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Member Induction 2015

Introduction

Understanding Allerdale Borough Council

Democratic Services

Planning

Useful Links

Introduction

Welcome to the Member Induction page. This page has been created to provide councillors who are successfully elected on 7 May 2015 with useful information and links to relevant documents and strategies that we believe will be beneficial in their first few weeks and months in Office.

The Induction Programme will begin with a corporate welcome event on Thursday 14 May in the Council Chamber, Allerdale House in Workington, which all Councillors will be expected to attend. Refreshments will be available from 9am for a 9.30am start. Councillors will be welcomed by the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team, be provided with their Induction Pack, sign their Declaration of Acceptance of Office and have their official Council Photograph taken.

We aim to provide continuous support to our newly elected Councillors to carry out their duties effectively and we recognise the benefits in adopting a structured process to induction.

The full Induction Programme can be downloaded here.

Understanding Allerdale Borough Council

Management Structure

Information on the Council's management structure can be found here.

Political Makeup

The current political makeup of the Council as at April 2015 can be found here.

Councillor Details

Details of all current members of Allerdale Borough Council as at April 2015 can be found here.

Executive Model

The Local Government Act 2000, as amended, has required local authorities to choose a political management structure which may include:-

i. An Executive which can be made up as follows:-

  • Leader and Executive (Council elects an Executive Leader who appoints Executive Members)
  • Mayor and Executive (Directly elected Mayor appoints Executive Members)

ii. Alternative arrangements system based on a committee system.

Allerdale Borough Council has adopted the Leader and Executive leadership model.

The 2000 Act allowed the Executive members to be appointed by the Leader or the Council. Allerdale’s Constitution provides for Executive members to be appointed by the Leader of the Council.

The Leader is the political head of the Council and usually the Leader of the majority political group. The Leader of Council is appointed at the Annual meeting of Council in May for a four year term. The Leader’s primary role is to give leadership to the Council and to steer the policies of the ruling Group or coalition through the Council.

The main role of the Mayor is to act as the non-political, civic and ceremonial head of the Borough of Allerdale. The role also includes:

  • Chairing meetings of the Council;
  • Acting as official host to visitors to the Borough;
  • To represent the Borough at ceremonial events; and
  • To promote public involvement in the Council’s activities

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected at the Annual Meeting of Council in May of each year.

The Council's Constitution

Allerdale Borough Council's Constitution sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these decisions are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

The Council's Constitution can be downloaded from here.

Committee Structure

Council Plan

The Council Plan sets out the Council's key priorities for 2015-2019. More information and the current Plan can be found here.

Freedom of Information / Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act promotes openness in government and establishes a right of access for individuals to information that we hold. Under the Freedom of Information Act Allerdale Borough Council has an obligation to disclose as much information as possible to the public, subject to certain exemptions. More information can be found here.

The Publication Scheme sets out the information that the authority holds that we proactively make available to the public, and includes a further guide to the availability of information. More information can be found here.

Guidance has been produced for councillors on both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act which can be downloaded from here.

Media Relations

Publicity is about letting people know what we do and the value of our work. Members have a key role in communications. They communicate opinion and views and have a key role to play in publicising initiatives and successes.

Allerdale Borough Council’s functions are discharged corporately. It is, therefore, wrong for public resources to be used to publicise individual councillors. However, the Leader of the Council, Executive Members, the Mayor and the Chairs of Committees will often be approached by the media, as representatives of the Council, to comment on corporate issues.

The protocols for media and publicity can be found here.

Further information for members can be found in the Induction Pack.

A to Z list of Council Services

An A to Z list of council services can be found here.

 

Democratic Services

Roles and Responsibilities

The Democratic Services department has a variety of functions, but its overall aim is to ensure the smooth and efficient management of the decision-making processes of the Council. Listed below are some of the things we do:

  • Manage committees
  • Oversee member development
  • Promote democracy
  • Run the Mayor’s Office
  • Support for the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council

Managing Committees
The Democratic Services team works with councillors and officers to administrate and manage the committees of the council. These committees are where many of the council's decisions are made and include regulatory committee meetings, Executive meetings and full council meetings.

We do this by:

  • Creating agendas for the meetings and writing the minutes
  • Publishing the Forward Plan. This is a list of what is known as ‘key decisions’. A key decision is one which will either have a significant impact on two or more wards or result in the council saving or spending more than £50,000
  • Recording delegated decisions
  • Planning the timetable of meetings
  • Making sure the committees run according to the regulations laid out in our constitution

Democratic Services provide advice and information to Councillors, Officers and members of the public on:

  • How decisions are made
  • Contact details and information on councillors, MPs and MEPs
  • Information about individual committee meetings, Executive and full Council meetings
  • Information on how to have your say and get involved with council decision making
  • Advice on procedure at the meetings

You can contact Democratic Services on 01900 702550.

Individual Officer responsibilities and contact details will be provided in the Induction Pack.

Modern.gov

The Council uses the modern.gov Committee Management System. This streamlines the committee process and makes it more efficient than a manual system.

Key benefits include:

  • The publication of agendas, reports and minutes online and hard copy enabling all interested parties to view these documents online and immediately on publication
  • Information about Councillors, including contact details, photographs and committee membership
    Calendar of meetings
  • Production of a Forward Plan, which sets out items of business for future meetings and ‘Key Decisions’
  • Online publication of the Register of Interests
  • Publication of more detailed information on Outside Bodies including membership and Terms of Reference
  • Contact details for Town and Parish councils

Calendar of Meetings

All meetings of full Council are held on Wednesdays usually at 7.00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at Allerdale House, Workington, with the exception of the Annual Meeting when the venue and time may vary.

The Executive meet on Wednesdays at 9.00 a.m. on a monthly basis, also in the Council Chamber.

Summons for meetings are published at least five clear working days before a meeting by the Democratic Services department. Notification will be sent if time-tabled meetings are cancelled or if extra meetings are to be convened.

The calendar of meetings can be found here.

Procedural Rules
The Standing Orders set out in Section 4.8 of The Constitution are the rules of procedure for full Council and its Committees. They govern how business is conducted at meetings, setting out the rules of debate, the order of business and procedures for dealing with questions, motions, amendments and voting.

Local Government Association - Councillors Guide

The Local Government Association produce a guide for Councillors. The 2014/15 guide can be downloaded from here.

Please be aware, the LGA will contact all successfully elected councillors and provide a link to the 2015/16 guide in due course.

Call-in

The Local Government Act 2000 includes a provision for non-executive members of the Council to request that a decision taken by the Executive, or an Officer under delegated powers, but not yet implemented, be reconsidered. This is known as the call-in process.

The process is explained further under Section 6 of The Constitution.

Councillor Allowances Scheme and Expenses

The Council pays its councillors a range of allowances which are intended to recognise the time they devote to their role as a Councillor. All Members are paid a basic annual allowance with additional special responsibility allowances for those members occupying positions such as Chairman of Committee or Group Leader. These allowances are automatically paid by BACS transfer in to their bank account every month. For other expenses, members need to complete a claim form at the end of every month.

The Council is required to publish annually the total sum paid to each Councillor.

The mileage and subsistence claim form can be downloaded from here.

The full process can be found in the Induction Pack.

Current and previous Councillor Allowances Schemes and details of expenses paid to Councillors can be found here.

Member Development

After the Induction period an on-going comprehensive programme of training will be available to all members for continued learning and development, with a view to help strengthen their role as a Councillor.

We have a Member Development Strategy which can be found here in due course.

Councillors will be offered the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) to assist them in identifying their learning and development needs.

  • A Personal Development Plan is a tool -a plan of action-to help councillors:
  • Recognise and define training/learning needs;
  • Learn in a wider variety of ways and a wider range of contexts;
  • Recognise and be able to list evidence for their own learning and the progress they make;
  • Draw upon and use their expanded personal knowledge to achieve particular goals; and
  • Review, plan and take responsibility for their own learning

Establishing a Personal Development Plan for each member also enables us to map out a full learning and development programme best suited to each individual councillor and their needs.

Outside Bodies and Joint Committees

Members are appointed to outside bodies to act as a representative of the Council.

The Council has produced guidance on the roles and responsibilities of members and officers appointed to outside bodies. Additionally, a leaflet has been produced containing advice on the councillor's role on outside bodies. Both pieces of guidance can be downloaded from here.

Members appointed to represent the Council on outside bodies must provide feedback on their time throughout the year of their appointment to the outside body. This enables the Council to evaluate its representation on the outside body. The feedback form can be downloaded from here.

A list of all Outside Bodies and Joint Committees can be found here.

Code of Conduct

Codes of Conduct seek to ensure that Councillors are open, fair and transparent in the conduct of their official duties, that they respect others in the conduct of their public lives and ensure that any decision making on behalf of their Council is properly carried out.

Allerdale Borough Council's adopted Code of Conduct can be found here.

Standards Committee and Complaints Procedure

The Council's Standards Committee is tasked with promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Councillors and assisting them to observe their adopted Code of Conduct.

If a member of the public, officer of the Council or another Councillor believes that a member of Allerdale Borough Council, Parish Councillor, Co-opted member or former Councillor has breached the Code of Conduct, they are able to make a complaint to the Standards Committee.

Complaints forms and arrangements for dealing with Standards allegations can be downloaded from here.

Register of Interests

Councillors are required to complete and maintain a register of interests. You will be provided with a register of interests form if elected or the form can be downloaded from here. Current members' completed register of interests forms can be found by viewing the details of the Councillor here.

 

Planning

Allerdale Borough Council is the local planning authority for the area of the borough that lies outside of the Lake District National Park. Information on planning can be found here. Planning and development is in accordance with the Local Plan as agreed.

The planning section has the responsibility to ensure that new development is well designed and carefully sited so that it contributes to the high quality natural environment and built heritage of the borough. It also seeks to provide homes and work places to sustain its communities and the local economy.

Planning Applications

Information on planning applications can be found here.

Development Panel

After considering a planning application, officers from the Planning department submit reports with their recommendation of either approval or refusal for the application. Councillors who have been appointed as members of the Development Panel will study the report, hear representations from members of the public and then vote on whether to approve or refuse the planning application.

Development Panel meetings take place in the Council Chamber at Allerdale House, Workington every three weeks at 1pm.

Public Participation

There is a Public Participation Scheme for Development Panel meetings which can be downloaded here.

NuGen - Moorside Project

NuGeneration Limited (NuGen) is the company working to develop detailed plans for the construction and operation of a new nuclear power station at Moorside which is located on land to the west and north of the existing Sellafield site.  As the Moorside project is a nationally significant infrastructure project, NuGen will need to make an application for a Development Consent Order to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Prior to the formal application NuGen are required to consult with the local community and key stakeholders. The first stage of consultation will formally commence on 16 May 2015 and prior to this NuGen has arranged a briefing for elected members from Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Council and Cumbria County Council which will take place at 6pm on 14 May at Whitehaven Golf Course. Please RSVP direct to NuGen by 12 May.

Details are included on the invitation to the briefing which can be found in the downloadable documents section below.

 

Useful Links

  • The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections. It works to support a healthy democracy, where elections and referendums are based on its principles of trust, participation, and no undue influence.
  • The Local Government Association is a politically-led, cross-party organisation that works on behalf of councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government. It aims to influence and set the political agenda on the issues that matter to councils so they are able to deliver local solutions to national problems.
  • North West Employers are a not for profit organisation that exists to help organisations deliver better outcomes with and for local people. All 41 local authorities in the North West, together with many of the fire and rescue services, police and crime commissioners' offices and joint boards, are members.

 

Downloadable Documents

All documents open in a new window.
File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerMember Induction Programme 2015 in PDF format20 Kb3 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerMember Development Strategy & Community Leadership Review 2015 in PDF format143 Kb20 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerAllerdale Borough Council Constitution - Revised 2014 in PDF format1769 Kb4 mins 13 secs @ 56k, 7 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerFreedom of Information Act - Induction for Councillors in PDF format25 Kb4 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerData Protection Act - Induction for Councillors in PDF format27 Kb4 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerGuidance - Outside Bodies - Roles and Responsibilities in PDF format76 Kb11 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerGuidance - Appointments to Outside Bodies in PDF format196 Kb28 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatRepresentation on Outside Bodies Feedback Form in Word format101 Kb14 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerNuGen - Moorside Project Councillor Invitation 14 May 2015 in PDF format112 Kb16 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ