To consider the report of the Director of Resources / Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).
The Council considered the joint report of the Director of Resources and Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance proposing Members’ consideration of a criteria for fairly managing individual Member training approaches, along with a process for how this would be administered.
The report provided background information in relation to Member training since the Council’s decision in 2020 to adopt a draft training plan and mandatory training for a number of areas. Appendix A to the report provided a clear criteria for future training needs for Members’ consideration.
Members were reminded that the Council had deferred decision on this matter at its meeting on 8 September 2022 requesting that the Member Training and Development Working Group (the Working Group) review the matter. The Working Group had requested that the approach for ad-hoc training requested included consultation with the Working Group. Members were advised that this had been reflected in the updates to the report.
The Leader of the Council presented the report and put the recommendations set out within it to the Council.
In response to concern raised regarding the proposed budget for Member training the Director of Resources highlighted how the Council had access to other courses through its Local Government Association subscriptions and treasury management training formed part of the budget with the Council’s treasury management advisors. He advised that if there was insufficient budget for required training a request for additional funding could be submitted.
Councillor A S Fluker proposed that recommendation (iii) be amended and the budget for Members’ allowance be increased to £6,200. He also suggested that dates for Member’s training, specifically new Members, after the forthcoming election should come forward early. This proposal was duly seconded.
In response, the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised that a training plan for new Members was already scheduled and in place. The Council was intending that this be circulated to all candidates in advance of the election to ensure they were aware of potential training dates ahead of the election.
Councillor R H Siddall highlighted the work undertaken by the Member Training Working Group in respect of onboarding for new Members. He commended the work of the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager and advised how the pack created would be invaluable to anyone thinking of standing at the election.
Further debate ensued and Members highlighted the importance of adequate training for all Members. The budget for Member training was further discussed with some Members requesting further detail of the actual proposed costs for mandatory training such as planning.
Councillor Fluker repeated his earlier proposal to increase the budget to £6,200 which would equate to £200 per Member.
In response to a question regarding the staff training budget figures, the Chairman advised that this information was not available.
The Chairman then moved the proposed amendment in the name of Councillor Fluker. In response to a Point of Order from Councillor C Swain the Chairman confirmed that the amendment could be considered.
In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor A S Fluker requested a recorded vote. This was duly seconded.
The Council then voted on the amendment and the voting was as follows:
For the recommendation:
Councillors V J Bell, Mrs P A Channer, M L F Durham, M R Edwards, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, M S Heard, M W Helm, B B Heubner, A L Hull, J V Keyes, K M H Lagan, C P Morley, S P Nunn, N G F Shaughnessy, N J Skeens, P L Spenceley, W Stamp, Mrs J C Stilts and S White.
Against the recommendation:
Councillor M G Bassenger.
Councillors R G Boyce, R P F Dewick, R H Siddall, E L Stephens, C Swain and Mrs M E Thompson.
The Chairman declared that this amendment was duly agreed and now formed part of the substantive motion.
The Chairman then moved the recommendations advising that in recommendation (ii) after ‘approved criteria’ the words ‘and budget of £6,200’ would be inserted. This was duly agreed.
(i) That the criteria as set out at Appendix A to the report be approved as a process when addressing individual training queries;
(ii) That the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager is authorised to establish an annual training programme of Members in accordance with the approved criteria and budget of £6,200, in consultation with the Member Training Working Group.