Agenda item

Members' Attendance at Meetings and Training


Mrs Kauser, Senior Democratic Services Officer, reminded Members that at its meeting on 25th April 2006 the Council approved that an annual Information Report be submitted to all group leaders, Members’ of the Standards Committee and then to Council showing in respect of each member for the proceeding municipal year the number of meetings called to attend, number of meetings actually attended, number of training sessions attended and attendance at outside bodies. In addition, at the end of each municipal year each Member appointed as the Council’s representative on an outside body would be required to submit a short feedback report including details of the number of meetings they were called to attend and number actually attended.  In respect of this, random checks on Members attendance on outside body meetings would be carried out annually with Members being selected at random by the Chair of the Standards Committee. 


Following an organisational restructure in the Democratic and Members Services team in April 2011, capacity within the team was reduced by three full time equivalent staff.  As part of the restructure it was accepted that reporting of members attendance at meetings would need to be revisited. 

The Committee’s attention was also drawn to the fact that all agendas for meetings included a brief report setting out member attendance for that committee/panel for that municipal year.  This allowed ongoing monitoring of members attendance at committee/panel meetings.  It was proposed that this record be maintained as it was beneficial and required little officer time to collate. 


Attendance at meetings – it was proposed that Members attendance at meetings and training sessions be presented to the Standards Committee in the format as set out in the Appendix to the report.  The statistics would be compiled using data obtained from the committee system, which had the facility to collate member attendance, thereby reducing the need to compile and maintain manual records.  Information produced using detailed the number of meetings, a member was expected at, those who attended and those who attended under Rule 30.


Outside Bodies – it was proposed that Members were to be contacted via email to provide a short report regarding their attendance at a meeting of an Outside Body and to provide feedback on the usefulness of the meeting. This information would be held by Democratic Services and available for inspection when required.  It was also proposed that the arrangements set out regarding random checks on member attendance at outside body meetings no longer be carried out. 


A Member queried what constituted compulsory training.  The Monitoring Officer stated that the member development programme would be submitted to the Standards Committee at it’s first meeting of the municipal year, which would detail those training sessions which were compulsory prior to a member being able to fulfil their role on certain committees, for example licensing or planning.


A Member suggested that information relating to attendance be publicised and that better use be made of the statistics.  The Committee was informed that the report and information contained within it regarding Members attendance statistics was sent to the press.  It was suggested that Members attendance be presented in a revised format, for example in descending rank order by percentage of meetings attended and it was noted that this would be looked into. 


Resolved –  


(a)  That Members’ attendance details at Council/Committee/Panel meetings and training sessions be reported to Standards Committee on annual basis in the format shown in the example attached in Appendix 1 to the report. 


(b)  That Members’ attendance details at meetings of Outside Bodies be retained in Democratic Services and available for inspection on request at the end of each municipal year. 


(c)  That Members’ attendance records for individual meetings be attached to the respective meeting agenda for each meeting. 

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