Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN
Contact: Madeleine Shopland Principal Democratic Services Officer
To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Alistair Auty and Pauline Jorgensen.
To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 July 2016.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 5 July 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest made.
Public Question Time
To answer any public questions
A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.
The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.
Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting. For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions
There were no public questions.
Member Question Time
To answer any member questions
There were no Member questions.
To consider a report on Shaping the Council of the Future.
The Chief Executive presented a report regarding Shaping the Council of the Future.
During the discussion of this item the following points were made:
· Subject to the Personnel’s Board approval of the undertaking of compulsory redundancies as required to move to the proposed organisation model, taking into account the Council’s duty to mitigate this requirement wherever feasible, the Executive would consider the final articulation of the business case later that evening.
· Councillor Bray commented that it was not yet known exactly where redundancies would be made in the Council or how many. She asked what the maximum financial implications would be of this. Andy Couldrick commented that the programme would be implemented in phases, primarily in the new year. The first phase would consider Strategy and Commissioning and the Support Services and would likely take place January to March. By early June it was expected that there would be a clearer picture. Members were reminded that work to allocate to the structure would take place throughout the programme and that judicious vacancy management would continue.
· Councillor Helliar-Symons commented that some Members had expressed concern that Ignite had not undertaken such a programme with a unitary council before and that the councils who had previously operated the model, had been district councils. Andy Couldrick commented that Ignite had experience of working with unitary and London Borough councils. Andy Couldrick reassured Members that the role of Ignite was essentially to facilitate the Council’s own programme.
· Councillor Helliar-Symons stated that the successful implementation of the improvements to the Council’s IT systems was vital to the success of the programme. She suggested that a small Member Working Group be established to monitor the implementation of the elements of the programme relating to IT. Councillor Bray requested that Opposition councillors be involved in this.
· It was noted that the Executive would be updated on the programme’s progress on a quarterly basis. The Board felt that it would be helpful if all Members were similarly updated.
· Councillor Patman commented that benefit realisation would be a key part of ensuring the smooth progress of the programme. Heather Thwaites indicated that workstreams would be established and benefits identified early on.
· Councillor Margetts questioned the figure of £10,000 for infrastructure costs relating to the Council’s website. Andy Couldrick indicated that the website would not be replaced but that existing capability would be enhanced.
· Councillor Margetts asked what the impact would be should a key person leave the Council midway through the programme. Andy Couldrick stressed that populating the top tiers of the structure quickly would help to provide staff with confidence in the implementation of the programme.
· It was emphasised that staff skills, aptitude and behaviours would underpin what the programme would achieve.
· Councillor Bray questioned whether there would be sufficient capacity in Human Resources should assessment centres be established. Sarah Swindley indicated that should the business case be approved by the Executive, additional HR resource would be considered.
1) the business case be recommended to ... view the full minutes text for item 14.