Agenda and minutes

Member Development Steering Group
Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016 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 61 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2016 were approved as a correct record.


Proposal for Masterclass Programme


The Chairman, Cllr. Chris Frost welcomed and allowed the Planning & Economic Development Group Manager to bring an additional agenda item to the Steering Group to consider a Planning Masterclass Programme.


The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager referred to the briefing note which had been circulated at the start of the meeting, which set out a proposal for a training programme specifically focused on planning and development.


The suggested subject areas included (other subject areas welcome):


·        5 Year Housing Land Supply and Housing Needs

·        The Local Development Framework

·        Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan

·        Infrastructure Planning

·        Lubbesthorpe


The Chairman suggested the addition of environmental considerations (planning applications) to be included in the above subject areas.


Members considered that although the briefing note suggested that the Masterclasses should be half a day, it would be difficult for those Members who had full time jobs to attend these.  It was recommended that the Masterclasses start at 5:30pm. 


Members welcomed the idea of the Masterclasses for all elected Members to increase their knowledge of the planning process.


It was agreed that Democratic Services would work with the Planning & Economic Development Group Manager to  plan the sessions and communicate them to Members. 


Budget Update pdf icon PDF 191 KB


The Democratic Services, Scrutiny & Governance Manager presented the budget update and informed Members that the following training sessions were yet to be included:


·        Scrutiny Finance Training on 24 November 2016*

·        East Midlands Councils, Delivering Bad News on 7 December 2016, £95 per person.


*The cost of the Scrutiny Finance Training was yet to be confirmed.


Councillor Development Charter Re-Accreditation Assessment Report and Draft Action Plan pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Members are asked to provide feedback on the following:


·        Charter Re-accreditation Assessment Day

·        The Assessment report (attached)

·        The Action Plan (attached)

Additional documents:


The Democratic Services, Scrutiny & Governance Manager presented the Assessment report and the Draft Action Plan and asked Members for feedback on the assessment day, Charter Re-Accreditation Assessment Report and the Draft Action Plan.


Members responded that they thought the Assessment day was well planned and Members felt well informed and comfortable that they could answer the questions put to them.


Members noted the positive comments in the Assessment Report as well as the areas highlighted as recommendations for improvement.


It was noted that many of the actions in the action plan were points that needed to be strengthened rather than actions that we had not yet implemented, this also received positive feedback from Members.


Members accepted the recommendation from the assessors to include the Portfolio Holder in Steering Group meetings, and it was agreed that an invitation be extended to Cllr. David Freer for the next meeting. 


The Chairman and Members thanked the Democratic Services, Scrutiny & Governance Manager (Louisa Horton) and Officers for preparing all Members and Officers for the day.







Evaluation of Recent Courses pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider the evaluation of recent courses, including:


·        Fraud Awareness (4th October 2016)  

·        Public Speaking (9th November 2016). 


The Democratic Services, Scrutiny & Governance Manager presented the summary of feedback from recent training sessions which included comments from the Public Speaking training held on 9 November 2016.


Members discussed the Data Protection Training which had to be cancelled due to the low number of attendees and considered options on how to increase intake, suggestions included:


·        Adding comments from previous training sessions on the invitation or e:bulletin to try and sell it to members positively.

·        Contacting the Group Whips/Leaders when there is low attendance, or to contact non-attendees

·        Sending personal emails/invitations to Members


Members also discussed and acknowledged the difficulty facing Members who cannot attend due to work/family commitments.





Personal Development Appraisals

To receive a verbal update from Members on progress of Personal Development Appraisals.


The Democratic Services, Scrutiny & Governance Manager asked for feedback from Members on progress on the Personal Development Appraisals (PDA’s).


It was noted that the majority had been completed by the Conservative Group and Democratic Services would contact the Whip to collect the completed forms. 


It was agreed to allow the Labour Group and Liberal Democrat Group more time to complete the forms and to seek assistance from Democratic Services should it be required.


Members discussed whether an Officer in attendance for some of the PDA’s would be useful, it was agreed that Members would discuss this with their own respective Group’s. 


Members considered how the PDA process would inform the Member Development Training Programme and how it could develop/enhance their skills and identify what other training opportunities were available to them. 



Update on Member Development Programme pdf icon PDF 87 KB


Members discussed the upcoming courses including the Emergency Planning Training on 28 November 2016. 


It was agreed that Members would trial an approach to discuss the Member Development Programme in their own Groups and feedback at the next meeting of the Steering Group.


Members discussed the possibility of a poll on the type of courses on the next Member Development Programme.  The Democratic Services, Scrutiny & Governance Manager responded that options for this would be considered.


Items for Next Agenda


·        Update on the Member Development Charter Action Plan

·        Steering Group Members to feedback on taking the Member Development Programme to own Groups

·        Discussion on Induction Programme

·        Update on Planning Masterclass Sessions




Date of Next Meeting

Date of following meeting:


·        10th April 2017


·        The date of the next meeting is 10 April 2017.