To consider any communications to be submitted by the Mayor or the Chief Executive.
(a) National Local Government Chronicle Awards
The Chief Executive reminded Members that these Awards celebrated all the very best in Local Government Achievement and it was something in which Barnsley had been very successful in the past. They were hugely competitive and she was very proud to announce that yet again Barnsley had been successful in winning an Award in the Future Places Category which was the ‘Tech Town’ project. This project brought together local people to drive forward the ambitious plans to develop more digital jobs and businesses and to develop a digital first culture and the infrastructure that supported that culture. There was no doubt, as the Members knew, that digital was the future for all of the Council in order to achieve a successful future and this Award was, therefore, a tremendous success and a fantastic result. Thanks were expressed to the whole team involved in this project at this wonderful achievement.
The Chief Executive was also pleased to say that not only had the Council won that Award but it had also been shortlisted for two other Awards.
Ian Faulkner (ICT Manager) with Digital First had been shortlisted in the Rising Star Category and the Smoke Free Schools Campaign had also been shortlisted in the Public Health Category.
She was delighted to say that Martin Beasley (Enterprising Barnsley Group Leader) and Paul Tinsley (Business Start Up Manager), Claire Hinchliff (Project Officer), Ben Hawley (Business Start Up Adviser), Ian Faulkner (ICT Manager) and Kaye Mann (Public Health Senior Practitioner) were present in the Chamber this morning and she expressed her congratulations to them all. She commented that due to the extremely high standard across the country, even being shortlisted was was a fantastic achievement. It was also the second time that the Public Health Team had been shortlisted.
The Mayor and Members of the Council expressed their congratulations to all concerned in the usual manner.
(b) Charter Plus for Member Development
The Chief Executive reported that the Council had successfully achieved the highly acclaimed Member Development Charter Plus Award in recognition of its work to support and develop Elected Members.
The Member Development Charter was a good practice framework which required Councils to demonstrate their commitment and strategic approach to Member Development. Although Barnsley had obtained the Member Development Charter in 2007, this was the first time that the Council had achieved the higher level of Charter Plus in recognition of the level of improvement that had been made. This was an outstanding achievement for Barnsley as there were only a small percentage of Councils across the country that held this prestigious award.
The Team undertaking that assessment had identified that the Council had established a culture of continuous learning and improvement between both officers and Members. They had also noted the positive impact the Member Development Working Party had on Member development since it had been established over 14 years ago and the assessors wanted to thank all Members and officers who took part in the assessment process.
Special thanks were extended to Lesley Glanville (Organisation and Workforce Improvement Strategy Officer) for the work she had done in supporting and developing an excellent portfolio of evidence and the Award was then presented by the Mayor to Councillor Howard (Cabinet Member without Portfolio).
The Mayor and Members of the Council expressed their thanks to all involved in the usual manner.
(c) Mr Ian Turner (Service Director Governance and Member Support
The Chief Executive informed Members that Mr Ian Turner (Service Director Governance and Member Support) had retired from the Council on the 31st March, 2019.
Ian had been one of the Council’s Senior Officers who was responsible for working closely with Members, Senior Management Team and many other officers. He started work for Barnsley on the 6th June, 1988 and she was sure that Members would want to express their appreciation of his services to the Council and to give their best wishes for a long an happy retirement. The Chief Executive also asked to place on record her own thanks together with the thanks of the Senior Management Team for his outstanding service to the Council.
The Mayor and Members of the Council expressed their thanks in the usual manner.
The following Members then responded to the communications received.
Councillor Frost (Cabinet Support Member for Place) thanked all those who had been shortlisted for the LGC Awards and particularly those who had been involved in the Future Places Category, which the Council had won. The Group formed part of the URBACT funded Tech Town Action Planning Network led by the Council via the Digital Media Centre and the Enterprising Barnsley Team for the last three years. The Network comprised 11small and medium sized towns and cities across the EU the aim of which was to explore how to grow digital jobs and businesses. The judges had said ‘it is a great story that shows what can be done to transform a post manufacturing landscape by bringing together the local people, European learning and technology partners. The journey from coal to code is in great shape. We liked the clarity of getting on with it rather than spending a huge amount of time creating strategy, nevertheless, the actions are very strategic. This great start should now become the foundation stone for a broader plan. We appreciated the learning from European Partners. This learning from doing approach should be embedded for it to be built on success. It is great that businesses are growing and great that young people are involved in getting hands on with technology’.
Whilst Councillor Frost was in London he was able to see what from other facilities what the Digital Media Centre 1 & 2 could look like and it gave him a better insight into the hard work that was undertaken in helping digital businesses to grow and thrive. He thanked the Team who were in the Council Chamber this morning for all their hard work and dedication.
Councillor Platts (Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities) asked to place on record her thanks to all the Teams who were nominated, shortlisted and won at the LGC Awards for all that they had done for the Council and the Town.
Councillor Andrews BEM (Deputy Leader) also added his own personal thanks for all those who had been nominated, shortlisted and won at the LGC Awards. He expressed particular thanks to Kaye Mann (Public Health Senior Practitioner) and Diane Lee (Head of Public Health) for their work in relation to the Smoke Free School Campaign and he commented that despite being nominated on two years in succession they had not received an award which was very disappointing given that the Authority had been inundated by other Councils for information about the Smoke Free Schools initiative.
Councillor Andrews also asked to express his personal thanks to Mr Ian Turner (Service Director Governance and Member Support). It had been a great pleasure to work with Ian and behalf of all Members he placed on record huge appreciation for his hard work and dedication and for the service he had given to the Council. He had started work for Barnsley in May 1988 having previously worked in Rochdale. As all Members knew, the Authority could only function successfully with good support and the role that Ian had undertaken in ensuring that Members received good advice and assistance was outstanding and such support had been invaluable. Ian had adapted the service to reflect the changing circumstances and in recent years he had been at the forefront of the move towards Members using digital devices and, thereby, the reduced use of traditional paper minutes and agenda. Just as Members required good support services (as did officers), they also required clear guidance, rules and procedures and this had been a key area of focus of Ian’s work in ensuring that these were lawful and effective . He had been the custodian of the Council’s Constitution and had been a sound source of knowledge, expertise and advice. He had also been the Deputy Monitoring Officer as well as the Service Director. He had performed the role of operating different systems, the former Committee system and then at the forefront of establishing the processes and procedures for the new the Cabinet system which had been introduced in 1999 in advance of the statutory deadlines and for some months he had supported this new system virtually single handed until new staff had been appointed.
Ian had a key role in supporting members across the political spectrum. In the last phase of his career he had been the focal point for all matters relating to governance and had been instrumental in the Council being able to demonstrate sound and effective governance and decision making. He had also been responsible for the Mayoral Support Service as well as supporting the Lord Lieutenant and had also worked with clerks to Parish Councils to foster good relationships and appropriate dialogue between themselves and the Council itself. He had also become an expert in the sensitive area of School Admission Appeals and had supported One Barnsley and the Health and Wellbeing Board as well as discharging his role as the Secretary to the South Yorkshire Leaders Meeting.
In his private life Ian was a supporter of Chesterfield Football Club and this would not doubt continue into his retirement. He was easy going, a pleasure to work with and highly respected across the whole organisation. Councillor Andrews was sad to loose such a well-liked and highly performing colleague and friend. He wished Ian and his wife all the very best for a long, happy and healthy retirement.
Councillor Howard (Cabinet Member without Portfolio) added her own personal thanks to Ian Turner for all he had done for Members and for the Authority. He would be sadly missed and a ‘hard act’ to follow.
Councillor Howard then referred to the Member Development Charter and expressed how proud she was at the Authority being granted Charter Plus Status. She thanked the Members of the Member Development Working Party for their contribution to the success of the Authority in gaining this Award. She also thanked all Members of the Council for the way in which they had embraced Member Development. As a Council, Members had a ‘top class’ offer. The way Members and Officers worked and learned together on a day to day basis was fantastic. Not many Councils had achieved the Charter Plus so to do so was a tremendous achievement and the biggest thanks of all had to go to Lesley Glanville (Organisation and Workforce Improvement Strategy Officer). Without her tireless support, knowledge and experience the Council would not have achieved the success it had. Lesley was the backbone of the Member Development Working Party and was well respected by every Member. Member Development was now well embedded within every strand of the Council and she was sure that the Authority would continue to go from strength to strength.
Councillor Gardiner (Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services) concurred with the comments made by Councillor Howard in relation to the Member Development Charter. He also concurred with the sentiments expressed by Councillor Andrews in relation to Ian Turner who had been a most dedicated servant of the Authority and he gave him and his wife best wishes for his retirement.
Councillors Wilson (Leader of the Conservative Group) and Councillor P Birkinshaw (Leader of the Barnsley Independent Group) both reiterated the comments made by other members in relation to Ian Turner and both wished him all the best for his retirement.
The Mayor expressed his thanks to all officers for the amazing work they did on behalf of the Council and he wished Ian Turner all the best in his retirement.