To submit the recommendations of the Constitution Working Group in respect of proposed amendments to various parts of the Constitution and seek the Council’s approval and adoption of the proposed revisions.
The Director of Corporate and Customer Services introduced a report submitting the recommendations of the Constitution Working Group in respect of proposed amendments to various parts of the Constitution and to seek the Council’s approval and adoption of the proposed revisions.
In introducing the working group’s recommendations, the Director reported that the full Council would continue to take all decisions in respect of new strategies or policies or where proposals represented a major departure from agreed policy. Within the proposed framework, policy committees would have authority to review and develop policy and make amendments to policies other than where the Council had reserved that function to itself or where the change was so politically significant that it would require a decision of the full Council.
The Constitution Working Group recommended the establishment of a Scrutiny Committee. The group have prepared draft terms of reference and procedure rules for the operation of the Scrutiny Committee, the functions are summarised as:
· Holding Policy Committees to account for decisions taken – either through call-in prior to a decision being implemented or through post implementation review of a policy, procedure or service change
· Developing or reviewing an existing policy, procedure or way of working within the Council
· Monitoring and reviewing the performance indicators in respect of service provision
· Scrutiny of external bodies
The Director of Corporate and Customer Services thanked all members of the Constitution Working Group for their input and Councillor Hughes for assisting with the development of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules.
It was moved by Councillor Tony Morley, seconded by Councillor Mike Ratcliffe and
1. That the functions of the Council be confirmed as all new strategies and policies, those matters reserved by the law and any matters that the Council resolves to reserve to itself; as well as responsibility for the approval of the following specific strategies and policies:
a) Revenue and Capital Budgets, including determination of the Council Tax and the Local Council Tax Support Scheme
b) The Corporate Plan
c) The Performance Plan
d) The Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy
e) The Development Plan documents and the plans and alterations which together comprise the Development Plan, known as the Local Plan
f) The Licensing Authority Policy Statement under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005
g) The Medium Term Financial Strategy
h) The plan or strategy for the control of the Council’s borrowing, investments or capital expenditure or for determining the Council’s minimum revenue provision.
2. That the Policy Committees be authorised to review and approve amendments to existing policy matters that are not reserved to Council or delegated to officers relating to the functions within service areas listed in their respective terms of reference at Part 3 of the Constitution.
3. That the term of reference of the Policy Committees be amended to include the following:
a) The formulation, development and implementation of the Council’s overall budget and policy framework, including recommending to Council where such matters are required in respect of new strategies or policies
b) The coordination of the implementation of policy and strategic objectives across the Council.
c) The implementation of Council approved strategies for the social, economic and environmental well-being of citizens in respect of functions and services not otherwise the responsibility of the full Council.
d) The promotion and maintenance of excellent services for citizens in line with the Council’s corporate priorities.
e) Functions relating to personnel and health and safety to the extent that those functions are discharged in the Council’s capacity as an employer.
f) The establishment of working groups, subject to available resources and to consultation with the Chief Executive, to develop or review policy in accordance with agreed priorities in the Corporate Plan or Budget and make recommendations back to Policy Committees for determination
4. That, subject to the approval of recommendations 1, 2 and 3, the Council Procedure Rules be amended to allow for questions to be put to officers at meetings of Policy Committees and for multiple contributions from Members during debate at the discretion of the Chairman of the Policy Committee meeting.
5. That reports for information no longer be submitted to Council or its Committees unless there is a statutory requirement for the matter to be considered formally.
6. That a regular information briefing be issued to Members covering matters previously subject to information reports to Council or Committees.
7. That a Scrutiny Committee be established, with terms of reference to be inserted in Part 3 of the Constitution (Responsibility for Functions) and procedure rules to be inserted in Part 4 of the Constitution (Rules of Procedure), as set out in Appendices 2 and 3.
8. That the Independent Remuneration Panel be asked to review the role and remit of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee and recommend at its earliest convenience a special responsibility allowance to be paid for the roles to the Council.
9. That General Delegations to Officers, set out in Appendix 1, be inserted in Part 3 of the Constitution and the principle be approved that functions are to be discharged by officers unless expressly reserved to the Council or its committees within the Constitution or by way of resolution.
The Chairman declared the motion CARRIED.