Members gave consideration to a report which proposed an interim structure to cover for the departure of one of the Executive Directors and set out a mechanism to establish a new senior structure by March 2020.
It was confirmed that since publishing the report, the Executive Director of Operations had submitted his resignation and this had been accepted by the Leader of the Council.
The Executive Director of Resources and Head of Paid Service, introduced the report which responded to Members’ previous concerns, reflected on the current challenges faced by the Authority and proposed a three part mechanism by which members would be provided with a range of evidence to support a proposed structure expected to be appropriate for the period of this administration (to 2023).
Discussion ensued, with each Member of the Committee provided with an opportunity to express their views on the proposals.
Some concern was expressed that the Committee had previously indicated their preference for a like-for-like replacement, and this was not what the paper was proposing. Some Members were of a view that they would prefer to be in a “ready to go” position, prior to the Executive Director of Operations leaving, as opposed to running with a vacancy for a period of time.
Officers confirmed they were seeking to delay any decision regarding the appointment of a third Executive Director for the reasons outlined within the paper, and over the next three to four months evidence would be gathered in order that an informed decision could be made.
The Leader of the Council outlined the original intentions of the three Executive Director Model and the “position” the Authority had been in when it had adopted the Management structure. He also outlined some key points, which the Authority knew were pending, which needed to be taken into consideration before committing to a final structure, particularly around the commercial agenda. This interim period would allow Officers to gather data, review how services were managed and assembled before reporting back in October with better informed, evidence based proposals, which would be fit for purpose.
Officers outlined the benefits which would be afforded by undertaking the function analysis. The Peer Challenge process was also outlined in detail, and rationale was offered as to why the proposed approach was adopted.
The majority of the Committee were supportive of the Assistant Director role being proposed within the Planning department. This post was considered critical given the timing and many shared the view that additional capacity was needed within this area.
In response to questions, Officers confirmed that previous Strategic Lead positions were finically equivalent to those of the proposed Assistant Director posts.
Finally in response to concerns, Officers were clear in that a three Director Model was not being ruled out and this would be a decision for the Committee in the future. However, it was of critical importance that any structure was fit for purpose and it was imperative that appropriate function analysis was carried out in the interim to achieve this.
Having being moved and seconded it was
RESOLVED that: -
(a) the proposals and next steps, set out in Sections 3 and 4 of the report be agreed; and
(b) a further report be submitted to a meeting of the Chief Officer Employment Committee in October 2019.