Practical Session on Committees and Governance


Repeated from East Midlands

17 November 2016, 9.30am registration (9.45am start) – 1.00pm (followed by lunch)  The Priory Rooms, Birmingham

Presented by Bevan Brittan and Geldards


Course overview

Suitable audience:

Lawyers and democratic service officers who want to have a greater understanding or a refresher in good decision making and governance and how current arrangements will sit alongside Combined Authority Structures.


The session will give an overview of how to make sense of your Constitution and advise confidently on decision making.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Content of Constitution.
  • Council Functions – Executive, Non-Executive and Committees.
  • Valid decision making.
  • Delegations.
  • Role of members and officers.
  • Scrutiny and special committees.
  • Combined Authorities and Devolution

Interactive elements 

Duration: Half a day (3 Training hours) including lunch


A Ethics professionalism and judgement 

B Technical legal practice

B2 Legal research

B4 Draft documents

B5 Advocacy

B6 Negotiation

C Working with other people

C1 Communicate clearly and effectively

D Managing themselves and their own work

Presenter profiles 

Frances Woodhead is a Partner at Bevan Brittan and before joining Bevan Brittan has worked in senior roles in the public sector for over 25 years, both in house and in the private sector. She has worked for Sheffield City Council for 23 years including the role of Director of Legal Services at Sheffield City Council, managing a large legal and governance department and advising Members as part of the Executive Management Team. She has over 25 years’ experience of advising and working with local authorities, police, central government and the private sector on strategic and policy issues; over 15 years in a leadership role. She has considerable experience of advising elected members in a range of formal meetings and informally, as individuals or in political groups. She also has experience of advising on innovative projects and inquiries into sensitive issues.

Clare Hardy at Geldards is a professional support lawyer on public sector matters. She assists with advice to local authorities and other public bodies and provides support on client matters relating to public services, such as powers and governance, localism and local government law generally. She also provides knowledge management on public law matters. Prior to joining Geldards, Clare trained at Eversheds, where her training focused on local government and included a secondment to Lancashire County Council. After qualifying, she worked at Eversheds, advising on a variety of local government law matters. She also undertook a secondment to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

Jayne Francis-Ward Jayne is the Corporate Director and Monitoring officer at Nottinghamshire County Council and the Chair of the EM LawShare Management panel. She has undertaken these roles under Conservative, Labour and NOC administrations. She led Nottinghamshire’s transition to a committee based system of governance. She is currently the lead officer for the County on the governance arrangements for the proposed Combined Authority.

Please note, EM LawShare events are only open to existing members. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

If you would like to send a list of registrants, please email Julie.Scheller@freeths.co.uk.