All but one of the staff on the payroll of Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) have been rewarded with £50 Mall vouchers “in recognition of good work to date and assistance in raising the profile of BSTC”, according to the draft minutes of last week’s Full Council meeting.
The news is revealed in the minuted account of a discussion item titled ‘Chairs recommendation on Annual Staff Appraisals’, from which the press and public were excluded. In the minutes, we learn that Mayor Ben Walker recommended:
“On completion of the new staff appraisals for 2010/11, the Chairs of the council committees would like to pay special thanks to the BSTC members of staff for their conduct, support and flexibility throughout 2010/11 and the implementation of the staffing restructure. Those staff members are: Rachel Pullen, John Rendell, Pat Louca, Vicky Davies, Sue Clark, Vanessa Walters, William Walton, Stephen Barton, Elaine Bezer, Patricia Harris, Royston Broderick and Dave Dace.”
The “staffing restructure” at the Town Council would appear to have been going on for some now, having first came to light in April 2010 when the Council held an ‘Extraordinary and Confidential’ meeting. Later, in June 2010, the profile of the then Deputy Town Clerk Lesley Osborne mysteriously disappeared from the staff list shown on the Council’s website. A press statement later explained that the officer had retired and that “no decision on the post would be taken until the results of the on-going staffing review are presented to Council.”
The Council’s 2011 Annual Report, published in April, explains that the role of Deputy Town Clerk role is not a full-time position and has now been taken on by the Council’s Premises Manager, John Rendell.
Further details of the restructuring are unknown because they have been consistently categorised as “confidential” in Council minutes.
The minutes of last week’s meeting continue:
“Council considers our staff team to be of the highest standards in comparison to other local councils and BSTC success is down to that team supporting, preparing and undertaking council’s wishes and being the face of the council on a day-to-day basis.”
“It has been council’s decision to award each named member of staff £50.00 worth of ‘Mall Cribbs Causeway’ vouchers in recognition of good work to date and assistance in raising the profile of BSTC.”
On going to a vote, the recommendation was carried, with nine Councillors in favour, one against and one abstaining.
The first draft of the Town Council’s 2011/2012 budget (the only one made available to the public) showed staff salaries amounting to £296,300, annotated as being a drop of 2.99% on the previous year “following restructure”. A further £45,000 was budgeted to be spent on contractor staff.
[Ed: Worrying to see from the minutes that the Chairs had made “Council’s decision” to award vouchers before the item was even put to a vote of the Full Council!]
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