Meeting documents

Venue: Council Chamber, South Bucks District Council, Capswood, Oxford Road, Denham UB9 4LH. View directions

No. Item


Election of Co-Chairmen


It was RESOLVED that Councillor I Darby and Councillor N Naylor be appointed Co-Chairmen of the Committee for 2018/19.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To approve the minutes of the Joint Staffing Committee held on 26 March 2018.



The minutes of the Joint Staffing Committee held on 26 March 2018 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record. 


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Customer Services Programme Staffing Implications pdf icon PDF 189 KB


The Committee considered a report relating to the staffing implications of the Customer Experience Programme. The Project Manager reported that the full business case for the Programme was approved by the Joint Committee on 28 June 2018. A procurement process had been undertaken for a technical solution. There was currently a procurement process for a technical solution. The Outline and Full Business Case identified the need for additional posts in Customer Services to form the Support Team to mobilise, design and test solutions. The Team would be recruited to at the commencement of the Programme and the aim was to recruit internally. External recruitment would be pursued if this was not possible. The Support Team would initially manage the implementation and delivery of the programme and would then be responsible for the administration of the Customer Services systems, analysis of data, customer insight, training and managing the website as an access channel.


The Principal HR Adviser reported that they were confident that they would be able to fill these roles internally and recruitment would be ringfenced. Functional analysis had been undertaken within the service areas and group activities undertaken, this would inform the percentage of activity that could be transferred to Customer Services. Analysis has shown that customer facing activity made up a small part of many jobs but not a large part of very many. Therefore some of the salary budgets would be transferred to the customer services budget depending on how customer facing their service was but all services would have a transformation target equivalent to 3.75% of salary budgets. Any restructuring activity would be undertaken by Heads of Service but there would be a ‘light touch’ approach.




1.     The proposed customer service structure be approved.

2.     The proposed restructuring methodology be noted

3.     The fact that the Chief Executive has delegated authority to approve individual business cases be noted with the proviso that fundamental changes and changes outside the budget would need to come to the Joint Staffing Committee for agreement.

4.     The Joint Staffing Committee would be kept updated on the progress of the roll out of this Programme and approval would be sought for changes proposed that come outside the Chief Executive’s delegated authority.


Investors in People Award pdf icon PDF 64 KB


The Committee received a report which sought Members views on whether to apply for re-accreditation of the Investors in People (IIP) Standard for South Bucks and Chiltern District Council or whether to take an alternative approach. The IIP accreditation expired in December 2018 and August 2019 respectively and if it is decided to renew both together this would need to commence in September 2018.


The HR Manager reported that there were a number of reasons not to renew the IIP. The estimated cost of renewal was £10,400 for CDC (previous assessment was 4k), £7,800 for SBDC (previous assessment £4k). In addition the process of accreditation was time-consuming and the IIP award may possibly no longer have the same prestige as it did previously.


However, it was recognised that there was great value in the Councils taking a critical look at their leadership and management practices and comparing these with best practice and identifying areas to improve. This can be achieved at a lower cost or zero cost by arranging an alternative form of assessment from an independent expert such as South East Employers, the LGA or through a reciprocal peer review arrangement with for example WDC and AVDC. 


Members noted that if IIP accreditation was not renewed the budget could be invested directly in to employee and leadership development e.g. funding the on-going roll out of the Management Development Programme, introducing a “Change Ready” Programme, developing health and well-being initiatives, introduce customer service improvement workshops. In addition the Council could enter into awards to receive recognition of the excellent work being carried out.


A Member commented that they were surprised how little the IIP cost and wanted reassurance that the alternate methods would not cost the Council more money. He also asked for more information on the ‘change-ready’ courses. The HR Manager reported that she was already organising these courses. She commented that with regard to IIP the amount of indirect costs were considerable in terms of staff time and this could not be underestimated. The HR Manager reported that when she had spoken to new staff they commented that they had not noticed the IIP logo when applying for jobs and also the Unions did not think it made any difference. The Member agreed that having alternative awards could be more valuable for enticing staff.


Following a question on what staff would miss by not having the IIP, Members noted that nothing would be missed as better alternatives would be put in place and there was no evidence to show that IIP provided value for money.


The CDC Leader also commented that the current awards held by the Council publicised good practice. The SBDC Leader asked for reassurance that these alternatives would be within the same budget or less than the current budget and the HR Manager reported that she would liaise with the Chief Executive to redeploy the existing IIP budget. The Head of Finance had set aside funding in the budget for the IIP of £18,200. A Member commented that it may be better to have an external peer review rather than internal and the HR Manager responded that she would look at costs for this. Members agreed that the alternative approach looked to provide better value for money which could be looked at through the budget scrutiny process in the Autumn .




1.     CDC and SBDC Councils do not undertake further IIP accreditation: and instead

·         arrange an independent assessment of the leadership and management practices in the Councils through an alternative method such as a reciprocal peer review arrangement with Wycombe District Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council or through the South East Employers or another independent expert.

·         explore options to enter in to a business award to seek recognition and promotion for the work the Councils undertake.

·         the budget set aside for IIP accreditation be invested directly into corporate wide staff development initiatives such as a “Change Ready” programme, the continued roll out of the Management Development Programme, health and well-being initiatives, raising customer service standards training.


2.     Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive to arrange the three alternatives outlined above in recommendation 1 in discussion with the HR Manager and redeploy the existing IIP budget accordingly.


HR Update pdf icon PDF 177 KB


The HR Manager provided an update to Members and in particular drew Member’s attention to the following:-


·       The sickness figures for April/May had fallen significantly and they were still awaiting information for June. Managers and the HR Team were particularly focussing on this issue to ensure a robust and consistent approach was taken.

·       Collaborative work was being carried out with District Councils. This included the ‘change ready’ workshops as it was important that staff were able to cope successfully with change and maximise the opportunities it could bring.

·       In May the Chief Executive launched the Health and Wellbeing Statement and Annual Action Plan. The launch coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week and each day of that week the Council promoted different health and wellbeing initiatives including workshops delivered by MIND. The Health and Wellbeing Forum met regularly and initiatives were put forward by staff at all levels and all service areas.

·       The second cohort were half way through their course for the Management Development Programme. The first cohort were being offered further development and they were also being encouraged to continue to meet in their action learning sets.

·       They were rolling out ‘it starts with you’ courses.

·       The figures in 2.3.1 were wrong and would be amended to clarify that these were annualised figures “by month” not “per month”.


A Member asked about pilates and yoga and whether these classes were continuing and the HR Manager confirmed that these classes were still in place. Feedback on the MIND programme was being followed up and this would be further promoted following a question at the ‘meet Bob’ sessions. Reference was made to sickness absences and that it would be helpful to compare sickness absences with last year’s figures. The HR Manager reported that this information could be made available but it would be inappropriate to split sickness figures by Department as it could identify people on long term sickness.


Reference was made to the number of days lost to absence but that figures were still high. The SBDC Leader reported that the number of days had gone down significantly but further work needed to be undertaken. Another Member commented that the HR figures were significantly better and thanked the HR team for their work on this area.




That the report be noted.


Social Media Policy for Staff pdf icon PDF 38 KB


The Committee received the report which contained the new social media policy and guidance. The Senior Communications Officer reported that this policy should be used at work and also at home and it set out the principles which staff were expected to follow when using social media and their expected code of conduct, when online. The Communications Team hold the central list of accounts including access and password security. All Members of staff had been offered training.


The policy also included information on corporate style and made staff aware of the risks of using social media and the law relating to it. However, staff were encouraged to use and recognise the benefit of social media. A Member asked about using Facebook and it was suggested that they speak to the Communications Team for further information.




1.     The social media policy for staff be approved at Appendix A of the report

2.     The social media guidance contained in Appendix B of the report be approved