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Posted by: John Brace | November 13, 2012

Employment and Appointments Subcommittee 13th November 2012


Present
Cllr Tom Harney (Lib Dem)
Cllr Simon Mountney (Conservative)
Cllr Lesley Rennie (Conservative)
Cllr Phil Davies, Chair (Labour)
Cllr Adrian Jones (Labour)
Cllr George Davies (Labour)
Cllr Ann McLachlan (Labour)

Officers
Graham Burgess (Chief Executive)
Chris Hyams (Head of HR and OD)
Andrew Mossop (Committee Services Officer)
Unknown female officer

Press/public
Johnathan Swain of  Penna PLC
John and Leonora Brace

Well the Employment and Appointments Subcommittee, part of the final process to select a strategic director (Families and Wellbeing) following the officer interviews today, was predictably short (well the public bit anyway). Jonathan Swain of recruitment consultants Penna PLC once again stayed for the exempt part of the meeting, even though as far as I know being a private sector employee working in the private sector would be classed as part of the “public” (unless they’ve temporarily made him an officer).


Responses

  1. Looks a bit dubious allowing a member of the public into an exempted section of the meeting. Is there a written and published allowance made for such situations…? Or are they making it up as they go along?

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    • Well part of the recruitment for the post was contracted to Penna PLC (I know the job applications went to Penna PLC), so I suppose they wanted to get their money’s worth in the form of some advice. However yes, it is an odd practice to have people who aren’t council officers or councillors present during exempt parts of meetings.

      As to written and published allowance for such situations I’m not aware of one, as once a resolution is passed it depends partly on what the definition of public is in the legislation.

      Certainly if the guy had written the report that’s in the exempt part of the meeting, they know all the information already anyway and are probably under contract to keep the whole thing confidential.

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  2. There’s a similar situation. I was told by Stephen Rowley, for example, that the officer who did the ‘independent’ report into the Social Services 4 week delay was ‘self employed’. But his name has been seen appended to another internal report since, and now I’m wondering is he self-employed or is he contracted to the council, or is he employed? Sorry, just thinking aloud. Not sure you’d know the answer to this.

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    • As someone who’s self-employed, I’ll explain.

      It is possible to be an employee and self-employed at the same time, but generally if its an “independent report” they’d have to go outside the Council to do it as a report written by someone who is a current employee would not be seen as independent. Therefore it would be more accurate to describe the person as contractor, rather than officer.

      It all depends partly on the terms of the contract though between Wirral Council and the individual involved. Sometimes former employees now working in the private sector get asked.

      At the last Employment and Appointments Committee the whole issue of what happens after an employee registers a grievance and who writes the report was discussed. Basically there are people trained as investigators, employed by Wirral Council but it’d be someone who hadn’t worked with the people involved (for example from a different department). Hope that helps, but for more information check the video of the last E&A Committee I uploaded.

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