agenda for these minutes
15 September 2008
Mr Franceschini (Chairman), Mrs Andrews, Mr King, Ms Roberts, Mr Ryles and Mr Spackman
Councillors Greenslade , Hannon, Hart, Haywood, Owen and Smith
Mrs Barnes, Director of Personnel Performance, Mr Andrews and Ms Bentley
(UNISON Regional Organisers)
PP/82 Local Government Boundary Review
The Vice-Chairman reported on the closing date for representations to the Boundary Committee of 26 September 2008 and that Devon s costings for the Committee s preferred option for a single unitary council for Devon showed a considerable level of savings of around 29m. The second option for the Exeter case was less prosperous financially and would pay for itself in under 5 years, saving 1m in the first year. The case for a further possible option of Exeter combining in a unitary with part of East Devon (to Exmouth) and Teignbridge (to Exminster) was being prepared by Exeter City and Teignbridge District and Exmouth Town Councils. The Secretary of State s decision based on the Committee s final recommendation was expected by mid February 2009 with orders being laid in Parliament around the end of February/March. Devon had hosted around a 100 listening events and the last round of these were taking place this week.
The Director of Personnel Performance welcomed the Partnership s meeting today given the importance of working together at this time. Devon s financial assessment had been completed last Friday and could be found at
www.devon.gov.uk/index/democracycommunities/boundaryreview and gave a summary of the transition costs for the Devon unitary model. The Director was keen that information to staff should go to the union in advance before it was in the public domain and requested the observation of embargoes. The wider Devon response was still being drawn together for submission by 26 September.
The Chairman reported that the unison working party response was factual, whether single unitary or any other combination, but did not have costs for the Exeter case.
Devon s financial headlines for Unitary Devon, Rural Devon and Exeter were tabled. The S151 for Unitary Devon was particularly complex. Routine efficiency savings were not included in the Devon Unitary costings but had been in Exeter s so there was not a like for like comparison. Unitary Devon showed staffing reductions of less than 500 (around 3.9%).
The Staff Side were keen to emphasise fairness and a completely level playing field for all staff and the Director had been very keen to press this point with key HR leads.
Senior members and the Chief Executive had met with District Councils this morning and it was hoped that an early joint statement on redundancy could be made when appropriate. Devon was seeking support for the continuing involvement of the unions as partners and wished to assure the Staff Side of their involvement as much as possible.
The Partnership welcomed the report of the Staff Side whilst there was good time to plan for reorganisation. The report referred to the future needs for facility time for union representatives to ensure the smooth transition of staff. The authority and union s experience of working together constructively e.g. Job Evaluation and in previous reorganisations was helpful. The Employers and Staff Side welcomed any preparatory work that could be done in advance of any announcement and therefore the CJCNC should now start working up figures jointly on transition costs and establish the composition, terms of reference and working practices of a joint panel, so that there was a sound joint mechanism in place.
AGREED that in principle, facility time for trade union activists be agreed to ensure the smooth transition of all staff to the One Devon , with adequate resources to ensure the trade union representatives have the capacity to participate fully and can respond to the authority and the staff in all aspects to Local Government Reorganisation.
PP/83 Dates of Future Meetings
Friday 16 January 2009 at 10.30am (10am briefing)
PP/84 Mr Iain Andrews
On behalf of the Partnership the Chairman and Vice-Chairman paid tribute to the long service and valuable contribution to industrial relations of Iain Andrews both within Devon County Unison and more recently as Unison Regional Organiser on the occasion of his retirement.
The meeting started at 3pm and finished at 4pm
The Minutes of this Committee are published on the County Council's Website at:-