Issue - meetings
Feedback from Town and Community Councils on Independent Member Visits
To understand whether Town and Community
Councils found the recent round of Member visits helpful.
- Enc. 1 for Feedback from Town and Community Councils on Independent Member Visits, item 48 PDF 87 KB
(a) That the Committee organises a rota of checks on Town and Community Council websites;
(b) That the process for future visits should include an opportunity for Councils to respond to feedback; and
(c) That Town and Community Councils be thanked for their feedback and participation in the process
The Deputy Monitoring Officer introduced a report to provide feedback from Town and Community Councils on the visits undertaken by Independent Members. He advised that nine responses had been received and were summarised in the appendix to the report. Overall the feedback was positive and a number of suggestions had been made by the Councils, as detailed in the report, to further improve processes.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer said that Town and Community Councils reported that they found the programme of visits valuable and had provided changes for the better in some practices. The Committee was asked to consider the comments appended to the report and if they wished to adopt any further suggestions or amend existing processes.
Councillor Patrick Heesom congratulated the Chief Officer, Deputy Monitoring Officer and Independent Members of the Committee on the success of the programme which he said had worked well and was an exemplar of good practice to be adopted by other authorities.
Councillor Arnold Woolley referred to the suggestion that the Committee might consider reviewing Town and Community Council websites for completeness and provide feedback if mandatory information was missing. He spoke in support of the need for advice and guidance to be provided to Town and Community Councils to ensure their websites were compliant with statutory requirements, commenting on compliance with the Equality Act as an example.
Julia Hughes emphasised the importance of key information being made available to the general public on all Town and Community Council websites on the dates and times of meetings, venue, agenda, minutes and reports. She also spoke in support of the need for advice and guidance to be provided to ensure Town and Community Councils were compliant with regulatory requirements. She referred to the recommendation in the report that checks be undertaken on Town and Community Council websites and suggested that preparatory work for this be included as an item on the Forward Work Programme and a list of the requirements be provided to assist Independent Members to undertake the checks. .
Councillor Paul Johnson suggested that it would be useful if Town and Community Councils could provide data on their website usage.
Councillor Patrick Heesom commented on the need for contact details for Clerks of Town and Community Councils to be made available on websites but said their personal home address should be anonymised.
Ken Molyneux referred to the feedback from Nannerch Community Council which had been helpful and drew attention to the comments regarding attendance at meetings of the Standards Committee, opportunities for feedback, and ‘right of reply’. The points raised were acknowledged and the Committee commented that in addition to the written feedback provided to Town and Community Councils following meetings there was also an opportunity to hear verbal feedback at the meetings of the Standards Committee which were public meetings and to raise questions or concerns at the joint meeting of the Standards Committee and Town & Community Council representatives. To provide the best support to Town and Community Councils it was ... view the full minutes text for item 48