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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Second Floor Meeting Area Council Offices Market Street Newbury. View directions

Contact: Sadie Owen (Principal Democratic Services Officer) 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 257 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14th December 2021.


Councillor Abbs drew attention to a sentence under item 4 which stated ‘Concern was raised at the gender workforce split of 76% to 24% in favour of women, and the fact that there had been a ‘Career progression for women’ project’. It was suggested that the statement relating to the ‘Career progression for women project’, was incorrect and should be removed.

Cllr Woollaston commented that Cllr Benneyworth had attended the meeting as a substitute, and requested that the third paragraph under item 4 be amended to the ‘council was looking for offers’.

Subject to the above amendments, the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 December were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.


There were no declarations of interest.


Update on HR Activity 2021 Q1/2/3 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The report is an information only report for the purposes of updating on four aspects of HR activity for 2021/2022 Q1 and Q2 which includes Recruitment, Appraisals and Performance Management, Training, and Casework. This report is provided at request of members of the Personnel Committee by way of an update.


The HR Service Lead introduced the report (Agenda Item 5).

Members made the following comments and observations:-


It was queried why employees were not set specific timeframes to complete appraisals.

The HR Service Lead reported that the report reflected the current position and that once the new behaviour framework was developed there would be a full review of the appraisal system and that the lack of deadlines would be rectified under the new process.

It was suggested that managers should also be trained to pick up any issues of concern outside the appraisal process.

The HR Service Lead confirmed that the appraisal process was being reviewed and reformed in its totality and would include far greater training for managers.

Attention was drawn to the appraisal data for the ICT department and it was commented that the new system needed to be robust with managers encouraged to prioritise appraisals.

It was noted that the new Chief Executive was fully supportive of the review of the appraisal system and it was anticipated that there would be significant pressure from senior management to improve results.

In response to a suggestion that appraisals should include an indication as to the performance of an employee, the HR Service Lead commented that an appropriate measure and standard was being developed.

In response to a suggestion that sight of the appraisal framework would be useful when reviewing the data, the HR Service Lead agreed to provide a link to the current appraisal system. It was reported that the new system would not be ready to share until late spring/early summer.


It was suggested and agreed that benchmarking should be against both similar private sector industries aswell as against the public sector. However it was noted that this would need to be undertaken in a holistic manner rather than just looking at the straight data.

It was commented that if the 7.15 days recorded under section 6.7 could be maintained then it would be a significant improvement.

It was suggested that the Employment Tribunal data should also detail whether the cases were still open, the average length of time taken to deal with, and the cost to the council.

In response, the HR Service Lead agreed to take advice from the Monitoring Officer, due to the GDPR implications of publishing such information. It was clarified that the cases within the report were all live cases, and that the council historically had not been taken to tribunal.

It was queried why 2 cases which had commenced in 2019 were still outstanding, and suggested that by having a KPI detailing average length of time to resolution, would focus officers to solve cases quicker.

The HR Service Lead agreed to report back to the committee following discussions with the Monitoring Officer.

It was suggested and agreed that the Portfolio Holder for Internal Governance, Leisure and Culture should review and ensure that the cases were being expedited with sufficient speed.

Staff Absence

It was queried whether initiatives such as Timelord2  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Statutory Pay Policy 2022 pdf icon PDF 420 KB

The report will need to be approved and referred to Council on 17 March 2022 to seek approval of the Statutory Pay Policy Statement for publication from 1st April 2022.


Additional documents:


The HR Service Lead introduced the report (Agenda Item 5), and commented that it had been produced as part of a statutory annual requirement and would need to obtain council approval for publication by 1st April. 


Members made the following comments and suggestions:


·         It was noted that change history should be recorded at the back of a report, not the front.

·         It was noted that there was an additional bullet point at 2.16 of the policy. 

·         It was suggested that there should be more emphasis on packages rather than individual salaries, as these appeared more appealing.

·         It was noted that section 2 duplicated section 1 of the Policy’s covering report.


RESOLVED:the Committee unanimously approved the report for referral to Council on 17th March.



Date of Next Meeting

Next meeting 29 April 2022.


The Committee agreed to hold its next meeting on 29 April at 10:00 am.