NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL EXECUTIVE BOARD – 23RD MAY 2006 IDEA REVIEW OF MEMBER SERVICES – SIGNPOSTING REPORT Councillor Gordon Tacey, Deputy Leader, 01530 454544 firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Orrell, Director of Resources, Tel: 01530 454520 Ian.email@example.com Elizabeth Warhurst, Head of Legal & Democratic Services, Tel: 01530 454762 Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org To agree the signpost of the IDEA’s recommendations to the appropriate individual groups. All strategic aims are considered through the work of Members and the unit. Title of report Contacts Purpose of report Strategic aims Implications: Financial/Staff Dependent on the improvement plans created to address the IDEA recommendations. None None None None None The report is satisfactory. The report is satisfactory. The report is satisfactory. Executive Board (4th April 2006), Member Development Working Health/Anti-Poverty Crime and Disorder Risk Management Human Rights E-Government Comments of Monitoring Officer Comments of Section 151 Officer Comments of Head of Paid Service Consultees Party (4th May 2006) Background papers Recommendations IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT (1) THE IDEA RECOMMENDATIONS ARE ALLOCATED AS SET OUT IN THIS REPORT AND RELEVANT PLANS ARE REPORTED BACK TO EXECUTIVE BOARD (2) THE SCRUTINY FUNCTION MOVES TO THE PERFORMANCE DIRECTORATE AS FROM 1ST JUNE 2006. 1. Introduction The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) reviewed the Council’s support arrangements for elected Members. Their concluding report was adopted by the Executive Board at their meeting on 4th April 2006. 2. Improvement Plans The recommendations of the IDeA now need to be considered and appropriate Improvement Plans created. The attached table in Appendix 1 sets out proposals on who should be now dealing with the recommendations. The owners of the recommendation will need to assess how they will report back to Executive Board on their Improvement Plans and also their progress. APPENDIX 1 IDeA Member Support Review Ref no Recommendations Member Support Unit – restructure / set vision / promote unit Develop role descriptions for key member functions Lead Member / Group Officer Lead(s) Next Steps Report to Executive Board – 27th June recommending structure, etc. Source examples from IDeA / other authorities for next meeting 15th June 2006 Determine improvements & implement Determine process improvements & implement 1, 2, 3, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18 Deputy Leader on behalf of Executive Board Director of Resources, Head of Legal & Democratic Services Chief Executive 4 Member Development Working Party (MDWP) 5 Level & type of support to Members House style minutes system for tracking decisions streamline support Ongoing review of Member support Modernise members room Leader / Deputy Leader Corporate Leadership Team 6, 7, 8 Leader / Deputy Leader Director of Resources, Head of Legal & Democratic Services Chief Executive 9 Member Development Working Party (MDWP) Member Development Working Party (MDWP) MDWP establish process & timeline to review To assess from IDeA what improvements were asked for by Members To include within Member Development Programme Develop guidance documents by June 06 10 Chief Executive 11 IT Support Member Development Working Party (MDWP) All Chief Executive 13 Protocol on expenses Director of Resources, Head of Finance 15 Relationship between Directorates / Portfolio Holders Leader / Deputy Leader Chief Executive - Hold joint workshop Establish regular individual briefing sessions between Executive Board Members & their appropriate Directors 16 Move scrutiny to Performance Directorate Executive Board Corporate Leadership Team Lead Director of Performance Recommend scrutiny function to move to Performance Directorate as from 1st June 2006 Improvement Plan to be determined Develop scrutiny role Joint scrutiny chairs Director of Performance, Head of Performance SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS It is recommended that the authority: 1. Restructure and realign the current resources to create one member support unit covering the functions of democratic services, member development, casework co-ordination, Chairman and Leader support (See Figure 1) (paragraphs 24 – 26). 2. Agree and communicate a clear vision for the new unit that makes clear its purpose and priorities and how it is supporting the delivery of the council’s priorities (paragraph 32). 3. Positively promote the services of the new unit through a variety of ways. Senior management and members to champion the unit and how it is supporting the delivery of the council’s priorities (paragraphs 27 & 46-47). 4. Develop role descriptions for key member positions to help clarify roles and responsibilities, including defining the role of the shadow portfolio holders (paragraphs 28-30 & 68-71). 5. Determine the level and type of support available to members in their different roles and how this will be delivered. The support provided to the Chairman needs formalising and to be consistently specified. The Council needs to agree whether specific support given to some “political” group meetings is appropriate and the implication of having to offer similar support to the other groups (paragraphs 33-35). 6. Agree a house style for minutes and streamline current production practices (paragraphs 38 – 41). 7. Introduce a system for tracking the implementation of decisions to increase clarity and ownership of issues (paragraphs 42 – 43). 8. Streamline the support provided at meetings wherever possible (paragraph 44). 9. Ensure regular discussions between officers and members on support issues to make sure that the service remains fit for purpose. A way for members to take more of a lead in shaping the support that the Council provides them could be through the Member Development Working Party’s remit being expanded to include this point (paragraphs 50 – 51). 10. Modernise the Member’s room to put more focus on providing a professional workspace for councillors with facilities to enable research (paragraph 52) 11. Provide IT support for those members experiencing difficulties (paragraph 53). 12. Support members in their casework by dedicating one post in the new unit to this area of member support (paragraphs 55-57). 13. Ensure that all members are aware of the local protocol on expenses (paragraph 58). 14. Ensure that it is a priority of the new unit to consider good practice in other councils on the operation of Full Council and to recommend options to enable more members to participate (paragraphs 61-64). 15. Continue to develop the relationship between Directorates and portfolio holders and the support given (paragraphs 65-66). 16. Ensure that Overview and Scrutiny is an integral part of the organisation and enables members to play a key role in the continuous improvement of council policy and services Consider moving scrutiny support to the Performance Directorate to enable closer links to be forged with strategic policy development and performance management (paragraphs 72-74). 17. Re-locate certain administrative functions that currently reside within the Admin team to appropriate services. Train new members of staff on the correct procedures prior to the transfer of those duties to address concerns re level of service provided (paragraph 83-86). 18. Streamline the service provided by the Admin team to officer meetings, with support wherever possible coming from the relevant service (paragraph 87).
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