Agenda item

Report on proposed actions to improve staff morale


The Chief Executive presented his report which was a follow up to the report to the Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 4 March 2021, when the findings of a Health and Safety Executive approved survey of all staff taken during February 2021 had been presented.


Since the last Scrutiny Committee meeting, Strategic and Service Leads had worked with their teams to discuss the result and develop actions plans to work on any issues raised regarding operational matters.  The action plans formed part of an ongoing work to address and where necessary revisit issues raised through the survey results.  The Chief Executive’s report outlined the issues raised in the action plans.


It was intended that the same Health and Safety Executive approved questionnaire would be distributed to staff during October / November 2021 and that this would allow for a comparison position to be established and an assessment of the extent to which the concerns raised have been addressed.


In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:

·         Regarding IT issues, further investigation would be needed as not all problems were experienced all of the time

·         Recruitment of staff remained problematic for various reasons including difficulties of re-locating during the pandemic and the shortage of professional staff wanting to work in local government

·         Regarding the Code of Conduct and standards procedures, Members should take responsibility for their own behaviour and measures to enforce standards should remain for exceptional circumstances only

·         The new Corporate HR Manager would be in post from 2 August and work on a pay review would be undertaken to ensure that the Council remained as a median pay employer as per its policy

·         Member development and training was in the Monitoring Officer’s work plan

·         The draft Council Plan was expected to be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees in September / October

·         The CEO would prepare a project plan to set out the way forward with implementing the actions proposed in the report


During the debate, Members were advised of the background to the formation of the new Personnel Committee which would be chaired by the Chair of the Council.   Members also discussed the role of Portfolio Holders and Member Champions and the ways in which these roles could improve the flow of information and assist with signposting.


The Chair thanked the CEO for his report.


Having received the report and noted the comments, members were accepting of endorsing the proposed actions set out in the CEO's report and that reports addressing the proposed actions will be presented to Cabinet and the Personnel Committee in due course.


Members also felt that the CEO and / or Strategic Lead Governance & Licensing should liaise with all Committee Chairs (and Vice Chairs) to encourage managing their meetings so as to allow appropriate breaks (from screens and for general comfort) for the benefit of both staff and Members.





That the Cabinet (through the Portfolio Holders for Democracy & Transparency and Strategic Planning) assess whether Member Champion roles should be reintroduced,  particularly in respect of the Council as Local Planning Authority, and


That Cabinet considers asking the Member Development Working Group to meet as soon as possible to review and revise the member training programme with a view to providing training designed to mitigate concerns raised in the staff survey, and


That the Chief Executive brings a report back to the Scrutiny Committee meeting of 7 October 2021 to provide reassurance as to when and how the actions in the report would be addressed.  The Chief Executive confirmed that the report would be provided.




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