnership Libraries. The Libraries Manager confirmed that there would be two new roles - Library Community Engagement Officers - whose role would be to engage with the partnership libraries on day to day basis, provide training and the necessary support. With regards to contract monitoring that would be overseen by herself along with the Operations and Customer Services manager. She confirmed a training programme was in place and sessions would commence once the Library Community Engagement Officers posts were approved and recruited too and the Partnership Libraries confirmed.

     

    Concern was around the risk of losing a lot of experience as part of the restructuring process and sought clarification on the cost or efficiency on staff travelling between libraries.

     

    The Libraries Manager clarified that they wanted to ensure travel times were as short as possible and that this was factored into the opening hours to ensure staff this would not for example have lunch breaks impact on. As such library pairings were based up the upon the easiest travel routes between sites.

     

    Clarification was sought on what was being done to support those members of staff who were at risk of redundancy.  

     

    The Libraries Manager confirmed that a number of measures have been undertaken to support staff, including

    ·         Those at risk being placed on the redeployment register for LBB jobs and all available roles are circulated.

    ·         Barnet is part of a network of London libraries and any roles currently available in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Restructure Proposals of the Adults and Communities Mental Health Service pdf icon PDF 264 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Adult and Communities Director introduced the report which sought approval from the Committee to proceed with proposed restructure of the Adults and Communities Mental Health Service. Also in attendance was the Assistant Director for Adult Social Care and the Head of Integrated Care – Mental Health Service

     

    The report set out the outcomes of the consultation that had been undertaken around the restructure of the mental health service. The approach taken aimed to minimise the number of redundancies and impact on occupied posts. It has aligned the Mental Health staff structure with the rest of the Adults and Communities Delivery Unit by returning staff back into Adults and Communities and ending the secondments to the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust (BEHMHT). The Director confirmed that many of the proposed deleted posts were vacant and had not been covered by agency staff. As result of the proposed changes one member of staff in the Adults and Communities Mental Health service was placed at risk of redundancy. Managers would be working closely with the individual concerned and HR to provide support and ensure that the opportunities for redeployment were maximised.

    The Committee were informed of the consultation engagement activity that had been undertaken and the various methods employed to encourage staff to respond to the consultation.

     

    Alongside seeking to ensure redundancies were kept at the minimum the proposals also sought to ensure that any negative impacts for residents’ were managed efficiently and minimised where possible.

     

    Following discussion and consideration of the report, the Chairman moved to the recommendations. Votes were recorded as follows:

     

    For

    4

    Against

    0

    Abstain

    3

     

    The recommendations were therefore carried and the Committee RESOLVED;

     

    1.         That the General Functions Committee approve the proposed restructure of the Adults and Communities Mental Health Service, including the deletion of existing posts and the creation of new posts as set out in Appendix A.

     

    2.         That authority to take all necessary actions to put in place transitional arrangements to ensure the continuity of business as these proposals are implemented be delegated to the Adults and Communities Director.

     

11.

Nomination of Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies pdf icon PDF 255 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee received a report in the name of the Head of Governance. The report asked the Committee to nominate representatives to local authority governor vacancies on the school governing bodies listed in Appendix A to the report.

     

    Nominations were circulated in respect of 6 schools. The nominations were uncontested.

     

    The Committee RESOLVED;

     

    1.             That the following representative be nominated to vacancies on school governing bodies

     

    School Governing Body

    Representative

    Hasmonean Primary School

    Mr Adrian Flasher

    St Catherine’s Catholic

    Mr Gordon Fisher

     

     

    2.             Nominations to the following school governing bodies be deferred.

     

    School Governing Body

    Dollis Junior School

    St Paul’s Primary School, NW7

    Livingstone School

    Sunnyfield School

     

12.

Decision of a School Governing Body not to Appoint a Local Authority Representative Nominated by the Council pdf icon PDF 163 KB

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report in the name of the Head of Governance. The report asked the Committee to note the decision of a school governing body to not appoint a local authority nominee, together with the reasons for that decision.

     

    RESOLVED that the General Functions Committee note:

     

    1.         That the governing body of a school considered the Council’s nomination (made on 10 October 2016) and decided not to appoint the candidate.

     

    2.         The reason for the governing body’s decision (as set out in section 1.6 of the report)

     

    3.         That the local authority governor position at that school remains vacant.

     

13.

General Functions Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 221 KB

    Minutes:

    The Committee reviewed the 2016-17 work programme and agreed that to due to the consultation deadlines for some of the reports to reallocate those items scheduled for 16 January 2017 to March 2017. They further requested that the report on the Schools Governing Bodies Project, which is currently ‘unassigned’, is brought forward to the meeting Committee taking place on the 20 March 2017.

     

     

    RESOLVED that the General Functions Committee agree the 2016-17 work programme subject to the above revision.

     

14.

Motion to exclude the press and public

    Minutes:

    The Chairman moved a motion to exclude the press and public which was duly seconded and unanimously agree.

     

    RESOLVED to exclude the press and public:

    -           in accordance with section 9 of part 19 of the Constitution Access to Information Rules); and

    -           by virtue of Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 being information which was likely to reveal the identity of an individual; and

    -           because the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

     

15.

Decision of a School Governing Body not to Appoint a Local Authority Representative Nominated by the Council

16.

Any item(s) that the Chairman decides is urgent