Agenda and minutes

Employment Committee - Thursday, 19th October, 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: Executive Meeting Room - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: Democratic@reigate-banstead.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the Committee for the Municipal Year 2017/18.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Mrs R. Renton be elected Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2017/18.

 

2.

Election of Vice-Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman for the Committee for the Municipal Year 2017/18.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor M.A. Brunt be elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2017/18.

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 11 May 2017.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11th May 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed.

 

4.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of any substitute Members in accordance with Procedure Rules.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M.A. Brunt.

 

5.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Declarations of Interest.

 

Minutes:

None.

 

6.

Appointment of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 50 KB

This report invites the Council to appoint a Monitoring Officer in accordance with statutory requirements.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received the report from the Chief Executive following the Council’s decision in April 2017 to appoint Mr Gavin Handford as Interim Monitoring Officer for a period of six months to allow for the position to be reviewed.

The Committee noted that the appointment of a Monitoring Officer was a statutory requirement (under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989) which had a number of duties and responsibilities relating to the Council’s Constitution and our arrangements for effective governance. An extract from the Constitution detailing the duties of the role was tabled at the meeting.

The Committee noted some of the achievements that Mr Handford had made in this interim period, in managing this role, together with the extensive experience that he had continued to provide in supporting Members and the Corporate Governance responsibilities of the Council. This included:

 

·         Interim Monitoring Officer since April 2017;

·         Deputy Monitoring Officer at Reigate & Banstead since Autumn 2013, providing regular training and reports on a range of matters;

·         Head of Service with responsibility for Legal Services, Democratic Services and Member support;

·         Frequent advice on Constitutional and legal framework matters to support the Council’s decision making;

·         Leading the Council’s Corporate Governance Group activities;

·         Advice and guidance on code of conduct and Member training and development matters;

·         Ensuring that the Council’s lawfulness and fairness in decision making was managed carefully by advising the Head of Paid Service and Chief Finance Officer on matters of good governance;

·         Implementing a Legal services review that was recognised as strengthening its depth, quality and resilience to ensure that the Council had the professional advice and support required to support Council services;

·         Stabilising the legal service to a level that was considered to be the best it had been in recent years by utilising a model of joint Team Leaders (Lawyers) with separate responsibility for Litigation & Commercial and Property & Planning (one of whom had been appointed as a Deputy Monitoring Officer);

·         Managing the legal service to ensure that where in house expertise was not available that relevant external advice was available to provide timely advice on matters; and

·         Providing support and guidance on the complexities around the establishment of Local Authority Trading Companies and their supporting governance arrangements. 

 

It was noted that it was a requirement for the appointment of the Monitoring Officer to be on the recommendation of the Employment Committee. Following a Member question it was confirmed that the position could not be held by the Head of Paid Service or the Chief Finance Officer and that there was no statutory requirement for this position to be held by a legally qualified Officer.

The Committee noted the extensive experience that Mr Handford brought to this role together with the progress that had been made in his role as Head of Legal Services. The Committee noted that the new structure that had been put in place was still settling in within the authority and acknowledged the excellent progress that had been made. However the Committee considered that a further  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Any Other Urgent Business

To consider any item(s) which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency - Local Government Act 1972, Section 100B(4)(b).

(NOTE: Under Committee Procedure Rule 17, items of urgent business must be submitted in writing but may be supplemented by an oral report).

 

Minutes:

None.