Agenda and minutes

General Services Committee - Thursday, 24th August, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of General Services Committee meeting held on 27 June 2023 and 5 July 2023.


Additional documents:


Public Minutes of the General Services Committee held on the 27 June 2023 and 5 July 2023 were approved as a correct record.


Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:


There were no urgent items of business.


Declarations of Interests

Additional documents:


There were no declaration of interests made.


Employment Matter - Senior Management Arrangements pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:


Following the report presented on the 5 July 2023 to the General Services Committee with a proposed revised Senior Management structure that met the requirements of the Directions. General Services Committee supported the proposed structure enabling formal consultation to commence. This consultation took place between the 6 July 2023 and 5 August 2023. The report sets out the outcome of consultation, presenting the final Senior Management structure and the process and timescale for implementation.


The following points were raised by Members:


·       The report was welcomed and were encouraged by the speed at which the consultation had progressed.

·       Referred to the strategic objective of the post structure to increase the capability and capacity in the corporate core and questioned how this would be undertaken. Members were informed this would bring together the corporate responsibilities around the organising arrangements for the council such as human resources and member services. To integrate the approach to ensure a consistent practice and the right arrangements were in place for the provision of resources and providing the right level of professional support within the council. 

·       Members were informed this was the first phase of change and that a number of further phases would come over the next two or three years. This would be due to reducing the scale and size of the council as a consequence of the financial challenges and to redirect resources into the areas that were most important to the council.

·       Requested the balance of the transformation fund as this was important for members to understand the size of this budget.

·       The proposed restructure referred to a “single line of sight on delivery” which referenced when trying to bring about significant changes at a very quick pace. The challenge being that changes are planned but the execution would be become very dispersed which would come with risks.

·       Questioned whether the restructure was lean enough at this level. Members were informed at this stage to develop and deliver the ambitions of the council against the challenges of intervention this was considered the right structure for this to work and that four of the roles were statutory posts and therefor required.

·       Discussed whether there was any risk for grievance and/or Employment Tribunal claims as part of the new structure to which Members were informed nothing had been detected as part of the consultation process, advice had been sought from senior HR officers and from Essex County Council, the process had been open and transparent and had followed the Council’s policy which were written in accordance with employment legislation. In addition, there was an appeal procedure that would need to be followed which would help reduce the risk of any such claims.

·       Questioned whether the proposed expenditure would be value for money, to which members were informed that when making changes of this nature the council was dealing within legal parameters on how change would be managed, following employment law. The council would look for best value, with a direct value assessment being undertaken to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Pay Policy 2023/24 - Senior Manager Pay pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:



General Services Committee received a report on 27 June 2023 setting out options and risks relating to the 2023/24 pay award for Senior Managers. The outcome of the report was a recommendation of no increase for Senior Managers. Counsel has confirmed the Council had a contractual commitment to pay any increase recommended by the Annual Review. The recommendation of no increase would be in breach of current employment contracts. The report set out the position and the way forward to correct the award for the current year and confirms the review of arrangements for senior pay.


The following points were raised by Members:


·       Member identified he would not be supporting.

·       Member stated a consultation should take place with senior staff to accept a variation in pay award on a voluntary basis before any decisions were made.

·       Member stated this was fundamentally the wrong thing to do and an insult to residents of Thurrock.

·       Members noted the legal advice in the report.


At 7.54pm, this meeting went into exempt session.


At 8.10pm, this meeting went back into public session.




·       Process to be reviewed – Dr Dave Smith




General Services Committee:


1.       Noted the recommended Senior Manager Pay award of 4% as determined and by the independent assessment with effect from 1 April 2023.

2.       Recommended the revised Pay Policy Statement (Appendix 5), incorporating the 4% award, to Council. Councillor Spillman voted against this recommendation.

3.       Instructed the Chief Executive, as part of the wider Pay Review, to bring back to General Services Committee a review of pay and arrangements for determining on-going annual pay awards for Senior Managers.


At 8.11pm, the committee went into exempt session.



Exempt Minutes of General Services Committee Meetings held on the 27 June 2023 and 5 July 2023


Exempt Minutes of the General Services Committee held on the 27 June 2023 and 5 July 2023 were approved as a correct record.



Employment Matter - Finance Department Restructure

Additional documents:


This was an exempt item.




The Public recording of this meeting can be viewed from the following link:


General Services Committee - Thursday 24 August 2023, 7:00pm - Thurrock Council committee meeting webcasts (