Agenda item

Councillors Training - Update September 2023


The Service Manager – Corporate Services presented the Councillors’ Training report which informed the Group of the current position in regard to Councillor Learning and Development including the 2023/24 Councillor training Programme which began immediately after the 2023 Councillor Induction in May 2023. The events were summarised for information and discussion.


The Group were asked to consider the following:


·       Has the training that has already been delivered met the needs of Councillors and been received well?

·       Are there any improvements that could be made to the training that has already taken place?

·       Has the training that has already taken place identified any areas for future or further training?

·       Is the Group aware of any additional training needs that the current programme fails to meet that could be investigated for inclusion on the 2024/25 Programme?

·       Are there any concerns about training attendance and if so, what action would the Group like to take?


The Chair raised a specific question relating to attendance, in particular the most recent licensing training which is mandatory for members sitting on this committee. It was noted that four members of the Licensing Committee had not attended the training. The Service Manager – Corporate Services advised that external training courses are provided through the Institute of Licensing which Councillors may access if required and further training may be provided in the new year or when there were changes to legislation.


Some members of the Group expressed difficulty in attending face to face training sessions in the evenings due to work commitments and childcare and asked whether delivery of training via hybrid or virtual sessions would increase attendance. It was also suggested that training sessions be recorded and put online for Councillors to refer back to or if unable to attend a face to face session. However, it was noted that online training would not be recorded as having been attended unless it was incorporated within the e-learning system.


With regards to the Council’s e-learning package the Group favoured the single sign on approach. Those Councillors who had attempted it found the quality of the training courses poor and out of date and some Councillors were still having issues with the system not registering they had completed courses. The Group suggested a mixed media of videos and written documents to include assessments as a record of training completed. The Group also requested a user guide. The Service Manager – Corporate Services explained there are no resources to update the current e-learning system, packages are bought in from an external provider and tailored to the Council’s Corporate profile. She added if the e-learning is not used the Council is unlikely to invest in a better system.


The Group discussed training attendance and the lack of attendance being around logistics and the timings of sessions not being suitable for all and whether a couple of sessions could be provided, one during the day and one evening session to try and capture as many attendees as possible. The Group also requested that a copy of their individual learning records be sent to them.


There was some discussion about the delivery of training and the heavy reliance on power point presentations. The Group expressed that a more interactive approach was their preferred option, allowing Councillors to ask officers questions. This was particularly prevalent at the planning training and the Group suggested that perhaps the Chairman of Planning Committee could take a more active role at future training sessions.


With regards to future Councillor training the Group requested a session on Council etiquette and another session on motions and points of order for Councillors who may have missed this during the induction.


In concluding the Chair expressed that overall, the training sessions had been very well attended and Councillor engagement appeared to be good, she also welcomed the support from officers going forward.


It was RESOLVED that Member Development Group:


a)    Discussed the information provided by officers in relation to Councillor Learning and Development


b)    Suggested any actions or ideas they may have in relation to Councillor Learning and Development.


c)     Considered undertaking action to encourage Councillors to attend training sessions




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