Agenda and draft minutes

Personnel Committee - Thursday, 13th June, 2024 11.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House, Honiton

Contact: Debbie Meakin Email: 01395 517540 


No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting held on 16 April 2024.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on the 16th April 2024 were confirmed as a true record.


Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest





Public speaking




Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online





Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded.  There are no items which officers recommend should be dealt with in this way.




Director recruitment update pdf icon PDF 215 KB


The report set out detail on backfilling the Director of Housing role, along with the proposal to reassign some areas of responsibility and recruit to a new

Director of Place position. Recruitment for these two roles;Director of Housing and Health and Director of Place has now commenced, and the committee were informed of the process and timescale for recruitment to these posts.


The Interviewing Sub Committee will be required to be part of the interviewing process, and make recommendation to full Council about the proposed appointments.


The existing interim arrangements agreed with Council to cover the two Director roles will continue until the appointment of the new postholder. Following expressions of interest and an interview process the following Assistant Directors have been confirmed as acting up in the Director role on an interim basis:Director of Place Andrew Wood; and Director of Housing and Health Catrin Stark.


The Committee noted the report.


People Data pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received the regular update on key people data up to 30 April 2024.  Some data highlighted included:


·         The number of market supplements applied to posts has increased by 10 to a total of 21 since the last reporting period. Market supplements are applied to posts which are difficult to recruit to in a challenging labour market and the increase relates particularly to arborists, and surveyor roles in the Housing Service, where there is a general shortage of candidates, leading to increased pay rates in the market. Market supplements continue to be reviewed on an annual basis.

·         Absence monitoring is currently projected to be 11.51 days lost per FTE by the end of March 2025, higher than the target of 8.5 FTE days and higher than the annual figure for 2023/24 at 10.05 days per FTE. The projected figure is expected to fluctuate through the fiscal year and will continue to be monitored.

·         The average length of time to recruit has increased from 61.69 days to 85.15 days since the last reporting period in February, but remains below the national average of circa 100 days.

·         The number of vacancies recruiting and not recruiting is currently 7.97% of the headcount (44 vacancies). 21 of these are currently being actively recruited to and 12 have been appointed and waiting to start employment.


The Committee also considered the Annual People Data Report, which provided a wider range of data, including equalities, training and employee relations activity.  The report’s main focus centred on actions relating to recruitment and retention, as this had been a specific challenge for the Council in recent years.


Highlights from the report included:


·         Headcount increased by 3.75% compared to the same period the previous year but remained below the budgeted FTE of 557.3. The largest proportion of the workforce was paid at grade 4 (28.8%) (£33,945 -£40,221) and the largest service was Housing, Health and Environment which represents 55.25% of the organisation.

·         Salary costs increased this year by 14.8% due to increased headcount and the nationally determined Pay Award.

·         Staff travelling costs reduced for the second year running by 1.01%, possibly

attributable to the Council’s Worksmart Policy.

·         Vacancy rates remained similar throughout the year, between 7% and 8% of headcount. This compares favourably to when vacancies were at their peak

in August 2022, with 60 vacancies and a vacancy rate of 11.76%. Recruitment costs increased this year to £1,368 per head, but still significantly below the

average benchmark cost of £3,000 - £5,000 per head.

·         Combined voluntary and non-voluntary turnover reduced to 11.25% compared to the previous year of 13.75%. This compares favourably with other public sector organisations which are on average 14.6%.

·         The number of apprenticeships grew by 54.54% over the last year, with 17 apprentices, and a significant reduction in the Levy funds therefore being lost to the government (£3,852 compared to £14,854 the previous year).

·         The number of FTE days lost per employee to sickness absence reduced by 2.88% from 10.94 FTE days to 10.05 FTE  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 177 KB


The Committee were presented with a forward plan of work.


Some issues raised by the Committee for possible inclusion were:

·        Tackling the issue of delays in answering calls and emails.  Advice was given to raise this issue through the Scrutiny Committee for further scope.  The Leader also suggested that the issue could be referred to the Overview Committee for consideration;

·        An update on the Worksmart Policy should come forward to the Committee in light of changing work practices over both public and private sectors. A review was currently underway through the Estates Team on how the Council offices were utilised.


The Committee noted the forward plan.