Melton Borough Council will today (25 November) consider a proposal to delete its Director for Governance and Regulatory Services role.
If approved, the position would be replaced by an Assistant Director for Governance and Democracy, with a narrower focus and reporting into the Director for Corporate Services. It also proposed that the Assistant Director become the authority’s monitoring officer.
The move will see the number of director roles at the council from four to three.
The background paper for tonight’s meeting said the resignation of the Director for Governance and Regulatory Services, Adele Wylie, had created an opportunity to review structures, resourcing and capacity across the organisation.
Ms Wylie has been appointed the first permanent Director for Legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer for the new North Northamptonshire Council, which will come into being on 1st April 2021.
The Director for Governance and Regulatory Services role was created 2.5 years ago, at a time when the council was undertaking a Governance Review and was contemplating a fundamental shift in the way it operated, the paper said.
“The council was extracting itself from a shared legal service and needed to establish its own in-house legal team, as well as establish a new democratic services function. The challenge for the new directorate was significant and it was necessary to elevate the role to Director level status to ensure the required change could be delivered.”
But it added: “Since then, things have moved on significantly. We have established in-house legal and democratic services teams. For the medium term we have a more settled position in relation to our governance processes and the new Constitution is in place.
“These arrangements should always be kept under review, but given the more stable position, it was prudent to consider whether the same level of senior resource was still required in this area or whether resources can be re-deployed to support other areas of need across the council.”
The paper said that other important considerations related to the balance of strategic and operational capacity and also the ability to develop, reward and recognise talent within the organisation and ensure effective succession planning.
Alongside the corporate structure, reviews were already underway in both the Governance and Regulatory Services directorate and the Housing and Communities Directorate, particularly following the arrival of the new Director. “Seeking to bring these to a conclusion as part of any corporate realignment was also a desirable outcome.”
In the new role the Assistant Director will be supported by the Democratic Services Manger as Deputy Monitoring Officer and additional operational capacity would be added through another Senior Solicitor role and a Senior Scrutiny and Democratic Services Officer role, the paper said.
The changes would also see the Legal and Governance Manager role deleted, and the Regulatory Services team transfer to the Growth and Regeneration directorate.
Further changes will be made within the Housing and Communities Directorate.
The background paper said that the new corporate structure would recognise that the organisation was in a different place regarding legal and governance compared to three years ago.
It also claimed that the proposals would enable resources to be re-distributed to support other operational needs and mirrored similar structures at other districts. “The proposals will strengthen resources in legal services, information governance and business support,” it insisted.