Agenda and minutes

ERW Joint Committee
Thursday, 30th May, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Y Llwyfan, College Road, Carmarthen. View directions

Contact: Jessica Laimann  01267 224178

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Glynog Davies (Carmarthenshire County Council), Councillor Rosemarie Harris (Powys County Council), Cllr David Simpson (Pembrokeshire County Council), Mr Phil Roberts (Swansea Council), Mr Ian Llywelyn (WLGA), and Mr Gareth Morgans (Carmarthenshire County Council).

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS

Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interests made at the meeting.

 

3.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE HELD ON THE

3.1

8TH FEBRUARY 2019 pdf icon PDF 440 KB

Minutes:

AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8th February 2019 be signed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:

 

  1. Apologies for Absence – The Chair advised that ERW’s Managing Director Ms Betsan O’Connor had resigned and thanked her for her work.

 

Ms O’Connor had not resigned, she had been seconded from ERW to the Welsh Government.

 

3.2

3RD APRIL 2019 pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Minutes:

AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd April 2019 be signed as a correct record.

 

4.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES (IF ANY)

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes of the meetings held on 8th February 2019 and 3rd April 2019.

 

5.

UPDATE ON ERW RECRUITMENT pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Minutes:

Mr Geraint Rees shared an updated version of the new organisational structure with the Committee and gave an overview of the recruitment process. The overview highlighted that some senior posts had not been filled and it was likely that they would need to be filled by short term secondments while the permanent vacancies were re-advertised. Mr Rees noted that the appointment panel would not make an appointment unless all parties were in agreement.

 

The Committee expressed some disappointment that a number of posts, in particular senior posts, remained vacant and asked whether the language requirement was a factor. In response Mr Geraint Rees advised that there wasn’t a common reason across all vacant posts and noted that the recruitment of Areas of Learning and Expertise (AOLE’s) had attracted 63 applications, of which 22 had been shortlisted and 12 appointed. However some senior posts did not attract many applications, and Mr Rees advised that he was aware that some potential applicants did not apply due to the language requirement. Members also noted that the lack of appointment of Managing Director could also be an understandable reason for potential applicants to be cautious in applying. Committee Members asked whether consideration could be given to job-sharing where one applicant with Welsh language skills could undertake the role for three days per week and a non-Welsh speaker for the remaining two days. Mr Rees advised that the recruitment of Welsh speakers to senior roles was an issue in the recruitment of teaching staff generally. Members agreed that this matter would be dealt with at a workshop in the near future.

 

In answer to a question on the next stages of implementing the new structure, Mr Geraint Rees advised that on the agreement of the Directors of Education the vacant posts would be re-advertised the following week with one term secondments offered in the first instance. In acknowledging the notice period required by senior teaching staff, it was noted that the earliest senior appointments could be permanently filled would be January 2020.

 

Mr Geraint Rees asked the Committee to note that the current administrative structure was aligned to a past model and a restructure of existing staff was under way. The new structure would not involve any significant changes, and there were no concerns to highlight.

 

The Committee resolved–

 

5.1: to receive the update on the new structure

 

5.2: that a workshop should be arranged to review the language arrangements in relation to the recruitment of staff

 

5.3: that a detailed organisational chart (to include CV’s where possible) be circulated to the Committee

 

6.

CORRESPONDENCE pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ERW Scrutiny Councillor Group

A letter from the Scrutiny Councillor Group dated 18th April 2019 was noted and a copy of the draft response considered, and subsequently agreed, by the Committee. Mr Geraint Rees advised that he had attended the last Scrutiny Councillor Group and provided the group with a presentation on the finance structure. He felt that the meeting was positive and the group was keen to support the work of the Joint Committee. However, there were some issues in relation to the scheduling of meetings and the timely receipt of letters of response from the Joint Committee. Mr Rees advised that the group has taken steps to resolve the timing of meetings which should bring the receipt of correspondence in to line.

 

Letter from the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams AM

A letter from the Minister for Education had been circulated ahead of the meeting, which referred to the outcome of a meeting held between the Minister and members of the committee at the end of March. The Chair gave an overview of the meeting and advised that a detailed report on the matter would be provided at the next meeting.

 

Members also reviewed a grant offer letter in relation to the Regional Consortia School Improvement Grant which outlined the terms and conditions of the funding. The Section 151 Officer gave the Committee an overview of the letter which had also been circulated to the regional Directors of Education.

 

The Committee resolved–

 

6.1: to agree the draft letter of response to the ERW Scrutiny Councillor Group

 

6.2: to sign the Regional Consortia School Improvement Grant offer letter

 

 

7.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer advised that the term of office for the Chair and Vice Chair of the Joint Committee is two years and the incumbent Chair and Vice Chair had been appointed in July 2017.

 

The Committee considered the possible appointment of a Lead Chief Executive at the next meeting in July and agreed that the appointment of Chair and Vice Chair should be deferred.

 

The Committee resolved–

 

7.1: to defer the appointment of a Chair and Vice Chair until the next Joint Committee Meeting

 

8.

ANY OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS THAT BY REASONS OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES THE CHAIR DECIDES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A MATTER OF URGENCY PURSUANT TO SECTION 100(4)(B) OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972

Minutes:

The Chair noted that there were no other items of business that should be considered as a matter of urgency.

 

Before closing the meeting Mr Geraint Rees advised that Mr Ian Budd was recovering from a serious illness. The Committee asked that their best wishes for a quick recovery be passed on to Mr Budd.