Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes


Member Development Panel
Tuesday 3 April 2012 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Manize Talukdar, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1323 E-mail:

No. Item


Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.


Reserve Members may attend meetings:-


(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.


RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance at this meeting.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal or prejudicial interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:


(a)               all Members of the Committee, Sub Committee, Panel or Forum;

(b)               all other Members present in any part of the room or chamber.


RESOLVED:  To note that the following interest was declared:


Agenda Item 8 - Information Report:  Member Development Programme Update


Councillor Jean Lammiman declared a personal interest in that she was a trustee at the Harrow Equalities Centre.  She would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted on.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2012 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2012 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


Public Questions, Petitions and Deputations

To receive questions (if any) from local residents or organisations under the provisions of Executive Procedure Rule 51 (Part 4D of the Constitution).


RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions were put, or petitions or deputations received at this meeting.



References from Other Committees pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To receive the reference from the Governance, Audit And Risk Management Committee meeting held on 26 January 2012 on the following:


(a)   Risk, Audit and Fraud Division Activity Update.



The Panel received a reference from the Governance, Audit and Risk Management Committee(GARM) meeting held on 26 January 2012 advising the Panel of the view that the training provided to Members in dealing with major incidents be made mandatory.


Panel Members agreed that this training should be made mandatory.  The Divisional Director of Human Resources and Development and Shared Services stated that this training was offered to Members annually and the most recent session had been in December 2011.  In the future, this training would be identified as mandatory. 


A Member stated that at a previous Panel meeting Members had agreed that the Service Manager for Emergency Planning and Business Continuity be requested to produce a wallet-sized, laminated aide-memoire about the role of a Member during a major incident, for distribution to all Members.  Panel Members went on to suggest that health and safety training and guidance on lone working also be made available to Members.


Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to the Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Business Transformation)


That the training provided to Members in dealing with major incidents be made mandatory.


Reason for Decision:  To ensure effective training for all Members.



Re-signing of the commitment to the Member Development Charter Mark Plus


The Chairman welcomed Councillor Bill Stephenson, the Leader of the Council, Michael Lockwood, Chief Executive and Christiane Jenkins, Director of Corporate Governance from London Councils, to the meeting to take part in the official launch of the re-accreditation process for the Member Development Charter Mark in 2012.


An officer stated that the process for re-accreditation for the Member Development Charter Mark was underway and that this year Harrow would be aiming for Charter Mark Plus status.  Officers were carrying out a ‘gap’ analysis, the results of which would be shared with South East Employers, who delivered the Charter award to the London Boroughs on behalf of London Councils, and the Member Development Panel.  The accreditation process was due to be completed by September 2012.


The Officer invited the Leader of the Council, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and the Nominated Member for the Panel to sign the commitment to the Charter to launch the re-accreditation process.  Christiane Jenkins, representing the Chairman of London Councils, Mayor Jules Pipe, made a brief speech during which she made the following points:


·                     the Member Development Charter was awarded in recognition of the investment and value a Council placed on Member Development.  She praised Harrow for its re-commitment to Councillor Development and to retaining the Charter;


·                     Member Development was critical as it would enable Councillors to engage, empower and lead their local communities, achieve and deliver strategic priorities and manage the challenges and opportunities of the Localism Agenda. 


Ms Jenkins concluded by congratulating Harrow for its commitment to the Member Development Charter Plus Mark, wishing it every success in this endeavour.


RESOLVED: That the oral report be noted.


Information Report: Member Development Programme Update pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Report of the Divisional Director of Human Resources and Development and Shared Services


Having signed the commitment to the Member Development Charter, the Panel received a report of the Divisional Director Human Resources and Development and Shared Services, which provided an update on the Member Development Programme of Events that had taken place since the last meeting of the Panel. 


The Divisional Director reported that the Office for Public Management (OPM) had delivered a progressive series of 3 training sessions since January 2012.  The first of these had not been well attended and had received mixed feedback; attendance at the second session had been better and had elicited very positive feedback; feedback from the third session which took place on 28 March had not yet been evaluated and would be reported to the next Panel meeting.  He added that fliers publicising Member Development Events now provided greater detail about the aims, outcomes and the training session plan.  This information had proved useful in helping Members to decide whether a particular training session would be useful to them and, in his view, had led to increased attendance at Member training events.  Additionally, the February 2012 Quarterly Briefing had been well attended and the feedback had been very positive.  Figures showed that the Quarterly Briefings were better attended than other Member training events.  He added that the learning evaluation form would be amended to enable collection of feedback on each element of the Briefing and whether Members would be interested in more targeted training in a particular area.  Officers would also look into the possibility of offering more Quarterly Briefings but fewer Member Development events.


During discussion, Members made the following points:


·                     one Member stated that she had attended all three of the OPM training sessions and had found them useful.  However, some Members had not realised that this had been designed as a progressive series of training sessions and that those Members who had attended all three sessions would have benefited the most, rather than those who had attended only one session.  She added that, in her view the trainer had wide experience and knowledge of local government and the role of Councillors and should be approached in the future to provide further training;


·                     another Member stated that the Quarterly Briefing on Housing and on Procurement had been particularly good, and the officers presentations had been very accessible;


·                     the Chairman of the Panel made the distinction between the presentation of information and development and stated that he was agreeable to increasing the number of Quarterly Briefings.  However, he would prefer to keep the same number of Member Development training sessions;


·                     the Chairman of the Panel also suggested that the Council’s Street Lighting Strategy, which could be linked to climate change issues and the green deal, would be an interesting topic for a future Quarterly Briefing.  He also suggested approaching the Divisional Director of Partnership Development and Performance to provide a briefing on the Council’s new service delivery models;


·                     a Member of the Panel stated that the Quarterly Briefings should focus on highlighting current issues  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Date of Next Meeting

12 September 2012.


An officer advised that the next Panel meeting was scheduled to take place on 12 September 2012.  However, it was noted that a special meeting might be held in June 2012 to update Members on the progress of the re?accreditation process for the Member Development Charter Plus Mark.