Agenda and minutes

Member Development Steering Group
Monday, 17th July, 2017 5.00 p.m.

The Agenda for this meeting will be published 5 clear working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. The Minutes and Decisions for this meeting will normally be published within 9 working days following the date of the meeting.

Note: this does not apply to Scrutiny Working Groups or Scrutiny Commissioners meetings, please contact the relevant Scrutiny Officer for more information on the work programme for these Groups.

Venue: Brooks Room - Council Offices, Narborough. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  0116 272 7638

No. Item


Notes of Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 102 KB

That the notes of the meeting held on 10 April 2017 be approved.



The minutes of the meeting held on 10 April 2017 were approved as a correct record.



Budget Update pdf icon PDF 184 KB


The Chairman, Cllr. Chris Frost welcomed Members to the meeting.


The Democratic Services & Scrutiny Officer presented the budget update, noting that given how early it is in the financial year and the limited training expenditure thus far, there was very little to comment on.


Members queried as to whether the expenditure of £545.00 for the Leader of the council to attend the LGA conference, should come from the Member Development steering group Budget. The corporate Services Group Manager agreed to look into this and come back to the group with an answer.



Demonstration of Blaby's E:learning Platform: Athena


The Democratic & Scrutiny Services Officer provided members with a demonstration of the Councils E:learning platform, Athena. Key point of the demonstration being;


·        The Athena platform is already in use by staff employed within the Council.

·        There is potential to expand this use to include a number of training packages tailored towards member needs.

·        Any use of such a platform, would be to serve as a supplement to training needs, not wholly replacing more practical/group training sessions such as those currently being provided.

·        The use of a platform such as Athena could provide a greater level of flexibility and accessibility for members with regards how they manage their own training needs.

·        The Member Development Charter Action Plan 2016/17, identified the need to build upon alternative methods of learning and development delivery such as e:learning for appropriate topics as an area for improvement.


Members commented on the potential benefits an e:learning platform such as Athena could provide, specifically around the area of member induction, though added that the primary source of training should remain as it currently is, and that any e:learning platform should only be used as a supplementary training tool.


Members requested that a piece of scoping work is carried out, identifying how much work would be required to establish Athena as a member training tool, any potential cost implications, and what the timescale of implementation would be.


Charter Re-Accreditation Action Plan pdf icon PDF 148 KB


The Democratic Services & Scrutiny Officer presented the Charter Re-Accreditation Action Plan and provided Members with an update as to the progress made against the identified areas for improvement.


Members commented upon the ongoing PDA’s, and the slow progress which is being made with regards their completion.


The Corporate Service Group Manager, stated that officer support would always be available if requested, to assist with the PDA process and potentially provide greater structure to the process.


Members agreed that the Steering Group should be presented with a proposal as to what this potential officer support would look like, and what structure the PDA process would take.


Evaluation of Recent Courses pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider the evaluation of recent courses, including:


·        Annual Planning Training – 17th May 2017

·        Chairing Skills Training – 21st June 2017


Value for money exercise on recent courses:


Additional documents:


The Democratic & Scrutiny Services Officer presented the evaluation of recent courses, the key points of which being;


·        A change in the method of data collation for long term (3-6 month) training impact by the democratic Services Department has resulted in a greater number of evaluation forms being returned, though the response rate remains relatively low at 19%.

·        Due to additional responses having been received the Value for Money (VfM) and Return on Investment rating for a number of courses has increased since they were last reported to the Steering Group.

·        Junes Chairing Skills training, was provided due to PDA responses identifying this as a training need amongst almost all respondents, and was delivered externally by Nelson Training at a significant cost (£1439.50). This event received very strong positive feedback, though attendance was low, and as a result its VfM rating will inevitably be low.





Induction Programme 2019 pdf icon PDF 965 KB

·        Attached for Members consideration is the 2015 Members Induction  Toolkit.


The Democratic & Scrutiny Services Officer invited members to comment on the Induction Programme for 2019.


Members commented on the 2015 Member Toolkit, which was attached to the agenda and noted that there was potential for some of the contents to be provided in an electronic format to allow for the document to be easily updated, though in general agreed that the document itself (Contents/Structure) are appropriate.


Items for Next Agenda


·        Athena - what work is required, potential cost implications and timescale of implementation

·        PDA’s - proposal as to what this potential officer support would look like, and what structure the PDA process would take.




Date of Next Meeting


The date of the next meeting is 23 October 2017.