To consider a report from the Chief Executive, a copy is attached as item 8.
Before the Committee was a report by the Chief Executive, copies of which had been circulated to all Members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as Item 8.
Since the appointment of Dr Catherine Howe as Chief Executive (CEX), the organisational leadership team, made up of senior officers within Adur and Worthing Councils, had been meeting to develop a new Corporate Plan to replace ‘Platforms for our Places’ as well as looking at what organisational changes were needed. The next phase of this work was for staff, member and community engagement to allow a wider group of people to contribute to this work over the course of the summer in order to inform budget conversations into the Autumn.
The report outlined the first phase of organisational changes, which were targeted at creating the capability and capacity needed to deliver wide ranging changes. It was built around the principles of participation, resilience and adaptability, which would be needed in order to deliver the Corporate Plan once it was agreed.
Also included were changes needed to reflect a renewed emphasis from both Councils on communication and engagement (both internally and externally), and the additional capacity needed to support democracy and participation.
A Member asked questions about the timing of the two phases of work and the increased focus on democracy and participation. Clarification was provided in regards to the timetable for the two phases of work and officers advised that in regards to participation, the report was about building capacity to do some of these things better. Conversations will be required with both Councils as to what they want to do with that capacity around communications, engagement and participation.
Another Member asked what was the priority, meeting the budget or maintaining front line services. Officers advised that the National Pay Award was outside of the Councils control and the Chief Finance Officer was having to make assumptions about what the likely outcomes of those negotiations would be. This process would require the working up of a set of agreed priorities across both Councils finding a balance between what the Councils invest in and what they don’t. The report signalled the start of that process and set out the parameters of how the Councils wanted to do this work.
The recommendations in the report were proposed by Councillor Carl Walker, seconded by Councillor Steve Neocleous and unanimously supported by the Committee.
The Joint Strategic Committee
a. noted that the Chief Executive would be proceeding with the phased organisational design changes outlined in the report;
b. requested that the Chief Executive bring back the developed three year programme for implementing the new Corporate Plan to this committee for consideration in advance of the budget setting process and prior to its consideration by both Councils;
c. agreed that the Corporate Plan be the basis of the next phases of organisational change.
The call-in deadline for the decision will be 5.00pm on the 15th July 2022.