Sunday, 09 August 2020

£4,000 to train town councillors

£4,000 to train town councillors

HENLEY Town Council is to spend about £4,000 a year on training its councillors.

Members say it should invest more in learning the skills they need to perform their voluntary roles.

The council has typically spent less than £200 a year on training because the sessions were often held at inconvenient times or locations.

Now it will work with two providers who can offer training at the town hall on Tuesday evenings when there are no full council or committee meetings.

Members will be trained in seven areas: council meeting law and procedure, chairmanship, the councillors’ code of conduct, health and safety, finance, property law and community engagement.

The council will implement a rolling programme costing £3,000 this year, which is £2,000 more than has been budgeted, and then £4,000 after that.

It will keep costs down by asking its own staff to provide training in certain areas and it could offer course spaces to members of other town and parish councils.

Town clerk Sheridan Jacklin-Edward said: “While it’s expected that members will receive clear and sound guidance from officers and external advice on particularly complex matters, decisions ultimately lie with members.

“Making sound and informed decisions is essential to ensuring the council can deliver effective services and best value to the local community. The recommended increase is minimal given the importance of investing in members’ skills and experience to ensure the council delivers best value to residents and high standards of services.”

Councillor Lorraine Hillier said: “It’s very welcome because the council is ever-evolving and for too long our training has been
disproportionate.”

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