Agenda and minutes

Reconvened, Employment Committee - Tuesday 20th September, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Offices, Bowling Green Road, Kettering, Northants, NN15 7QX

Contact: Paul Goult - Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for absence (08.09.22)


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Carr, Howell, Partridge-Underwood & Fedorowycz.


Given the announcement prior to the meeting of the death of HM The Queen Elizabeth II, the Chair expressed condolences to the Royal Family on behalf of the assembled meeting. A one-minute silence was observed.


Motion Without Notice (08.09.22)


A motion to adjourn the meeting until a future date and time was MOVED by Councillor Lora Lawman and SECONDED by Councillor Steven North.


RESOLVED that: -


The meeting be adjourned.


The meeting adjourned at 7:04 pm.

[Meeting Reconvened on 20 September 2022]

The meeting reconvened on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chamber, Bowling Green Road, Kettering.


Those in attendance at that time – Councillor Barbara Jenney (Chair), Councillor Matt Binley, Councillor Ian Jelley, Councillor Lora Lawman, Councillor Jan O’Hara, Councillor Russell Roberts, Councillor William Colquhoun, Councillor Matt Keane, Councillor Steven North, Councillor Mark Rowley and Councillor Helen Howell.


Officers in attendance – Rob Bridge, Marie Devlin-Hogg, Nicky McLoughlin, Paul Goult.


Apologies for absence (20.09.22)


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Carr, Partridge-Underwood & Fedorowycz.


Members' Declarations of interest (20.09.22)


No declarations were made.


Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2022 (20.09.22)


The minutes of the previous meeting of the Employment Committee held on 28th June 2022 had been circulated.


RESOLVED that: -


The minutes of the meeting held on 28th June 2022 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Proposals for a Revised Corporate Leadership Structure (20.09.22)


The Chief Executive introduced the report. It was noted that the original senior management structure had been developed by the Shadow Authority and implemented prior to Vesting Day (1st April 2021). The management and directorate structure had been in operations since Vesting Day and had now been subject to review.


The report highlighted the success achieved since Vesting Day and councillors wished their thanks to staff be recorded. The Chief Executive emphasised the good work undertaken to date in transforming service delivery but that there was a need to refocus and ensure that the respective directorates take ownership and have accountability for the next stage of the process.


The Chief Executive confirmed to the Committee that there had been full engagement with staff and trade unions over the proposals. Trade unions had thanked the Chief Executive for the full and comprehensive engagement.


It was being proposed that the Transformation and Corporate Leadership Team be restructured, with a proposal that some posts within the Transformation Team would be deleted (7 posts) with others transferred to other service directorates. There was also a proposal to create 6 new posts.


In addition the report indicated that there would be a realignment of service directorate responsibilities; these were detailed within the report and appendices, together with a “current” and a “proposed” Corporate Leadership Structure.


The report suggested that approval of the recommendations would provide benefits to the Authority, including –


     i)        Greater ownership, accountability and delivery of transformation and service improvement projects across CLT and within Directorates.

    ii)        Through joined up planning and reporting within and across Directorates more efficient governance and oversight of service improvement and change programmes through CLT and Members.

   iii)        A single corporate Programme Management Office covering both transformation related projects and the capital projects process, including the business analyst resource which will be allocated to teams for specific projects.

   iv)        Dedicated Assistant Director roles for Housing and Community & Leisure Services to enable delivery of ambition and wider strategic housing responsibilities.

    v)        Wider responsibilities for the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing and opportunity for further integration / joining up of leisure and culture activities to reduce health inequalities.

   vi)        Stronger governance and oversight of partnership and commercial arrangements

  vii)        A dedicated Head of Performance and Partnerships role to provide greater focus on the development of the Council’s performance management framework. Working closely with finance to strengthen integrated finance and performance reporting in support of effective decision making. The role will also ensure a robust governance and control environment for the strategic partnerships held by the Council.

viii)        A reduction in the overall cost of transformation to the organisation whilst freeing up resource to engage “expertise” as and when required.

Councillor North sought assurance that the loss of the central Transformation Team would not undermine the corporate approach and a corporate overview of progress. There had been good work undertaken and experience gained, Councillor North was concerned this may be dissipated. The Chief Executive had sought out good practise  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Selection and Appointment of Director of Public Health and Wellbeing (20.09.22)


The purpose of the report was to ask the Employment Committee to appoint a sub-committee to undertake the recruitment and selection process for the role of Director of Public Health and Wellbeing.


Appointing a sub-committee would ensure that the recruitment and selection approach for this role was comprehensive and inclusive as well as enabling those who had a real stake and interest in this appointment to be part of the process. It was proposed that partners, stakeholders and members would play a role in helping to select the best candidates for the role.


The Appointment Sub-Committee for the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing would be responsible for selecting and recommending the successful candidate with the final ratification being given by UK Health Security Agency as was required by legislation.


On the 1st December 2021, Council had agreed to a change to the previously agreed blueprint to move away from a shared Public Health resource to create a single Director of Public Health which would be dedicated to North Northamptonshire.


In February 2022, a recruitment campaign was undertaken to recruit to the agreed single Director of Public Health. As part of this process, 3 individuals were shortlisted and invited to a final interview. However, following a robust final interview process, conducted by both members and colleagues from the UK Health Security Agency, no appointment was made in respect of this position. The role had been filled on an interim basis until the present time.


In July 2022, a review was undertaken of the current leadership structure which had been in operation for over 12 months. Part of this review included a consideration of the responsibilities and reporting line of the Director for Public Health. It was proposed that the role would be changed to Director of Public Health & Wellbeing which had been contained in the recommendations of the Leadership Structure report agreed earlier in the meeting by the Committee.


The Housing and Communities service would be split into 2 roles – one focused on Housing and one focused on Communities. The Assistant Director - Communities role would report into the Director of Public Health & Wellbeing and take on the responsibility for Adult Learning. This brought together some key areas under the Director of Public Health & Wellbeing. The Director for Public Health & Wellbeing would report to the Chief Executive.


This senior, statutory role would play a vital part in shaping North Northamptonshire and it was therefore important that the best candidates were sourced and appointed. In order to achieve this, a national recruitment campaign would start in September 2022. The report before the Committee recommended the appointment of a sub-committee to undertake the recruitment and selection of this senior, statutory role for North Northamptonshire Council in order to ensure that a thorough and complete recruitment process was undertaken.


Councillor Keane queried whether membership of the sub-committee was restricted to members of the Employment Committee only. Officers confirmed that it was not restricted and that Group Leaders would be contacted to seek  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Close of meeting (20.09.22)


There being no urgent or exempt items for discussion, the Chair thanked members and officers for their attendance and closed the meeting.