Venue: Cabinet/Committee Room - 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk L39 2DF
Contact: Julia Brown
Apologies were received on behalf of Councillor I Moran.
Note 1: Councillor A Owens wished to attend the meeting but was unable to due to ICT technical difficulties.
Note 2: Councillors Y Gagen and J Marshall also experienced ICT issues and joined the meeting during Agenda Item 9.
SUBSTITUTIONS (IF ANY)
There were no substitutions.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2021.
The Notes of the previous meeting held on 6 July 2021, were received as a correct record.
Members considered the report of the Corporate Director of Place and Community which provided feedback on the induction process provided to newly elected Members undertaken in May 2021.
The Member Services Officer explained that the induction process had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and that the Induction process was adhered to by Government guidance at the time. However, even with these challenges, the full Member Induction was presented as usual and had gone well.
AGREED: That the induction process for newly elected Members, be noted.
Members considered the report of the Corporate Director of Transformation and Resources, which provided an update on Training and Briefings undertaken since March 2021.
In discussion, it was noted that the training had been cost effective due to several free on-line webinars and that this form of training was beneficial under the current circumstances in respect of Covid-19. Members also noted that the attendance of training had been good and successful.
AGREED: That the update be noted.
FEEDBACK FROM THE MEMBER DEVELOPMENT GROUP REPRESENTATIVES FROM THEIR MEMBERS
In discussion, it was noted that Members had requested that the following training be made available to them; Lone working, Equality and Diversity, Information Governance, Prevent, Safeguarding of Adults, Safeguarding of Children, Coercive Control, Social Media (inc. 'Do's and Don'ts'), Mindfulness, Mental Health First Aid. Also, to be considered; Chairing of meetings, IT skills inc. virtual meetings software, Writing press releases. The Apprentice Member Services Officer informed the Commission that the list below was available on the Emerge E-Learning system:
· Remote Working
· Equality and Diversity
· Safeguarding Children & Adults L1
· Mental Health Awareness and Lancashire and South Cumbria Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
· Chairing Meetings – Councillors
She also advised that IT Skills Training was not available, but Presentation Skills, Keyboard Skills Training, and Conference Call Etiquette was.
It was also noted that Writing Press Releases Training was not available, but Effective Writing, Learning to Learn, and Plain English was.
Members were advised that the training set out below is not currently available on E-merge:
· Information Governance
· Coercive Control
· Social Media (inc. 'Do's and Don'ts)
A. That the Political Groups make arrangement for Social Media training within their Group and to also advise of the training available on E-merge.
B. That Member Services explore provision of training listed that are not currently available on E-merge.
C. That arrangements be made with Community Safety Partnership to explore the facilitation of Coercive Control Training for Members.
D. That the feedback and comments from the Commission be noted.
The Member Services Officer outlined the future training for Members, including:
AGREED: A. That the above future training arrangement be noted, and date to be circulated once confirmed.
B. That details of any further training will be circulated to Members.
The Commission considered the report of the Corporate Director of Transformation & Resources, which detailed the responses from other Local Authorities in relation the Scrutiny Review Questionnaire, as agreed at the Member Development Commission held on 6 July 2021 and considered any proposed changes to the Scrutiny structures at West Lancs.
Discussion took place regarding Task and Finish groups. Members felt that task and finish groups provided good cross party working and could produce excellent reports due to smaller size groups being more passionate about the topic selection. It was discussed that moving to task and finish groups would reduce the current heavy workload of the Corporate & Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee as the task and finish groups can do the detailed work then produce reports and recommendations to that Committee. Members felt that task and finish groups were more effective as membership of these groups didn't have to be restricted to just members of scrutiny committees, they do not stretch resources as much as a committee, they give councillors a sense of growth, and give greater scope for public engagement and stakeholders. The groups could also appoint its own chairman.
A. That the response from Local Authorities to the Scrutiny Review Questionnaire be noted.
B. That it be noted of the twenty-eight Authorities contacted, sixteen Authorities responded with completed questionnaires.
C. That following consideration of responses to the Scrutiny Review Questionnaire, Member Development Commission recommend:
(i) That the Council continue with 2 scrutiny committees (Corporate & Environmental Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Executive Overview & Scrutiny Committee)
(ii) That Corporate & Environmental Overview & Scrutiny Committee establish Task and finish Groups to undertake in depth scrutiny work rather that that work being undertaken by the main Committee.
(iii) That a permanent role of Member Services Officer at Grade SO1 at 10 hours per week be created to facilitate this work.
(iv) That the Members Update to remain in its current format.
(v) That a report be presented to Corporate & Environmental Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 9 December 2021 and Executive Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 14 January 2022 to consider the recommendations and submitted to Council on 23 February 2022 for approval, with a proposed implementation date of May 2022, and that this report will be shared with MDC prior to submission to the relevant Overview & Scrutiny Committees.
To consider the Work Programme of the Commission and to note the future meeting date, 3 March 2022 – 6.00pm.
AGREED: That the Work Programme of the Commission and date of the next meeting to be held on 3 March 2022, 6:00pm, be noted.