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Cabinet Decision: 11th February 2010
Title of Item/Report
Review of Workplace Travel and Travel Allowances
Record of the Decision
Further to Min 115/09 (Cabinet -5th November 2009) consideration was given to proposed amendments to the current arrangements for the reimbursement of employees who use their vehicle on council business, along with the proposed removal of the current entitlement to car parking permits for employees using the council’s car parks, and to changes to subsistence and travelling allowances. These proposals included a review of member’s allowances in line with the changes proposed for employees and followed extensive negotiations that had taken place with the Trades Unions and employees whereby agreement on the proposals had now been reached.

The proposals in respect of Travelling and Subsistence Allowances were set out in detail for employees and members respectively in Schedules 1 and 2 attached to the submitted report. The Council had already expressed its commitment to reducing the environmental and financial impacts from it’s business travel and this had meant looking at ways to reduce the number of miles travelled and also indentifying methods of transport with lower carbon emissions per mile, reduced costs and improved safety for the employee and those around them. A new Travel and Subsistence Policy would therefore be developed which would:
Support the Council’s Travel Action Plan
Reduce the costs of business mileage
Introduce a pool car scheme
Increase working time by reducing the amount of time spent on car journeys
Support the health and safety of staff by minimising the amount of time spent driving vehicles outside the council’s control.

It was noted that work was currently on going in respect of a pool car scheme for those employees who no longer wished to use their cars for work or for those undertaking longer journeys where public transport is unsuitable. The opportunity would be taken to use eco friendly cars and trial electric cars as appropriate. The pool car scheme would apply to existing employees in their current job role, new employees and current employees who change their job role would be expected to provide their own transportation to enable them to undertake their role in an efficient and effective way to meet service requirements.



RESOLVED that Cabinet approve:-

1. An amendment to the provisions concerning Car Allowances in Part 2, Section 12 and Part 3, Section 6 of the National Agreement on Pay and Conditions of Service in respect of Local Government Employees as detailed in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.
2. The transitional arrangements set out in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.
3. Changes to subsistence and travelling expenses as set out in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.
4. The proposal to cease the allocation of free car parking passes to employees as set out in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.

NB Subsequent to the meeting, the Head of Human Resources advised that the date referred to in Schedule 1 regards Transitional Arrangements and the removal of essential car user allowance (2/3rds of current rate from 1.10.2010) was incorrect and should infact read 1.06.2010 as this was the date that had been referred to in all information published on the Council’s Intranet and in her consultations with the Trade Unions.

RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL:-

5. That in respect of Elected Members, Council approves an amendment to the Members’ Allowances Scheme as set out in Schedule 2 to the submitted report
Reasons for the Decision
In August 2009 detailed consultations began with the recognised Trades Unions on changes to the current scheme for the reimbursement of travelling and subsistence allowances. A briefing note on the proposals was sent to all members on 23rd October and the proposals relating to members were considered at the Members Advisory Panel on 28th October. The proposals for employees, including a review of member’s allowances, were endorsed by Cabinet, at their meeting on 5th November 2009. Following extensive consultations with the Trades Unions and employees, some amendments, primarily to the transitional arrangements were proposed and this has resulted in agreement to a new scheme of travelling and subsistence allowances. Details of the amended proposals has been circulated to all members. The changes will provide a significant financial saving, simplify the current administrative arrangements and ensure that all allowances are paid in an equitable and consistent manner.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
All members of Cabinet declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in respect of this item as a result of the proposed changes to the terms of the Members Allowances Scheme.

Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
In respect of Resolutions 1-4 only, by not later than Midnight on Friday, 19th February 2010
Attachment

Date of Publication: 16 February 2010


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