Agenda item

Management Structure

Minutes:

6.1       Peter Bungard, Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, introduced his report, the purpose of which was to update members on the first phase of changes to the Council’s senior management structure; seek approval  regarding the subsequent decisions and note the progress in recruiting to the re-instated role of Deputy Chief Executive.

 

6.2       Given a number of recent changes, conversations with the corporate management team had commenced regarding the council’s operating model and senior leadership team to ensure that we are best placed to meet our aims and objectives under ‘Gloucestershire – Looking to the future’. The recent peer review also emphasised the need for review and some clarification of the current arrangements in order to improve understanding of the model.

 

6.3       Members were advised that a like-for-like replacement for the Director of Finance had been considered; however advice indicated that there were currently many competing authorities seeking to appoint Finance or Resource Directors.

6.4       Research by Hay, the council’s recruitment consultants, indicated that the importance, and status, of a Deputy Chief Executive position, with the ability to shape and influence across a broader range of services, would likely prove a more attract proposition to candidates.

6.5       It was concluded, therefore, that the best approach was to revise the senior management structure to delete the existing Director of Strategic Finance position post and replace it with the role of Deputy Chief Executive, which would combine the s151 role with oversight of a wider range of services.

6.6       A recruitment campaign was launched in advance of the Christmas period with a full advertisement in early January 2019.  Having received positive feedback from group leaders for this approach, Hays were commissioned to work with the Head of HR to run the recruitment campaign, with a view to convening a Member Appointments Panel on 22 February 2019.

6.7       The Committee heard that the previous Deputy Chief Executive post was graded at Reward Band 10 (RB) within the council’s existing grading structure for Chief Officers, and there was currently no intention to change the overall grading structure in respect of this post.  A review of the salary for equivalent positions and advice from Hays suggested that the council may need to appoint at the top of the grade to secure the right candidate and the RB10 grade would provide that flexibility.

6.8       The proposal’s also included amending the grade range for senior directors on RB9 (currently scale points (scp) 38 to 40) to include scp 41 and 42, with effect from 1 April 2019. This would increase the top of the grade from £125,013 to £134,318.

6.9       Members noted the proposal had been made in light of the age profile at senior leadership level and the fact that over the coming two to three years the council is likely to face further loss of critical knowledge and skills within this cohort. The proposal to amend the grade range also reflects what is known of market rates for senior critical positions and the experience of other councils that are struggling to recruit to these positions.

6.10     The Director of Children’s Service is already paid an additional market supplement, which will be reduced to reflect the higher core salary. The Director of Communities and Infrastructure is currently vacant and under review.  Therefore it would only be the current Director of Adults’ Services post-holder who would benefit from this increase.  Individuals in post would receive an increase in pay based on acceptable performance in their role in line with usual practice for an officer on a reward band grade.

6.11     The additional full year cost of re-instating the Deputy Chief Executive post is approximately £20,000, and increasing the maximum of the grade for senior directors (from scp 40 to 42) would also be approximately £20,000 in a full year. Therefore the total cost of the revisions to the grading structure is around £40,000, which is included in the MTFS. There are no other resource implications anticipated in respect of Personal Assistant support, ICT or accommodation.

6.12     The campaign to recruit the Deputy Chief Executive was launched via an initial brief advert in the Municipal Journal on 13 December 2018 designed to draw attention to a full advert on 10 January 2019. At the same time Hays have been targeting ‘passive candidates’ (those who are not actively seeking a move).

6.13     The long-listed candidates will participate in a selection assessment process, including technical interviews. The final stage will be undertaken by the Appointments Sub-Committee, and is currently planned for 22 February 2019.

6.14     The Chief Executive tabled some suggested amendments to the report’s recommendations that were intended to create a contingency position in the event that none of the candidates might prove suitable for the Deputy Chief Executive position. This would allow the council, if needs be, to appoint to a Strategic Finance Director role rather than a Deputy Chief Executive.

In response to the report, including the revised recommendations, the Committee agreed that:

·         Subject to a successful appointment process, the post of Strategic Finance Director is replaced with effect from late February 2019 by the re-establishment of the post of Deputy Chief Executive, which will incorporate the statutory s151 Officer role.

·         The Deputy Chief Executive post would be remunerated at its previous grade of RB10.           

·         An Appointments Sub-Committee will be held on 22nd February 2019 with the intention of appointing the Deputy Chief Executive (and s151 Officer), but with a reserve position of appointing to the Strategic Finance Director post if necessary.

·         To support successful future recruitment revise the grade for senior directors on RB9 (currently in the range scp 38 to 40) to include two further scale points: scps 41 and 42. This currently includes the following roles: Director Children’s Services, Director Adults’ Services, Director Communities and Infrastructure (as well as the Director Strategic Finance).

·         The additional cost of approximately £40k is noted.

6.15     In response to a query from the Committee it was confirmed that managers from CoMT currently deputise in the temporary absence of the Chief Executive. It was therefore already established that senior management can absorb this extra responsibility in the event that a suitable candidate for the Deputy Chief Executive cannot be found.

6.16     Finally, the Committee requested that the council should adopt a process to identify and support employees with potential for career progression. In this regard it was noted that the Aspiring Leaders programme is currently focussed on identifying employees with potential to progress up to around head of service level within the organisation, but as currently configured the programme would not necessarily extend as far as progression to ‘future director’ positions.

6.17     The Committee resolved to pass the report’s recommendations (including the amended recommendation, as outlined above).

 

 

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