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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/03/2007

Waverley Borough Council
Councillor Buddying Scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to provide all Councillors, but particularly new Councillors, with an officer contact who can help with signposting and advice on all issues affecting the life of a Councillor.

The buddying scheme is not intended to replace the direct contact and access all Councillors can expect when they wish to speak to the Chief Executive or Directors of services. The buddying system does not create personal assistants or research assistants for individual Councillors.

The buddy will be available to offer support and advice, especially during the first year of the new council’s life, to help ease Councillors into their new roles.

Through the buddying system,
Councillors should be more aware of where to go for information or support.
Newly elected Councillors will feel more confident in their representative and decision making roles
Newly elected Councillors should be able to make an early contribution to the work of the Council and representing their local community

The buddying system operates by having 16 lead buddies who will cover single or joint wards. For the purpose of the buddying arrangement, each buddy will have on average three to four councillors to support.

Each buddy will have supporting buddies who can help in the absence of the lead buddy. A list of the wards, lead buddies and supporting buddies is attached.

If an enquiry is really urgent and you cannot contact your buddy, please contact the Committee team for help.
What a councillor can expect from a buddy

A friendly face and a warm welcome no matter how trivial a question may appear

A trusting confidential working relationship within the terms of the Member-Officer protocol

Support and advice from the buddy’s personal knowledge and experience

Signposting through the council maze to an appropriate officer to take forward your query as needed – this will usually be at service head or team leader level for any new service enquiry

A sounding board to help the councillor reflect on new experiences and issues raised

A response to emails and telephone calls within two working days wherever possible and to be advised who will respond to queries if the buddy is away for an extended period of time

A list of frequently asked questions

Appointments requested of buddies will be given a high priority
What a buddy can expect from a councillor

A trusting confidential working relationship within the terms of the draft Member -Officer protocol Not to be embroiled in questions/issues that are clearly of a political nature

The right to say that it is not convenient to answer immediately and to give a timescale to get back to the councillor

Understanding if a question or issue is passed to another department for resolution

Appointments requested will be kept

Appointments requested will be as frequent as necessary and as infrequent as possible

What a buddy can expect from the Council

Support at any time from the Committee team Access to the Member Induction Pack