Employment Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 22nd July, 2010
Time:
6:00 pm
Place:
Town Hall, Reigate
 

Attendance Details

Present:
The Mayor (Councillor D.J. Pay) (for Minute 2 only); Councillor R.C. Newstead (Chairman); Councillors Mrs. J.S. Bray, V.W. Broad, Mrs. J.M.A. Spiers and Mrs. R.S. Turner.
Also Present:
N/A
Substitutes:
None
Min NoDescriptionResolution
Part I
1 CONSENT FOR THE MAYOR TO TAKE THE CHAIR
RESOLVED that, in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 11.2 consent be given for the Mayor to take the Chair for the next item of business (Election of Chairman).
2 ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
RESOLVED that Councillor R.C. Newstead be elected Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2010/11.
3 ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
RESOLVED that Councillor Mrs. J. Bray be elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2010/11.
4 MINUTES
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 26th and 27th April 2010 be approved as a correct record and signed.
5 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
None
6 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
None
7 ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS
None
8 EXEMPT BUSINESS
RESOLVED that the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for Minute 9 under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:
(i) it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and
(ii) the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
Part II(Confidential)
9 RETURNING OFFICER FEES
  • Returning Officer Fees Report
RESOLVED that the:
(i) arrangements for Returning Officer fees for Parliamentary, European Parliamentary , County and Parish Council elections be noted; and
(ii) Returning Officer fees payable in respect of Borough Council elections be maintained at current levels.
The meeting closed at 6.52p.m.

Minute

Min NoMinute
9The Committee received a report on Returning Officer Fees. The report set out background, relevant statutory powers, role of Returning Officer, fees, financial and legal considerations, contractual issues and summary.

At the meeting on 24th June 210, the Council had appointed the new Chief Executive as the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer for Borough and Parish elections with effect from 1st July 2010. The Council also resolved that the Employment Committee give consideration to the fees associated with the roles.

It was noted that the Council was legally required to appoint an Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer and that majority of local authorities appointed the Chief Executive. The roles were separate to the Chief Executive position, however, and fees were payable to the appointed officer whatever position they held within the Council.

Fees for County Council elections were set by Surrey County Council. The Government set fees for Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections. The only area of discretion, therefore, was the fees for Borough and Parish Council elections. These were based on a formula agreed across Surrey, although the Council had not applied the full recommended increases to these rates since 2002. Where a combined election was held, both fees would be paid.

It was noted that the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer roles carried significant responsibilities and financial, legal and criminal risks for the appointed officer.

There was concern that some Members were unaware of the additional fees associated with that role when appointing the Chief Executive. However, it was noted that the fact they were payable, although not the amount, was included in the job package that had been circulated to the Committee members during the recruitment process. It was also noted that more detailed information was available from the elections office at any time.

The Committee were advised that the fees formed part of the contract of employment and any amendments would need to be negotiated.

The Chairman proposed that the existing fees be maintained, which was seconded by Councillor V.W. Broad following which it was