Agenda and minutes

Member Development Steering Group - Wednesday, 14th June, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

No. Item


Elect a Chairman


M Anderson asked for nominations to elect a Chairman of the Member Development Steering Group.


Councillor Adshead nominated Councillor Roger Taylor and Councillor Hicks seconded the proposal.

Councillor Taylor noted that Councillor Douris wished to be put forward, however when asked, he was happy to leave things as they were.


Therefore due to no further nominations Councillor Taylor was elected as Chairman of the Member Development Steering Group until June 2018.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Conway, P Hearn and Howard.


Councillor Banks was absent.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2017.  


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2017 were agreed by the members present and then signed by the Chairman.


M Anderson ran through each of the action points from the previous meeting and advised that they had all been completed apart from the possibility of calendar invites for training sessions which she was still investigating. If it was possible to do, then invites would be sent once the training programme had been populated.


Councillor Douris asked for a copy of the email regarding the opt-in text message service for members. M Anderson agreed she would circulate the email.



E-Learning for Members


A Stunell attended the meeting to discuss the E-Learning opportunities for members. She advised there were 17 electronic training courses that could be found in the Members suite. When she ran the report only 2 members had started training courses but none were completed. She said she took over Organisational Development around a year ago so she wasn’t sure how much guidance or information members had been given on this topic.


She asked if members had their log-in details for this system. All members said they didn’t know their log-in details so A Stunell said she would circulate them.


Councillor Douris asked if the members’ suite was at extra cost to the council. A Stunell said it was an officer system but she wasn’t sure if the members section was included in the package or not so she would need to check if it was an additional cost.


A Stunell asked how the 17 training sessions were chosen. M Anderson said she believed they were generic courses and had not been chosen by them.


Following some issues with accessing the E-Learning suite on member’s iPads, the Chairman suggested that he met with M Anderson, T Angel, A Stunell and an I.C.T officer to try and resolve the issues.


M Anderson asked members for reassurance that they wanted to go ahead with E-Learning before they tried to resolve the issues. The Chairman felt it was the modern way forward and it would be good if members could do courses in their own time.


Councillor Hicks felt that it could be useful for members that are really busy and can’t always attend member development sessions. He suggested that drop-in sessions should be held to show members how to use the system, which M Anderson agreed was a good idea.


Councillor Douris felt we needed to be more flamboyant when marketing this to get members intrigued to explore it. He then asked if they knew if other local authorities used E-Learning. M Anderson said she would email the network group.


It was agreed that a meeting would be organised to take forward the proposals of E-Learning for members.



Ø  M Anderson to email Herts Member Development Network Group about E-Learning.

Ø  M Anderson, T Angel, A Stunell, ICT Officer and R Taylor to organise meeting to resolve issues and take E-Learning forward.

Ø  A Stunell to circulate members log-in details. 



Quarterly Budget Update pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:


M Anderson explained that she had provided an end of year report for 2016/17, and a quarter one report for 2017/18. She advised that this years training budget was £9,190 but she wasn’t sure why it had increased slightly.


The Chairman queried why a payment had come out of this year’s budget for a training session that was held in the previous financial year. T Angel explained that she was recently advised by the trainer that this payment was never received so she liaised with the payments department and got the issue resolved. She added that the initial invoice wasn’t received until March and there was no reminder sent in-between.


Councillors Taylor and Douris raised concern about missing payments from an audit point of view and also wondered if this could have happened before. T Angel said they weren’t aware of any other training payments being missed.



Member Development Programme 2017/18


T Angel explained that they had been tied up due to the recent elections and hadn’t been able to populate the training programme yet. She advised that she had circulated details of two upcoming training sessions organised by officers which were Modern Slavery on 21 June and Parking Standards on 6 July. She said they had only received one suggestion from a councillor for a training course which they would look into, and they would keep members up to date with any other courses or suggestions.


The group highlighted that most members couldn’t attend day time courses and they were disappointed that so many of them would miss the Modern Slavery session as it was being held in the afternoon. T Angel explained that it was an officer that organised the training not member support, and she also advised that it was training that was initially organised for officers only. She said that due to the fact it was an important subject and most members couldn’t attend, she would speak to the organiser of the training about holding an evening session on this topic. 


Councillor Douris suggested a course for speaking with the press/media might be useful.


M Anderson said an update on emergency planning awareness could be a possibility.


Councillor Hicks suggested a course on what signs to look out for when it comes to domestic abuse. T Angel said she thought there had been a session on this with officers recently so she would contact the relevant officer and try to arrange a session for members.



Ø  M Anderson/T Angel to take on board members suggestions and populate the member development programme.



MDSG Work Programme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 45 KB


M Anderson advised that she was unable to complete the annual report in time for this meeting but she said she would make sure it was circulated before the next meeting.


There were no changes to the work programme.