Councillor Bayford introduced the item and made the following comments:
Ms Culligan set out additional background and said the following:
Councillor Ashbee spoke under Council Procedure 20.1.
Members made comments and asked questions as follows:
Ms Homer and Ms Culligan responded as follows:
Cabinet considered the report that set out proposals to disband the East Kent HR Service (EKHR) and take HR services in house with effect from 1 September 2021. The proposals set out the rationale for the decision, the proposed processes and relevant recommendations.
The HR function had been a shared service for Canterbury City Council (CCC), Dover District Council (DDC) and Thanet District Council (TDC) since September 2010. In its original form, it was a four way shared service, with the inclusion of Folkestone and Hythe District Council (formerly Shepway District Council). Shepway District Council unilaterally left the HR shared service a few years later. The original Collaboration Agreement (20/9/10) was replaced by the current Collaboration Agreement dated 14/10/16 between DDC, CCC and TDC.
A significant benefit of the proposal would be the closer alignment of the individual HR services with the corporate priorities of each Council. Whilst the Chief Executive was the Head of Paid Service and has ultimate responsibility for staffing matters, the proposal would ensure that members would have more involvement in issues such as setting HR policies and procedures which directly affect each Council’s staff. Members would also be able to have a better understanding of issues which affect staff.
The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:
Councillor Stuart Piper;
Councillor Whitehead proposed, Councillor Albon seconded and Cabinet agreed:
1. That EKHR should be disbanded and that the HR service returns in house;
2. That authority is delegated to the Interim Head of Shared Services, in consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader, to carry out all necessary processes to give effect to the decision;
3. That authority is given to the Interim Head of Shared Services to sign off and enter into any agreements necessary to give effect to the decision. This includes, but is not limited to, novation of contracts between any of the three Councils and any third parties;
4. To recommend to Council that the East Kent Shared Services Collaboration Agreement dated 14 October 2 016 is amended t o reflect the changes set out in recommendations 1 - 3.