Guide: How to stand for Election - Information for Candidates

Part 11

Services for Members of the Council

Identification –

  • All members of the Council will be given a smartcard (identity badge) which they will need to use when visiting Council premises. This will also be required to enter the car park via the barrier.

Members’ stationery

  • A range of printed stationery is available through the Member Services Unit who are located within the Members’ Lounge in Bellair.

Document Reproduction

  • A photocopier is available for the exclusive use of members in the Bellair lounge. Further services can also be obtained via the Democratic Services and Scrutiny Secretariat.

Computers and Email

  • The Council is looking to provide its members with a windows device. Members can chose either a ‘tablet’ or ‘hybrid’ device and a smart phone. This will obviously have the Microsoft Office software and any other systems required. For example the Council has the Modern.Gov committee management system which allows access to meetings papers . Each Councillor is offered an email address “@devon.gov.uk”.
  • Councillors using the Councils ICT will receive basic training and may receive more specialist training and technical support from the Council’s staff, if this is required. Regular training will be provided as and when new systems are introduced.
  • More and more of the Council’s business is being done via electronic communications. Email is the primary means of communication and, to keep themselves fully in the picture, Councillors must be able to take advantage of these systems, otherwise they may lose out on important information.
  • Photographs, contact information and other details about members are posted on the Devon County Council public website for the benefit of the public. See the Councillor details. There is also the opportunity for Members to provide a link to their own websites, blogs and social media profiles if they so chose. However, the Council takes no responsibility for the content contained within such sites.
  • There is a PC and photocopier in the Members’ Lounge which are exclusively for members’ use when at County Hall.

Travel and accommodation arrangements

  • There may be instances when, in the course of attending meetings or conferences on behalf of the Council, members require assistance in making travel or other arrangements. Travel arrangements can be made through the Member Services Unit.

Telephone calls

  • Members may contact staff at the majority of the County Council offices by ringing the Devon County Council Call Centre on: 0845 155 1015 (General Enquiries)
  • If Members are unsure of whom to speak to about a particular problem it is suggested that they contact the Democratic Services and Scrutiny Secretariat or Members Services Unit at County Hall who will be able to assist them on 01392 382300.

Members’ Information Bulletin

  • An information bulletin is distributed fortnightly via email (from the Member Services Unit) and is intended to alert members to official meetings or visits that are known to be taking place or to matters which might be of general interest. Members can also elect to receive daily updates from the Council’s press office on matters of importance, both locally and nationally and receive weekly updates via The Insider. Information may also be made available on the Council’s intranet site called ‘The Source’ and there is also a Members Web which provides other information around member development, property information, traffic information and links to meetings calendars and minutes and agendas etc.

Members’ postal arrangements

  • All outgoing mail to members is sent via the post room at County Hall. This is to prevent members receiving more than one package from County Hall through the post at any one time. Plastic re-usable envelopes are used when necessary.
  • Urgent mail will be sent out on the required date. Non-urgent or routine mail will be sent out on a Wednesday and a Friday If you experience any difficulties with this arrangement please contact a member of the Democratic Services and Scrutiny Secretariat & Member Services Unit.
  • In addition to the normal post received through the Royal Mail the facility exists for “non-urgent material” to be left for members in the pigeon holes in the Committee Suite corridor. There is a large rack at the end of the corridor which contains a pigeon hole for each member. Members’ names appear at the top of their slot. These pigeon holes will only be used by Officers to leave non-urgent information items for collection or items requested by members. None of the items placed in these pigeon holes will normally be posted on. Items will remain until collected by members or until they are cleared out periodically by the Democratic Services and Scrutiny Secretariat & Member Services Unit.

The Information Centre

  • This is situated on the ground floor of County Hall. The Information Centre offers an up-to-date information service for members and keeps a wide range of material on subjects of direct interest to local government.
  • The Centre electronically delivers the Daily Informer which brings together in one daily document news from Devon County Council, local and national media, government departments, alert services, journals, House of Commons and House of Lords Hansards and government department consultations. The items chosen reflect Devon County Council’s wide areas of interest. It also offers a daily local press cuttings service from newspapers across Devon.
  • Reference books, maps, town guides, telephone directories, national and local newspapers and local government journals are held in The Centre. Items for loan are available on subjects such as management, meetings, administration, the environment, social issues and finance and it has rapid access to the extensive collections of the Devon Library Service and Inter Library Loans service.

Contact details

Email – centre@devon.gov.uk
General Tel – 01392 380101

Strategic Intelligence

Strategic Intelligence provides a wide range of statistical and information services to the County Council, District Councils and other public bodies in Devon, ranging from census data to statistics on population & housing, industry and many other figures relevant to the Council’s activities. The team has five main areas of work – Information Governance, Information Management, Corporate Consultation, Data mapping (GIS) & Statistics and Understanding Devon Communities.

Information Governance Team

The Data Protection Act 1998 is legislation established to protect an individual’s privacy by regulating the way their personal data is processed. The Act is based on eight  legally enforceable principles which organisations who obtain and handle personal data must follow.

Devon County Council is committed to upholding these principles and has a recognised Data Protection Office with responsibility for that.

For further information about your rights under the Act contact the Devon County Council Information Governance Team. Further guidance about the Data Protection legislation  is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.