A SURVEY to identify councillors’ training needs has become an exercise in futility.
Borough members were asked 70 questions and had their answers analysed as part of a learning styles study to assess their development.
Of Ellesmere Port & Neston’s 43 councillors, 27 took part in the voluntary test, which labelled them as Activists, Pragmatists, Theorists or Reflectors.
However, the results cannot be used as the borough council is to merge with its counterparts in Chester and Vale Royal in April 2009.
The unitary authority plans to adopt a similar test for its new councillors, who were chosen in May’s local elections but who will not take office until next April.
Shirley Hudspeth, borough member services unit manager, said: “Councillors were invited to take part in a learning styles questionnaire as part of our member development programme.
“This is a commonly-used method for trainers to establish the best training techniques to adopt with people.
“The questionnaire was carried out by the North West Employers Organisation and participants were asked 70 questions, with their answers defining them as either activists, reflectors, theorists or pragmatists.
“The information gathered was to be used in the development of a training programme for councillors.
“But this has now been put on hold in light of the formation of the shadow council for Cheshire West and Chester, which will be adopting a similar programme.”
Results of the survey were:
- Cllr Gareth Anderson (Con, Ledsham) was the only one to be named an Activist, meaning he is hands-on learner who prefers to have a go himself in any situation and learns through trial and error.
- Twelve councillors were named Reflectors, who prefer to be thoroughly briefed before proceeding with things. They were Cllrs Kimberley Anderson (Con, Sutton), Keith Butcher (Lab, Rossmore), Linda Cooper (Con, Whitby), Bob Crompton (Con, Sutton Green & Manor), Paul Donovan (Lab, Pooltown), Brenda Dowding (Con, Parkgate), Marie Lewis (Lab, Central), Ted Lloyd (Lab, Rossmore), Kathy Lord (Con, Strawberry Fields), Judith Pugh (Lab, Neston), Catherine Sherlock (Lab, Central), and Graham Smith (Con, Willaston & Thornton).
- The four Theorists, who want reassurance that a project makes sense, were Cllrs Mark Henesy (Lab, Groves), Myles Hogg (Con, Willaston & Thornton), Tom Marlow (Lib Dem, Riverside), and Joe O’Rourke (Lab, Sutton).
- The five Pragmatists, who want a demonstration from an acknowledged expert, were Cllrs Brian Anderson (Con, Groves), Derek Gaskell (Lib Dem, Riverside), Sue Kettle (Con, Sutton Green & Manor), Kay Loch (Con, Burton & Ness), and Justin Madders (Lab, Ledsham).
- Cllrs Michael Clarkson (Lab, Little Neston), Nic Hebson (Con, Strawberry Fields), Allan Huddart (Con, Ledsham), Scott Mealor (Con, Little Neston) and Peter Robson (Lab, Pooltown) were all identified as a combination of two or three of the types.