Ipswich Borough Council: getting new members up to speed

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Ed Hammond. Tags:

CfPS can: provide governance and scrutiny support to new members, getting them up to speed with the responsibilities of their scrutiny role and helping them understand the key skills required for good scrutiny.

Who: In July 2015, CfPS’ Regional Advisor Ann Reeder visited Ipswich Borough Council to help members understand the role of the councillor in providing scrutiny and challenge to the executive. New members had just arrived at the council from the May elections, and CfPS’ scrutiny training slotted into their induction process. Ann’s session taught councillors the key principles of Overview and Scrutiny in a leader-cabinet system. In particular, this meant helping councillors understand the nuances of the role – the different ways of conducting a scrutiny review, why it is important to set aside political differences when holding the executive to account, and the importance of work programming, to name but a few.

Outcome: “The training did have an impact. The committee do not sit in their political groups and have really tried not to be political, and this has worked very well. The training also covers areas that would normally be too sensitive for officers of the council to cover.” Jan Robinson, Operations Manager, Ipswich Borough Council.

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About the Author: Ed Hammond

Ed leads CfPS's work on devolution, transformation and on support to councils and other public bodies on governance and accountability.