Councillors to get counselling to help with "increasing demands" of job

Harrogate councillors will have access to counselling services to help them deal with the "increasing demands" of the job, under a new proposal.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 11:49 am
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 11:51 am
Harrogate Borough Councillors will be able to access the authority's counselling service, under a proposal to be heard next week.

The authority's general purposes committee will be asked to decide on whether Harrogate Borough Council will extend mental and emotional healthcare to elected representatives.

The council already has a contract with Insight Healthcare to provide mental and emotional support for employees, but at a meeting earlier this year it was confirmed the current arrangement doesn't include councillors.

The report states that Insight Healthcare provides a free, confidential helpline 365 days a year, which can assist with issues ranging from relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, addictions, financial difficulties, or work related problems such as bullying and harassment.

The cost for extending the service to councillors would be £286 per year, which works out to £7.15 per member annually, and would cover up to six sessions each.

Council officers have recommended that the move is approved, stating the authority recognises increasing demands are being made "both at

home and at work for officers and elected members.

"It is common practice across Yorkshire and the Humber to provide elected members with some form of counselling support. It is acknowledged that

elected members face increasing demands and that the provision of counselling support is therefore justifiable."

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter