Agenda item

Chief Executive's Performance Appraisal

To consider the report of the Leader of the Council (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

It was agreed that this item of business would be brought up the agenda and considered next.

 

The Committee considered the report of the Leader of the Council updating Members on progress of the Chief Executive’s performance appraisal.

 

The report set out the process undertaken by the Leader of the Council in respect of the Chief Executive’s appraisal.  It was noted that dates for performance reviews had been set and Appendix 1 to the report provided a summary of progress against objectives.

 

In the absence of the Leader of the Council, Councillor A S Fluker as Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report and provided detailed background history regarding the Chief Executive’s performance appraisal.  During his introduction he asked that the Committee pass on their wishes to the Leader of the Council for a speedy recovery following an accident he had over the weekend.  Councillor Fluker then proposed that the contents of the report be noted.

 

Councillor D M Sismey clarified that he had been consulted on the proposed objectives but was not consulted either before or afterwards regarding Councillor Fluker attending the appraisal meeting in his place.  He also referred to the Chief Executive’s objectives set for 2016 and felt that by virtue of Councillor Miss M R Lewis (Leader of the Council at that time) and Councillor I E Dobson (representing the Chairman of the Finance and Corporate Services Committee) being authorised by this Committee and the Council to undertake the appraisal these objectives were adopted and were not draft.  Notwithstanding a change in leadership these objectives should therefore stand until another appraisal was carried out or replaced by updated ones. 

 

Councillor B S Beale, Leader of the Opposition, referred to the previous processes undertaken for carrying out the Chief Executive’s appraisal to which he had always been part of.  However, in relation to the 2017 appraisal he clarified that had not been consulted at any stage and refuted the statement in the report at paragraph 3.4 that he had.

 

A lengthy debate ensued during which a number of Members expressed concern regarding the process undertaken.  The Chairman highlighted paragraph 3.8 of the report which contained a number of recommendations proposed to address the breakdown in procedure.

 

In response to comments made the Chief Executive outlined the background regarding her 2016 and 2017 appraisals and the reasons which had led to the identified breakdown in procedure.  She advised that she had put forward the recommendations in section 3.8 of the report to make provide clarity to the process.

 

Councillor Sismey commented on the proposed recommendations at paragraph 3.8 and proposed that in addition to these that the Committee add;

·                 That the deadline for the Chief Executive’s appraisal to be undertaken be aligned to the deadline for all staff of 30 June.

·                 that the Director of Resources or an appointment made by them from within the HR department be required to:

a)                   objectively ensure that the process for the Chief Executive’s appraisal is followed;

b)                  report to the following meeting of the Finance and Corporate Services Committee immediately after the June deadline that the process has been followed and the appraisal taken place.

 

With the permission of the Chairman, Councillor Miss M R Lewis addressed the Committee and provided a detailed history regarding her undertaking of the Chief Executive’s appraisal in 2016 when she was Leader of the Council.  She pointed out a number of discrepancies within the report of the Leader of the Council and felt that it inferred that she had not carried out her duties and requirements as Leader of the Council which she had.

 

The Chairman requested that it be minuted that Members raised a number of questions over the accuracy of some of the historic elements of the report and emphasised the importance to make sure that the procedure was on a sound footing going forward.

 

Councillor Beale proposed that the Council receive an explanation as to how the current situation had occurred and the matter be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  In response the Chairman suggested that this would be best dealt with as a question to the Leader of the Council.

 

Councillor P G L Elliott commented on the report and suggested that going forward, prior to the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council, a final meeting for the municipal year be undertaken with the Chief Executive to review the objectives and identify any points of action.  Then new objections could be set following the statutory annual meeting.  The Chairman suggested that this could be covered by way of clarification to point (e) so that the third review meeting take place just before the end of the municipal year.

 

Councillor Elliott commented as it was clear that the process had not been followed that consideration of the report be deferred and brought back to the Committee following completion of the procedure.  The Chairman agreed that in light of there being a query over the current objectives these should be renewed and going forward the process followed.

 

Following further discussion Councillor Sismey proposed that the Council’s Procedure Rules be updated to set out the requirements (a) to (e), as detailed in section 3.8 of the report with the following amendments and additions:

·                 been that point (c) be amended as follows:

·   The appraisal will take place soon after the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council and before 30 June.

·                 that point (e) be amended as follows:

·             Performance reviews against the agreed objectives will be undertaken at least every four months and an end of year review be undertaken prior to the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council.

·                 that the Director of Resources or an appointment made by them from within the HR department be required to:

a)           objectively ensure that the process for the Chief Executive’s appraisal is followed

b)          report to the following meeting of the Finance and Corporate Services Committee immediately after the June deadline that the process has followed and the appraisal taken place.

 

It was noted that this would be a recommendation to the Council as it involved a change to the Council’s Procedure Rules.

 

He also proposed that the current objectives be renewed and brought back to a future meeting of this Committee.

 

This proposal was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              that the contents of the report be noted;

 

(ii)            that the current objectives be renewed and brought back to a future meeting of this Committee.

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(iii)          that the procedure rules be updated to set out the requirements (a) to (e), as detailed in section 3.8 of the report with the following amendments and additions:

·                 that point (c) be amended as follows:

·             The appraisal will take place soon after the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council and before 30 June.

·                 that point (e) be amended as follows:

·             Performance reviews against the agreed objectives will be undertaken at least every four months and an end of year review be undertaken prior to the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council.

·                 that the Director of Resources or an appropriate appointment of theirs in the HR department is required to:

·             objectively ensure that the process for the Chief Executive’s appraisal is followed

·             report to the following meeting of the Finance and Corporate Services Committee immediately after the June deadline that the process has been followed and the appraisal has taken place.

 

Councillor Miss M R Lewis left the meeting at this point and did not return.

Supporting documents: