To adopt a revised constitution including designation of certain posts as statutory officers.
Council was asked to adopt a revised constitution including designation of certain posts as statutory officers.
Councillor Newman, chairman of the audit and governance committee, presented the report.
He commented that a cross-party governance improvement working group had been formed in October 2014 to review the Council’s constitution. The design principles had been agreed by the audit and governance committee in November 2015. The working group had consulted with political groups, distributed questionnaires, held focus groups and run an all member seminar. He thanked members of the working group for their time and expertise.
At its meeting on 28 November 2016 the audit and governance committee had received a report from the solicitor to the council and considered amendments to the council’s constitution proposed by the working group. The audit and governance committee had agreed the recommendations set out to council in the report.
The Chairman invited speakers to comment. The following principal points were raised
· The wellbeing of elected members was noted with the suggestion that anything affecting the working or wellbeing of elected members, in any respect, should be brought to the attention of all members and their views sought.
· Thanks were offered to the working group members for their hard work and dedication. Particular thanks were expressed to Annie Brookes, head of corporate governance, and Claire Ward, solicitor to the council, for their exceptional amount of work. It was noted that this work had evolved considerably as a result of member involvement and consultation. The proposals for three scrutiny committees to reflect the three directorates was a very positive step.
· A concern was noted that the recommendation did not include retaining the working group or a form of sub–committee to keep an eye on the constitution in the future.
· It was suggested that the constitution needed to be a living document. It was advocated that a further recommendation be added to convey ‘that the constitution, once published, remains a living document and that the audit and governance committee is delegated to consider any future issues or amendments to the constitution before any changes to the constitution are returned to full council for formal adoption’.
The monitoring officer was invited to comment on these points.
· The issue of member’s wellbeing was noted as a new issue which would be taken away and looked at further by the working group.
· In regard to the proposed additional recommendation she commented that the constitution was a function of the audit and governance committee and an annual review was part of the revised constitution.
That (a) the revised constitution at appendix 1 to the report be adopted for implementation with effect from annual council in May 2017 other than the following:
• democratic services manager be designated statutory scrutiny officer to be implemented with effect from 1 January 2017
• chief finance officer be designated section 151 officer to be implemented once recruitment to the new post is complete
• delegation to audit and governance committee for approval of the council’s finance and contract procedure rules to be implemented with effect from 1 January 2017; and
(b) authority be delegated to the solicitor to the council to make technical amendments (grammatical, formatting, and consistency) necessary to finalise the constitution for publication.
- Final Council report re constitution, item 48. PDF 322 KB
- 1 Intro and articles, item 48. PDF 454 KB
- 2 consolidated functions scheme, item 48. PDF 380 KB
- 3 2016 council functions appendix 1 planning and reg functions, item 48. PDF 427 KB
- 4 Procedure rules, item 48. PDF 765 KB
- 5 Codes and guides, item 48. PDF 383 KB
- 6 remits, item 48. PDF 108 KB
- appendix 2 summary of changes, item 48. PDF 187 KB
- Appendix 3 working group consultation, item 48. PDF 581 KB
- Appendix 4 - Governance design principles actions update, item 48. PDF 203 KB
- appendix 5 LGA 200o direction checklist, item 48. PDF 222 KB