Minutes of TAG Council meeting of 21/1/2000 – part 1
MINUTES OF TAG COUNCIL MEETING ON 21 JANUARY 2000
IN COMMITTEE ROOM 3 AT THE GUILDHALL, LONDON
Keith Feltham President
Jo Field Senior Vice President
Neil Bates Junior Vice President
Adrian Golland Immediate Past President
Terry Jagger Past President
Roy Fairclough Secretary and Seminar Manager
John Holdsworth Public Relations Officer
Ian Cooper Regeneration
John Simm Environment
John Judah Vice Chairman
Operations, Management & Procurement
Harry Holden Property Estates & Management
Steve Huddard Leisure
Mike Westhead International Issues
Keith Millington Transportation
John Rainbow Water, Resources & Management
David Thomson South East
Kevin Whiteside Eastern
Mike Farley East Midlands
Brian Carnall East Midlands
John Barkley London
Alan Tyler FPS
Tony Williams Consultant
Andy Roberts Research Council
Beverley Taylor Improvement & Development Agency
1) WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
a) The President welcomed everyone to the fist TAG Council meeting of the new millennium.
b) The Senior Vice President informed the Council that a Memorandum of Agreement had been drawn up between TAG and WATO which had been agreed and signed by the President. The CSS had also signed up to the same agreement with WATO. The TAG representative from Wales would be the WATO chairman, Denys Morgan. Unfortunately, he could not attend the Council meeting.
Minor details in connection with the two organisations have still to be sorted out, such as retired membership, but the President welcomed the Welsh chapter into TAG.
Action: Senior Vice President
c) The President informed Council of the sudden and sad loss of TAG member Tony Atrill, Basingstoke and Deane BC and deepest sympathy went out to his family.
d) There were no major changes to standing committees since the last Council, although personnel changes are planned for the Environment Committee in the near future, upon the retirement of John Simm.
Apologies were received from :-
Edward Chorlton( CSS ), Andy Edwards, Mike Cannon, David Rodwell, Jeff Bailey, Peter Morley, Denys Morgan, Steve Taylor and Doug Pigg.
a) Beverley Taylor, Improvement Review Manager for the Local Government Improvement Programme, from the Improvement Development Agency.
Beverley introduced the operation of the Improvement Development Agency and explained its supportive role to local government as a ‘critical friend’.
She used a PowerPoint slide presentation, the main points of which are listed below:-
· role of IDA is to support improvement in Local Government and to give it the tools to improve
· it is about LG improving its own capacity
· need to be able to share information and practices
· LG Improvement Programme launched in 1998 as a pilot in 6 Councils. Set up from pressures on LG to change and to show what it can do to meet central government policies.
· Concept is a “review by peers”. Overview of whole Council and not service specific. The reviews are people focussed and inclusive. Supportive process – “critical friend”
· 26 reviews have been completed and 46 are signed up. 700 serving officers and members are available to be part of review teams
· Benchmark of an Ideal Authority. Organised around 12 Features, 3 Organisational Themes of Leadership Community, Engagement and Performance Management -how good is the LA at doing these things and 15 Core Competencies – looking specifically at people focus and relationships.
· links to other quality and improvement programmes – EFQM, IIP, Charter Mark, ISO9000, EMAS etc
· review takes a week, mostly taken up with meetings and gathering evidence against the benchmarks – the review team is at the LA a week and focus on how things can move forward within the LA.
· costs between £15k-£20k depending on population
· review has to be what the LA want and it needs to give added value to the LA.
Following a lively question session the Senior Vice President summed up the discussion and proposed a formal vote of thanks.
3)b) Andy Roberts ex Canterbury City Council.
Andy gave a lively presentation about the workings of the Research Council and the role TAG can play in influencing and supporting research work. TAG needs to consider a replacement for Andy when his term of office on the Research Council comes to an end in about 18 months time.
The main points of his PowerPoint presentation are shown below:-
· there are 7 research councils which invest £1.5bn per year to support research
· Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, ESPRC, is one of the big three
· Andy is a member of the wide-ranging user panel for ESPRC. The user panel has lots of influence and individual voting determines where money is allocated
· £450m spent on ESPRC research each year – programme areas are Engineering, Science and Technology and the interface with Life Sciences
· Local Authority Research Council Initiative – sustainable cities programme
· Research Providers – need links with Universities
· look at Research Council’s Web Sites to find out what is happening at present, what schemes are currently on the go
Andy finished his presentation by explaining how he is going to take it easy in retirement !!
The Junior Vice President thanked Andy for his super presentation.
4) TOPICS FOR DEBATE
a) TAG Future
The Senior Vice President opened the discussion on the future of TAG by explaining the discussions he had had with other TAG Regions and members to date. The feedback had been generally good, but there were some fears that to join with SOLACE could lead to TAG becoming second class and perhaps more links should be forged with other technical associations first. Jo Field explained the protocol with SOLACE and indicated that TAG members would not become second class.
He then opened the debate to all present, the details of which are shown in Appendix No 1. A lively debate ensued and all agreed that a negotiating team should be set up to endure uniformity of contact with other organisations. All agreed that the negotiating team should be the Presidential Team plus Doug Pigg and a representative from LOTAG – this would give the team a good regional spread.
The 5 points in the Senior Vice Presidents Report, TAG Futures Discussion Document Appendix No 2/3 were also agreed, as amended below :-
(i) Enlarging TAG or developing a new association through amalgamation with other technical-based associations.
(ii) The opening of discussions with SOLACE, KINDRED BODIES and PUBLIC SECTOR BODIES to explore ways of working together and the possibility of establishing a collegiate system of officer associations
(iii) Encouraging the participation in the technical work of TAG of younger Associate members
(iv) The search for opportunities to participate in the development of cross-cutting
policy issues at a national level
(v) Increasing the membership of TAG through recruitment with Regions leading a recruitment drive
The TAG/SOLACE protocol was also adopted as per Senior Vice Presidents Report, Appendix No 2/3 and attached for information in Appendix No 2.
Action: The Negotiating Team
5) STANDING & REGIONAL COMMITTEES
A)a) Transportation Committee – Presentation by Keith Millington, Chairman
Keith gave an overview of the working of the Transport Committee and the partners involved in the work.
A lot of work had been put into responding to the Integrated Transport White Paper and related documents.
Other work has included comments on Planning Guidance Notes, eg PPG3, 12 & 13.
Joint initiatives have also been carried out on Street Lighting Maintenance and the Committee have contributed to work groups such as DETR Accident Database, BSI Technical Committees and Best Value on Highway Maintenance.
Keith satisfactorily answered all questions thrown at him. One issue raised was the need for TAG members to make a comparison between the percentage of highway calculated SSA and that spent on highways in each authority.
Details of Keith’s presentation can be obtained as a PowerPoint file from the TAG secretary.
The President expressed his appreciation to Keith and his Committee for all the work they had done recently on behalf of TAG and thanked Keith for his excellent presentation.
A)b) There was no report from the West Midland regional Committee as no member from the Region was present at the meeting.
5B) Policy Items for Discussion
a)i) TAG Logo and Headed Paper
The Secretary proposed that instead of printing TAG Headed paper and then circulating it to all Chairmen and Secretaries, that he prepare an electronic version which could be sent to all those TAG members who used headed paper. They would then be able to print out TAG headed paper as and when it was needed.
This would save TAG the cost of buying and circulating TAG headed paper, providing the individuals and authorities concerned would be willing to bear such costs.
It was agreed that the secretary should do this.
b) Standing Committees
b)i) MAG Composition
Dealt with under the Junior Vice Presidents report.
b)ii) Environment Committee Officers
John Simm explained that as he would be retiring from Wigan MBC in the summer and he had been conscious about a replacement Chairman. Several other officers had also changed on the committee. However, he was confident that a new Chairman and Secretary would been found and that the committee will be well represented by TAG members.
Action: John Simm——————————————————————————————————-
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