Agenda and minutes

Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee - Tuesday, 7th November, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Luke Taylor  01895 250833

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr East and Cllr Graham.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 121 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2017 were approved as a correct record.


Exclusion of Press and Public


It was agreed that all items would be considered in public.


Employee Induction and Retention Review pdf icon PDF 69 KB


The Council's Workforce and Organisational Development Manager was in attendance at the meeting to speak to the Committee as part of the review's witness session.


The Committee heard that the Council monitored both voluntary and involuntary turnover on a quarterly basis, and that turnover of staff is beneficial to an organisation as new staff members can bring with them new ideas, which improves innovation, while a low turnover rate can lead to stagnation. Furthermore, "exit interviews" were ready to be implemented at the Council, which will help Human Resources to better understand the reasoning behind employees' decisions to leave the organisation.


It was confirmed that the target for voluntary turnover within the Council is 10%. Last year, the Council saw a 10.5% turnover rate, and this year it currently stands at 11%, although the period that historically has seen the most turnover has already passed, so the figure may yet decrease. By including involuntary turnover in this turnover figure, it rises to roughly 18%.


Members heard that staff turnover in specific areas of the Council were monitored and reported on a monthly basis. This allowed the organisation to implement retention schemes in areas of concern that ensured the Council did not see higher rates of staff turnover than desirable. One such scheme took place in Children's Social Care, an area which nationally saw a high turnover rate, and involved financial remuneration for those employees who confirmed that they would remain at the Council for a specific period. This "tie-in" was one year, as it was agreed this worked better than two years, which was used previously. These retention payments were also used for critical employees who were halfway through delivering a project. In these cases, a retention payment could be placed on an employee, based on a percentage of their salary and post, and this payment would be repaid in full if the employee left the organisation before delivering the project.


It was noted that 64% of staff were on permanent contracts, but there are trends to suggest that agency staff are actively looking to remain agency workers, and were not looking for permanent employment. The Committee heard that, nationwide, people are choosing higher pay rates over better job security, and despite not being eligible for pension contributions, agency staff were still able to receive annual leave and other benefits, while also having pay parity with permanent staff. However, it was confirmed that long-term employees preferred the whole benefits package they receive over the hourly rate, and instances of employees looking to become agency workers are rare.


Responding to Members' questioning, it was confirmed that situations had arisen where a senior member of a team had been headhunted and had taken some of the Council's employees with them to their new place of employment, but it was noted that this has also been a recruitment tactic by the Council as it used existing networks to find potential staff members.


The Workforce and Organisational Development Manager confirmed that the overall package  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying Review pdf icon PDF 92 KB


At the meeting of the Committee on 21 September 2017, approval was given to the Committee's next review topic on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in the Borough.


The Council's Service Manager for Targeted Programmes in Early Intervention and Prevention Services was in attendance at the meeting to speak to the Committee as part of the review's witness evidence.


Members heard that Targeted Programmes is a division of the Early Intervention, Prevention and SEND Services, commissioned to engage children, adolescents, young adults and adult parents who are vulnerable to negative outcomes in relation to their life experiences. It responds to priority groups identified as being at risk of social, health, and economic exclusion, including young people who self-define as LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex and Questioning). Within this context, Targeted Programmes was commissioned to deliver two key programmes that sought to benefit the lives of LGBTIQ young people: 'OUTreach' drop-in service, and 'KISS' Sex and Relationships Education Programmes.


The Service Manager confirmed that, in 2013, a report entitled "An Assessment of Homophobic Bullying and Health and Wellbeing amongst Young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Hillingdon" was produced, and identified a range of concerns amongst LGBTIQ young people; the report was well received but not formally adopted into policy. Early Intervention, Prevention and SEND Services responded to the recommendation that stated the Council should "offer a social network group for young LGBT people in a safe environment", through the establishment of new public-facing services for LGBTIQ young people.


The Committee was informed that the Council established a LGBTIQ programme in partnership with MOSAIC Youth Centre, which was branded 'MOSAIC Hillingdon' and launched in September 2014. The programme was delivered as an informal drop-in activity, but despite the activity of the Council and MOSAIC to publicise the programme, an initial level of interest was not maintained. Due to changes in MOSAIC Youth Centre's funding arrangements, it was agreed to terminate the partnership, and the programme closed in 2016.


It was noted that in early 2017, Targeted Programmes established a directly-managed programme for LGBTIQ young people, provisionally branded as 'OUTreach LGBTIQ Programme'. This programme is currently delivered on a bi-weekly basis, and to date, seven young people had been engaged on a sustained basis. Targeted Programmes' Sexual Health and Wellbeing Programmes unit also deliver a range of sexual health and relationships education programmes for young people, which are commissioned by secondary schools, young people's centres, residential children's homes, and young adult hostels in the Borough. These programmes address issues relevant to all young people, have engaged over 850 service users since April 2017, and are delivered using 'sexual identity-neutral' language to avoid a presumption of heterosexuality and present LGBTIQ identities as being of equal validity with a range of sexual orientations. Members asked how many schools, youth clubs, or other outside bodies had been visited, and officers stated that this figure would be confirmed to the Committee following the meeting.


Responding to questioning from Members, officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Update on Review Implementation - Safety at the Civic Centre pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:


At a previous Committee meeting, Councillors requested an update on the 2011 review into "Personal safety of Members of the Council when meeting with members of the public". Comments were sought from the Group Offices and officers responsible for security at the Council, and the comments were outlined in the report.


The Committee noted the responses, and commented that bag checks and physical checks did not take place when members of the public attending meetings at the Civic Centre. It was requested that this suggestion was presented to the next Whips meeting.


Councillors agreed that when safety issues arise, they are dealt with very well by officers and security staff.


RESOLVED: That the report was noted, and the following action taken by officers in consultation with the Chief Whips:


1.    Remind Members, that if they had concerns over a particular constituent they are in contact with, the Group Offices can confidentially check the Council's Restricted Persons Register to establish whether further contact should be made;

2.    Update the Personal Safety Protocol booklet to include the above, along with the emergency phone line and details of rooms with panic alarms;

3.    Re-send the updated Personal Safety Protocol;

4.    Recommend to the Head of Democratic Services that a workshop for Members regarding personal safety be added to the 2018 Induction arrangements; and

5.    Consider bag checks and physical checks for members of the public who are attending meetings at the Civic Centre.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the forward plan was noted.


Work Programme 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 66 KB


RESOLVED: That the work programme was noted, subject to the following changes:


·         The report regarding Volunteering in Hillingdon be moved to the meeting on 7 March 2017.