This report updates the Committee on the Member Induction Programme, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A, that has been delivered by Officers following the May elections and is now largely complete.
Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Monitoring Officer introduced the report, explaining that the Member Induction Programme was now complete with the exception of Council and Committee Procedure Training which would take place on 02 November 2023, and Chair/Vice-Chair Training which would take place on 09 November 2023. All Members were welcome to attend both of these training sessions. A questionnaire regarding the Induction Programme had been circulated to Members, and although the response rate of only 11 Councillors was disappointing, it did provide a sample of views to work from. Feedback from the questionnaire had been largely positive and anecdotal feedback from Councillors at the time of training had also been generally positive.
Of the 11 Councillors that had completed the questionnaire, 8 had confirmed they were very satisfied with the induction programme, with 5 of these confirming that the topics covered were very relevant to their role as a Councillor, 4 said relevant and one confirmed a neutral response. Most Members confirmed that they found the Information Technology sessions the most informative, followed by the Member/Officer training carried out by South East Employers, with 2 confirming that the session on 11 May – Introduction to the organisation by the Corporate Management Team to have been the most useful.When asked what additional topics they would have like to have seen covered, suggestions included: safeguarding training (it was acknowledged that this was being addressed); visiting the recycling centre (this had taken place); Chairs training session (this would take place on 9 November 2023); GDPR (this would be addressed by the Monitoring Officer as a matter of priority); general training covering who to contact for resident issues (this information was covered in the welcome pack provided to Members in terms of contacts and department roles etc, however Members should contact the Monitoring Officer or Group Heads if they still needed help with this); climate change; a tour around the District (a bus tour of housing sites took place on 20 October for all Members). All Members were satisfied with the timings of the sessions, but 4 also stated they would like different options on timings. All apart from one confirmed that the duration of each of the sessions was perfect. Other comments included that the questionnaire be sent out after each induction session held; hard copies of presentations to be provided in advance; in-person training was positive. When asked ‘How satisfied were you with the induction programme?’ 5 were extremely satisfied, 5 satisfied and 1 not so satisfied.
The Monitoring Officer explained that he had wanted as many Members as possible to be present for the training sessions, and it was felt in-person training had been very beneficial. He was reluctant to start sending out full presentations in advance of sessions, as there were concerns this could lead to reduced attendance. It may be that having print-outs available at the session would be a suitable alternative.
The Chair then invited questions from Members. One Member stated that the Customer ... view the full minutes text for item 338