Notes for meetup #18: Advice, training and development: Supporting scrutiny councillors to succeed
Wednesday 14th July 🇫🇷 10.00-12.00
To celebrate Bastille Day, we had a French theme – well Dave had some madeleines and Matt did the chatfall countdown en français.
To help participants to generate all of those good ideas we had nine minute networking, spiral journal and a conversation cafe.
In a final chatfall we extracted the final, favourite takeaways and here is the final list. Hope it’s useful 🙏.
What helps scrutiny councillors to succeed?
- Zoom premeetings
- Good pre-meeting preparation
- Site visits – get out in the community and meet real people – missed that during pandemic
- Effective use of pre-meetings
- Curiosity, interest in subject matter, willingness to push scrutiny to its limits in adding value
- Great to discuss this – important discussion around relationships, questioning, support, inspiration – asking the ‘Et alors?’ question (so what?))! impact.
- Importance of well-planned and well-timed pre-meetings.
- Opportunity and ability to ask relevant follow-up questions
- Prepare members in advance of the meeting – pre-meeting to filter and theme questions and to pin the areas that may need to change, what we need to know more about and think about recommendations could be formed at the meeting.
- Preparation in advance of the meeting to plan themes, questions and possible recommendations
- Thinking about site visits to support interest in a subject
- Importance of preparation and understanding the brief
- Ensuring member engagement and addressing the issues that hold them back – training for example
- Do less, but do it better – be more focussed rather than trying to solve everything.
- Members to listen to responses at the meeting – for supplementary questions to dig deeper into the issue.
- Listening to officers reponses and forming questions based on new information rather than sticking to pre-prepared questions
- Supporting the development of relationships between executive, scrutiny, officers and others
- Listening well and responding with useful supplementaries
- Pre-meetings held in advance to sort out issues beforehand
- Thinking of innovative ways of getting members engaged
- master class videos with info in advance of scrutiny sessions
- Reports should have all the data, quantative… members need to bring qualitative info and context – at the meeting dig deeper
- Training around questioning for members that is focused and to the point. How to follow up the responses to those questions.
- Need to think about how best to help members understand the impact of their scrutiny
- Working on relationships – and hearing from the edges
- Focus on issues
- Good quality recommendations as a result of useful questions and answers