‘Your Waverley’ agrees to share staff temporarily to support its ‘collaboration’ with its cash-strapped partner.
Guildford Borough Council, which was facing bankruptcy, has put a freeze on recruitment as part of its financial recovery plan.
Is ‘Your Waverley’ coming to its rescue?
This is Tuesday’s recommendation from the Executive, which shares a Chief Executive with Guildford.
Tonight, the Executive resolves to:
Approve the principle of sharing staff between Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council temporarily, where appropriate, to support the collaboration programme;
Delegate authority to the Joint Chief Executive to approve, subject to a business case, future temporary staff-sharing arrangements between Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council to support the collaboration and transformation programme;
Delegate authority to the Joint Executive Head of Legal and Democratic Services to enter into an agreement between Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council for temporarily sharing their staff.
Guildford Borough Council will review all existing agency, interim staff, and consultants.
In July, GBC said it would impose strict financial controls before considering a Section 114 notice prohibiting spending.
The authority said challenges were due to a
“legacy of ambitious decisions”.
It is facing a £300m debt, which it expects to rise.
The recently-elected Lib Dem council said a finance review had unearthed accounting issues.
Following a recent extraordinary full council meeting, the Guildford authority said budgets would be reduced in areas where allocated money had not been spent.
Waverley’s Executive gives these reasons for sharing resources.
- To ensure that officers have sufficient agility in operational decision-making to embrace opportunities that may arise regarding temporary staffing arrangements that are likely to benefit both councils in terms of cost, efficiency and skills whilst retaining flexibility for any future longer-term arrangements brought about through the Transformation and Collaboration Programme.
- Where the Joint Chief Executive agrees on a temporary staffing arrangement, consultation will take place with any staff affected and Unison where appropriate. Temporary changes will be made to their employment contracts as required.
- To ensure a robust governance process around staff sharing on an interim basis, including arrangements for sharing costs, terminating any such agreements and resolving any disputes fairly and transparently.
On 6 July 2021, Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council each agreed to create a single management team and bring forward business cases for future collaboration. An inter-authority agreement was entered into in April 2022 to govern such jointly appointed staff arrangements.
Whilst the Joint Management Team is exploring longer-term possibilities for providing services differently, some opportunities to share staff through informal and interim collaboration have arisen.