The Parish Council’s Risk Management Statement identified the following 'risk'.
Hazard: Insufficient and/or suitably skilled Councillors, with a potential consequence that the Council is unable to fulfil its duties either because it is not quorate [does not have the minimum THREE Councillors necessary to reach a decision], or does not have sufficiently skilled Councillors [and Clerk] to discharge duties effectively.
If this were to the case, the report to Council on 'Skills Audit' August 2014 identified 'Residents' as being a key 'group at risk'.
The report to Council noted the 'established controls' that were in place at the time as:-
* Currently the Council is at full compliment. [This continues to be the case with any vacancies being quickly filled by 'secondment'.]
* A broad range of skills and experience appear to be present, although a formal review has not been completed.
* All Councillors are invited and encouraged to attend Hampshire ALC training events which may benefit their knowledge of the role of the Council and Councillors.
The meeting in August 2014 concluded that the current level of risk was 'Medium'. However, the meeting agreed that further action was necessary and agreed to "Complete a skills audit of those on the Council and consider any potential areas for development."
Since 2014, the Parish Council has undertaken a review of the 'Skills Audit Template' once a year. Such a review is particularly relevant after the Local Council Elections, when there may be new Councillors, or when there is a change of Clerk.
The Skills Audit Template looks at competences across the Parish Council and not of individual Councillors. It is NOT a competition between Councillors!! In its simplest form, the Parish Council has agreed to ‘self-assess’ (and record) if it has the necessary skills, knowledge or expertise on all the key areas of responsibility of the Parish Council; and where it does not have them, to then agree how best to fill that gap.
Available below is a copy of the latest and current Skills Audit Template completed by the Parish Council in Sept 2016.