Agenda and minutes
Venue: Civic Centre, Gravesend, Kent
Contact: Committee Section
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Lee Croxton and Councillor Leslie Hills; Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox and Councillor Gary Harding appeared as their respective substitutes. An apology for absence was also received from Councillor Samir Jassal.
The Minutes of the meeting held 13 September 2018 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of interest
No declarations of interest were made.
Oral Update on the two Scrutiny Reviews
To provide the Committee with an update following the first meeting of the two sub-groups for the following reviews:
1. Scrutiny Review of proposed council-endorsed trading companies.
2. Scrutiny Review of Grass Cutting and Horticulture
The Chair provided the Committee with an oral update following the first meetings of the sub-groups for the following two Overview Scrutiny Topic Reviews on 10 October 2018:
1. Review of proposed council-endorsed trading companies
2. Review of Grass Cutting and Horticulture
Scrutiny Review of proposed Council-endorsed Trading Companies meeting 10 October 2018
Cllr John Burden (Chair) Labour
Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox Labour
Cllr Leslie Hills Conservative
Cllr William Lambert Gravesham Independent Conservatives
Stuart Bobby - Director (Corporate Services)
Sarah Parfitt - Assistant Director (Corporate Services)
Lauren Wallis - Committee Services Officer (notes)
The Chair highlighted the following matters that were discussed at the meeting on 10 October 2018:
· The meeting dealt with the legal functions including the role of directors on any local authority company board established to manage the housing development proposed by Reef and how structurally there will in all likelihood be a parent company with subsidiaries below it.
· There a two potential routes:
1. Go through the Council
2. Go through the Executive (i.e. Cabinet).
It was the view of the group that there should be a cabinet member who will be a director on the company but the cabinet member must not be involved with any executive function of the council that would be discharged through that company to avoid conflicts of interest.
· There could be a Member working group set up to advise on any issues.
· Officers will also sit on the board but not the Director (Corporate Services) as he is the Council’s Chief Finance Officer under Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972.
· There is the opportunity for junior officers to get experience through involvement in the subsidiary companies.
· At this stage the proposed companies are likely to complete a majority of their work for the council, not trade wholly with the private sector, so they won’t be subject to competition rules; this also means staff won’t need to be to TUPE transferred (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981).
· If subsidiary companies are set up there will be the opportunity to get other officers involved. If the company is successful / vibrant it will be subject to VAT & other rules in the same way as any other company.
· The Council uses the Green Book Rules that set out employment arrangements for staff e.g. pay, conditions of service etc. It is anticipated that the proposed companies will embrace these rules.
· The Chair reiterated that the review group is an advisory group that can provide recommendations but ultimately this is a matter for Cabinet to decide.
· There will be a presentation to all Members on the legal aspects of setting up and running a Local Authority Trading Company in the near future.
· Council staff will be fully engaged to ensure they have a good awareness of Local Authority Trading Companies and the associated arrangements.
· The next meeting of the review group will take place on 5 November 2018. It is anticipated that this will be the last meeting of ... view the full minutes text for item 84.