Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Online Virtual Meeting
Contact: Rashella Rapley, Governance Officer - 020 8937 3051
Apologies for absence and clarification of alternate members
Councillor Butt, as Chair, took the opportunity to formally welcome Councillor Nerva to his first meeting as a member of the Committee.
Declarations of interests
Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary or personal interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.
There were no declarations of interests made by Members.
Deputations (if any)
To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 67.
There were no deputations received.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Monday 7 September 2020 be approved as an accurate record.
Matters Arising (if any)
To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.
There were no matters arising.
This report provides the Committee with the Apprenticeship Strategy and associated action plan for 2020 onwards. It sets out the key areas of activity that will lead the Council to increase the take-up of apprenticeships in Brent and utilise the opportunity of the Apprenticeship Levy to support career progression.
Martin Williams, Head of Human Resources, introduced the report detailing the outcome of a review of apprenticeship pay rates following approval of the Apprenticeship Strategy by Cabinet in October 2017 and development of the associated Action Plan.
The Committee noted
· That the Apprenticeship Strategy and associated action plan for 2020 onwards had set out the key areas of activity that would lead the council to increase the take-up of apprenticeships in Brent and to utilise the opportunity of the Apprenticeship Levy to support career progression.
· The progress made in implementing the strategy to support workforce development and address skills gaps as detailed in section 3.1 of the report. Given the increase in standards now available, the Council has been able to better align apprenticeships with key skill shortage areas, which had resulted in a shift from apprenticeships focussed on business administration and customer service standards at Levels 2 and 3 to a wider spread across different areas from Level 2 to 7.
· The current and previous Pay Rates as detailed in 3.4 of the report reflected the increase in the National Living and London Living Wages. As the rate agreed for Level 3 apprentices was not aligned to a national rate, this had not increased since the last review and as a result of this, Level 3 apprentices were currently paid at a lower level than those at Level 2.
· Following the review of existing pay rates (informed by benchmarking with other London Boroughs) it was being proposed that Level 2 and 3 apprentices were paid at the National Living Wage (NLW) rate (applicable to those aged over 25) irrespective of age and the London Living Wage (LLW) as a minimum for Level 4 apprentices and above. Given the small number of Level 2 apprentices within the Council, there was no longer the need for a differential between Levels 2 and 3.
· In recognition of the entry criteria for higher-level apprenticeships and in order to attract and retain individuals in areas with specific skills shortage, it was proposed that these could be paid at a rate above the LLW subject to agreement by the relevant Director in consultation with the Head of HR, in line with the Market Supplements Policy.
During the discussions that followed, members welcomed the positive progress made in terms of the number and quality of apprenticeships being offered. As a result of a request at the meeting, it was agreed that a further breakdown would be provided for members outside of the meeting on the number of apprentices currently employed across the Council and at what level. It was also confirmed that subject to approval, the new rates of pay would be backdated to April 2020 with any annual uplift aligned to changes in the LLW or NLW. Members were also keen to ensure that the necessary links were established between the opportunities being made available through the apprenticeship strategy and the Black Community Action Plan.
Members welcomed the progress that had been made ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
This report provides the Committee with an update in respect of the Council’s offer to Council staff of Key Worker Housing provided by i4B, including the Council roles to be identified as Key Worker roles and the terms on which key worker housing will be provided, including the potential tax implications for individuals.
Martin Williams, Head of Human Resources, introduced the report updating the Committee in respect of the Council’s offer to council staff of Key Worker Housing provided by i4B, including the Council roles to be identified as Keyworker roles and the terms on which Key Worker housing would be provided, including the potential tax implications for individuals.
Discussing the financial and legal implications received following the publication of the original report, Martin Williams brought to the attention of Members that 5.3 of the report confirmed the Council’s tax advisors had concluded that the i4B Key Worker Housing Scheme was not considered a taxable benefit for Brent Council staff. This had been based on the offering being made available to people other than Council employees and a calculation of the employment related benefit conducted on the cost of the property and proposed rent.
In considering the report members noted the key worker roles and the terms on which key worker housing would be provided, as detailed within the i4B Key Worker Housing Allocations Policy included as Appendix 1 to the report. Members were advised that the initial offer would be focused on the block of flats purchased by i4B in Wembley, which comprised of 153 units made up of a range of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. The aim of the Policy was to ensure a fair and equitable process in terms of the allocation of these properties to key workers based on a tiered system, as set out in section 4 of the report. Work had already been undertaken to promote the offer, with a breakdown of Council staff who had registered an interest, set out in section 4.8 of the report.
In highlighting their support for the scheme, members were pleased to note the progress made and positive interest especially in relation to staff from within Children and Young People and Community & Wellbeing. In response to a query on the detailed allocation policy, members were advised of the tenancy arrangements being offered, which would be subject to review on a 12 monthly basis or if the nature of the role changed and the tenant was no longer employed or classified as a key worker, tenancy would cease.
Members welcomed the ongoing progress, remaining keen that key worker staff had access to affordable housing. It wastherefore RESOLVED:
(1) To approve the method by which posts were identified as being difficult to recruit and retain within the Council.
(2) To note the advice received in relation to the key worker housing scheme not being classified as a taxable benefit for Brent’s employees.
At its Annual meeting on 14 September 2020, Full Council reviewed and determined the representation of political groups on its main committees and subsequently made appointments to these, in accordance with the wishes of the political groups concerned. As soon as practicable after such a review, this Committee is also required to review and determine the representation of political groups on its Sub-committees and then make appointments giving effect to the wishes of the political groups allocated seats.
The outcome of the review undertaken in relation to the Sub-Committees to be appointed by General Purposes Committee has been detailed in the attached report.
Councillor Butt, Leader of the Council, introduced the report which followed the review undertaken at the Annual Council meeting on 14 September 2020 in relation to the representation of political groups on main committees and subsequent appointments made to those bodies.
It was noted that the Committee was now required to review and determine the representation of political groups on its Sub-committees as set out in the report and then make appointments giving effect to the wishes of the political groups allocated seats.
RESOLVED to approve:
(1) The size of each sub-committee to be appointed by the Committee as detailed in the report.
(2) The allocation of seats to political groups on each of the sub-committees in accordance with political balance rules.
(3) The appointment of Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Members and Substitutes Members to each sub-committee.
To confirm the appointments notified to relation to the General Purposes Sub Committees for the 2020/21 Municipal Year.
Following on from Item 8 above, Councillor Butt introduced the item which set out the proposed appointments to the General Purposes Sub-committees for the 2020/2021 Municipal Year.
RESOLVED: That Members agree the following appointments to the GeneralPurposes Sub-Committees for the 2020/2021 Municipal Year:
general purposes sub-committees
senior staff appointments sub-committee
m butt (C) LABOUR
mclennan (VC) LABOUR
Krupa sheth LABOUR
LABOUR:farah, knight, nerva, m patel, stephens, southwood
CONSERVATIVE: colwill, MAURICE
senior staff appeals sub-committee
m butt (C) LABOUR
mclennan (VC) LABOUR
Krupa sheth LABOUr
LABOUR:farah, KNIGHT, m patel, southwood
CONSERVATIVE: colwill, MAURICE
brent pension fund sub-committee
choudhary (C) LABOUR
aden (VC) LABOUR
ELIZABETH BANKOLE (UNISON)
LABOUR:choudry, mcleish, naheerathan & VACANCY
CONSERVATIVE: colwill, kansagra
brent pension board
DAVID EWART (C) INDEPENDENT CHAIR
CHRIS BALA PENSION SCHEME MEMBER
BOLA GEORGE TRADE UNION (UNISON) MEMBER
ROBERT WHEELER TRADE UNION (GMB) MEMBER
VACANCY EMPLOYER MEMBER (NON-BRENT COUNCIL)
No provision is include within the Boards Terms of Reference for substitute members.
Exclusion of Press and Public
There are currently no items listed on the agenda that will require the exclusion of the press and public.
There were no items that required the exclusion of the press or public.
Any other urgent business
Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 60.