Report of the Head of Human Resources Member Training and Development – Update 1 Background At the meeting of the Human Resource Cabinet Working Group in October 2005 a report was considered regarding the North West Charter for Elected Member Development. It was agreed that the City Council should seek re-accreditation under the Charter and that arrangements be put in place to undertake this. An action plan for completion in April 2006 was agreed. At the time North West Employers (who manage the Charter) had not finalised re-accreditation processes and the action plan was dependant on this as a first step. To-date those arrangements have yet to be finalised. Officers from the Council are meeting with representatives from North West Employers immediately before the Working Group meeting and an update will be provided verbally. 2 Other Developments in Member Development 2.1 Members Residential Training Weekend The Members Residential Training Weekend took place on 25 th to 27th November 2005. 34 Members and a number of officers attended it. The programme covered the following topics; Neighbourhood Management Comprehensive Performance Assessment Housing Feedback from delegates was very positive. Consideration needs to be given to whether to undertake early planning for a similar event in 2006. 2.2 Equality and Diversity Training Following a request from the Customer and Support Services Scrutiny Committee two training sessions have been provided to that Committee on ‘equality and diversity’, in particular focussing on how to scrutinise this aspect of the Council’s work. The events have been structured to take place an hour before meetings of the Committee therefore minimising the additional time demands on Members.11 Members have attended the events. Further sessions for the other Scrutiny Committees have been arranged for February and march 2006. It is anticipated that the majority of non-executive Members will have attended this training at its conclusion. Consideration needs to be given to; a) Whether this pattern of short sessions before planned meetings is an effective way of increasing Member involvement in training? b) How best to involve Executive Members in this process? 2.3 External Training Events Following a request from this Cabinet Working Group a list of courses provided by North West Employers has been circulated to all Members inviting them to nominate themselves for any programmes they identify as being relevant.. To date there have been no nominations received. 2.4 Mentoring The Improvement and Development Agency (I&DeA) has provided a national ‘Peer Mentoring’ scheme for Members for the past 3 years. Presentations on the scheme have been made at Members Residential Training Weekends in 2003 and 2005. There has been some take-up for the scheme but we are currently under-utilising our available capacity in this respect. The I&DeA describe the scheme as follows; This programme is a collaboration between the IDeA and Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) and Association of Public Excellence (APSE). One definition of mentoring is “help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking.” Mentoring is a way of helping councillors to understand their roles more fully by learning from the day-to-day events and the experiences of others. The mentoring relationship is designed to help all councillors at any level in their personal development and aims to help them represent their communities and carry out their duties more effectively. Mentoring works best when it is a confidential relationship, giving the learner (mentee) the opportunity to speak freely about any concerns they may have with the mentor. Mentoring is also a personal learning experience and it should be viewed as a two-way exchange of information that taps into both individuals’ abilities to learn. More information is available at http://www.ideaknowledge.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=433262 The I&DeA is seeking further interest from Members in Salford including from opposition groups and the scrutiny and overview role. Consideration should be given as to how to inform Members of this opportunity. 2.5 The Neighbourhood Works The Council has been funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to provide (in collaboration with Oldham MBC) a comprehensive training package to support the further development of Neighbourhood Management. The programme is designed for both officers and Members. Final details of the training programme have been agreed and all Members received full details and nomination forms in December. The training will take place between February and July. 3 Conclusion The future shape of the Member Development Programme will be clarified in response to the requirements of the re-accreditation process for the Charter. However there remains an important level of training opportunities available for Members. Further reports will be provided to future meetings of the Working Group.