As a service we take pride in our work by valuing others, focusing on what's important so that we make a real and positive difference. Our values are outlined in our Ways of Working and our Guiding Principles.
What is the role?
Reporting to the Senior Local Democracy Officer you will be joining a small professional team at the centre of the Council providing support to elected members.
The work is varied and involves supporting numerous committee meetings including portfolio, regulatory and scrutiny committees and applicants will need to be flexible and adaptable in order to meet the needs of the service.
You will be using your excellent written and oral communication skills to provide effective and proactive support for a number of council meetings as allocated by the Senior Local Democracy Officer – including preparation and publication of agendas, minutes and relevant reports, within required deadlines and to agreed quality standards. Meetings are sometimes held outside core hours and it is necessary that post holders have the flexibility to occasionally cover evening meeting.
The main elements of the role are:
- Ensuring that agendas, minutes, decisions and reports are available to the public, including electronically, in accordance with statutory deadlines.
- Advising Councillors and officers on standing orders and meeting procedures if required and ensuring the appropriate level of confidentiality is maintained.
- Preparing briefing notes for members as required to ensure that they are fully informed.
- To provide comprehensive support to scrutiny panels including drafting scoping documents, undertaking research, arranging for witnesses to attend meetings, compiling questions, occasional report writing and providing guidance as appropriate in formulating the conclusions and recommendations.
- To maintain and develop a comprehensive knowledge of legislation which may affect the procedures of the Council.
- To be politically sensitive and able to manage sensitive issues.
- To communicate effectively to diverse audiences.
- To make effective use of IT systems including the document management system (Modern.Gov).
- To cover for the work of colleagues as required
Who is the person?
- Working in local government or similar organisation
- Clerking formal meetings
- Drafting agendas minutes and reports
- Working in a political environment
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office – Word, Outlook, Excel - knowledge of the Modern Government document management system would be an advantage although training will be given.
- Knowledge of the legislative framework applying to local government meetings and scrutiny.
- Political awareness together with excellent inter-personal skills
- Ability to work as part of a team to deliver consistently high standards of work in a timely manner (often under pressure) and to help team colleagues as required.
- Excellent communication skills - including the ability to liaise effectively with team colleagues, Councillors, council officers, external partners and the general public.
- Excellent use of written English with attention to detail and taking pride in the quality of work produced.
- Sound report writing skills – ability to convey information clearly and concisely and experience of assembling complex information.
- Good research skills for the preparation of reports and to make recommendations.
- Excellent proof-reading skills and ability to provide advice and comment on written work produced by other officers and to require changes as appropriate.
- Excellent administrative skills including being able to plan and prioritise work and to respond to changing priorities at short notice if required.
- Confidence in giving guidance at formal meetings when the role requires, especially in relation to procedural matters and interpretation of Standing Orders and when clerking scrutiny panels.
- Ability to exercise sound judgement for example in knowing when to escalate a matter to a more senior officer.
- To exercise tact and diplomacy and to maintain confidentiality as required.
- Willingness to undertake occasional evening work and to adopt flexible work patterns if required
- Willingness to be positive in adapting to change – for example in relation to new or changed duties.
This is a politically restricted post under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.