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Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Sadie Owen (Principal Democratic Services Officer) 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 306 KB

To receive apologies for inability to attend the meeting (if any).


There were no apologies.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 240 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 21 February 2023 and 25 May 2023.

Additional documents:


The Chairman noted that the time recorded for the meeting of 25 May 2023 was incorrect.

Further to the above amendment, the Minutes of the meetings held on 21 February 2023 and 25 May 2023 were approved as true and correct records and signed by the Chairman.



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 305 KB

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 received.


Update on HR Activity 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 734 KB

Purpose: the report is an information only report for the purposes of updating on HR activity for 2022/2023 for Personnel Committee, Corporate Board and Operations Board. This report also includes annual data for the equality makeup of the workforce as at the 31 March 2023, along with other relevant supporting employment data.


Paula Goodwin introduced the report (Agenda Item 4), which provided an update on all HR activity for 2022/2023.

Councillor Matt Shakespeare noted that whilst 206 agency workers were covering some of the vacant posts, there was still a deficit of 167 vacancies, and queried how the work was being covered. Paula Goodwin explained that most organisations ran with a vacancy rate and suggested that some of the gaps were due to turnover and waiting for new starters to join. It was however acknowledged that some areas were difficult to recruit to and that there was a national issue with social workers. 

Councillor Jeff Brooks commented that as the relevant Portfolio Holder, he had discussed the figures with Paula Goodwin and explained that in an organisation the size of the Council, there would always be a number of agency workers employed.  Councillor Brooks reported that work was being undertaken to reduce the number of agency staff, with temporary to permanent conversions and that recruitment was likely to be one of the first transformation projects.

Councillor Antony Amirtharaj commented that he was encouraged by the fact that the Council would be welcoming its first cohort of students and graduates in Autumn 2023.

Councillor Stuart Gourley queried whether recruitment to the two talent attraction posts had improved the speed of recruitment. Paula Goodwin noted that Samantha Hodson was a talent attraction manager and had been focused on reviewing processes and procedures to reduce the time to hire.

Samantha Hodson concurred and added that there had been a focus on developing more data to enable greater analysis of underlying issues to understand how to improve the system. It was hoped that such information would be available at the next meeting of the Personnel Committee.

Councillor Brooks added that an Employer Value Proposition was also being developed which would further assist in attracting talent to the Council.

Councillor Gourley queried whether there was any specific reason as to why the People directorate suffered from more staff absent through sickness than others. Harriet Saunders explained that it was due greatly to the makeup of the directorate, with a lot of front line care workers who would be more likely to become infected with illness. Further there was no opportunity to work from home. Harriet Saunders noted that the data was not unusual when compared with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), absence data for similar professions.

Councillor Shakespeare noted that there was a large percentage of absence due to mental health issues which appeared to be three times the national average when compared with ONS data. Harriet Saunders responded that it was difficult to assess as there were no national comparisons at that level, however staff in caring professions tended to be women and anecdotally the cumulative effect of dealing with family, home schooling and professional life had been indirectly linked to three years of Covid and lockdown. Further it was noted that mental health provision from the NHS was difficult to access. 

Harriet Saunders clarified  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Date of Next Meeting

The next Personnel Committee meeting will take place on 16 January 2024.


The Committee agreed to hold the next meeting on 16 January 2024 at 6.30pm.