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SHARED REGULATORY SERVICES JOINT COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 20th April 2015.

 

Present:

Representing the Vale of Glamorgan Council – Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks and A.G. Powell

Representing Bridgend County Borough Council – Councillors C.E. Smith and R. Williams

Representing Cardiff Council – Councillors D. De’Ath and Ms. J. Parry.

 

 

(a)       APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN –

 

Having been nominated and duly seconded, Councillor C.E. Smith was appointed Chairman.

 

Councillor Smith took the Chair.

 

 

(b)       APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN –

 

Having been nominated and duly seconded, Councillor D. De’Ath was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Joint Committee.

 

 

(c)        DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

Councillors D, De’Ath, Ms. J. Parry, C.E. Smith and R. Williams declared interests in Agenda Item No. 8 in that they knew one of the candidates for the position of Head of Shared Regulatory Services.  These interests did not equate to prejudicial interests and they were therefore able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

 

(d)       OVERVIEW AND UPDATE ON THE CREATION OF THE SHARED REGULATORY SERVICE (DDS) –

 

The Joint Committee received an update on the creation of the Shared Regulatory Service between Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils. 

 

In 2013/14, as part of the Regional Collaboration Initiative, Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils considered a shared service opportunity in relation to Regulatory Services.  The proposal was put forward as a way to address the dwindling resources available to the services and envisaged an integrated service, operating under a single management structure for the Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions, with a shared governance arrangement ensuring full Elected Member involvement. 

 

On 22nd September 2014, the Vale of Glamorgan’s Cabinet approved the proposal to create a Shared Regulatory Service with approval also being gained from the Bridgend and Cardiff Cabinets on 7th and 9th October 2014 respectively. 

 

As some of the functions undertaken by the Regulatory Service were "non-Executive" functions, these proposals also needed to be considered and approved by the Full Council of each Authority.  The proposal was approved by Bridgend Council on 15th October 2014, by Cardiff Council on 23rd October 2014 and by the Vale of Glamorgan on 12th November 2014. 

 

The Joint Committee was also provided with an update on the branding of the Shared Service.  Following staff and Trade Union engagement, the Joint Committee was advised of the preferred branding concept for the project as detailed in Appendix A to the report.

 

The Joint Working Agreement (JWA) setting out the particulars for operating the collaborative service and the creation of the Regulatory Shared Service Joint Committee outlined:

 

-         the extent of the matters to be delegated to the Joint Committee and any delegations to officers in the Shared Service

-         the constitutional set up of the Joint Committee, its terms of reference and the rules for the conduct of meetings and proceedings of the Joint Committee (as detailed in Appendix B to the report)

-         the termination and exit provisions

-         the structure of the Shared Service, staffing proposals and pensions

-         the financial management arrangements.

 

·         The three-year business plan and a core service document to support the JWA illustrated the scope and milestones for the service.  The Business Plan would outline the medium term objectives and the new operating model and a series of milestones and performance measures against which to check progress. 

 

·         The appointment of an officer to lead the new service. 

 

A JWA had been agreed and signed by the Chief Executive / Managing Director at each Council under delegated powers.  The conclusion of that document provided the Constitution for the Joint Committee to begin its role of overseeing the implementation, development and ongoing operation of the Shared Regulatory Service.  The report had been presented to this Joint Committee to allow the Committee to consider and note the JWA and associated Business Plan and to provide information on the change management process to be undertaken following the transfer of staff on 1st May, 2015.

 

In order to assist the Committee in its consideration of these documents and the forthcoming staff transfer, senior officers from each Council had been invited to attend the meeting to provide more information as may be necessary. 

 

Since December 2014, the City of Cardiff Council’s Design Team had been working on a number of branding concepts for the new service.  Following discussion by the Project Team and approval by the Management Board, the final two branding concepts were shared with staff and the Trade Unions to seek their preference.  Following this engagement process, the results were presented to the Management Board with the recommendation to present the final choice to the Joint Committee.  This work would enable the Shared Service to establish a new brand (logo) to give the partnership a new identity.  Once approved, the logo would be used on letterheads, presentations and other communication templates and the new website to launch the service, following the restructure in the autumn.  A Staff Reference Group would be asked to consider the brand and extend it to include establishing specific items, representing each part of the service, which could be used interchangeably with the main logo.

 

Having considered the contents of the report, it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the contents of the report.

 

 

(e)       UPDATE ON THE HUMAN RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS OF THE REGULATORY SERVICES COLLABORATION PROJECT (DDS) –

 

The Joint Committee received an update on the Human Resource implications of the Shared Regulatory Services Collaboration.

 

The implications had been set out in the reports to the Bridgend Council on 15th October 2014, the Vale of Glamorgan Council on 23rd October 2014 and Cardiff Council on 12th November 2014. 

 

The plan for the change process had been based on:

 

·         The initial transfer of some 170 staff from Bridgend and Cardiff Councils to the Vale of Glamorgan Council (as host employer) on 1st April 2015 and then

·         The commencement of a management of change exercise to realise the benefits of the new service model as had been set out in the reports to Council.

 

It had been emphasised in the reports to Council that an essential requirement of the Change Programme was the need to ensure the continuing engagement of staff and the trade unions and the meeting of all statutory consultation requirements.

 

The consultation process in relation to the transfer of staff had commenced across each Authority in January 2015 in accordance with the provisions set out under Regulation 13 of the TUPE Regulations. 

 

The process had relied on a variety of consultation mechanisms including:

 

·         Meetings with trade unions in each Authority

·         Letters to the Regional and Local Trade Union Representatives

·         Letters to all "in-scope" staff

·         Meetings with all staff affected by the transfer proposals in each Council

·         Individual "one-to-one" meetings with staff as requested

·         Individual staff briefing notes.

 

Members were reminded of the recently agreed change in the date of the transfer (from 1st April 2015 to 1st May 2015).  This had been necessary in order to ensure completion of the Joint Working Agreement but had ultimately been helpful in allowing more time for the collective and individual consultation process.

 

The overall management and design of the process had been shared and refined with the trade unions as part of the terms of reference for the cross Authority Joint Trade Consultative Forum.  This Forum had served as a useful means of dealing with general issues and concerns, refining communications and improving the consultation process.

 

A particular element of the consultation process had been the sharing of the employment related implications for staff (i.e. the "measures") and as prescribed by the TUPE Regulations.  This had largely included assurances about the initial protection of terms and conditions at the point of transfer and clarification about a range of issues such as management arrangements, procedures for booking leave, recording time, claiming expenses, etc. 

 

Alongside the consultation process a significant amount of work had been progressed in preparation for the transfer of staff and particularly in relation to the setting up of staff onto the Vale of Glamorgan’s establishment and ensuring a seamless transfer of pay related information.  This would now be finalised over the next two weeks and ahead of the transfer on 1st May 2015. 

 

A key "measure" that had been consistently communicated to the trade unions and staff had been the intention to commence a "post transfer" consultation exercise in relation to the journey towards the proposed new service model (and related organisational structure). 

 

Based on the "natural turnover" of staff since the turn of the year the gap in staffing levels between the current and proposed establishment had fallen.

 

As at the date of the Committee, it was anticipated that there would be an overall reduction in staffing levels (across the three Councils) of approximately 15 posts (from 190 FTE to 175 FTE).  The figures did not include current vacancies or posts filled on a short term and temporary basis.

 

In addition to the overall reduction in staffing levels, the new operating model and indicative staffing structure anticipated significant changes to job functions and responsibilities which would, in turn, have implications for grading levels, terms and conditions and the overall number of potential redundancies.

 

The post-transfer consultation process would provide a continuing opportunity to engage / consult staff and the trade unions in relation to the indicative staff structure, the method and process of populating the new structure and ways of minimising the risks of redundancy.

 

This process would be based on "best practice" management of change principles from across each Council and would incorporate (and in many ways exceed) the statutory requirements for consulting on and managing potential redundancies. 

 

Committee was advised of the updated timelines for this process which had now been shared with the trade unions and which was summarised below:

 

Key Activities

Description

Time-scale

 

Pre-Consultation Preparation

 

 

 

 

 

Appointment of Head of Service

Finalise new job descriptions

Job Evaluation of new posts

Draft managing change principles

Induction for managers

Induction for staff

 

 

April-May 2015

 

Transfer Date

 

Formal transfer of staff to host employer

 

 

1st May 2015

 

Management of post transfer restructuring consultation process

 

 

 

Commence consultation process

-    indicative structure

-    selection and assimilation process

-    approach to mitigating redundancies

Meetings with trade unions

Meetings with staff groups

Continuation of 1-1 sessions

Consider outcomes from consultation

Refine proposals as appropriate

Respond to staff/unions as appropriate

Finalise prior to next stage

 

 

June to August 2015

 

Populating the new organisational structure

 

 

To be managed on a "tier by tier" basis

Dealing with matching issues

Invitation for selection process

Selection to new posts

Processing voluntary redundancies

 

 

Sept-October 2015

 

Implementation of new staffing structure

 

 

 

Implementation of new structure

Processing redeployment as appropriate

Processing termination as appropriate

 

 

November 2015

 

An important aspect of the above would be the appointment of the new Head of Regulatory Services.  Such an appointment would help provide focus and additional leadership for the collaboration project. 

 

The Joint Committee would be kept informed of developments in relation to the above consultation / change project plan over the coming months.

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the contents of the report.

 

 

(f)        RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE HEAD OF SHARED REGULATORY SERVICES (DDS) –

 

Committee considered the arrangements for the final interview schedule for the above post.

 

A decision had been taken in October / November 2014 to proceed with the Shared Regulatory Services collaboration covering Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils.

 

As part of the approval process, a new post of Head of Service was established to lead the new service and delegated authority given to this Joint Committee to appoint to the post.  It had been agreed that the contract for the post would be held by the Vale of Glamorgan in accordance with the agreed "host employer" arrangements.

 

The recruitment process began for the post in January 2015 with expressions of interest being sought from the three existing Heads of Service from each of the three Councils.  Two of the three officers expressed an interest in the post.

 

Those expressing an interest were then invited to an assessment centre on 13th January 2015 facilitated by SOLACE and supported by representatives from each of the three Councils.  As part of this process the two candidates undertook a variety of "on line" psychometric and ability tests alongside a technical interview.

 

The report outlined the documentation which had been circulated to support the Joint Committee in finalising the appointment process. 

 

It was reported that one of the applicants had withdrawn his application. 

 

One applicant would be interviewed.

 

The report detailed the salary for the post which would be in accordance with the Vale of Glamorgan’s Head of Service salary grade. 

 

It was reported that a representative from SOLACE would attend the interview to provide independent advice to the Members and to summarise the findings from the assessment centre day. 

 

Having considered the contents of the report, it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T an interview take place with a view to making an appointment to the post of Head of Shared Regulatory Services.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Human Resources, in consultation with the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Chair of the Joint Committee be delegated authority to finalise residual appointment details. 

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To ensure appointment to the post in accordance with the delegation given by Council on 23rd October 2014.

 

 

(g)       EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

(h)       RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE HEAD OF SHARED REGULATORY SERVICES (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12 AND 13) (DDS) –

 

Committee considered the final interview schedule for the above post.  It was reported that one of the two applicants had withdrawn his application.

 

The candidate was subsequently interviewed by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the appointment of Mr. D.I. Holland as the Head of Shared Regulatory Services be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Human Resources in consultation with the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Chair of the Joint Committee be delegated authority to determine residual appointment details as appropriate.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To ensure appointment to the post in accordance with the delegation given by Council on 23rd October 2014. 

 

 

             

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