Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Wednesday 22nd October, 2014 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 3 & 4, 17th Floor, Westminster City Hall

Contact: Naomi Stauber  Senior Committee and Governance Officer

No. Item



The Head of Legal and Democratic Services to report any changes to the membership


1.1          Apologies of absence were received from Councillors Ruth Bush and Louise Hyams.



Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members and Officers of the existence and nature of any personal or prejudicial interests in matters on this agenda.



2.1      No interests were declared.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 27 KB

To sign the minutes of the meeting held on 30th April 2014.


3.1       RESOLVED:That the Minutes of the meeting held on 30th April 2014 be approved as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:


That the second line of the attendance details be amended to read “General Purposes Committee Members: Councillors Melvyn Caplan and Robert Davis”





Member Induction Programme Review pdf icon PDF 66 KB

The report provides the Committee with a review of the recent Member Induction Programme undertaken post-Local Elections 2014, including the Members Code of Conduct training.



Additional documents:


4.1       Mr Doug Precey, Head of Cabinet Secretariat, introduced the report which detailed the induction programme that took place for Members following the May 2014 local elections and set out the additional training opportunities which had been provided since. The report also detailed the feedback received from Members on the induction programme, which had been sought to enable officers to firstly, learn lessons from the programme and secondly, ascertain what further training and development Members require to participate fully and productively as City of Westminster Councillors.


4.2       Mr Precey informed Members that the secretariat team were pleased with the induction programme and with the successful delivery of the following three key strands of work:


(1)          Logistical/practical aspects: including signing declarations of office, taking official Council photographs for the website and taking measurements for ceremonial robes etc.


(2)          Departmental Introductory Workshops: hosted by the Executive Management Team and other senior managers, incorporating a ‘marketplace’ setting that allowed Council departments to showcase the work they do and highlight their key achievements and current priorities.


(3)          Technical/Subject-Specific Workshops: arranged on either a compulsory basis (e.g. Members Code of Conduct) or targeted according to the roles new Members are asked to fulfil (e.g. on Licensing or Planning Committees).


4.3      In respect of the timing of the induction, Members concurred with the feedback provided by their colleagues, as detailed in the report, that the arrangements for the induction should have been communicated much further in advance. Members also explained that the pre-election campaigning period is extremely busy and arduous for prospective councillors and this should have been borne in mind when setting the dates for the inductions sessions. Although the attendance rates detailed in the report for the respective sessions were satisfactory at around 40%, a higher attendance rate could have been achieved if there had been greater dialogue with Members to seek advice on the most appropriate timing for the sessions.


4.4      The Committee agreed that the induction was an improvement on the post-2010 local election arrangements. Whilst Members also agreed that there was nothing fundamentally ‘wrong’ with the delivery of the induction, there were a number of areas identified for improvement.


Key Council contacts and engagement


4.5      The Committee discussed the departmental showcase workshops which aimed to highlight the functions and achievements of the service areas and unanimously agreed that this was not the correct focus. Whilst the Committee recognised the benefits of learning about the excellent work being undertaken by the service areas, it was more important that Members understood exactly how they can engage with services in order to perform their role as councillors and resolve issues on behalf of their constituents. It was this practical element which was fundamentally missing. This is not only crucial for newly elected Members who are getting to grips with the functions of the Council for the first time, but is also extremely beneficial for long-standing Members who find it very difficult to keep up-to-date with the correct Council contacts and engagement leads, who  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Any Other Business

To recevie any other business which the Chairman considers urgent.


5.1       The Chairman had no further business to raise.