To consider the reports of the Cabinet and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows:
a) Reports of Cabinet – Matters which require a decision (Yellow pages – A report on the organisational Redesign Programme will follow after the Cabinet meeting on 5 September 2019); and
b) Report of Cabinet – Summary of decisions taken (White pages).
The Council considered the Organisational Redesign Programme.
In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:
· The Leader of the Council introduced the report and commented that the organisational redesign provided an opportunity to re-examine and re-evaluate the way the Council worked including its use of ICT, assets, buildings and total reward to create a sustainable organisation for the future and provide financial savings over the next two years. Staff had been engaged through seven thematic groups. The redesign was being led by the Strategic Leadership Team, overseen by the Chief Executive. C.Co had been engaged to provide external challenge and an understanding of best practice across the country. Following three rounds of challenge, a three Directorate model had been determined which included Directors of Economy and Infrastructure, People and Commercial and Change. Children’s Services would operate as a separate company within the Council. The three tiers would comprise of the Chief Executive, Strategic Directors and Assistant Directors. This would stream-line the existing arrangements and allow Strategic Directors to focus on strategy and the future direction of the Council. Assistant Directors would focus on service delivery and operational matters. Human Resources and Finance would report directly to the Chief Executive. This proposal was phase one of the wider redesign and transformation process. If agreed, the aim was to get the top structure in place by next year
· The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care paid tribute to the work of the staff involved in the seven thematic groups. The redesign was not overly radical, blending the old with the new to provide a clear understanding of Directorate responsibilities. The biggest change was the creation of the new People Directorate
· There should not be any compulsory redundancies as a result of the redesign
· It was important to have the right people in the right positions in the Council. The roles of the Cabinet members would need to be realigned to reflect these changes. It was not clear how these changes would bring about savings of £3m. It was important that the new arrangements were implemented consistently across the organisation
· It would be helpful to receive an explanation of the lessons learned from best practice across the country
· The proposals for the redesign or aspects of it should be referred to the Corporate and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel
· The job title of Assistant Director did not seem to reflect the level of responsibility of the role. There should be specific job descriptions underpinning the generic job descriptions. There remained a considerable amount of savings to be achieved annually through the redesign which would be painful to accomplish
· It was disappointing that the redesign had been County Council focused and had not included a review of the relationship with the district councils
· Concern was expressed about the wide range of service strands and heads of service under the responsibility of the Director of People
· the relationship between Cabinet Members with Responsibility and the Assistant Directors was unclear in the report. The potential for increased delegation to Cabinet Members was a concern
· How was the Council going to comply with legislation relating to health as well as the increased pressures on that service now that public health had been deemed to be a 3rd tier responsibility?
The following amendment to the recommendation was moved by Mr L C R Mallett and seconded by Mr R C Lunn:
“h) given continuing austerity Council recommends that the Appointments Panel should give regard to the proposed Tier 1 to 3 posts being established at no more than the same level of pay/pay point and remuneration package as those post holders currently receive”.
The Leader of the Council indicated that he would be prepared to accept the amendment if the word “austerity” was replaced with the words “financial pressures” The mover and seconder accepted this alteration to the wording of the amendment. Council then debated the amendment as altered.
In the ensuing debate, the following principal points were raised:
· In a period of austerity, it was important that the redesign of tiers 1 – 3 did not result in an increase in the overall salary package. Cost control and savings should start at the top of the organisation. The Appointments etc Panel should be aware of this consideration
· It was not possible at this stage to make changes to remuneration levels given the lack of information regarding the assigned levels of responsibility particularly for tier three posts
· The proposed amendment could create a salary cap across the whole organisation
· The amendment sent an important message to staff and local residents about remuneration levels at the top of the organisation
· The Leader of the Council commented that the overall financial cost of posts at tiers 1 – 3 of the organisation was reducing. It was important to give the Appointments Panel a degree of flexibility where appropriate within the overall budget whilst reminding the Panel of the financial restrictions facing the Council.
At the conclusion of the debate, the amendment as altered was carried and became the substantive motion.
On being put to the vote, the substantive motion was agreed.
a) the Chief Executive’s proposed revised Directorate structure be approved and statutory posts be designated of as set out in the report and at Appendix 3;
b) the proposals for the Chief Officer structure for Tiers 2 and 3 (as defined in paragraph 7) be supported as set out in the report and Appendix 3, subject to (e);
c) the Chief Executive be authorised to carry out all necessary staff consultations in relation to the proposed changes;
d) the Chief Executive be authorised, in consultation with the Leader, to finalise the detail of the management structure for Tier 2 and Tier 3 officers including the job and person specifications in accordance with the above Directorate structure;
e) the Appointments Etc Panel be authorised to take all appropriate decisions in relation to the proposals for Tier 2 and 3 posts to support the new Directorate structure (including any deletion of existing posts, creation of new posts and appointments to them, and designation of statutory posts), and reviewing them in the future as appropriate;
f) the current Directorate of Children, Families and Communities will cease to exist on 1 October 2019, and the Chief Executive be authorised to make interim arrangements for any functions of that Directorate not transferring to Worcestershire Children First;
g) the indicative timescale in Appendix 4 of the report be noted and the remaining Directorate restructure will take effect from 1 January 2020 or such other date as the Chief Executive may determine having regard to the above processes; and
h) given continuing financial pressures Council recommends that the Appointments Panel should give regard to the proposed Tier 1 to 3 posts being established at no more than the same level of pay/pay point and remuneration package as those post holders currently receive.