Agenda and minutes

Employment Committee - Tuesday, 8th February, 2022 11.00 am

Venue: Room 6 - Hurtmore, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services and Elections Manager.  Tel: (01483) 444102

No. Item


Apologies for absence and notification of substitutes


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Julia McShane, for whom Councillor Tom Hunt was substituting and from Councillor Paul Spooner, for whom Councillor Jan Harwood was substituting.



Election of Vice-Chairman

As reported at the last Council meeting in considering the numerical allocation of seats on committees following Councillor Jan Harwood’s decision to leave the Liberal Democrat Group and join the Conservative group, Councillor Harwood is no longer a member of the Employment Committee. 


Accordingly, he ceased to be vice-chairman of the Committee.  Therefore, the Committee is invited to elect a vice-chairman for the remainder of the 2021-22 municipal year. 



The Committee


RESOLVED: That Councillor Julia McShane be elected Vice-Chairman of the Employment Committee for the remainder of the 2021-22 municipal year.



Local Code of conduct - disclosable pecuniary interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must notparticipate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.


If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.


There were no disclosures of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Employment Committee held on 4 October 2021.



The minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2021 were confirmed as a correct record.  The chairman signed the minutes.



Designation of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report on the proposed designation of the Council’s Monitoring Officer in the light of Diane Owens’ departure from the Council with effect from 28 February 2022.


The Committee noted that the Monitoring Officer had a number of statutory duties and responsibilities relating to the Council’s Constitution and arrangements for effective governance and promoting high standards of conduct. 


The report noted that under the Council’s staffing structure, the post of Lead Legal Specialist was deemed to be the post most appropriate to be designated as the Monitoring Officer, as the role was the Council’s most senior legal officer and solicitor.  Whilst there was no specific requirement for the most senior solicitor or legal officer of any Council to be the Monitoring Officer, it was common practice for the monitoring officer to be a fully qualified solicitor given that part of the role was to ensure the Council’s compliance with laws and regulations. 


The role of Lead Legal Specialist required the post holder to be a qualified solicitor with significant post qualification experience and experience of working in a public sector environment.  The Lead Legal Specialist was the ‘head of profession’ for legal services at the Council. 


Following Diane Owens’ resignation, an external recruitment process had been undertaken with the help and support of an employment agency.  In July 2021, the Council decided to share a senior management team, including statutory officers with Waverley Borough Council.  Following the appointment of the Joint Chief Executive, a restructure to create a Joint Senior Management had begun; however, the work was at too early a stage to provide an immediate solution for the recruitment of a new Monitoring Officer for Guildford.  As such, it was not deemed an appropriate time to recruit a permanent Lead Specialist – Legal and Monitoring Officer.  An external recruitment process for an interim officer for a period of 6 to 8 months had therefore been undertaken, which had culminated in an interview undertaken by members of the Employment Committee.  Mr Stephen Rix had been appointed as the Interim Lead Specialist – Legal.  The Committee noted that Mr Rix was a qualified solicitor with many years’ experience in local government at different councils as well as previous experience as a monitoring officer. 


The Committee thanked Diane Owens for her service with the Council and in particular her service as Monitoring Officer over the past year, and wished her well in her new career.


Having noted that in accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rule 4 (a), the formal designation of the Monitoring Officer was undertaken by full Council on the recommendation of this Committee, the Committee


RECOMMEND: That, in accordance with Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, Stephen Rix (Interim Lead Specialist – Legal) be designated as the Monitoring Officer for the Council with effect from 1 March 2022.


Reason for Recommendation:

To comply with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (as amended).