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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/03/2007
APPENDIX F - REPORT OF THE MEMBER DEVELOPMENT SIG



APPENDIX F
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

MEMBER DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
27TH FEBRUARY 2007

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE ON 6TH MARCH 2007


A. INDUCTION PROGRAMME

A.1 The SIG considered a draft Induction Programme for Members elected in May 2007. The programme had taken account of the views expressed by existing Members gathered from the induction consultation and from reviewing best practice from neighbouring authorities. The draft induction programme is attached at Annexe A.

A.2 The SIG supported the induction programme’s broad approach and felt that it covered the essential training new Members required. There was some concern about the intensity of the programme in the first week, which resulted from the need to cover a number of sessions before the first Development Management Committee. However, it was recognised that there were deadlines to achieve in planning and this meeting would need to go ahead as scheduled. Members agreed it was important that, in view of this, newly elected Members should not immediately receive training which was too in-depth but instead should cover only the basic essentials so Members would not be overwhelmed with too much information. Further training sessions covering subjects in more detail could be delivered later as part of the annual training programme for all councillors.

A.3 The SIG noted that in order to ensure all newly elected Members received training on the ‘mandatory’ topics (such as training on the Code of Conduct and Planning) these sessions would be repeated, as well as web-recorded. Furthermore, a ‘drop-in’ day had been scheduled as part of the programme for Members to come in if they had any problems with what they had heard in the first week or wished to clarify any matters. A.4 The SIG agreed that it was important that a tour of the Borough took place, if not in the first week, as soon as possible following the elections to ensure that Members were aware of their responsibilities for the whole of the Borough and to ensure that they could identify those sites of particular interest. The SIG raised concern about IT training and asked that particular attention was given to how this was delivered. It was discussed that because more and more information was being provided electronically, Members needed to be provided with the necessary skills to access this information. It was also agreed that, in order to ensure that computer equipment was distributed as soon as possible following the elections, officers should send out questionnaires to candidates to find out what their requirements were, i.e. laptop or desktop computers. A.5 The SIG agreed to the format and structure of the induction programme, as proposed, with a slight amendment to the timing of the welcome event, all of which is outlined in the attached annexe. A.6 The SIG agreed that

1. the induction programme should include a tour of the Borough, incorporating those sites recommended by Members as part of the consultation process; and 2. the Induction Checklists, attached at Annexe D to the agenda report, be incorporated into the new Member Induction Packs. A.7 The SIG also agreed to

B. BUDDYING SCHEME

B.1 The SIG received a report which outlined an Officer-Member buddying scheme, based on the one used successfully following the 2003 local elections. The report also detailed information about a National Mentoring Programme. Members were asked to consider implementing the Officer-Member Buddying Scheme as used previously, for the new Members elected in May, and to discuss the possibility of taking advantage of the National Mentoring Programme.

B.2 The SIG considered the report and agreed that the Officer-Member Mentoring Scheme should be repeated for the 2007 elections. The scheme was inexpensive and had proven its benefits to some of the newly-elected Members during the last elections and subsequent bye-elections. In considering a Member-Member mentoring programme, Members agreed that initially this process should be arranged informally by Group Leaders within their Groups.

B.3 In consideration of the National Mentoring Programme, Members felt that it seemed an expensive way of learning skills which could be delivered either in-house or by establishing a local scheme with neighbouring authorities. It was felt that a formal Member-Member mentoring scheme, whether delivered within Surrey with neighbouring authorities or as part as the National Mentoring Programme should be looked at in more detail, but not delivered as part of the induction programme as proposed. It was agreed that a report should be brought to the SIG meeting in September looking into this issue in more detail.

B.4 The Member Development SIG agreed that it should receive further information at its meeting in September about a Member-Member Mentoring Scheme either through working in collaboration with neighbouring authorities or by taking part in the National Mentoring Programme. B.3 The Member Development SIG also agreed to:

C. TRAINING EVALUATION FORM

C.1 The SIG received a draft training evaluation form for Members to complete following training and development events. Members were asked to consider the introduction of the forms following the May elections. However, it was proposed that the forms were piloted with existing Members to evaluate the training they received the week before on the Gambling Act. C.2 The SIG considered the draft training evaluation form and agreed that they should be used as a way in which to evaluate training Members received at both internal and external events. It was also agreed that they should be piloted with existing Members who attended the Gambling Act training event. C.3 The Member Development SIG agreed to:

D. MEMBERS INTRANET

D.1 The SIG received a report outlining a proposal to relaunch the Members Intranet. Members agreed that the current Members’ Zone was underused, particularly because it needed updating. Members were presented with examples of Intranets used by neighbouring authorities which could be used as a base in developing Waverley’s own intranet.

D.2 In consideration of a design and layout for a new Members Zone, Members agreed that the website needed to be attractive and hold information which encouraged Members to Logon to the site. The site also needed to be user-friendly in order that Members could navigate their way around it and find the information they required. Members suggested that e-mail notifications, outlining links to information on the intranet, should also be circulated to encourage Members to visit the site.

D.3 The SIG agreed that the structure and layout used by Guildford Borough Council for its Members’ Intranet site was particularly well designed and suggested officers should look into establishing a similar layout. It was agreed that this should be looked at in more detail and a demonstration of how this could look for Waverley be brought to its next meeting, with the aim of relaunching the site in time for the election of new Members in May.

D.4 The Member Development SIG agreed that the IT Development Officer be invited to the next meeting of the SIG to outline a design and layout for the Members Intranet Page.


Present at the Meeting

Mr K T Reed (Chairman)
Mr V Duckett
Mr R J Gates
Mr W M Marshall
Mrs N Mitchell


The following officers were present:

Emma Dearsley
Robin Pellow



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