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Councillor development recognised with charter award

30 October 2017

Our commitment to developing councillors has been recognised with a new charter mark.

We have been awarded the Level 1 Review Charter on Elected Member Development by the North West Employers’ regional development committee.

The assessment looks at how a council works to enhance its councillors’ skills and knowledge to best enable them to represent the communities they serve.

The charter means that we meet five key priorities, including ensuring councillors are aware of learning and development opportunities, identifying development needs and having the right strategies in place to meet those needs.

The assessors interviewed officers and councillors about the development and support offered.

In their final report the assessors concluded: “It is clearly evident that South Lakeland District Council is seeking to continually improve their councillors’ development provision. There is a clear, structured approach and opportunities are in place for councillors to develop their skills and knowledge.

“Councillors felt involved and supported in the process and that there is two-way communication in respect of identifying development needs and requesting support.’’

The report also mentioned there was ‘a real strength about customers being at the heart of the organisation’ and the members had a ‘strong sense of clarity around the strategic vision and direction of the organisation.’

It recognised that we had a ‘commitment to the role that councillor development has in supporting councillors in their changing roles’, the development offered is ‘innovative, with lots of opportunities available’ and that ‘good use is made of the budget and there is great support from the officers.’

Councillor Brenda Gray, chair of our Member Services Steering Group, said: “We are delighted to have received this charter award.

“It recognises the council’s excellent approach to member development and how we are supported to move with the times and learn new skills.

“Our Customer Connect programme is all about ensuring that the council delivers faster and better services to our residents and it is important that we, as councillors, are part of that process.’’