Training course

Committees Basic Survival Guide

24 April 2020
10:00 - 16:30
Eversheds, London

1 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7WS

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Target Audience:

This course is aimed at those who wish to understand the basics of the legal framework of local authority meetings; prepare for and handle meetings, including the statutory and procedural rules that apply; and benefit from some good practice tips on how to advise elected members with confidence. Sessions will include working with committees; executive arrangements and the committee system; ethical standards and the code of conduct; public access to information; and good practice tips for managing meetings; decision-making and minute writing.

A local authority is a big business: it must work within a political culture and a decision-making framework. The whole Council cannot sit in permanent session debating all the detailed issues and making all the necessary decisions. Apart from the practicalities that would arise, it has limited powers to intervene in decisions on executive functions. The framework is complex; different legal requirements and procedural rules apply to different types of meetings. The Local Government Acts of 1972, 1985, 1989, 2000, 2007 and 2011 prescribe much of the legal framework, but it is important not to forget that the courts also have a very important part to play in local authority decision-making.

This introductory course will give participants:

  • a good introduction to the law and practice of local authority meetings
  • a basic knowledge and understanding of council constitutions and executive arrangements and the committee system;
  • new insights and good practice tips to help them to carry out their role effectively; and
  • the confidence to apply what they have learned and develop their role.

Course Content

  • The Legal Framework
  • Executive Arrangements under the Local Government Act 2000
  • Powers and Duties of Committees
  • Composition of Committees and Proportionality
  • Schemes of Delegation
  • Substitution Rules
  • Members’ Rights of Access
  • Procedure Rules and rules of debate
  • The Agenda and summons to meetings
  • Managing the Meeting and getting legal decisions
  • Tips on Minute writing
  • Public Rights of Access to Meetings and Papers, Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Members’ Access to Information
  • New Models of Governance under the Localism Act 2011
  • The Councillors’ Code of Conduct
  • Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Please note: This event is only open to local authorities and public service staff

This course will cover the following aspects of the SRA’s Statement of solicitor competence:

A Ethics, professionalism and judgment

A2 Maintain the level of competence and legal knowledge needed to practice effectively, taking into account changes in their role and/or practice context and developments in the law

A4 Draw on sufficient detailed knowledge and understanding of their field(s) of work and role in order to practice effectively

A5 Apply understanding, critical thinking and analysis to solve problems

B Technical legal practice

B1 Obtain relevant facts

B3 Develop and advise on relevant options, strategies and solutions

C Working with other people

C1 Communicate clearly and effectively, orally and in writing

C2 Establish and maintain effective and professional relations with clients

C3 Establish and maintain effective and professional relations with other people

Committees Basic Survival Guide

24 April 2020 | 10:00 - 16:30

£215 +VAT

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