This report is due to be pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group that is due to take place on Monday 13th January 2020. Due to the short timescales between this meeting and the meeting of the Executive Committee any recommendations arising from the meeting of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group will be tabled at the meeting of the Executive Committee for Members’ consideration.
The Chief Executive presented the Management Review and in so doing highlighted the following points for the Committee’s consideration:
· A single management team shared with Bromsgrove District Council had been agreed in 2009 and introduced in 2010.
· In the Efficiency Statement agreed in 2016 it had been proposed that there should be a review of the single management structure. It had not been possible to undertake this review until 2019/20 due to a variety of factors detailed in the report.
· In undertaking the review the Chief Executive had consulted with the Leaders of Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove District Councils regarding their preferred approach. They had been clear that they did not feel a fundamental review of the management structure was needed at this time.
· The Chief Executive had also reviewed capacity within the management team and had looked to identify any skills gaps and challenges for the Council. These had been identified as commercialism, development projects and Financial Services.
· In respect of commercialism the Chief Executive had concluded that all staff needed to be more commercial rather than one senior officer taking responsibility for commercialism.
· There were a number of opportunities available to the Council in relation to development projects, including the potential to access funding from the Towns’ Fund. Again the Chief Executive had concluded that it would not be appropriate to appoint one senior officer responsible for these projects. However, the authority could work closely with bodies such as the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to take advantage of all opportunities.
· The one area where a new senior post was proposed was in respect of Financial and Customer Services. Improvements had been made in the management of the Council’s finances in recent years and this proposal was not intended as a criticism of the Financial Services staff. However, a new post would provide the Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources with the capacity to focus on more strategic matters which would benefit the authority.
· The report also proposed to formalise the arrangement whereby the Heads of Community Services and Environmental Services had assumed responsibility for Housing (Tenancy) Services and Housing (Property) Services respectively as this arrangement had been working well.
· In addition, the report proposed to continue the arrangement whereby the Head of Legal, Equalities and Democratic Services had assumed responsibility for Property Services since this had returned to Council control from the Place Partnership Ltd.
· The report also proposed that the Head of Planning and Regeneration Service should assume responsibility for Leisure and Cultural Services so that she could take a lead on place shaping in the Borough.
· Subject to Members approving the proposed structure it would subsequently be put out to formal consultation.
During consideration of this item Members noted that the Budget Scrutiny Working Group had pre-scrutinised the Management Review report at a meeting held on Monday 13th January 2020. The group had concluded that the structure proposed in the report would be the most appropriate for the Council at this time. Scrutiny Members had been particularly keen to avoid taking any action that might destabilise the authority at a challenging financial time for the Council. The group had therefore endorsed the recommendation detailed in the report.
the proposed changes to the Single Management Structure attached at Appendix C be approved and put out to formal consultation with the affected staff and trade unions.