Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee - Place and Corporate - Monday, 17th April, 2023 4.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Neil Barnett  Scrutiny Adviser


No. Item



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Declaration of Interest

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Minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

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The minutes of the previous meeting held on 23rd January 2023 were agreed as a true and and accurate record.


Matters arising

The Committee requested updates on the following:


On page 6 of the minutes - The Committee requested an update on conversations with Registered Social Landlords contributing towards the Community Safety Warden service.


On page 12 of the minutes - The Committee requested verification on whether the streetlights can permit daily variations for on and off times.


On page 14 of the minutes – The Committee wished to know if there are any legal implications of not recording calls in the Contact Centre.


On page 16 of the minutes - The Committee requested a list of the assets that the Council own. The Head of People Policy and Transformation then informed the Committee that this project has started, with the assets currently being checked as well as looking at implications in relations to these such as cost and environmental impact. Once this is done a strategic asset management plan will be developed.


On page 21 of the minutes - it was highlighted that Newport Transport would provide digital information at bus shelters, and wanted to know if there was any update.



Recruitment and Retention pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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-          Rhys Cornwall – Strategic Director – Transformation and Corporate Change

-          Tracy McKim – Head of People, Policy and Transformation

-          Kevin Howells – HR and OD Manager


The Head of People, Policy and Transformation advised that during the Council Service Area Plan 2022-24 report at the 5th December 2022 committee meeting, Members identified Recruitment and Retention issues as an area that they would like to look into further. The HR and OD Manager then gave a brief overview of the report.


The Committee asked the following:


  • The Committee asked for a comparison of national statistics with those from Newport, particularly noting any discrepancies. Additionally, they were interested in the average starting and ending employment ages at the NCC.


The HR and OD Manager advised the Committee they will provide the relevant data and trends.


  • The Committee expressed interest in further data regarding reasons for employees leaving and the demographics of sought-after candidates for employment.


The HR and OD Manager advised they will provide a workforce demographic analysis to the Committee.


  • The Committee inquired about pay raises.


The HR and OD Manager advised that pay rises in recent years have been more substantial compared to earlier periods. This was tied to factors such as teacher pay awards, pension cost increases, and grant-funded positions. They also indicated that the workforce size has grown over the past few years.


  • The Committee queried about the ratio of supervisors and managers to lower grade employees.


The HR and OD Manager indicated that lower-paid workers' wages are increasing, potentially narrowing the pay gap. The Head of People, Policy and Transformation mentioned that higher-scale positions, which require specific skills, often face shortages. They also emphasized the significance of addressing other workforce disparities, including gender and race, besides age.


  • The Committee questioned if there were trends among employees who conducted exit interviews.


The HR and OD Manager advised they can compile such data, and pointed out that previous exit interviews failed to capture reasons for seeking new jobs, but the process has since been revised to include this information.


  • The Committee inquired about the salary range breakdown, particularly between high-scale and entry-level salaries.


The Strategic Director pointed out that the report provides a general overview of pay awards, such as last year's within NCC, but added that these have been below 1% over the past decade. They clarified that the report's figure includes total staff costs, including pensions. The Strategic Director also mentioned Newport's rapidly growing population under 65, resulting in a significant portion of school-based staff. They agreed to take note of the Committee's specific data interests for future reporting.


  • The Committee enquired about the "market force policy".


The HR and OD Manager confirmed its existence, but noted it's currently unused. However, they mentioned it may come into play if recruitment challenges arise for specific posts. It was further noted that implementing this policy could invite claims from staff with similar role responsibilities to supplemented posts. The Council, along with others, aims  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Scrutiny Adviser Reports pdf icon PDF 131 KB

a)      Actions Plan (Appendix 1)




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-          Neil Barnett – Scrutiny Adviser


a.    Action Plans


The Scrutiny Advisor noted all issues raised in the minutes will be actioned as well as figures of the call wait times in the Contact Centre, and then informed the Committee of the topics due to be discussed at the next committee meeting:


Monday 25th July 2022 at 4pm, the agenda items;


-          2022/23 Service Plan End of Year Reviews


It was also noted that from July 2023 – May 2024, Councillor Mark Howells would be the new chair of the Committee.