To update the committee on the latest arrangements for member induction following the elections on 4th May, 2017
Submitted - a report updating the committee on the member induction arrangements following the elections on 4 May, 2017.
The Democratic Services Manager gave a short presentation on the election arrangements, and referred to:-
· The Current Situation
In response to questions from members, the Democratic Services Manager noted:-
· That members would sign-up to accept the post when visiting the Code of Conduct stall on the Welcome Days on the 9 and 10 of May and that this would be legally acceptable.
· There would be a need to consider the situations of those members who served on outside bodies, but who would not be re-elected to the Council after May, on a case-by-case basis.
The latest version of the Members Portal was displayed and members were asked to contact the Democratic Services Manager, or a member of the Team, if they wished to present ideas on how the portal could be developed further.
The Head of Democratic Services provided an update on the situation of the IT provision to members from May onwards. He noted:-
· As a result of differing opinions amongst the members of the Focus Group (three were of the opinion that we should standardise on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, one preferred the Surface Pro 4 personally, but was happy for others to choose and one favoured the Ipad Air 2 for everyone), that he had been asked, as the Head of Democratic Service, to make a decision on the matter.
· That he had thoroughly considered the matter, taking into account the views of the majority and consulting with officers and the Deputy Leader, who was a member of the Focus Group, but that he had ultimately decided on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, on the grounds that it offered much more than what was possible with other types of devices.
· The intention over time would be to move completely to the Surface Pro 4, and although everyone would be encouraged to use the Surface Pro 4 from the start, the returning members would be allowed to continue using the Ipad until the time would come for them to renew their device.
· Members would also be entitled to use their own personal devices and the IT Unit was confident that they could support those devices also.
The Chair expressed her disappointment that this committee had not been given the opportunity to make a decision on the matter and she asked those members who had served on the Focus Group to submit their views.
Every member of the group noted that they supported the Head of Service's decision. The Democratic Services Manager added that the timetable for purchasing the equipment meant that it had not possible for the Focus Group to report back to the committee.
The importance of arranging training for members on the new equipment early-on was emphasised. The Head of Democratic Services replied that training had been arranged for June/July and that IT officers would be available on the day of the Annual Council to assist members to gain access to their documents. The Democratic Services Manager added that every member would be asked to fill in a questionnaire at the start of the new Council regarding their level of confidence when using technology.
A discussion was held on what would happen to the current equipment. It was noted that the Focus Group had recommended that the members be asked to return the equipment to the Council and that they be gifted to schools so that they could continue to be used as a Council resource.
Some members expressed their disappointment that members would not be offered an opportunity to purchase the devices at a reasonable price. It was noted that the Ipads were no longer in a very good condition and that the schools would prefer to receive more up-to-date equipment.
Since the Head of Democratic Services had been asked to make a decision regarding the devices, it was suggested that it would also be sensible for him to make a decision regarding what would happen to the Ipads. The Head of Democratic Services replied that he would have to check this, but that he would like members to propose their recommendation before that happened.
1. To support the decision of the Head of Democratic Services to select the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 as the most suitable electronic device for members from May onwards.
2. In relation to the existing devices, a recommendation to the Head of Democratic Services to give members the option to:-
· Purchase the Ipads at a reasonable price.
· Return them to the Council to be cleaned of all data and gifted to schools.
· Continue using them for the time being, and to select one of the above-mentioned options when the time came for them to be upgraded to the Surface Pro 4.