Agenda item

Integrated Shared Management Structure and Joint Working Arrangements Review – Preferred Option for Breckland and South Holland District Councils (Agenda item 11)

Report of Nathan Elvery, Head of Paid Service & Strategic Advisor.


Nathan Elvery, the Head of Paid Service & Strategic Advisor presented the report.


The report was familiar to most Members as it had been debated at the Joint Strategy Board, Cabinet and at the Overview & Scrutiny Commission.  He thanked all Members for those debates and the comments that had been made both formally and informally. 


Members were asked to note the four additional recommendations from 5 to 9 that had stemmed from those conversations, debates and comments that should provide further reassurance to Members about how these decisions would be made in terms of implementing some of the recommendations.  He thanked Members once again for their contributions.


It was noted that the recommendations at the recent South Holland Full Council had been approved.


The recommendations were proposed and seconded.


Councillor Birt had made previous representations to Cabinet and to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission and he had explained why the numeric representation within this report to quantify a very wide linear parameter did not work.  He did not agree with the scoring methodology for this new local strategic partnership as it had clearly been given a score on something that Breckland did not have.  He could support some of the recommendations, but he could not agree to the delegation of some of these decisions based on the poor evidence that had been provided. He had no difficulty in supporting the separation from South Holland DC as the distance between the two and the carbon cost of that clearly meant it was more difficult than first thought.  Members had already seen that it was possible for joint working to happen without the necessity for it to be completely tied up with one particular council or group. 


He asked whether recommendation no. 5 had been worded correctly as he felt that it should be a recommendation to Council to make an appointment rather than the Joint Appointments Committee. 


He also proposed an amendment to recommendation no. 1 and asked for it to be amended to read: “the Council seek new working partners wherever that provides benefit to Breckland residents without specifically tying the Council to any one partner”.


The proposal was seconded.


Subject to two votes to approve the amendment and 4 abstentions, the vote to amend recommendation no. 1 was lost.


Councillor Birt asked for a response to be provided on recommendation 5. 


The Executive Manager for Governance advised that in respect of the powers of the Joint Appointments Committee, this Committee did have the authority to appoint all chief officers and deputy chief officers with the exception of the Head of Paid Service and the Chief Executive.  In addition, statutory designations remained with Full Council as it was not the same as making appointments.


Councillor Borrett felt that the recommendations should be taken enbloc as there did not appear to be much support for Councillor Birt’s opinions on this report.


Councillor Birt felt that he was being put in a position where he would be unable to vote on some of the recommendations as he did support some and asked the Chairman for advice.


The Chairman advised Councillor Birt that he should vote for, against or abstain on the recommendations. 


The Executive Manager for Governance stated that Councillor Birt was quite entitled to request that his vote be recorded in the Minutes and that he voted in favour or against certain recommendations.


The recommendations were then taken enbloc, and following a show of hands it was:




  1. the preferred option for the future of the integrated shared management structure and joint working arrangements between the two Councils as set out in paragraph 1.9 of this report be approved.


  1. clause 8 of the memorandum of agreement between Breckland District Council and South Holland District Council and authorise any extension or shortening of the timeframe set out in clause 8.6A by mutual agreement between the two parties, so far as may be considered appropriate by the Leaders, following consultation with their respective Cabinets be activated.


  1. to approve for consultation the interim structures to support and enable the achievement of the preferred option for both Councils.


  1. subject to there being no material changes to the senior management structure following consultation with officers, delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Leader to implement the said structure.


  1. in respect of any Chief Officer or Deputy Chief Officer post that remains to be filled following the introduction of the new structure at Appendices 3 and 4 of the report, Breckland Council Members of the Joint Appointments Panel meet as a separate Appointments Panel to make any appointment(s) to such post(s).


6.   a separate report be brought to Council, prior to implementation of the new structure, to enable the Council formally to designate the required statutory officers from 1 May 2021 – being the Head of Paid Service, the Monitoring Officer and the officer responsible for the financial administration of the authority (s151 Officer).


6.       the Terms & Conditions of staff in scope of the Review, as follows, be approved to ensure that both councils operate in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement at clause 8.6(d) in determining a fair and reasonable allocation of staff between the two Councils, to enable a fair and reasonable choice for staff in indicating their preferred council and to support the consultation on the interim structures.


(i)           that any member of staff transferring employment from SHDC to BDC, where applicable, BDC would continue to fund the private healthcare scheme.


(ii)          that any member of staff transferring employment from SHDC to BDC, where applicable, BDC would continue to support the special leave provisions.


8.    the current appointment of Nathan Elvery as Strategic Advisor/Head of Paid Service be extended until 30 April in line with the timescale necessary to support the implementation of these additional recommendations.


9.    delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Leader of the Council to agree any changes to and to sign and complete any amending agreement in respect of the Memorandum of Agreement that may be considered necessary to implement the above recommendations.


Councillor Birt wanted it recorded that he was in favour of all recommendations but was against recommendations 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9. 


Councillor Morton also wanted it recorded that he voted against recommendation 1 but was in favour of recommendations 2 to 9.

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