Council meetings

Agenda item

Constitutional changes


The report was introduced by the Head of Law and the Working Party

considered each of the recommended changes as follows:


Paragraph 6.2 – scrutiny lead on equalities – the Working Party agreed to

amend this drafting error


Paragraph 6.3 – Children & Families Act 2014 - the Working Party agreed to

transfer responsibility for the scrutiny of Special Educational Needs services

for persons up to the age of 25 years to the Children & Young People Select



Paragraph 6.4 – Health & Well Being Board - the Working Party agreed an

update reflecting the creation of the Board.


Paragraph 6.6 – Housing Scrutiny - the Working Party agreed to delete

responsibility from the Sustainable Development Select Committee.


Paragraph 6.9 – Overview & Scrutiny Terms of Reference – In answer to a

query from the Chair, the Head of Law advised that as a general legal

principle the Overview & scrutiny Committee possessed the power to exercise

any of the powers delegated to Select Committees, but that this was not

explicitly expressed in the Constitution. After debate, the Working Party

agreed to ask the Head of Law to formulate an explicit provision in the report

to be considered at Council.


Strategic Planning Committee – the Working Party agreed to strike down the

prescription that Strategic Planning Committee members had to serve on one

of the three ordinary committees. The Chair asked that an Appointments

report in respect of the ordinary Planning Committees be raised at the next

meeting of the Council.


Constitution Working Party – the Working Party debated options for its own

size and concluded that it should remain unchanged at seven.


Paragraph 6.1- the Working Party agreed changes to comply with the

Localism Act 2011 in respect of the Mayor’s qualification as a member of the



Paragraph 6.5 -the Working Party agreed a slightly modified employee

code of conduct.


Paragraph 6.7 - the Working Party agreed provisons for the recording of

budget matters at Council meetings.


Paragraph 6.8 - the Working Party agreed the constitutional amendments

necessary to allow the recording of council meetings and adopted a protocol

as an appendix. The Working Party asked to review implementation and

further consider the operation of Council meeting recording in other local

authorities as part of that review process. In the interim, the Head of Law

would provide a copy of the relevant Regulations to Working Party members.


Paragraph 6.10 - the Working Party agreed to modify the budget and policy

framework rules in accordance with the Localism Act 2011


Paragraph 6.11 - the Working Party agreed changes adding transparency to

the making of officer decisions.


Paragraph 6.12 - the Working Party agreed to give effect to the requirement to

prepare an annual pay policy statement as required by Section 38 of the

Localism Act 2011.


Paragraph 6.13 - the Working Party agreed changes to Financial

Regulations to reflect cahnges in the law and job titles.


Paragraph 6.14 - the Working Party agreed changes to the guidance Code

for Members on Outside Bodies which is attached to the Member Code of

Conduct that reflected current legislation. The Working Party agreed a

suggestion from the Chair that given the scale of change introduced by the

Charities Act 2011, all Members should be briefed on their responsibilities as

members of outside bodies by the Head of Law.


Paragraph 6.15 - the Working Party agreed to note that an Independent

report on Member Allowances would be considered at the September meeting

of the Council and this could require amendments to the Scheme shown in

the Constitution.


Paragraph 6.16 - the Working Party agreed the new chart of the Council’s

management structure.


Paragraph 6.17 - the Working Party noted changes made by the Mayor to his

Scheme of Delegation.


Paragraph 6.18        the Working Party agreed changes to the non executive

scheme of delegation that reflected current law and transfer of functions

across directorates.


Paragraph 6.19 - the Working Party agreed to remove out of date statutory

references and replace them where superceded.


Planning Committees – the Chair questioned the rights of Councillors under

the current Scheme of Delegation and suggested all members should have

the right to refer applications to Planning Committees A, B & C. The Working

Party agreed that the Head of Planning be asked to review the entire scheme

and report back to the Working Party.


Public Questions – the Working Party debated the operation of Public

question time at Council meetings and suggested various possible

modifications. The Working Party concluded that officers be asked to review

the scheme and report back to the next meeting. The Chair also asked that

the Mayor be asked to consider the introduction of a Mayor’s question time

which might operate outside of ordinary Council meetings.


RESOLVED that the amendments as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report be

recommended for approval by the Council and Officers be asked to action the

points agreed in respect of paragraphs 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 6.14 and on the

Planning Committees and Public Questions paragraphs.



The meeting closed at 9.22pm

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