Tuesday, 19 June 2007

More training

Yesterday's training session was about Children's Services. It was well presented and interesting, with some useful discussion stimulated by Cllr Alexandra Nicholson, one of the new Conservative councillors, who has a double interest here, since she is a teacher who appears likely to be giving birth at any minute!
It seems that one of the officers was at York University at the same time as me, though as far as I know, our paths never crossed.
The whole senior tier of management in this Department is new, having been appointed within the past six months or so, with one vacancy still to be filled. There have been major changes made in the organisation of the Department.
Refreshingly, the officers were quite open about the challenges facing this Department, with some of the key Government indicators showing Darlington at or near the bottom of national league tables in educational achievement and performance. This situation, of course, pre-dates the new regime there.
Unfortunately, as is always the case when interesting training presentations are made, time ran out too quickly, so we were only able to get a brief overview of the social services part of this Department.

Also unfortunately, Mark Burton was not in fancy dress http://www.harrowgatehill.co.uk/index.php?option=com_joomlaboard&Itemid=29&func=view&catid=8&id=1339
Today it's Community Strategy and tomorrow it's Corporate Services. Then on Friday there's a Special Meeting of the Full Council at 12.45pm. And that lot doesn't include all the evening meetings councillors have to attend, either in their ward or in their respective local parties.


miketually said...

As you're self employed, it mus be fairly easy for you to convince yourself to left yourself have time off for meetings :)

How does it work for councillors who have to answer to The Man?

Mike Barker said...

I also only have a two minute walk to the Town Hall. Most of the training sessions start at 5.30pm, with some decent food laid on (no volly vonts, as IW calls them, though!).
Most Council committee meetings, working party meetings and site visits do seem to take place during the day, though, so an employed councillor would need an understanding employer. Perhaps that's why some new councillors have been to every training event so far, and some we've hardly seen.

STEVE said...

I work in a two man buisness so things can some times be hard, but my boss his good as he lets me swap days, or take two half days and some times an odd hour or two, depending on the meeting, but i carn't always make all of them, it must be hard for those on 9 til 5 Monday to Friday.

Anonymous said...

If you did not want the responsibility of council training sessions, you should not have stood for council in the first place MR Barker, as miketually said you have plenty of time as you are your own boss and this is a great advantage.

Mike Barker said...

Dear anonymous, you're back. I've missed you! I fail to see how you can interpret anything I've posted as suggesting I do not want the responsibility of going to training sessions or any of the other responsibilities that come with being a councillor.

miketually said...

Hmm, it would be very hard for me as a teacher to be a councillor. It would require lots of lesson swaps and would mean asking for lots of help from colleagues.

It wouldn't help that the elections have to take place in the main coursework marking time :)