Agenda and draft minutes

Member Development Steering Group - Wednesday, 15th June, 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: DBC Gade Room - Civic Centre. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


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



Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Members are asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2016.


The minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2016 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Chairman.



Member Development Programme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 58 KB


M Anderson advised that most of the programme would be populated in the next few weeks now that the PDP’s had been carried out and we had received the data back from Link Support Services Ltd.  


The Chairman queried the need for Condensation and Damp training scheduled for September. T Coston explained that Fiona Williamson had requested that this training was added to the programme and she suggested it could be required to increase members’ knowledge in the event that Dacorum residents approach their ward councillors about damp/condensation in their property.


Councillors Douris and G Adshead raised concern that day time sessions were difficult for members that work and suggested an evening session could be arranged instead or in addition to the day time session.


Following a short discussion on the matter, members asked M Anderson and T Coston to liaise with Fiona Williamson on the content and cost of the training, query if a booklet/online information could be provided prior to the training and finally if an evening session would be possible.


The Chairman asked how many members had attended WRAP training. M Anderson was unsure of the exact number so she said she would email members and let them know. She advised that another WRAP session was scheduled for 6 July so she would inform them after this training so the figure is accurate.


The Chairman asked Member Support to ensure the WRAP training session was advertised in members’ news this week. He said that the WRAP sessions were brilliant and compulsory to attend.


Councillor G Adshead gave his apologies for the member development session on 7 September.



Ø  Member Support to discuss with Fiona Williamson the details of the Damp and Condensation training and how much it will cost.

Ø  Member Support to discuss the change of time for the WRAP/Safeguarding training and check that Safeguarding will commence first.



iPad Training


The Chairman explained there was a training group run by Ben Trueman and chaired by Neil Harden to discuss and iron out any issues with the iPad. He advised any issues with Modern Gov rather than the iPad will be referred to them by the I.T. department or Member Support but it was important to come forward with any problems so they can be resolved. He highlighted that training was still ongoing with the I.T. department or with Member Support should any members need it. He felt everyone should persist with the iPad, despite some members wanting to go back to paper. He said he would keep members updated with any progress in resolving any ongoing issues.


Councillor Hicks asked if you had to make an appointment. The Chairman said you can either make an appointment or attend a drop in session.


Councillor Hicks said he had raised concern that risk assessments should be carried out on iPads. The Chairman asked Member Support to contact Linda Dargue and discuss the matter.



Ø  Member Support to contact Linda Dargue regarding risk assessments for iPads.



Members News 'Top Tips'



The Chairman said he didn’t have any suggestions to add to members’ news top tips.


Councillor G Adshead suggested that read receipts were added to the members’ news emails to discover who actually reads them. M Anderson said that was something they would consider.



Personal Development Plan Review pdf icon PDF 482 KB


M Anderson advised that we had received the report back from Link Support Services Ltd following the Personal Development Plans being carried out and the report could be found in the agenda. She drew members’ attention to the summary of requests of training courses and asked members to confirm they’re happy for Member Support to go ahead with arranging the courses.


The Chairman felt that Improved Scrutiny was an essential course and should be a priority. He said the opportunity was there at OSC meetings to scrutinise officers and policies and felt that members don’t grill officers enough. He said from an external auditor’s point of view they could question how effective our scrutiny processes are.


Councillor Douris said it can be frustrating when officers don’t come back to you with the answers as agreed at the meeting. He suggested officers could be part of the scrutiny training.



Ø  Member Support to arrange training sessions for Speaking with Confidence, Speed Reading, Improved Scrutiny and Social Media through external training companies. 



Quarterly Budget Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:


M Anderson apologised for the format of the budget spreadsheets on the iPads.


The Chairman noted there was quite a large amount of money spent on LGA seminars and accommodation. M Anderson advised that the Group Leaders attended the LGA annual conference most years and it had become a regular expense from the budget. She then ran through all of the expenditure and highlighted that we like to encourage members tolet us know if there is any external courses they would like to attend.


Councillor Douris suggested that those attending the LGA conference could put together a report and circulate it to members after the conference to update all members on the content.


Councillor Douris noted that we used Link Support Services Ltd quite often for training sessions and asked if we could get a better deal for being regular customers. M Anderson explained that we don’t tend to use them more than once or twice a year due to the limited budget but the fee charged wasn’t negotiable and was a set fee for everyone. Councillor Douris felt that some of the courses were quite costly, especially if our members’ attendance was low so he suggested that we contact the Hertfordshire Member Development Network group as soon as possible to see if they have any members that would like to attend and get some money back that way. M Anderson agreed she would do this.    



Ø  Member Support to contact the Herts Member Development Network Group and invite their members to the training session in September. 



Members Training Feedback pdf icon PDF 53 KB


T Coston highlighted that the only training session since the last meeting was on 20 April on ‘Understanding Risk Register Reports’ and it was very well received.


There were no questions or comments on the training feedback.



MDSG Work Programme pdf icon PDF 45 KB


There were no amendments to the work programme.



Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 5 October 2016.


The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 5 October 2016.



The meeting finished at 9.09 pm.