Agenda item

To answer any questions received from members of the public of which notice has been given under Council Procedure Rule 13

Question from Mr Gardner:

 

Dear Councillors,

 

I write further to the Council meeting held on 9th October 2018 at which it was agreed that all Councillors and Senior Officers undertake a recognised mandatory training session on bullying awareness.

 

Please could Councillors confirm:-

 

Whether the cost of these courses will be funded from the public purse? If so what is the total cost of these courses? and do Councillors feel this is a good use of public funds given the squeeze on public funding and cuts to local services?

 

Is there no code of conduct specified under the Council's Constitution which could have resolved this issue?

 

Kind regards.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Colin Gardner

Minutes:

Question One

 

The following question had been submitted by Mr Colin Gardner and a response was given by the Leader of the Council, Councillor John Burden:-

 

Question:

 

I write further to the Council meeting held on 9th October 2018 at which it was agreed that all Councillors and Senior Officers undertake a recognised mandatory training session on bullying awareness.

 

Please could Councillors confirm:-

 

Whether the cost of these courses will be funded from the public purse? If so what is the total cost of these courses? and do Councillors feel this is a good use of public funds given the squeeze on public funding and cuts to local services? Is there no code of conduct specified under the Council's Constitution which could have resolved this issue?

 

Response:

 

I write in response to your question addressed to the meeting of Full Council on 25 June 2019 relating to resolution at the Full Council meeting on 9 October 2018 that all Councillors and Senior Officers undertake a recognised mandatory training on bullying awareness.

 

To address your specific questions, I can provide you with the following responses;

 

·         The cost of these courses will be funded from established budgets held by the Council for training of Members and Officers as approved by Full Council in February of each year as part of the annual budget setting process.

 

·         The cost of the Bullying Awareness Training session, to be delivered on 18 July 2019 by ACAS, amounts to £600, with this being delivered as part of a wider programme of induction training for Members following the recent elections.  Based on attendance at this session, it is anticipated that a further training date will need to be rearranged for those who cannot attend on 18 July 2019, together with a session for Senior Officers to attend, and the costs for these additional sessions are not yet known but are anticipated to be of a similar cost.

 

·         The course is being delivered to ensure that all Members and Senior Officers appreciate the types of behaviour that can constitute bullying, and the effect that such behaviour could have upon others, so as to ensure that those individuals can avoid inadvertently being perceived as a bully or causing offence to others through their actions.  The course will specifically draw the attention of both Members and Officers to the respective Codes of Conduct and ethical standards that need to be maintained whilst serving in a public service role.

 

Question Two

 

The following question had been submitted by Mr Richard Bayfield on behalf of Leo and a response was given by the Leader of the Council, Councillor John Burden:-

 

Question:

 

Hello, my name is Leo. I am 6 years old. I would like to ask you some questions about climate change, it's very important to me because it is affecting our planet. The planet is getting hotter. People are dying. It is interesting and healthy for us to understand this. I don't think climate change will affect me because I am safe, but it is affecting a lot of other people in the world and I do not like it. Would you consider having a selection of children and young people on the Council to help make decisions about climate change? It will affect us the most.

 

Response:

 

Thank you Leo, that is a very good question, and the points you make are also very important to me.

 

As you might have seen, later on during this meeting we are due to consider a motion in relation to Climate Change, and specifically declaring a Climate Emergency as well as putting in place a series of pledges that we as a Council are prepared to commit to as we seek to play our part in protecting our planet.  I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that Climate Change is a very important matter, and this is why we will be debating that in a few minutes time.  As part of that motion, I will be asking my fellow Councillors here this evening to form a working group that will report back to another meeting of all of the Councillors in six months-time.  During those six-months, it is my intention that this working group will consult with a wide range of groups, including the established Youth Council that we already have overseen by The Grand, local schools and other local groups, and therefore I fully expect there to be an opportunity for young people and children to play their part in developing the strategy for Gravesham. 

 

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