Contact: Sarah Assibey
No interests were declared.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on September 19 2021 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
The Director of Law, Governance and Elections presented this item. He
outlined some fundamental points of the report as follows:
He stated that there were statutory provisions relating to the awards of
Aldermanic titles- the Council needs to have a protocol and scheme adopted.
The key consideration is if the scheme is agreed, the Party would be
forwarding the recommendation to full Council for formal adoption.
He also pointed out that in the protocol, outlined in the appendix of the report,
the award will not be conferred automatically upon retirement which means
there will need to be specific decisions made in relation to specific
Councillors. He continued that the law requires a resolution of two-thirds of
those present and entitled to vote at a special meeting of the Council, for the
award to take effect and that the nomination would initially be considered by
the Standards Committee. It was highlighted that the award of Aldermanic
recognition cannot be done at a normal meeting of the Council- but it must be
done at a special meeting to consider any such award. The rules that apply to
the award of the title, also apply to the removal of the title.
Members commended the award of Alder as being inclusive and progressive
in giving former Councillors the choice of Alderman, Alderwoman or Alder.
Councillor Bonavia also highlighted the importance of ensuring the title is
awarded to those who have not only met the standard of being a Councillor
but also those who may have gone above their role. He commended the role
of the Standards Committee in this decision making.
In the course of discussion, the meeting was interrupted by a fire alarm and
members reassembled at the designated fire assembly point for the Council
Chamber outside the Civic Suite.
Members further considered the proposal in the Protocol that Honorary
Aldermen, Alderwomen or Alders must have served 8 years in total on the
Council and concluded that a further clause in the Protocol allowing awards
for lesser service in exceptional circumstances gave the Council sufficient
flexibility to grant awards if required.
The Working Party then unanimously agreed the following recommendations:
(1) the Protocol shown at Appendix 1 be recommended to Council for
(2) The Council be asked to amend the Constitution to include the proposed
revision at Appendix 2.
The constitutional update item was presented by the Director of Law,
Governance & Elections who confirmed that an addition agreed by the
Overview & Scrutiny Business Panel appeared in the final Protocol to
be considered by the Working Party.
Statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny had been published in May
2019, which local authorities must have regard to when exercising their
functions, and this recommended developing a scrutiny-executive protocol.
Members reviewed the Protocol and unanimously agreed that it be
recommended to the Council.
The Working Party was further informed the Monitoring Officer had exercised
his duty to keep the Constitution in lawful effect by removing reference in
Council Procedure Rules to the time limited Regulations that had made
provision for remote meetings until May 2021.
The Working Party then unanimously resolved to adopt the following
(1) Council be asked to append the Scrutiny-Executive Protocol to the
(2) the actions taken by the Council’s Monitoring Officer to give the
Constitution legal effect be noted.
Constitutional Update - verbal update from the Monitoring Officer
The Working Party received a verbal update from the Monitoring Officer who
indicated his intention to undertake a review of the Constitution some time
after the Borough Council elections in May. He expressed a view that the
current constitution was lawful but was unwieldy and required modernisation.
RESOLVED that the update given by the Monitoring Officer be noted.
The meeting closed at 7.41pm