To update the Standards Committee, as part of its agreed work programme, on the current position of mandatory training for Members (and named substitute members) of the Council’s Audit, Licensing & Registration, Planning and Standards Committees.
The Standards Committee, as part of its agreed work programme, was updated on the current position of mandatory training for Members (and named substitute members) of the Council’s Audit, Licensing & Registration, Planning and Standards Committees.
Members were reminded that the Standards Committee, as part of its annual work programme since 2014, had received a report providing details of the mandatory training provided to members of the Planning and Licensing and Registration Committees.
It was reported that Members of the Planning Committee had attended a session on Planning Appeals on Tuesday 21 April 2021.
It was further reported that members of the Licensing and Registration Committee had been invited to attend their mandatory training session on 28 March 2022.
Mandatory Training in the context of Councillor Development more widely
Members were informed that the mandatory training referenced in this report also formed part of the overall training provision for all Councillors within the framework established by the Council’s “Councillor Development Statement” (as reported to this Committee on 2 October 2019 (Minute 14 referred)). For 2021/22, and future years, it had been recognised that the resources required for training for Councillors (beyond the mandatory training on which this report focussed), would require an additional budget to be allocated. This budget had been expanded from £1,870 to £6,870 as a consequence.
The Committee was advised that, more recently, the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Finance and Governance had established a Working Party to provide a cross-party mechanism for Members’ regular input going forward into development opportunities for Councillors. The membership provided for input from all the main Committees of the Council and all the political groups on the Council in a manner that was broadly proportionate to the overall position on the Council as a whole. The first meeting of the Working Party was envisaged to take place later on in February 2022.
The Committee was informed that access to the Local Government Association’s online training portal had been arranged for all Councillors and this provided training modules on:-
Community Engagement and Leadership
Commissioning Council services
Equality, Diversity and Unconscious Bias
The Effective ward Councillor
Facilitation and Conflict resolution
Handling Complaints for service improvement
Holding Council meetings online
Licensing and regulation
Local Government Finance
Police and crime panels
Scrutiny for councillors
Stress management and personal resilience
Supporting mentally healthier communities
Supporting your constituents with complex issues
The Committee was further advised that in-house training sessions had also been provided to Councillors during 2021 on Fraud, developing key lines of enquiry for scrutiny work, time management and speed-reading. In addition, a total of 30 places had been booked on external training sessions in 2021, including on Scrutiny essentials, implementing the new taxi and private hire vehicles standards, personal safety for Councillors and (for those elected in 2021) information for newly elected Councillors.
The completed and returned evaluation sheets, circulated following the training sessions provided, were used to assist the Council to refine and improve its training offer.
In addition, further training was provided for Councillors through the All Member Briefings.
Members were made aware that details of training events that they had undertaken were now being recorded on their individual pages on the Council’s website (via Modern.Gov). This had commenced with the Social Media training event held on 27 January 2022.
Having duly considered and discussed the contents of the report:-
It was moved by Councillor Turner, seconded by Councillor V E Guglielmi and:-
RESOLVED that the Standards Committee -
(a) notes the contents of this report and its Appendix;
(b) reminds members of the Planning, Licensing & Registration and Audit Committees to attend all organised mandatory training events in order to comply with the requirements of the Council’s Constitution and to be able to sit on those Committees; and
(c) requests the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Finance & Governance to increase the Councillors’ training budget from £6,870 to £10,000.