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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 10th February, 2016

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Member Personal Development and Review Interviews

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide a summary of the recent Member Development Interviews conducted by the Head of Democratic Services and to inform the Council's ongoing Member Development Programme.

Recommendations

  1. THAT the report be noted.
  2. THAT the 'themes' and, where practicable, all individual training needs identified, be provided for within the Council's Member Development Programme up to the Council elections in May 2017.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1&2                To inform the Committee of the outcome of the Member Development interview process and inform th Council's ongoing Member Development Programme.

Background

  1. As provided for within the Local Government (Wales) Measure, all Members have been afforded the opportunity of a Personal Development Interview (to be conducted by the Head of Democratic Services). Initially, interviews were arranged for all Members in respect of a Senior Salary (16 Members). The programme was then 'rolled out', offering all Members the opportunity of an interview.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. 30 of the 47 Members on the Council (including all 16 Members in receipt of a Senior Salary) took up the opportunity of having a Personal Development Interview. By their very nature, the discussions at interviews varied amongst Members. The opportunity was taken to discuss:
  • Member's current roles and responsibilities
  • Any specific tasks Members envisaged carrying out during the year ahead
  • Identifying areas of existing and/or new knowledge which Members felt might help in their undertaking of their various roles
  • Any 'barriers' to undertaking their role effectively
  • Training/development received during the preceding year and the outcome of such.
  1. The above elements, in turn, then enabled an assessment to be made of identified training/development needs. The intention is that, unless impracticable, the specific individual and/or collective, needs would be provided for and met within the Council's ongoing Member Development Programme through to the Council elections in May 2017.
  2. As Head of Democratic Services, I found the exercise to be both interesting and informative and very useful if providing a framework for the Council's ongoing Member Development Programme. In summary, the interviews resulted in:
  • Requests for individual 'refresher' training (including topics such as ICT developments and media skills
  • A general awareness amongst Members of the importance of maintaining awareness of legislative, and other, changes (particularly within Quasi-Judicial areas such as Planning and Licensing, but also in respect of any emerging significant legislation likely to impact on the Council)
  • Requests for training and development in areas including (but not limited to) Finance, Chairing and Questioning, Consultation and Community Engagement, Contract Management, Commissioning, Public Speaking and the Welsh language Standards. One Member also felt their effectiveness would be assisted by wider access for Members to information such as Corporate Management Team minutes and other internal management information.
  • A willingness on the part of Members to participate in different forms of training and development (including e-learning).
  1. Significantly, Members clearly recognise the ever-changing nature of local government and the pace of change. In this context, there is a clear acknowledgement amongst Members of the importance of maintaining awareness of the Council's Corporate Priorities and emerging initiatives. This would include, for instance, continuing the series of briefings which have already taken place in respect of the Reshaping Services Programme and, more recently, the move towards a revised Scrutiny Committee structure more closely aligned to the provisions of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report. Future Member Development provision will continue to comprise a mixture of delivery which, whilst largely delivered internally, will also include external facilitators where considered appropriate and beneficial.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council is required to comply with the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 in terms of its support for Members.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. All Members of the Council were afforded the opportunity of an individual Personal Development Interview with the Head of Democratic Services.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Council is committed to the ongoing development of its elected Members.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This is an internal matter and no consultation has, therefore, been necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 and associated guidance documents.

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt - 01446 709408

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Responsible Officer:

Jeff Wyatt

Head of Democratic Services

 

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