Decision details

Legal and Democratic Services: Resourcing and Structure Proposals

Decision Maker: Executive, Council

Decision status: Recommmend Forward to Council

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To review resourcing capacity in respect of a potential growth bid.

Decision:

Decision:

Executive approved:

1.            The Joint Head of Paid Service’s proposal to create a role of Joint Executive Head / Assistant Director - Legal as set out in para 15.1 of the report submitted to the Executive;

2.            The Joint Head of Paid Service’s proposal to create a role of Joint Executive Head / Assistant Director - Democracy & Governance as set out in para 15.1 of the report;

3.            The Joint Head of Paid Service’s proposal to create a Joint Executive Advisory and Support team as set out in para 6.4 of the report to include two new posts of Joint Executive Advisory and Support Manager and Joint Executive Advisor.   The Joint Executive Advisory and Support Manager would provide advisory support as well as management of the existing Joint Executive support team;

4.            The Head of Paid Service’s proposal to create a new post of Joint Head of Governance as set out in para 15.2 of the report;

5.            The Head of Paid Service’s proposal to amend the existing three Waverley Borough Council posts of Senior Governance Officer, Senior Corporate Governance Lawyer and Monitoring Officer assistant to be joint roles operating across Waverley and Guildford Councils;

6.            To delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to amend the current inter-authority agreement between Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council to include the new joint roles as set out in the report.

7.            An additional one-off cost of £90,605 to Guildford Borough Council which is a 50% contribution towards the costs of two Interim Governance Officers for 6 months;

Executive noted:

8.            That the implications of these proposals had been considered in the context of restructures already concluded in GBC and WBC Legal Services and work about to commence in Waverley Democratic Services.

Executive approved and recommended to Full Council meeting on 17 June 2024:

9.            To approve the increase to the Legal & Democratic Services salary budget for 2024/25 of £357,318 as set out in para 10.6 of the report;

10.       To approve the making of all necessary arrangements for the discharge of functions through joint arrangements between Waverley Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council, by officers of Waverley Borough Council, as set out in this report, and for such arrangements to be included in the inter-authority agreement in accordance with s113 Local Government Act 1972.

Reasons:

1.        To respond to the Head of Paid Services’ recent changes to his staff structure at Chief Officer level, effective 1 March 2024, which made the previous Joint Executive Head of Legal & Democratic Services the Joint Strategic Director of Legal & Democratic Services and the previous Joint Executive Head of Finance, the Joint Strategic Director of Finance.  Whilst this had strengthened the Corporate Management Board and ensured that the governance functions were represented at the most senior level by the three statutory officers, it had also created a gap at the Executive Head of Service / Assistant Director level for each of these disciplines, which could not be sustained.

2.        To respond to the concerns raised in recent months by Statutory Officers in relation to the robustness of governance arrangements for both Waverley Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council which had resulted in the need for an improvement plan, and continuous improvement thereafter to ensure good governance, and compliance with the Council’s statutory duties relating to best value.

3.        To fund the growth needed to address 1 and 2 above in the Legal and Democratic Services function.

4.        To deliver the capacity and capability to enable timely, effective, transparent and consistent decision making at all levels of both organisations, including at the most senior leadership levels.

5.        To deliver the capacity and capability needed to embed successes in ongoing collaboration efforts and enhance the pace of future collaboration, transition to shared services and continuous improvement in service delivery and realisation of cashable and non-cashable savings.

6.        To create the framework for the Legal and Democratic Services function which will reduce dependency on expensive external resources and further implement succession planning and career development which had already seen an increase in internal promotion appointments to vacancies in Waverley Legal Services.

Other options considered and rejected by the Executive:

Options 1 and 2.

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None.

Report author: Susan Sale

Publication date: 17/05/2024

Date of decision: 16/05/2024

Decided at meeting: 16/05/2024 - Executive

Effective from: 24/05/2024

Accompanying Documents: