Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Delia Shephard, Town Clerk  Email:

Note No. Item


Members' apologies for absence


It was RESOLVED that the apologies for absence as listed above be noted.


Members' declarations of interest in matters on the agenda

(Under the Relevant Authorities (Disclosuable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, mad under S30 (3) of the Localism Act, Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they may have in any of the items under consideration of this meeting.)


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 292 KB


It was RESOLVED that the draft minutes of the last meeting held on 17 August 2021  be approved as a correct record of proceedings.   Members also noted that the meeting scheduled for 21 September 2021 had been cancelled.


Review the current Employment Handbook pdf icon PDF 16 KB


Following a recent Situation Analysis report undertaken by DCK Accounting it had been noted that the Employee handbook prepared by Ellis Whittam (now known as WorkNest) did not make specific reference to the Local Government Green Book though the Town Council had a resolved position to comply with the national agreement on terms and conditions of work.  The Clerk also noted that whilst the handbook had been reviewed in December 2020 to deal with a specific issue this had not been a thoroughgoing review.


It was RESOLVED that a review of the employee handbook be undertaken to ensure that reference to the Green Book was included and any additional relevant policies (such as a more detailed officer code of conduct) were appended.


IT restructure and implications for staff working practices pdf icon PDF 119 KB


Members discussed a written report from the Clerk summarising current IT provision for different members of the employee team and the impact which these arrangements were having on productivity and working practices of the employee team. 


The report and its implications were discussed in detail and it was noted that current contracts with Microshade were due to expire in May 2022 and with ACS in June 2022.  It was further noted that officers were already working with alternative and existing providers to review the best arrangements and likely costs for the future taking into account the Town Council’s plans for the employee team.


It was RESOLVED that the report and the impact of the current IT provision on employees and productivity be noted.  It was further RESOLVED that the review of IT arrangements was supported by the HR Committee and the Clerk was authorised to purchase laptops for officers who were using their own equipment to undertake any council work.


Exclusion of public and press


It was RESOLVED that members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business as publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted which was likely to include discussion of individual employees.



Confidential report on matters concerning health and safety at work, staff training and human resources issues


Members discussed in detail matters arising from a confidential written report from the Clerk concerning the employee team.   The report included an update on health and safety at work including details of actions taken to ensure individual employees understood their own responsibilities for health and safety at work and how this was tied to their performance objectives.  An update on training needs and progress with employee qualifications was also included.  The report confirmed that a formal complaint against an individual employee had been made during September 2021, this had been investigated according to approved procedures and the matter was now closed.


The report included a section on productivity and workload and there was extensive discussion of this aspect of the report including current and future needs at different council premises including Spotlight.


It was RESOLVED that the Clerk be instructed to undertake work to research and cost alternative staffing arrangements at Spotlight.


The report contained information about recent sickness absences.


It was RESOLVED that all employees be offered and encouraged to take up a flu vaccine to be paid for by the Town Council and this would be funded from within the 501 cost centre.


Finally, it was RESOLVED that the report be noted.



Report on recruitment activities undertaken since the last meeting of the committee


The Town Clerk reported that following advertising of the posts of Bookings/Premises Officer and Environment and Landscaping Officer a number of applications had been received and shortlisting of candidates had taken place. Interviews were due to be held during the week beginning 8 November.

It was RESOLVED that this position be noted.



Recommendations in the Staff Review Report prepared by LCC and issues arising from them (item deferred from 17 August 2021)


The Clerk reminded Members that the confidential Staffing Review report published in June 2021 and prepared by the Local Council Consultancy for Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council had already been seen by the committee and that most of the recommendations in the report had already been addressed.  However issues connected to Section 8.3 had been deferred for further consideration.  Members discussed the Council’s job evaluation scheme.


It was RESOLVED that all employees be asked to review their job descriptions for accuracy as soon as possible prior to further work being undertaken by the management team.



Situational analysis of the council undertaken by DCK Accounting in October 2021


The Clerk reported that the situation analysis for Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council undertaken by DCK Accounting Solutions had not been available in time for the meeting.  However the  draft analysis had been provided on the day of the meeting and the report included reporting and recommendations on Human Resources, Training and Development,  Quality and Performance and other aspects of the Town Council’s activities relevant to the work of the committee.  These were discussed briefly and it was agreed to review the report in detail when it was available.


Committee Dates


It was agreed that the workload of the committee meant an additional meeting was needed before Christmas 2021 and it was RESOLVED that this be held on Tuesday 23 November 2021 in place of the planned HR Sub-Committee scheduled for that date.  An alternative date for the HR Sub-committee would be agreed later.