Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Shire Hall, St. Peter's Square, Hereford

Contact: Sarah Smith, democratic services officer 

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillor AW Johnson.


Named substitutes (if any)

To receive details of any member nominated to attend the meeting in place of a member of the panel.


Councillor DW Greenow substituted for Councillor AW Johnson.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest by members in respect of items on this agenda.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2018.




that the minutes of the meeting of 21 May 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by the chairman.


Questions from members of the public

To receive any written questions from members of the public.

Details of the scheme and related guidance are available here:

Please submit questions to

The deadline for the receipt of questions is 10 July 2018 at 5.00 pm.

Accepted questions and answers will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.


There were no questions from members of the public.


Questions from councillors

To receive any written questions from councillors.

Please submit questions to

The deadline for the receipt of questions is 10 July 2018 at 5.00 pm.

Accepted questions and answers will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.


There were no questions from councillors.


Recruitment and retention of difficult to recruit roles pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To consult with employment panel on  a small number of incentives as part of the council’s drive to recruit and retain people to ‘hard to fill’ roles; for example, but not exclusively, qualified social workers, solicitors, trading standards officers and planners.


Additional documents:


The organisational development business partner introduced the report. The views of the panel were sought on proposals for flexible approaches to incentives for hard to fill roles. It was noted that there were a variety of reasons why the council might find it difficult to recruit to certain posts and to retain staff in those posts.


The head of HR and organisational development would determine which roles should be considered as hard to fill and retain to and advise on the application of enhancements to terms and conditions. The definition of hard to fill would include where a recruitment campaign had been unsuccessful or where data showed a lack of national supply of qualified individuals for a role.


It was noted that the council had looked at the practices of other councils and in particular those of neighbouring councils where Herefordshire would be in competition for staff.


Failure to recruit to roles resulted in increased use of agency staff and consequent increased costs.


The following points were raised in discussion of the report:

·         the council had to respond to the market place;

·         national agreements were in place around basic pay for social workers but not all councils were part of this national arrangement and some councils, including neighbouring councils, had added supplemental payments to boost recruitment;

·         there were around 500 vacancies for social workers in the region at this time so there was a high level of competition for the same pool of people;

·         care should be taken that enhancements to boost recruitment and retention did not impact on the morale of other members of staff;

·         market supplement arrangements could be applied and removed as necessary;

·         results of the regular confidential staff survey were reported to the management board and a link would be provided for members of the panel to the most recent figures;

·         some standard questions were used in the staff survey for benchmarking, then additional questions were added depending on the focus for each survey, it would be possible to include questions to judge the impact of the policy;

·         national benchmarking figures included turnover, vacancy levels and percentage of agency staff

·         turnover was just under 17% in children’s social care but was expected to rise when the latest figures were produced, percentage of agency workers was just below the national average, key metrics were reported to services on a monthly basis;

·         there had been an increase in the number of CVs received for vacancies in recent months but the quality of applications had not been good;

·         the policy was not expected to have significant resource implications, there would be an element of rebalancing within budgets as successful recruitment of permanent staff would result in savings on agency costs, specific additional funding for recruitment of social workers was previously agreed by cabinet;

·         social work posts that this policy would apply to relate to statutory work so the council could not use other organisations, for example charities, to provide services;

·         there had been an historical pattern of qualified individuals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Exclusion of the public and press


Resolved that:


That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the 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 Schedule 12(A) of the Act (as amended) as indicated below.


This report is exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 1 (information relating to an individual).


Appointment of Acting Director for Economy and Place

To make interim arrangements to fill the post of director for economy and place following the resignation of the current post holder.


Additional documents:


The Head of HR and Organisational Development outlined the purpose of the report and the process that was to be followed.


It was noted that there was no standard usage for the term ‘interim’ in relation to appointments in Herefordshire Council and it was agreed that for clarity the role would be titled Acting Director for Economy and Place as the term ‘acting’ was widely understood.


It was noted that recruitment for a permanent director was expected to start early in 2019 with an appointment to be made in late spring 2019, after the next set of council elections.


The chief executive gave a summary of planned structural changes which would impact on the post and how the role of the Acting Director would differ from that held by the current post holder. He confirmed that a suitably qualified internal candidate had expressed an interest in the role on an acting up basis and a CV and supporting statement from the candidate had been provided to the panel.


It was confirmed that in the event the internal candidate was appointed to the acting director role, arrangements would be put in place to backfill. The chief executive was confident sufficient capacity existed within the relevant teams but if necessary additional capacity would be brought in.


In discussion of the post it was noted that:

·         the use of the word ‘place’ in the title did not necessarily convey the same meaning as ‘communities’ which it replaced but the term was widely used in local government;

·         there should be an even playing field for other candidates in the event that the acting director applied for the permanent role;

·         it was expected that there would be candidates for the permanent role, there were important projects planned for the next few years which would attract potential candidates;

·         if the internal candidate chose not to apply for the permanent role or was unsuccessful then they would return to their substantive post;

·         the grading of the acting director post would not change in light of the structural changes.


The panel adjourned at 11:08 and an interview of the candidate took place.


The panel reconvened at 12:06.


Having concluded the appointment process, which consisted of reviewing the candidate’s CV and supporting statement and an interview it was resolved that:


(a)  the assistant director for environment and place be temporarily appointed for up to 18 months to the role of acting director for economy and place.