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MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 4 July 2018
Councillor Mrs Ring (Chairman), and
Councillors D Burton, Mrs Gooch, Mrs Grigg, Harper, Newton, Perry, Springett and Mrs Wilson
It was noted that apologies for absence had been received
from Councillors Mrs Blackmore, Cox, Powell and McLoughlin.
The following Substitute Members were noted:
Councillor Mrs Wilson for Councillor Cox
Councillor Newton for Councillor Powell
It was also noted that Councillor Newton would be late.
There were no urgent items.
There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.
There were no disclosures of lobbying.
RESOLVED: That the items on the agenda be
taken in public as proposed.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting
held on 15 February 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting
held on 22 May 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed.
RESOLVED: That the Committee Work Programme
The Committee considered the report of Mrs Caroline Matthews, the Democratic Services Officer which related to the appointment of Sub-Committees.
The Committee were advised that the Group Leaders had populated the grid in advance of the meeting.
RESOLVED: That the various Sub-Committee be
appointed to as set out in Appendix A to the report.
Mrs Bal Sandher, the Head of HR Shared Services presented a report which updated the Committee on sickness absence levels and mental illness. It also outlined the range of initiatives that had been put in place to proactively manage mental illness and promote wellbeing to improve the health of the workforce.
Councillor Newton arrived at 11.15 a.m. as this item was being discussed.
The Committee made the following observations:-
That staff should not be put up to fail by taking on extra work
when they are short staffed
That the amount of activities the Council carry out should not
increase unless the resource levels are considered adequate
That there was a growing population but the Council had a
That budget cuts in future needed to address the impact that this
would have on staff resources
That the issue of inadequate staff resources should be taken up
by Group Leaders at their Strategic Leaders Meeting with the Corporate
In response to a question raised by a Member, Mrs Sandher
confirmed that some of the mental illness had been as a result of their
existing illness rather than work related.
Mrs Sandher also confirmed that she would distribute by email a copy of the quarterly reports that provide data on sickness to Members of the Committee.
1. That the level of
sickness absence and absence related to mental illness be noted.
2. That the causes of
mental illness be noted.
3. That the on-going actions taken to monitor, manage and promote mental wellbeing across the Council be noted.
The Committee considered the report of Mrs Bal Sandher, the Head of HR Shared Services which provided progress on the Workforce Strategy action plan.
The Head of HR Shared Services advised that there had been progress on all areas within the action plan.
The Committee noted that the gender pay differences at grades 13 and 14 was due to incremental points on the scale and the appointment rules in place. Newly appointed employees were expected to be appointed at the lowest point of the grade and would move up each year provided there was satisfactory performance. The majority of the female employees on these pay grades had been in post for a shorter time than their male counterparts and therefore had not progressed so far on the scale.
In response to questions by Members, Mrs Sandher advised that:-
the delay in recruiting a new HR Manager had been due to the fact
that the successful applicant had to give three months’ notice to their
she was not aware of the circumstances as to why there had been a
delay in recruiting a Democratic Services Officer.
The reason the ethnic make up of the Authority was not compared
to the local area was due to the data available not being up to date as the
last census carried out was in 2011.
· That KCC had not offered up anything to replace the Annual Pension Briefings. At present the Council dealt with any queries from staff.
Members made the following observations:-
That the gender pay difference should be continually monitored.
That more Councillors should go along to the One Council Briefing
to show their support to staff.
RESOLVED: That the progress of the actions as
set out in the Workforce Strategy action plan as attached at Appendix 1 to the
report be noted.
11.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.