Agenda and minutes

Venue: MS Teams - Virtual Meeting

Contact: Charlie Fisher  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To agree the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on Friday 6th October 2023 as a correct record.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Friday 6th October 2023 were agreed to as a correct record of the meeting.



Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.


There were no items requiring urgent attention.



Member Learning and Development Log pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To appraise Members of the learning and development activity that has taken place since the last Steering Group meeting and of learning and development opportunities available going forward.


Officers appraised Members of the training and development opportunities since the last meeting and the future training and development opportunities.


The report highlighted the previous masterclasses and all Member briefings that had taken place since the last Steering Group meeting and the upcoming opportunities.


Members comments and discussions relating to the Report included:


-          That whilst attendance figures have increased, Members were concerned that less than 25% of Members attend each session.

-          If additional analysis could be done to understand whether the same Members attend regularly to support learning around improving access to sessions. 

-          To ensure sessions were advertised as early as possible, recognising that some sessions are in the annual Calendar already and some Scrutiny masterclasses, standing overview groups and task groups are arranged on an ad-hoc basis.

-          In addition, there was also concern about the poor attendance at Corporate Parenting Forum meetings particularly as it was on the same day as full Council.


Action: Officers to send out the established All Member Development Sessions and Masterclass dates from the calendar to Members as diary invites.


Action: Officers to include further analysis of the attendance figures for the next Member Development Steering Group meeting.




Governance Review

Verbal update from the Director of Legal and Democratic Services.


The Director of Legal and Democratic Services updated Members on the Council’s ongoing Governance Review and the completed strands of work.


The Director updated on these strands including:

-          Key decisions and decision making thresholds

-          Member Development and Member Engagement Strategy

-          Public Participation

-          A Local Member Protocol

-          Scrutiny


The Director highlighted that the Member Development strand is to be owned by Steering Group and report into the Governance Working Group. Both groups were Chaired by Councillor Andrew Saywell.


The Governance Working Group action tracker and minutes are routinely added to the Members Area on SharePoint and the Director offered to send a monthly email to all Members with the link to the documents for ease of access.


Members welcomed the inclusion of the Local Member Protocol, agreed by the Council at its meeting on 7th December 2023. The Protocol was introduced to ensure Officers inform local Members of significant events and work in their divisions. Members highlighted the instances where this hasn’t happened in the past and the Director reported she was working with individual Directorates to embed the Protocol, but asked Members to report any issues whilst the Protocol is being implemented.


Members discussed further IT training around SharePoint and tips/tricks relating to managing outlook and emails, and PowerBi skills. The Director reported she would raise the topics with the Director of Transformation and Business Services outside the meeting and circulate information to Members. Members asked for this to be reviewed as part of the Induction welcome pack received upon election.



Draft 2024 Member Development Strategy pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To review the proposed 2024 Member Development Strategy and provide any feedback to the Member Development strand of the Governance Review. The 2021/25 Strategy and updated 2024 Strategy are provided, along with Member’s feedback from the All Member Day in November 2023.

Additional documents:


The Director of Legal and Democratic Services re-appraised Members of the Member Development Strategy and the revised 2024 Strategy. Members were also appraised on the previous Member Development Strategy and the feedback from Members from the All Member Day in November 2023.


Officer comments included:

-          That a separate Induction Programme would be developed and delivered after the Council’s quadrennial elections and the draft Member Development Programme shows examples of what would be ‘business as usual’ training and development opportunities.

-          The document recognises Members have competing priorities in terms of Councillor workload, outside work and other commitments.

-          The continued offer of Personal Development Sessions with officers from HR.


Member Comments and discussion areas included:

-       Welcoming the updated strategy and ensuring Member individual needs are met.

-       That the Strategy should ensure session titles are indicative of the session and easily understood e.g. governance or resilience.

-       Sessions should be arranged ensuring they are accessible even if that means repeating sessions, holding them at different times or running them in person or as hybrid meetings.

-       It was clarified that members could claim travelling expenses when attending training sessions


Officers agreed to update the Draft Member Development Strategy with the amendments suggested and include it on the agenda for the next meeting of the Steering Group.



Dates of Future Meetings

As shown in the calendar of meetings at


The next meeting is Thursday 13th June 2024 at 10:30am.


Members noted that the next meeting of the Steering Group is Thursday 13th June 2024 at 10:30am.