Minutes of the meeting held on 1st October 2020 at 6:30pm by video conferencing.
Present: Cllr Peter Clayton (Chairman) with Cllrs Alan Matthews, Mike Facey, Dawn Carey, Phil Harvey and Sue Harvey with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) in attendance.
55/20/HR Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted
56/20/HR Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Human Resources meeting held on 10th August 2020
were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Motions for note/resolution
57/20/HR To consider the potential HR relevant actions identified in the Corporate Plan and agree priorities for implementation – with focus on LCAS & LGR
The meeting noted that the Stronger Somerset business case states that local councils will be required to prove their capability to take on devolved services through first achieving the Quality Award of the Local Councils Award Scheme. The meeting further noted that the One Somerset case made no such requirement. It was agreed that the council would welcome the award, which is referenced in the town council’s corporate plan, pillar 1(3), and will consider the work & time requirements in the new year.
58/20/HR To receive the revised 20/21 pay scales issued by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC).
The pay scales were received.
59/20/HR To agree the 20/21 HR budgets for recommendation to the Finance & Resources Committee
The meeting considered that the revised & agreed future staffing structure can be delivered across all teams without increase over the current year’s budget and will permit a contingency sum to cover a reasonable level of flexibility if additional staffing hours are required to cover sickness or unforeseen tasks where the council is required to react to public health or other matters. It was resolved to make a recommendation to the Finances & Resources Committee that it includes a total staffing budget of £445,231.
60/20/HR To receive and approve for adoption the Data Protection Subject Access Request Policy.
It was resolved to approve the Policy.
The meeting additionally heard that the clerk has undertaken an information audit and identified areas where additional work is required. A voluntary data protection audit has been scheduled for 8th October with the town council auditor, which is expected to offer further guidance on improved GDPR compliance.
61/20/HR To receive and approve for adoption the Data Protection Criminal Records Information Policy (noting changes to the council’s standard job application form).
It was resolved to approve the Policy and subsequent changes to the application form were noted.
62/20/HR To receive an update on matters relating to staff health & safety
The meeting heard that staff continue to occupy buildings on a rota basis with precautions taken as per the risk assessments. The meeting noted that the clerk has registered the Courthouse and Princess buildings with the NHS Test & Trace service and issued a Test & Trace Privacy Notice, as legally required.
63/20/HR To receive an update on the completed staff training for 2020
The meeting heard that staff training was proceeding where possible and that a number of online sessions offered to support mental health and resilience had been taken up by staff. It was noted that staff at the Princess will schedule refresher courses for specified tasks and that the grounds team will require significant specialist training in order to undertake new functions. It was acknowledged that the earmarked reserve held at the end of 20/21 are sufficient to meet training requirements and therefore a recommendation will be made to the Finance & resources Committee that it does put in place an additional budget sum for training in 21/22.
64/20/HR To receive an update on the work review of the grounds team
The meeting heard that initial conversations had been held with the grounds team on how they might take on different roles to meet the functions of a town ranger. It was noted that a time and motion study was being undertaken to identify a hierarchy of tasks and improved efficiency. The meeting acknowledged that there is a likelihood that additional tools and equipment will be required to meet some new functions and consideration will be given to this when looking at the budgetary position.
65/20/HR The next meeting of this sub-committee will be held on 10th December 2020.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 19:05hrs.