Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 5th October 2006
Title of Item/Report
Heads of Service Review
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered an interim report which detailed changes in service delivery responsibility at Head of Service level following the departure of the Head of Property Development, Head of Lifelong Learning and Head of Service Integration. It also highlighted issues which would impact on services over the next 6 months.

Members were reminded that it had been ten years since Local Government Re-organisation and in that time the Council had continued to respond to the ever-changing expectations of local government services and the demands placed on managing the delivery of those services through organisational change in management structures.

It was noted that the large departmental based management team of the Council had evolved to a small corporate management team dedicated to the overarching business critical issues facing the Council. Heads of service were either predominantly responsible for :-

a) the delivery of significant operational services with a strategic aspect to a greater or lesser extent depending on the job role or the job OR
b) strategic and or performance development of services with a small operational service role

Planning for the Future 2 created the three main service groupings of Children, Education and Social Care (CESC), Development and Neighbourhood Services (DNS) and Resources. Service areas had moved between the service groupings on occasions to ensure the most effective and efficient service delivery, for example Parks and Countryside moved from CESC (Leisure) to DNS (Direct Services).

Members were informed that the departure of a number of Heads of Service in recent months had provided the opportunity to review existing service delivery. In the case of some Heads of Service a direct replacement had been sought, for example Head of HR, however with regard to the Head of Property Development in DNS and the Head of Lifelong Learning and Head of Services Integration in CESC it was considered that restructuring service delivery would provide an opportunity to re-align services to respond to the changing agenda the Council is now facing.

Members were provided with details of interim arrangements relating to Heads of Service roles and responsibilities across a number of services.

It was explained that although considerable work had already been undertaken by the Corporate Directors to improve and stream line service delivery to maximise the efficient and effective delivery of services there were a number of issues highlighted that would have an impact over the next 6 - 12 months. These included: -

- Access to Services review which would be presented to Cabinet in January 2007
- Stockton/Darlington Partnership for which cabinet would receive a report in January/February 2007
- Planned retirement of the lead operational manager for Adults in CESC in 2007
- Potential further work to align operational asset management of buildings across CESC, DNS and our partners
- Further work to identify a potential lead role or a more co-ordinated approach to strategic sports development across CESC/ DNS and Tees Active Limited particularly bearing in mind potential opportunities for the Tees Valley as a result of the 2012 Olympic Games
- Development of Integrated Service Areas in CESC

As there were a number of key issues to be considered by Cabinet in the next 6 months it was considered that the additional roles undertaken as a result of the departure of and non-replacement of the three Heads of Service across CESC and DNS should be assessed next year. Equally recent recruitment campaigns for Heads of Service had highlighted the difficulty in attracting high calibre candidates for roles at this level not only in this Council but others across the region. It was suggested that it may be necessary to consider the grading structure and remuneration package (ie pay and non pay benefits) of jobs at this level in line with Council's of similar size and services delivered to identify issues for the future for recruitment and retention of key employees. Recruitment and retention, including market forces had already been identified for consideration as part of the Single Status Agreement following the introduction of a new pay and grading structure. It was possible that a similar exercise would need to be undertaken for Heads of Service.

It was suggested that the grading implications be deferred until the issues identified above had been considered and resolved, as this could involve further changes which would affect Heads of Service. An assessment of changes across all services could then be made.


1. The intention to implement the interim situation following discussion with the Unison Branch Secretary be noted.

2. That a further report be presented to Cabinet following conclusion of the issues highlighted in the report.
Reasons for the Decision
To update Members with the interim changes in responsibility and advise of the need to undertake a review of the Heads of Service roles and responsibilities in the New Year.

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on Friday 13th October 2006

Date of Publication: 09 October 2006

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