Agenda and minutes

Employment and Staffing Committee
Thursday, 25 April 2019 4.00 p.m.

Venue: Monkfield Room, First Floor. View directions

Contact: Patrick Adams  03450 450 500 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive Apologies for Absence from Committee members. 


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dawn Percival and Peter Topping. Councillor Clare Delderfield substituted for Councillor Dawn Percival.


Declarations of Interest




Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 65 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2019 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the amending of Apologies for Absence, to record that Councillor Clare Delderfield was substituting for Councillor Philippa Hart.


Appointment of S151 Officer pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The Head of People and Organisational Development presented this report, which detailed the need for the Council to appoint a Section 151 Officer, as the current post holder was due to leave the authority next month.


In response to questioning, the Head of People and Organisational Development explained that Mr Peter Maddock was a permanent and not temporary employee.


The Committee unanimously



A)    That the contract of the current interim postholder will end on 17 May 2019.

B)    That the Council needed to act swiftly to put into effect arrangements and resources so that a handover and smooth transfer of knowledge will be achieved before the current postholder leaves the Council.


RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL     the appointment of Mr Peter Maddock as S151 Officer with effect from 18 May 2019.


Chief Executive Recruitment pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of People and Organisational Development presented this report, which appraised the Committee of the options and considerations for the recruitment of a Chief Executive.


Appointment of recruitment consultants

The Committee noted that the Head of People and Organisation Development and Councillor Dawn Percival, Vice Chairman of the Employment and Staffing Committee, had reviewed the list of agencies which had applied to act as a recruitment consultant for the Council. They recommended that Penna should be appointed to support the Council through the recruitment process.


Cost of Advertising

The Committee understood the merits of advertising online and in the two local government publications Municipal Journal and Local Government Chronicle, but that advertising in the national press was expensive and of limited benefit. It was acknowledged that the advertising process included simple word of mouth conversations amongst potentially interested parties.


Person Specification

It was agreed that potential candidates from outside local government should be considered and it was noted that Penna had both public and private sector clients. A vote was taken and by four votes in favour and two against it was agreed that the descriptors “Essential” and “Desirable” should be removed from the Person Specification to allow flexibility in the appointments process. Members of the Committee were encouraged to e-mail the Head of People and Organisation Development on any specific comments regarding the specifications for the post listed in the appendix to the report.


Appointment Panel

The Committee agreed that an Appointment Panel of at least five members should be set up, with the actual membership to be agreed at a later date. The Panel will include representatives from both main political groups and have the Leader and the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance in its membership. It was noted that Panel membership would be a substantial commitment over the next two months. Training would be provided by the external consultant.


Comparable roles

It was agreed that the Council faced a unique set of challenges including the proposed infrastructure improvements in the Cambridgeshire/Oxfordshire corridor, economic and housing growth and the need to work in partnership with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Combined Authority. It was agreed that Penna should provide benchmarking information to ensure that the remuneration package is appropriate for this role.


The Committee unanimously


NOTED           the content and legal requirements set out within the report.




A)        The job description as laid out in the appendix to the report, with the removal of the essential/desirable column.


B)        To set up an appointments Panel to undertake the work associated with an external recruitment process for appointing a Chief Executive.


C)        The engagement of Penna as external recruitment consultants to support the Council.


The Committee thanked the Head of People and Organisational Development for her work on the appointments process.


Date of Next Meeting


The Committee noted that the next meeting would take place on Thursday 9 May at 10am. This will discuss the report from the Castlerigg consultants, an update from task and finish groups and an update on the staff survey.