Democratic Services Committee

Date: 30/07/2019


Subject:         Member Development Plan 2019/20

Purpose:       To provide an update on the proposal for supporting Elected Member development based on recent research and initial feedback from Group Leaders and to seek the endorsement of the DSC and any variations/ amendments to the proposal.


Recommendations / key decisions required:


  • That Democratic Services Committee endorse the proposal for Member engagement on the 21st Century Councillor Model and establishing a new approach to the formulation and delivery of the Member Development Programme.  



To contribute to Member Development Plan 2019-20 ensuring the application of best practice and research that will improve Member engagement and the learning experience. 


Relevant scrutiny committee to be consulted


Exec Board Decision Required                     NA    

Council Decision Required                           NA    


EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER PORTFOLIO HOLDER:- S.Curry – Member Development Champion and L.M. Stephens – Executive Board Member

Directorate: CEX

Name of Head of Service: Paul R Thomas


Report Author: David WM Richards/ Hayley Daniels



Assistant Chief Executive (People Management)

OD Manager/ Learning & Development Advisor

Tel Nos. 01267 246110

E Mail Addresses:


Democratic Services Committee




Consultation on Member Development Plan


The report provides a proposal for agreeing the Member Development Plan for 2019/20 and a revised approach for identifying future learning and development needs. It follows initial consultation with Group Leaders, members of the Democratic Services Committee and Executive Board.  

The Member Development plan has historically been informed from the following sources:

·         Democratic Services Committee – Emerging Issues/Development Needs

·         Individual Member development plans

·         Welsh Local Government Association – Member Development  Programmes

·         Legislation and Service specific developments as informed Heads of Service

·         Member Induction Programme

The proposal offers a new approach based on credible research within local government that followed extensive consultation with Councillors. It aims to maximise engagement for establishing learning and development requirements relevant for 21st Century public service.

The research entitled  “The 21st Century Councillor”, was undertaken by the University of Birmingham working with the Employers Organisation  and sought to address 3 key questions:

What is the range of roles that the 21st Century Councillor is required to perform?

What are the competencies and skills that councillors require to undertake these roles?

What are the support and training requirements of these roles?

The research states that Councillors see their role changing in the context of the following challenges:

·         Perma –austerity – the financial pressures facing their local authorities.

·         Changing citizen expectations – brought on by technological change, austerity & other social changes such as the decline in deference within society.

·         New technologies – new opportunities for real time engagement & use of social media.

·         Different scales of working - increasingly complex partnership and collaborative working arrangements.

·         Changing boundaries and organisation of public services – increased complexity and diversity of service delivery structures with the growing importance of community involvement.



It also identifies what the new emerging roles are and offers a model through which councillor careers, and development can be best explored to consider how they can be supported to perform these roles effectively.

The proposal sets out this model and two key areas of focus for establishing a modern approach to individual learning styles and needs:

·         Foundational  – Practical and knowledge skills (covered by the areas above)

·         Relational – Connective, digital & reflective skills (to be covered as part of learning conversations)

A workshop to share the model and seek the views of Members on how best they want to be supported is scheduled for late September 2019. This will be further supported by a series of one to ones to establish resourcing requirements and the overall Member Development Plan for Democratic Service Committee endorsement.  









I confirm that other than those implications which have been agreed with the appropriate Directors / Heads of Service and are referred to in detail below, there are no other implications associated with this report :


Signed:         P.R. Thomas                                    Assistant Chief Executive

Policy, Crime & Disorder and Equalities




Risk Management Issues

Staffing Implications

Physical Assets 











I confirm that the appropriate consultations have taken in place and the outcomes are as detailed below


Signed:         P.R. Thomas                                    Assistant Chief Executive

(Please specify the outcomes of consultations undertaken where they arise against the following headings)

1. Scrutiny Committee: N/A

2.Local Member(s) 

Meeting with Group Leaders or Deputy Group Leaders, Chair & members of the Democratic Services Committee and Executive Board Members.

3. Community / Town Council – N/A

4. Relevant Partners – N/A

5. Staff Side Representatives and other Organisations – N/A


Section 100D Local Government Act, 1972 – Access to Information

List of Background Papers used in the preparation of this report:



Title of Document


File Ref No.

Locations that the papers are available for public inspection