Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council

17th March 2020 – Human Resources EX O Meeting


Minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 17th March 2020 at 6pm in the Council Chamber, The Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, Burnham-on-Sea.

Present: Cllr Peter Clayton (Chairman) with Cllrs Alan Matthews, Mike Facey, Dawn Carey with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Lorna Williams, Deputy Town Clerk in attendance.

  • 14/20/HR Apologies Cllrs Sue Harvey, Phil Harvey & Bill Hancock
  • 15/20/HR Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda and dispensations given None

Motions for note/resolution

  • 16/20/HR To consider and approve the updated Complaints Procedure It was resolved to approve the Procedure
  • 17/20/HR To consider and approve the proposed Pandemic Policy & Procedure It was resolved to approve the Pandemic Policy & Procedure whilst accepting that, due to the need for rapid decision-making and action required now, it’s application is more likely to apply in the future alongside emergency planning and therefore will benefit from review later in the year.
  • 18/20/HR To receive an update from the Town Clerk on actions taken to address operations in relation to Coronavirus The Town Clerk updated the meeting on operational business, which included confirmation that: managers are in daily talks on health & safety, planning staff workloads and work methods; regular email updates to councillors and staff will continue; press releases are being actioned as changes in operations occur; the Project Officer is liaising with local groups to establish where the Council can assist community efforts; reception processes are in place to ensure hygiene and personal distancing; scheduled cleaning of both buildings is being put in place and anti-viral disinfectant products have been purchased; risk assessments are being undertaken with infection prevention and control assessments (Courthouse assessments completed and shared with staff). An extraordinary meeting of the Princess Management Committee is scheduled for 20th March.
  • 19/20/HR To consider what pay and time off procedures will apply to staff in relation to Coronavirus It was resolved that all office staff, not off sick, will work their normal hours from home wherever possible whilst being responsive to business need. Staff attendance at the council office will be limited according to instruction from managers and with prior discussion. Employed cleaners will be asked to amend their schedules and work locations to enable us to keep sites operational if required. The work of outdoor staff is under continuous review and will continue at the present time, with operational decisions delegated to the Deputy Town Clerk (Town Clerk). The usual sickness procedures will continue but staff are permitted to self-certify for an extended 14-day period. It was further resolved that all staff will be retained and continue to be paid. It was recognised that flexibility and cooperation will be required by both staff and the Council at this time.
  • 20/20/HR To agree changes to the office public opening times It was resolved that future public opening hours will change to Monday to Thursday. The office will be closed to the public on Fridays. It was further resolved that, until further notice, the public reception will be closed to visitors unless by pre-arranged appointment. Phone and email communications will continue as normal. A recommendation will be made to full Council to retrospectively approve the restriction on public access.
  • 21/20/HR To approve the job description & person specification for the post of Town Ranger It was resolved to approve the JD and spec, but to delay recruitment until the present public health situation is clearer. The interview panel will include Cllrs Clayton and Facey (Cllr Carey as substitute) with the Deputy Clerk.
  • 22/20/HR To resolve to exclude the press and public during items 23 and 24 due to the confidential nature of the matters to be discussed that relate to staffing. No public were in attendance
  • 23/20/HR To consider the recommendations on changes to the RFO terms and conditions of employment and resolve recommended changes It was resolved that the role of the Responsible Financial Officer will be amended to include line management responsibility for the Admin Team (Admin Officer and Receptionist) on 33 hours per week at SCP 27, payable from 1st April.
  • 24/20/HR To consider the workload and working hours of the Town Clerk and resolve changes It was resolved that the Town Clerk’s working hours will be increased to full-time 37 hours, payable from 1st April, with review later in the year.

Financial Reports

  • 25/20/HR To approve the staff pay points and budgetary position 2020/21 The meeting received the staffing salary figures against the 20/21 budget and resolved to approved the usual SCP progression for eligible staff.
  • 26/20/HR The next scheduled meeting of this committee is 4 th June 2020 at 6pm The Old Courthouse.

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