Minutes October 2023





Present: Councillors: Cllr A. Henderson (Chairman), Cllr J. McGuire, and Cllr A. Simpson

Also in attendance: Lucy Waller (Clerk).


The meeting opened at 5.40pm 


           1.   To ELECT a Chairman of the Committee

It was RESOLVED to elect Cllr A. Henderson as Chairman.


2.   To RESOLVE to receive apologies and accept reasons for absence received by the Clerk, prior to the meeting.

None received.


3.   To RECEIVE disclosure of interests in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and to consider any requests for dispensations. 

     None received.


           4.        To RESOLVE whether to exclude the public and press for the following item/s, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, due to the commercial or sensitive  nature of business to be discussed. (Recommended for all the following items as they relate to confidential staffing matters.) 

It was RESOLVED to exclude the public and press for the following items due to the discussion of confidential staffing matters. 


            5.  To NOTE a general staffing update from the Clerk and RESOLVE any relevant actions or recommendations. 

Members of the committee noted the report and discussed the contents.  It was RESOLVED to issue the below statement from the HR Committee to Councillors and Staff:


Due to some isolated incidents highlighted to the committee, the H.R Committee wish to remind all Councillors and Staff that Nettleham Parish Council have signed the NALC Civility and Respect pledge and that all Councillors and Staff are expected to comply with the required standards of civility and courtesy in all their dealings with all other Staff and Councillors.  Staff have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a professional manner and Councillors are bound by the code of conduct they have signed to act with regard to the seven principals of public life. 

Attention is drawn to the below extracts from the NALC model Councilllor - Officer Protocol  


“At the heart of this relationship, is the importance of mutual respect. Councillor officer relationships should be conducted in a positive and constructive way. Therefore, it is important that any dealings between councillors and officers should observe reasonable standards of courtesy, should show mutual appreciation of the importance of their respective roles”.


“Councillors should not involve themselves in the day to day running of the council. This is the officer’s responsibility, and the officer will be acting on instructions from the council or its committees, within an agreed job description. In line with the councillors’ Code of Conduct, a councillor must treat others with respect, must not bully or harass people and must not do anything which compromises, or is likely to compromise, the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the council.”


The HR Committee would also like to remind councillors and staff, that staff take instruction from their line manager (the Facilities Manager for Handymen and the Clerk for all other staff) as dictated by their job description or a resolved decision of Council or a Committee, no individual Councillor, regardless of position may give instruction to staff.  While councillors are welcome to communicate with staff, they are asked to ensure that the relevant line manager is included in this. 


The NALC Model Councillor - Officer Protocol can be viewed here:


       6.  Appraisals and probation meetings - to RESOLVE an appraisal format and to NOTE the outcome of the Clerk’s probation meeting. 


  • to adopt the Society of Local Clerks Example 1 Appraisal Model and for the Clerk and Chairman of the HR Committee to arrange appraisals for applicable staff. (Those in office over 1 year).  
  • to invite any Councillors who wish to, to confidentially submit feedback on staff performance to the Chairman of the HR Committee for use during the appraisal process. 
  • that due to delay in undertaking the overdue 23/24 financial year appraisals and implementing any changes to staff pay scales (which the former Personal Panel had informed staff would be backdated to April 2023) the current round of appraisals / probation meetings would be used by the HR Committee to make any pay recommendation for both the overdue 23/24 and upcoming 24/25 financial years.  As a result, the next round of appraisals would be due in September 2024 to inform consideration of pay recommendations for the 25/26 budget. 


The committee held the Clerk’s probation meeting prior to the committee meeting, and it was RESOLVED that the probation period had successfully been completed.


            7.  To CONSIDER the Council’s policy on working over the festive office closure. 

Members noted that a request had been received to work over the festive period rather than to take leave.   It was highlighted that in the past the Parish Office has been deemed to be closed from Christmas Eve until after New Year and all staff were expected to take leave to cover this (using Bank Holiday allowance where applicable) this is compliant with HR legislation.   

It was RESOLVED to defer the decision to Full Council following Health & Safety advice. 


It was suggested that while the policy of festive closure would remain the norm the Clerk could authorise staff to work if this could be compliant with health and safety advice received.  


It was highlighted that this could be on a trial basis, and if upon inspection of work by the line manager it was not deemed adequate, or the employee failed to take all of their leave prior to the end of the leave year, the norm of enforced leave would be reintroduced in other years. 


The meeting closed at 7.15pm