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Democracy and General Purposes Committee

1 July 2020

 

Member Training Update

 

Final Decision-Maker

Democracy and General Purposes Committee

 

Lead Head of Service

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

 

Lead Officer and Report Author

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

 

Classification

Public

 

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

 

This report updates the Committee on Member Learning and Development activities undertaken in 2019-20 and requests member engagement in the programme for 2020-21

 

Purpose of Report

 

Discussion and noting

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   The Member Learning and Development Update be noted and the proposed approach to the programme for 2020-21 be agreed.

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Democracy and General Purposes Committee

1 July 2020



Member Training Update

 

1.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

 

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan objectives are:

 

         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

         Safe, Clean and Green

         Homes and Communities

         A Thriving Place

 

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities.  However, they will support the Councilís overall achievement of its aims as set out in the report

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Cross Cutting Objectives

The four cross-cutting objectives are:

 

         Heritage is Respected

         Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced

         Deprivation and Social Mobility is Improved

         Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability is respected

 

The member training programme should be designed with the cross-cutting objectives in mind.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Risk Management

Covered in the risk section

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

 

Financial

There is a budget available of £10,000 for Member training for 2020-21. Any proposed programme following member consultation will need to be in budget.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Staffing

We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Legal

There are no legal implications. However, under Section 3 of the Local Government Act 1999 (as amended) the Council as a best value authority has a statutory duty to secure continuous improvement in the way in which its functions are exercised having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The Learning and Development Charter and this report assist in demonstrating best value and compliance with the statutory duty.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Privacy and Data Protection

There are no privacy and data protection implications.

Policy and Information Team

 

Equalities

No implications

Policy & Information Manager

Public Health

 

 

No implications

Public Health Officer

Crime and Disorder

No implications

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Procurement

Any training procured will follow

Head of Service & Section 151 Officer

 

 


 

 

 

2.††††† INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1        The Council has in place a Member Development Charter agreed by the Democracy Committee in September 2018.

 

2.2     The Charter sets out the following criteria for Member Development:

 

         There is a clear commitment to councillor development and support

         The council has a strategic approach to councillor learning and development

         Learning and development is effective in building capacity

 

††††††††† Learning and Development Activities Undertaken in 2019/20

 

2.3        37 learning and development activities took place ranging from briefings, planning training and audit training to the new member induction.

 

2.4        Attendance at the training and briefing sessions has varied with some members having attended over 20 sessions and 8 councillors who have not attended any training sessions last year. The two training sessions with the lowest attendance were, New Member Induction day 2 and Planning Training Design Tour workshop.

 

2.5        Planning again proved to be the most popular of the training and briefing sessions run. Popular sessions last year included the Briefing on the Local Plan review with 29 attendees and the Public Consultation for the Local Plan Review with 21 in attendance.† The Planning training on Enforcement had 13 out of the 15 required in attendance.

 

2.6        Audit Governance and Standards training was well attended by its committee members, with sessions running pre the scheduled meetings proving to be successful. Sessions ranged from a briefing on the Council Accounts to Standards and the Code of Conduct.

 

2.7        Following the committee structure review last year, chairing skills training was held which five Councillors in attendance and this session included meeting procedures and rules.

 

 

 

 

3.   †† AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1     Training will continue virtually for councillors where appropriate and possible. As the rules change regarding social distancing and the alert levels change in relation to the pandemic we will review and adapt how training is delivered.

 

3.2     It would be beneficial to consult with Members on their training needs and committee specific training so we can put together a suitable programme for 2020-21. A short survey is proposed to capture this information. The survey should also include information on learning styles.

 

3.3     Suggested training would include interests, meeting procedures and rules, specific committee training and skills for Councillors.

 

3.4     Deciding not to run training and development sessions for members is not recommended as this would go against the Member Development Charter, good governance practice and constitutional requirements for committees.

 

 

4.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1     That last yearís programme be noted and in line with the Member Development Charter members are asked to put forward suggestions for training and agree to a short survey to inform the Member Development programme for this year.

 

 

 

5.       RISK

5.1     This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.

 

 

6.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

6.1     Each committee has the opportunity to identify training as appropriate throughout the year.

 

6.2     The report proposes a short survey to capture members training needs and requests to inform the Member Development Programme.

 

 

7.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

7.1     If approved a short survey will be conducted in July and a proposed schedule of training brought to this committee in September.

 

 

 

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

None.

 

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None