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Report Writing and Report Template

The purpose of the report template is to introduce a format that will ensure consistency of report writing throughout West Lothian Council. To ensure that elected members and other report recipients can easily identify and understand the information and implications presented, it is essential that a corporate style to the structure and content of reports be followed.

Use of this template will ensure that reports are comprehensive and cover all salient points whilst also being easy to understand. The Code of Corporate Governance also imposes standards in relation to the form and content of committee reports.

This template must be used for all reports to West Lothian Council, its committees and any subcommittees, and also Policy Development and Scrutiny Panels, and any other meetings at which elected members of the council will consider the report. The most recent version of the template must be used, a link to which can be found on this page.

The template may also be used for any other report including reports for the Corporate Management Team or internal to service areas.

Clear and well-written reports are an essential part of the council's decision-making machinery, and the contents of a report should be accurate, relevant and comprehensive so that the adequacy of the decisions made can be demonstrated, if challenged later.

A list of the potential stages in the process of preparing a report and having it approved at committee is included. Not all stages will apply to every report, and the more important the subject matter of the report, the greater will be the number of steps which must be followed.

The rules about taking a report in private are covered in the guidance. There is also a very brief guide to preparing for the actual meeting, and presenting a report. There is a separate document with standard wording to use for recommendations in PDSP reports.