Training course

Online - Committees Basic Survival Guide

28 September 2021
09:15 - 14:45


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LLG welcomes the return of its Committees BSG course, a firm favourite with lawyers and democratic services officers over many years, refreshed and delivered online. Delivered by highly experienced speaker Peter Edwards, this is an interactive course and attendees will be encouraged to engage with the speaker and with each other, share experience, ask questions, and participate in case study examples. Course documentation will be provided in advance in order to give you a head start.

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 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 course will give participants:

  • a good introduction to the law and practice of local authority meetings;
  • a basic knowledge and understanding of council constitutions, especially 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.

Sessions will include Working with Committees; Executive Arrangements; Public Access to Information and Meetings; and Ethical Standards and the Code of Conduct.


This course is aimed at lawyers and democratic services officers and others who wish to understand the basics of the legal framework of local authority meetings; how to prepare for and handle meetings, including some of the statutory and procedural rules that apply; and benefit from some good practice tips on how to advise elected members with confidence.


Session 1: Working with Committees

  • The roles of the Council and its committees
  • Committee structures
  • Powers and duties and terms of reference
  • Schemes of delegation and the principles and practice of delegation
  • The appointment and composition of committees
  • The political balance rules
  • Substitution at meetings

Session 2: Executive Arrangements

  • Directly Elected Mayor and Leader and Cabinet models
  • Council and executive functions
  • Executive decision-making and scrutiny

Session 3: Public Access to Information and Meetings

  • Convening meetings: The agenda and summons
  • Access to meetings and papers
  • Exclusion of public and press
  • Key decisions and the forward plan
  • Managing remote meetings
  • Remote attendance by councillors
  • Remote access by members of the public

Session 4: Ethics and Standards and the Councillors’ Code of Conduct

  • The register of members’ interests
  • Disclosable pecuniary interests
  • Declarations at meetings
  • Some practical examples

Online - Committees Basic Survival Guide

28 September 2021 | 09:15 - 14:45

£199 +VAT

Book today

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