Agenda Item No. 12(a)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 4 MARCH 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 12 JANUARY 2015
C2601 DRAFT CONSULTATION RESPONSE IN RELATION TO WELSH GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER – PUBLIC SERVICES STAFF COMMISSION (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -
Approval was sought for a response to the Welsh Government's White Paper on the proposed Public Services Staff Commission.
The Welsh Government (WG) White Paper 'Reforming Local Government' set out a proposed programme of local government reorganisation.
The Council's position in relation to the proposed timescales for implementing legislation was set out in the report to Council on the 17 December 2014. Following consideration of the report it was agreed that an Expression of Interest be submitted to WG in respect of a voluntary merger with Bridgend Council.
WG had also set out associated proposals to set up an independent non-statutory Public Services Staff Commission. Such proposals were set out in a further White Paper - Public Services Staff Commission, and attached at Appendix A to the report.
The aim of the Public Services Staff Commission was to advise Welsh Ministers and public service organisations on workforce issues that needed resolution as part of a local authority restructuring programme. In addition it was charged with developing and disseminating good practice as part of the ongoing programme.
Some of the priority workforce issues that the Staff Commission was required to consider included:-
The need to provide advice on the setting up of new organisational design models and service delivery arrangements.
The need to help new local authorities pursue the harmonisation of terms and conditions and make sense of different job evaluation and pay arrangements.
The need to provide support in the engagement of staff in the merger process and the setting up of new local councils.
The need to promote the development of new skills and leadership competencies and wider workforce planning arrangements.
The provision of advice on the recruitment and retention of staff as well as how to deal with staff displaced within and across Local Authorities before, during and following the mergers.
The provision of guidance on senior post recruitment and remuneration in conjunction with the specific responsibilities allocated to the Wales Independent Remuneration Panel.
It was proposed by WG that the Staff Commission would be established on a non-statutory basis by April 2015 in order that it supported any voluntary Local Authority mergers in accordance with the timetable set out in the WG White Paper 'Reforming Local Government'. The new authorities established following the voluntary merger process were proposed to be set up by May 2018.
WG aimed to place the Commission on a statutory basis as a result of the enactment of legislation following the National Assembly elections in May 2016. The statutory Staff Commission built on the work of the non-statutory Commission and was in a position to support the remainder of the merger process. The earliest the statutory Staff Commission was hoped to be in place was the autumn of 2017.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that the report was linked to the reorganisation of Local Government and that it was important for staff morale that this commission is set up to ensure that all staff were treated equally and fairly through the agreement of all Wales policies and procedures.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(2) T H A T the use of article 13.09 of the Council's constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to submit the consultative response to Welsh Government by the end of 13 January, 2015 deadline.
Reasons for decisions
(2) To ensure that the response was submitted to Welsh Government by the 13 January, 2015 deadline.