Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Alexander Murray  Governance Officer

Items
No. Item

21.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 185 KB

To receive and, if so determined, to agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meteing held 16 December 2020 be agreed as an accurate record.

22.

LGA MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To receive a report of the Corporate Director of Governance and Community Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The chair provide an introduction to the report that had been circulated. The Chair then handed over to the Monitoring Officer to add any additional points. The Monitoring Officer added that the Model Code of Conduct had not changed significantly from the draft that the Committee received September 2020. There were a number of areas that required clarification through guidance that the LGA were to release and some required legislation to be passed before Council’s could enact them. The aspects of the code were very similar to those within the Council’s current code of conduct with the main difference being the way the code was written. When the previous model code came out Trafford had led on a GM review of the model code by the Chief Legal Officers, which led to the creation of a GM Code of Conduct used by all ten authorities. The Chief Legal officers were to look at the New Model Code in two weeks’ time and it was proposed that work should dovetail with the work Trafford were doing to ensure that the Council ended up with a Code that worked from a GM perspective as well as the Trafford perspective.

 

Councillor Blackburn noted that point 2.3 of the report mentioned the variations between GM authorities and asked whether it was known as to what the variations might be. The Monitoring Officer responded that the local variations were usually around how breeches of the code were dealt with in an area. The Monitoring Officer offered to provide some examples of the variations across GM when the item was being considered by the working group.

 

Councillor Blackburn asked about the large percentage of Council’s that were not planning to adopt the code. The Monitoring Officer responded that percentage reflected the number of Council’s who had no plans to adopt the code at that time but it was expected that the number would decrease especially once the guidance had been released.

 

An independent Person noted that at the last meeting an action plan was brought to the meeting which had a number of items still outstanding and asked whether this work superseded that work. The Mentoring Officer responded that updating the Councils Code of Conduct was a continuation of that work rather than superseding it. The independent Person followed up by asking whether any points regarding the New Model Code should be raised at the meeting or whether they should be submitted afterwards for consideration by the working group. The Monitoring Officer responded that any feedback should be provided to the working group to inform their considerations.

 

The Chair asked when volunteers for the working group would need to express their interest. The Monitoring Officer asked for Committee Members to contact the Governance Officer with their expression of interest in joining the group.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That the recommendations of the report be agreed.

3)    That Members contact the Governance Officer if they wish to take part in the Code of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

MEMBER DEVELOPMENT pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To receive a report of the Corporate Director of Governance and Community Strategy.

Minutes:

The Chair gave a brief overview of the report that had been circulated with the agenda. The overview concluded with the proposals laid out within the report and then handed over to the Monitoring Officer. The Monitoring Officer added that the training offered to Councillors was an important part of what enabled Trafford Councillors to fulfil their roles effectively and so it was felt that the Committee should be informed on what the training offer entailed. Within the package there were a number of incentives proposed to increase uptake of training courses by members and to allow the public to be able to see what training the Councillors who represented them had received.

 

Councillor Hartley asked which modules would be covered in the sessions held prior to Council meetings. The Monitoring Officer responded that the HR Development team were looking to create a training programme from the training sessions available and additional training sessions were being developed. The Committee were informed that if they or any other Councillors identified a need for training they could contact either the Member Development Steering Group, the Mentoring Officer, or the Committee directly.

 

Councillor Hartley asked whether the councillor induction training sessions could be offered to all Trafford Councillors and whether multiple sessions could be held to enable more councillors to attend. The Monitoring Officer responded that in the current environment it was unknown whether sessions would be held in person or if they would be conducted virtually. The Council were looking to record sessions held in person to be made available to all Councillors afterwards. The pre Council Meeting sessions were also to be recorded and made available to all Trafford Councillors to maximise the opportunity for participation.

 

Councillor Blackburn stated that although all Councillors were corporate parents of children and young people in the care of the Council there were very few who knew of this responsibility. Councillor Blackburn asked whether there could be corporate parenting training included within the training package. The Chair supported the suggestion and asked that it be passed on to the Member Development Steering Group.

 

Councillor Coggins noted that Carbon Literacy Training for Members was not listed as part of the training programme and asked when this was to be provided. The Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that the Carbon Literacy Training had been discussed by the Corporate Leadership team for staff and members. The Monitoring Officer said that an update would be provided to Councillor Coggins.

 

One of the independent persons noted that the key training modules were listed as core training rather than mandatory training. The Independent Person was aware that other Councils had mandatory training modules for councillors to be able to sit on quasi-official committees and asked whether this was something that Trafford had considered.  The Monitoring Officer responded that Trafford did have a mandatory training requirement for quasi-official committees in place.

Councillor Myers raised concerns around holding training sessions prior to Council meetings, especially when the meetings were held in person. One  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

MONITORING OFFICER'S REPORT

To receive a verbal report from the Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that the position across Trafford remained very positive despite the additional strains caused by the pandemic. There had been a low level of complaints received during the year with only one still under review. The Monitoring Officer passed on her thanks to all Councillors for their efforts during the pandemic as well as to the Committee and the Independent Persons for their support during the year. 

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.