The Principal Democratic Officer:
(a) Presented a report which provided the Ethics and Engagement Committee with an opportunity to consider and comment on the draft induction programme for newly elected members following the City of Lincoln Council elections scheduled to be held on 3 May 2018;
(b) Provided an outline of the proposed induction programme, which included the following over two days:
· a welcome and tour of City Hall;
· formalities, including the issuing of City Hall access cards, photographs and the completion of necessary paperwork;
· the provision of an email account and IT equipment;
· a meeting with the Chief Executive and Directors to provide an overview of the 2020 Vision and outline service priorities within their respective directorates;
· a session on the Code of Conduct and meeting procedure rules;
· a range of sessions to provide an opportunity to meet key officers from the main service areas of the Council.
(c) Reported that the Member Development Programme would complement the induction programme.
(d) Reported that an induction pack would be provided to newly elected members, including an information booklet on the City Council as appended to the report together with a range of other documents.
(e) Invited members’ questions and comments.
Councillor Strengiel felt that all members of the Council should be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed member induction programme. Graham Watts, Principal Democratic Officer, therefore agreed to circulate the report to all members via email and seek any comments or suggested improvements.
Councillor Hills asked whether any political input was proposed for inclusion in the induction programme and made the point that it would be important for new members to understand who key members, such as Executive Portfolio Holders, were. It was noted that the induction programme facilitated by officers would not include any political aspects and that such issues would be addressed via the relevant political group. The induction booklet appended to the report did set out the decision-making structure of the Council, including Executive Portfolio Holder responsibilities, but it was suggested that photographs of members should be included in the induction pack.
Councillor Metcalfe suggested the inclusion of an officer structure chart and contact numbers in the induction pack to assist newly elected members in understanding where any casework issues should be reported to. It was noted that the Democratic Services team would also assist newly elected members with signposting to relevant officers and service areas until they became used to where specific things should be reported to. With regard to the officer structure chart, it was agreed that this would be referred to the Council’s Communications team who was responsible for maintaining officer records on the authority’s City People system suggesting that photographs of senior officers be included in the chart.
Members highlighted that the induction booklet appended to the report contained some out of date contact information and a hyperlink that did not work properly. It was noted that officers would proof-read the document and check all hyperlinks prior to circulating to all members and subsequently issuing as part of the induction pack.
A request was also made to include personal contact details of all members in the induction pack, a list of which was collated by the Democratic Services team. It was suggested that this should be shared with all members.
Members commended the proposed induction programme.
RESOLVED that the proposed induction programme be noted, the suggested amendments be incorporated and the revised induction programme and induction booklet be forwarded to all members of the Council to seek further comments or suggestions prior to being issued to newly elected members.