28th February 2024

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COUNCILLORS DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK

The Councillor Development Framework is your commitment to training, from the initial "Off to a Flying Start" Parts 1 and 2 (for new councillors and those that have not previously completed the training) on to covering the basics, core skills, developing your skills and knowledge and Councillor to Chair.

The offer from YLCA is a 12-month development framework. We would expect councillors to complete both parts 1 and 2 of the "Off to a Flying Start" training followed by 8 other webinar training sessions. We would encourage all councillors to complete the 'Core Skills' training first. You would be expected to look at e-learning and read information as well throughout the 12 months.

After you have completed 10 training sessions, within 12 months, you will be awarded with a certificate of attendance and gain 12 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Points.

We will announce your achievement in the White Rose Bulletin, with your consent. The training sessions offered that you could choose from are listed below and these training sessions are included in the YLCA Training Programme (available on the YLCA website).

Once trained you will be a knowledgeable councillor and a valued member of the council.

The Basics - Council Induction

Off to a Flying Start induction training (Part 1 and 2). (Handouts will be provided following the training session covering elections, co-option, predetermination, local council powers including s137, and others).

Reading
The Good Councillors Guide
The Good Councillors Guide to Being a Good Employer
The council's Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Code of Conduct, NALC legal topic note (LTN) 80 - Members' Conduct and the Registration and Declaration of Interests (available from the council's clerk or YLCA website).
NALC LTN 5(E) - Parish Council meetings
YLCA White Rose Bulletin and Law and Governance Bulletin when they are circulated by the clerk, to keep up to date with news from the local council sector.

Core Skills for Local Councillors

The 'Core Skills' are an important part of training for all local Councillors.

We would encourage councillors to complete as much training as possible. The list below is not exhaustive and additional topics may be offered throughout the year.

Training
A Basic Understanding of the Planning System
Introduction to Local Council Finances
Powers, policies and procedures for local councils
An understanding of the council's role as an Employer
Councils finance and budget monitoring
Risk Management and Risk Assessments
Committees and Committee Structures
Transparency Code
Councillors Code of Conduct
Role of the Clerk

Reading
The Good Councillors Guide to Finance and Transparency

The council's policies and procedures. Ask the clerk for a list of the council's policies and procedures and work through them. (Some policies are mandatory that the council must adopt). Become familiar with the council's website and how to find the information you need. Join a free Councillor Discussion Forum with YLCA held monthly. Details in the Training Programme.

Developing your Skills

Once you have mastered the basics of how a local council works and the role of a local councillor, it is time to consider the more focussed training sessions on offer through the YLCA training programme which is available on the YLCA website.

Topics regularly include:
Managing Performance
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)
Allotment Management
Play Area Inspections
Village Greens and Common Land
Neighbourhood Planning
Planning Enforcement and Appeals
Dealing with complaints and difficult situations
Effective Communication
Holding Better Meetings

Following all training sessions, the presentation and handouts, that are relevant to the training will be provided to all delegates.

E-Learning
A range of e-learning is available through Nimble which is online training for both councillors and clerks. A booking form and list of Nimble training can be accessed on the YLCA website.
Topics include:
Understanding Precepts
Data Protection Essentials
Home Working Essentials
Unconscious Bias
Standards in Public Life

Reading
Take a look at the Guidance and Resource section of the YLCA website and look at the guides that you have not yet read, that may be relevant to your council such as:
The Good Councillors Guide to Neighbourhood Planning
The Good Councillors Guide to Transport Planning
The Good Councillors Guide to Community Business
The Good Councillors Guide to Cyber Security
NALC Legal Topic Notes (LTN)- over 80 are available and it is suggested that councillors read through the relevant topic notes as and when required.
YLCA Advice Notes - over 30 with a variety of topics.

From Councillor to Chair

If you are considering progression into chairing committee meetings or stepping into the role of council chair, YLCA encourages you to attend Chairing Skills training part 1 & part 2 and being conversant with the From Councillor to Chair council's standing orders and financial regulations to gain an understanding of the responsibilities of the chair. Attending the Chair's Discussion Forum sessions will also be a benefit (free of charge) held monthly.

Website links for further reading

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC): National Association of Local Councils (nalc.gov.uk)
Employment issues and guidance: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
Data Protection information: Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
Allotments: The National Allotment Society – National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd (nsalg.org.uk)
Cemetery management: Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM)
Health and Safety Guidance and templates: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
To find specific legislation: Legislation.gov.uk

Keeping up to date and informed

There is always more to learn, so continue with the nimble e-learning as new modules are released and read the YLCA training programme to see if there is anything new that may be of interest. We also work in partnership with Breakthrough Communications who provide training on communicating with the community, social media, data protection and freedom of information, and Parkinson Partnership who provide Finance training sessions, Personnel, Advice and Solutions Ltd for HR advice and training, Scribe for a variety of training opportunities and CloudyIT with Microsoft training.

Keep reading White Rose Bulletin and Law and Governance Bulletin to keep up to date with developments in the sector. Don't forget to complete the councillor consent form to enable YLCA to provide information directly to you.

Last updated: Tue, 20 Feb 2024 15:48