Personnel Matters at the Town Council

A Personnel Committee of the Town Council met on 21st January.

Staff capacity issues were on the agenda. A report was given to members with a view to reviewing and considering a job evaluation report, reviewing job descriptions and staff structure, as well as reviewing the number of council and civic events and council meetings.

Cllr Martin Kennedy wondered what value a councillor would add in reviewing staff roles and workloads, which for him was a manager's job. Cllr Joanna Hillyard thought some councillors would want to have an opinion. Cllr Kennedy pressed home his point, asking, why add an extra layer of bureaucracy? Cllr David Abbott thought a manager should be able to understand and be aware of a member of staff's workload and be able to assess staff workload accordingly. He thought a contractor would not be needed to make the assessment.  Cllr Kennedy suggested staff do not like to fail and an independent outside person might be able to uncover underlying issues.

Later, another matter was discussed. At the Town Council meeting held on 8th October 2018, the following was resolved; For the Chairs of Personnel and Corporate Services to immediately take steps to instruct a suitable independent person to undergo a full investigation into the events that led to Houghton Regis Town Council making an out of court settlement to What About Youth Limited. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, whilst this investigation is undertaken, the councillors at tonight's meeting went on to appoint Councillor Dixon-Wilkinson to act as a contact for the clerk for day to day matters, to provide support, handle leave requests, absence from work and to feed matters to Committee where any decisions/action is needed and to undertake the Clerks appraisal.