Calls to ‘name and shame’ Hartlepool councillors who fail to attend compulsory training

Calls have been made to ‘name and shame’ councillors who do not attend mandatory training required of them.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 12:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 11:34 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Hartlepool Borough Council will also look to introduce online training courses for certain items for councillors to ensure they can complete the courses expected of them.

It comes after the council constitution committee discussed what measures it can put in place to ensure councillors attend mandatory training required of them.

As councillors are elected by their constituents and not employees of the council, measures available to enforce officers to do training are not necessarily available to councillors.

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Councillors backed reporting on compliance with mandatory training to one of the council’s public committee meetings to call them to account.

Council leader Coun Shane Moore said: “If people are prepared to just walk away and shy away from it, then as far as I’m concerned they need to be shamed into accepting that.

“There is the potential option of reporting member compliance to committees to hopefully shame said members into getting on those training courses, because they wouldn’t want their names being read out on a regular basis for being on the naughty list, so to speak.”

Councillors backed the idea certain training courses should be mandatory, such as for corporate parenting, and agreed with naming councillors who do not comply.

Coun Brenda Harrison said: “I think there are certain things that do need to be mandatory.

“I totally agree about the naming and shaming, there has to be something whereby people will realise their responsibility and follow the advice on the mandatory training.

“It needs to be stressed to people how important it is.”

Councillors also wanted e-learning to be explored for certain courses, which council officers said could be arranged.

Coun Helen Howson said: “I would really welcome a blended approach to training, like e-learning.

“I think that would encourage participation, it gives people less excuses for not doing the training, and arguably you could have more updates that way, and it’s also financially efficient.

“People do masters online now, I did a recent safeguarding training, and it took me an hour and a half to answer all the questions and come back with a certificate, you can have mechanisms there to make sure people have completed it.”

Councillors stressed there must be a thorough question and answer process or similar mechanism in any online training to ensure members fully complete the programme after some concerns were raised.

Council chiefs also said a further report would come forward in the future regarding the overall training package for new councillors.