Agenda item

Constitution Review

Report of the Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer to follow.


The committee considered a report of the Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer which sought approval to amend the constitution. The proposed changes included the removal of repetition, changes to the council’s standing orders and changes in relation to Executive Member decision making processes. The report also presented an update report template to members for approval.


The Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer explained that the report was essentially the same as that presented to the Task Group however clear changes were highlighted within the report. Members were requested to consider and address the proposed changes to Executive Member Decision making, to move towards member led rather than officer led decision making.


In response to a member enquiry, the Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer confirmed that the terms of reference for Planning Committee would be amended to read that the membership is a, “minimum of five.”


Members discussed the proposed amendment to remove the additional provision for questions to be asked at Council of Cabinet Members, Chairmen or any member appointed to any joint authority, board or outside body. Although it was accepted that questions could be asked of Cabinet outside of meetings, members were still concerned that the opportunity to put a question to Cabinet at Council needed to be permitted.    


Members agreed that it was important to allow Members of the Public the right to speak at meetings, however members recognized there would need to be a time limit in order to prevent debate from being stalled.


The Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer advised members that another proposed change to the constitution would be to limit the number of non-committee members who were permitted to speak at Planning Committee. Members would only be permitted to make representations on an application if the application fell within their ward or where the application sits on ward boundaries, they would be affected by it.


In response to a member enquiry, it was explained that the Chair would also have discretion to allow additional speakers. For applications of significant importance to the borough it would be for the Chair to accept on a case by case basis. Members agreed that two options on this proposed amendment to the constitution be included within the full council report for member consideration.


RESOLVED: (Unanimously)


1.    The proposed amendments within Appendix 1 were resolved as per the report.

2.    Members requested the following amendments be made to Appendix 2 prior to the report being submitted to full Council for consideration:

a) Questions at full Council would be amended to include Cabinet Members along side the Leader and Deputy Leader.

b) In relation to participation at Planning Committee, two options to allow Members not on Committee to speak would be provided to full Council to make the final decision.

3.    Members requested there be no amendments to the public speaking provisions.

4.    Following the requested amendments to Appendix 2 the proposed changes to the constitution are approved to be submitted to full Council for consideration.

5.    That the report template be approved for adoption.



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