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