Agenda item

Member KNet Pages


(1)       The GLD Delivery Officer gave a presentation showing the Members’ Page on the KCC Intranet site (KNet).   She began with the “Carousel” page which set out the menu and explained that it was reviewed and updated every week. It typically contained time-limited or time-sensitive items such as new Covid Vaccination Centres, new Consultations and stories of general interest to KCC. 


(2)       At the bottom of the page, there was a bar entitled “Resources” which contained a number of features including an email address which Members could utilise if they needed information that they could not access elsewhere.   The “Video Area” consisted of three channels: “Inductions”, “Briefings” and “Training and Member Development.”  Access to these channels was limited to members and those officers who needed to upload content.  The “Update” section contained the latest news on a variety of issues and announcements.  It was kept up-to-date n a weekly basis.


(3)       The GLD Delivery Officer then explained the purpose of the nine tiles under the heading “Quick Links.”  These were “Useful Contacts” (including Directorate Structure Charts), “Expenses”, “Useful Documents” (which now included the Member Handbooks and FAQs), the “Committee Calendar” (which now included a Committees Page), the “Consultation Site” “Emergency Planning”, the “Information Point”, and “Member Development” which linked to KCC’s Delta Service page (KCC’s e-learning platform.)


(4)       The GLD Delivery Officer then said that the page also contained space for additional tiles such as the “Tribute” page which was currently there.  Additional pages were available for news updates as well as advice and guidance. The “Media Hub” was automatically updated whenever KCC issued a press release. 


(5)       The General Counsel commented that the work carried out to make the Members’ Page as relevant and up-to-date as possible was carried out by staff in Democratic Services and other Teams such as Corporate Communications and Policy.  It also gave opportunities for Members to comment upon the current content and suggest improvements.


(6)       Mr Gough asked whether Members were generally aware of the existence and usefulness of this service.  The GLD Delivery Officer replied that it was difficult to quantify use of the site by Members due to the confidential nature of the way in which it had been set up.  Although it was possible to ascertain the number of hits on the site, the actual users could not be identified. This meant that the users could be an officer who had uploaded data or the same Member using the site regularly.  Members had been notified by email earlier in the year that work on building up and improving the Members’ Area.  She was not aware whether similar correspondence had been sent to the new cohort following the May elections. 


(7)       The General Counsel agreed with Mr Gough’s suggestion that all-Member briefings on any topic would afford an excellent opportunity to incorporate a brief presentation on Members Area, such as the Committee had just received.  He agreed to discuss this with his colleagues with a view to including a Members Page introductory presentation at a suitable briefing session. 


(8)       Mr Sweetland said that the Constitution and the current budget should be made easily accessible in the Members Area.


(9)       The General Counsel agreed to investigate whether there was a possibility of identifying how many Members were actually using the Members Area on KNet. He would respond in writing to all Members of the Committee.


(10)     The GLD Delivery Officer responded to a question from Dr Sullivan by saying that the FAQ tile was being built up to inform Members about such matters as how best to assist parents who were taking part in School Transport appeals.  She added that she would be very interested in receiving input from Members on questions commonly asked of them by the public.  


(11)     The General Counsel said that one of the most important benefits of the Members Area was that it was able to signpost Members to the areas they were interested in.  The Member Development Sub-Committee was expected to be formed in the New Year, providing an excellent opportunity for this service to be considered in detail. 


(12)     Mr Hook said that, whilst accepting that there were other creative ways for Members to be informed about Members Area, a simple email from the General Counsel explaining the benefits and accessibility of the service would also be very useful.  He also agreed with the general view of the Committee Members that the political groups should use their meetings to publicise it amongst their Members. 


(13)     Mr Hook then said that KCC should guard against treating the information provided to Members as though it were confidential.  In Many cases, this information could be made accessible to the public. 


(14)     The General Counsel replied that he would be reporting to the January meeting of the Policy and Resources Cabinet Committee on Freedom of Information, Data Protection and Information Governance.  The issue Mr Hook had just raised would be considered within it. Ideally, KCC should publish as much as possible.  Much of it was already available on the KCC website.  There was, however, the question of resources to be considered.    For example, it would be resource intensive if senior KCC staff were to examine every slide contained in a presentation initially given to Members in order to establish whether it contained confidential information.  Also, the Members Area often directed Members to relatively junior staff, who would not be the appropriate people to deal with questions posed to KCC by the public.   


(15)     The General Counsel agreed to consider options for making KNet accessible to Members who were using their personal devices. He added that the Deputy Leader was currently considering the IT that was made available to them, as it was becoming outdated.


(16)     The General Counsel replied to a question by the Chairman on paragraph 5 of the report by saying that he would inform Members of their ability to participate in workshops on the KNet pages if they were interested in doing so.  


(17)     RESOLVED that:-


(a)       the report be noted together with the comments made by Members of the Committee; and


(b)       the information about registering interest in the KNet workshops be circulated to all Members.


Supporting documents: