Agenda and minutes

Member Development Steering Group
Monday, 6th August, 2018 5.00 p.m., MOVED

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 68 KB


Cllr. Lindsey Dracup and Cllr. Phil Moitt arrived at the meeting during consideration of this item.


The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2018 were approved as a correct record.


Planning Committee and Overturning Officers Recommendations

To identify what training needs are required in this area.


Officers from the Planning department have been requested to attend to discuss.



The Chairman, Cllr Chris Frost welcomed the Deputy Development Services Manager (DDSM) to the meeting and explained why the item had been added to the agenda. When Planning Committee Members are considering overturning the officers recommendation it can be difficult to state exactly which of the Core Strategy Policies apply and officer support is required at this point in the meeting.  Members are lay people and are not professional planning officers to remember each policy. The Chairman recommended that some guidance be provided for Members and suggested an aide on 2 sides of A4 be provided with a summary of each policy.


The DDSM responded with the following points:


·        Planning Officers are bound by a code of conduct from the RTPI.  Officers must, using their subjective and professional point of view provide a recommendation to the Planning Committee. 

·        The Planning Committee report for each application provides references to each of the polices used – Members can use this list as a base for reasons

·        Members should contact Officers before the Committee if they have any questions or need advice.


Members questioned the consistency of consultation responses received from Relevant Authorities. The DDSM responded that officers are required to make balanced and subjective recommendations based on the responses.


Members spoke positively about previous planning training including the masterclasses and were keen on a summary of the Core Strategy Policies and Saved Policies to assist them. 


Members thanked the DDSM for attending the meeting.






Budget Update pdf icon PDF 190 KB


The Chairman, Cllr Chris Frost introduced the Budget Update and the Senior Democratic Services Officer provided Members with key points:


·        Payment for the restricted app on Modern.Gov – Officers will invite all Members using the app to a training session on how to login and access the restricted area.

·        LGA Conference attendance for the Leader and Deputy Leader

·        Buffet for the Annual Planning Committee Training

·        Shaping Successful Scrutiny – Stephanie Snape, an external trainer had provided this training




Evaluation of Recent Courses pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman, Cllr Chris Frost introduced the item and asked the Senior Democratic Services Officer to provide an update.


It was noted that:


·        The comments received from evaluation forms are positive

·        The Value for Money and Return on Investment evaluation provided Members with a score for each training session and whether it was rated as value for money.

·        The number of Members completing the 3 month evaluation has fallen


Members commented that where individual Members had volunteered to write an article for the e-bulletin on a training session, that the Group should also consider the feedback provided. 


It was agreed that future articles would be brought to the Steering Group to consider in addition to be submitted for the e-bulletin.


Members commented on the factors used to determine value for money and decided that the ‘Relevance’ factor ought to be amended, in particular the factor which related to the Council’s priorities and values. 


It was agreed that as the Member Development Strategy was due to expire in 2019, Members would amend the evaluation and value for money factors then. 



Recording of Meetings by Third Parties pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider the report of the Senior Democratic Services Officer (enclosed).

Additional documents:


Considered – report of the Senior Democratic Services Officer.


Members acknowledged that regulations were in place, and that the Council’s Constitution had been amended to reflect current practice.  Part 5, Section 12 of the Council’s Constitution had been attached at Appendix B of the report, which had been approved by Council. 


It was noted that since the introduction of the regulations in 2014, this was the first case at the Council where a member of the public had contacted Democratic Services to request to record part of a meeting.


Member discussed the impact of the regulations and that members of the public did not have to provide notice to Democratic Services of their intention to record a public meeting. 


The Chairman reflected upon the concerns of Cllr David Jennings and Cllr Les Phillimore and noted that there was a risk where recordings made by a member of the public could be edited and issued to media or put online and the Council currently does not webcast or record audio of any its meetings to provide an authentic record of the meeting.


The Corporate Services Group Manager (CSGM) responded that since the introduction of the regulations there had been no evidence of any recordings being edited in such a way and the minutes of the meetings, including any officers in attendance would be able to substantiate the events of the meeting.


Members acknowledged that there were no restrictions they could apply to members of the public recording meetings.


It was also not value for money to procure webcasting/audio systems as this had been trialled before, Members acknowledged that the system was expensive and did not add any value or benefit to Committees, it also had extremely low viewing numbers.


Members agreed that an article be written for the e-bulletin so all Members were aware of the regulations and that a response be provided to Cllr David Jennings and Cllr Les Phillimore.


Future Courses pdf icon PDF 159 KB


The Chairman, Cllr Chris Frost welcomed the new Democratic & Scrutiny Services Officer who provided Members with an update on future courses. 


It was noted that an Environmental Health & Environmental Services Roadshow would be arranged to provide information on the key differences between the 2 services as well as providing information to Members.  


Scrutiny Recommendations - Community Trigger pdf icon PDF 5 KB

For Members to consider recommendations from Scrutiny on their work on Anti-Social Behaviour (enclosed).

Additional documents:


Members considered and accepted the Scrutiny recommendations. It was agreed that the Community Trigger would be included as part of the phased  induction programme.


Prospective Councillor Events

The Senior Democratic Services Officer will provide a verbal update to Members at the meeting.


The Senior Democratic Services Officer provided Members with the following update:


  • Work had begun with the local boroughs and district councils, including Rutland County Council to arrange joint events across the county, with the first one being held at Blaby. Authorities will have small tables in the Chamber and Brooks room for attendees to receive further information. It will include a generic presentation on how to become a councillor, and FAQ’s. A flyer is currently being designed, as well as a generic booklet. The Chief Executive, or representative from each authority will also present to provide a few key points about each area. 
  • A further event will held in the new year similar to the one held at Blaby in 2014/2015 – attendees from the joint event will be invited. 
  • Further information will be circulated to Members once dates have been confirmed




Items for Next Agenda


·        Draft Member Induction Programme


·        It was requested that in future, the draft calendar of meetings be brought to the Steering Group for consideration.  This would also be included as an agenda item for the next meeting.


Following a request from a Member, the Steering Group discussed whether the start time of the meeting could be changed from 5:00pm to 5:30pm. Members agreed to continue with the current arrangement. 


Date of Next Meeting

·        22 October 2018 (unless Members request an additional earlier meeting)


·        22 October 2018