For a PDF version of this statement click here: Statement Public Speaking
Statement on behalf of Hilton Parish Council
On several occasions in recent months residents have asked Councillors questions about Hilton Parish Councils employee’s contracts of employment, terms and conditions, job descriptions, working hours and job titles. Despite the answers already being given and following the receipt of Q&A sheets at Forums and Coffee Mornings being put on the Council website and available at Parish Council meetings.
Hilton Parish Council would like to make it clear that any staff matters are solely between the Council and its employees, all information is strictly private and confidential and covered under the General Data Protection Regulations therefore, any such matters will not be discussed with residents. What staff do outside of their working hours is their business and is of no concern to Hilton Parish Council as long as it does not impact on their contracted working hours or their daily tasks.
Admin Assistant/Assistant Clerk:
In 2008 the Parish Council employed a Booking Clerk to help the Parish Clerk. However, when the Clerk moved to the new office that support was lost and it has been a struggle to pull in that extra work ever since. The Clerk has also had an increase in work load for example:
- The Council has taken on additional services over the years, both as a result of the devolution of services from the Principal Authorities and from the new powers available under the Localism Act
- Real Time PAYE
- Staff pensions
- Management of more staff
- Management of more land
- Extra work from Meetings/committees, coffee mornings and forums to name but a few.
The increase in Clerks work and hours is by no way unique to Hilton. The Society of Local Council Clerks have completed a comprehensive survey of 1,125 Member Clerks hours around the Country 61.60% of Clerks surveyed have stated that the additional hours are as a direct result of growth of workload.
The Parish Council took the decision in February 2018 to take on an Assistant Clerk. This was to provide support to the Clerk with her workload on a temporary basis for 6 months with a possibility of becoming permanent. The Council has a duty of care to consider the wellbeing of the Clerk and due to this took the decision to make the position permanent in July 2018. The position has been funded by money already allocated within the Councils budget for unexpected expenditure and therefore will have no overall effect on the 2018/2019 projected accounts.
Booking Appointments with the Parish Clerk:
This system is in place to make sure our staff are safe at work and more importantly so that they can efficiently manage their workload. Appointments can be booked on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 9am and 2.30pm, except when the Clerk is on Annual Leave. This is consistent and also applies to Hilton Parish Councillors as per our Standing Orders.
If you do not book an appointment prior to visiting the Clerk, the Clerk may not be available to see you. However, this will not stop the Clerk speaking to residents, taking phone calls, answering e-mails or taking bookings as is the normal practice today.
Hilton Parish Councillor Resignations:
Residents have their own reasons for becoming a Councillor on the Parish Council. That is a decision they make, as it is when it comes to resigning and is their own personal business. That information is strictly private and confidential and covered under the General Data Protection Regulations therefore, any such matters will not be discussed with residents.
Parish Council Van:
When the Parish Council took the decision that a Van was required for the staff to use, it looked at both leasing and purchasing a van and compared many different suppliers.
Purchasing a van was not deemed best value due to depreciation and repair costs so the Parish Council agreed to lease a van on a 3-year contract. The Parish Council compared many suppliers and Toyota was deemed by far the most competitive.
The current lease does not expire until the start of 2020; therefore, the Parish Council are tied into a contract until then and will not relook at this position until near the expiration date.
The van is of real benefit to the staff and allows them to do more work around the village and to go out of the village to collect supplies as required. It is used to empty the litter bins, to take heavy equipment to sites to complete maintenance for example mowers, strimmer’s, hedge cutters etc.
Hilton Parish Council would like to make it clear that these questions have been answered on more than one occasion and in future will only be discussed at the appropriate times, such as the renewal of the Van lease or the annual finance meeting. This statement will be put on the Parish Council website and made available to any resident who cannot access it there. Any residents who revisit these questions in any platform (i.e. public speaking, forums, etc.) will be referred to this statement.