Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 4th April, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Sonia Stewart - Tel: 0191433 3045 - Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 402 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 


RESOLVED        -       That the minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2022 be approved as a correct record.


Age Profile of the Workforce pdf icon PDF 360 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance


The Committee received a report on the age profile of the Council’s current workforce and to advise of action being implemented to support succession planning and issues relating to an ageing workforce.


29% of the Council’s workforce are in the 55 – 64 age bracket.  There are a number of services with a significant number of employees aged 55 and over, in particular Environment and Fleet, Property and Assets, and Integrated Adults and Social Care.  This presents challenges for the Council in relation to succession planning to ensure that services have staff with the right skills and experience to deliver and effective service.


A number of apprenticeship programmes and roles are being implemented in order to support succession planning and ensure services are developing staff with the necessary skills for the future.


These are as follows:


·         Children’s Social Care and Adults Social Care have introduced a Social Work Apprenticeship Programme and have appointed 4 apprentices to date.

·         Adult Social Care are also in the process of recruiting three Trainee Social Workers. Successful candidates will be offered a career pathway which includes undertaking a social work apprenticeship. 

·         Highways & Waste Services have introduced an Urban Driver Apprenticeship Programme which is being offered to 12 employees across the service. This is to support succession planning due to the number of staff close to retirement and also the current shortage of HGV drivers nationally.

·         Fleet and Environment have introduced an Arborist apprenticeship which is currently being recruited to.


In addition to apprenticeships, other job roles and development opportunities are being offered, for example within Adult Social Care three Graduate Management Roles have been established and the service has also appointed two Kickstart placements which is a government scheme providing funding to create new jobs for young people aged 16-24 who are at risk of long term unemployment.  Adult Social care also offers T-Level placements.  T-Levels are a two year qualification equivalent to 3 A-Levels and incorporate classroom learning and 45-day work placements.  This allows students to gain practical experience and an understanding of the job roles within their chosen sector.


Workforce Development are also currently leading on or supporting a number of initiatives to support succession planning as follows:


·         In relation to Social Work, the council is part of the regional group developing and supporting the Aspiring Leaders and Manager Programme.  Two cohorts have been delivered across 12 local authorities with 2 learners from each organisation.  The third programme is due to start in May 2022.  This progamme is specifically for Social Workers.

·         Work is also underway to develop a Leadership and Management Programme in line with the corporate programme currently being rolled out to Service Directors and Service Managers.  This will aim to support employees already in a management role, and those interested in moving into a management role to gain the necessary skills and knowledge.

Further work to support succession planning is currently in development as follows:


·         Social Care Career Pathways are being developed which will include apprenticeships at Level 2 through  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR65


Impacts of Russia and Ukraine Conflict pdf icon PDF 396 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance


The Committee received a report to advise on the impact of the situation in Russia and the Ukraine on areas relevant to its remit.


In February, Russia began military invasion to Ukraine, this is the largest military conflict in Europe since the second world war.


A number of Trade Sanctions were imposed which together with the war itself are impacting both regionally and locally and on the Council’s commercial activities and resource implications.  The committee were advised that in terms of the wider contextual issues including Covid-19, Brexit and other world-wide events are cumulating in material shortages, price instability and huge rises and further challenges to already strained supply chains and commissioned services.


Sanctions are penalties imposed by one country on another to stop it acting aggressively or breaking international laws.  They are among the toughest actions nations can take, short of going to war.  A wide range of sanctions have been imposed on Russia by the UK, the EU and the USA.


There are a number of companies who are pulling out of Russia.  Work has been undertaken at a regional level by the North East Regional Enterprise Partnership to determine the impact of the war on Ukraine on the local economy.  The local economy is not facing huge direct detrimental impact, however, individual sectors or organisations will be hit harder than others and knock on impact on the global supply markets will impact the local economy.


It is estimated that over the last 4 quarters:


·         North East goods exports and imports to Russia account for 1% of the North East total, but 29% of North East petroleum and related products imported

·         North East exports to Russia were valued at £154m, this was 1.3% of the North East’s total exports

·         North East imports from Russia were valued at £121m, this was 0.94% of the North East total imports

·         8% of Englands exports to Russia were from the North East whilst 2% of England’s imports from Russia were to the North East

·         33% of the North East’s exports to Russia were classified as power generating machinery, 12% as road vehicles

·         52% of imports were classified as petroleum products and related materials, this was 29% of the North East’s total petroleum imports.

·         16% of England’s imports of petroleum were from Russia


Trading with Ukraine

·         North East goods exports to Ukraine were minimal but Ukraine accounts for 1.4% of imports including 43% of North East iron and steel imports

·         North East imports from Ukraine were valued at £176m, this was 1.4% of the North East’s total imports

·         7% of England’s esports to Ukraine were from the North East, whils 27% of England’s imports from Ukraine were to the North East

·         66% of the North East’s exports to the Ukraine were classified as road vehicles.

·         97% of the North East’s imports were classified as iron and steel, this was 43% of the North East’s iron and steel imports

·         5% of England’s imports of iron and steel were from the Ukraine


The Council have  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR66


Work Programme 2021-22 and Development of Work Programme for 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report on the current work programme and proposals for the Development of the 2022/23 work programme.  The Committee were advised that the intention is for 2022/23 to have a business as usual approach and a full programme of meetings for 2022/23.


The following items were requested to be included on the work programme:


·         An update on Old Town Hall

·         Implications of Hybrid Working / Locality Working

·         An update report on the age profile of workforce to include gender profile

·         Community Wealth Building and a link to the spend analysis


It was also queried about whether it would be possible to get benchmarking information and if so can it be included in reports.  It was noted that this will be built into the performance management framework where the information is available.


RESOLVED -      (i)     That the 2021/22 Work Programme be noted

                            (ii)    That the comments of the Committee be incorporated into the 2022/23 Work Programme