Venue: Mandela Room
Contact: Joanne McNally
Declarations of Interest
no declarations of interest received at this point of the meeting.
of the Constitution and Members’ Development Committee held on 13 May 2022 were
approved as an accurate record.
Update on Constitution Report to Council
explained to the Committee that at the last meeting of full Council on 22 May
2022 he received a number of requests from Elected Members and the Executive
Member for Finance and Governance to defer the report on the update of the Constitution
to a future meeting.
Executive Member for Finance and Governance was in attendance and explained
that concerns were raised regarding the Monitoring Officer being able to make
changes to the Constitution without member’s approval. The Head of Democratic Services explained
that there was an administrative error in the report submitted to full Council
and that it was already in the Constitution that the Monitoring Officer could
make minor changes. It was felt that any
future changes should be agreed in conjunction with the Chair of the Council
and the Executive Member for Finance and Governance.
suggested to the group that it would be beneficial to hold Constitution and
Members’ Development Committee meetings closer to full Council meetings to
ensure that reports were up to date. The
Head of Democratic Services suggested that the committee meetings should be
held quarterly and that a bi-monthly working group be established to work on
the parts of the Constitution that needed reviewing. It was agreed that an email be sent to all
members of the Constitution and Members’ Development Committee inviting them to
be part of the working group.
changes to the Constitution by the Monitoring Officer to be made in conjunction
with the Chair of the Council and the
Executive Member for Finance and Governance
Meeting format - virtual/face to face meetings
The Head of
Democratic Services asked the committee to consider whether some meetings
should continue virtually or if all meetings should return to face to face now
that all of the Covid restrictions had been lifted.
were advised that all decision making meetings had to be held in person however
non decision making meetings such as scrutiny investigation meetings and
Corporate Parenting Board for example were not bound by legislation and could
still be held virtually. Members were
also advised that hybrid meetings were being considered where people from
outside of the local authority could join meetings virtually. The Committee heard that some demo’s had been
undertaken of hybrid meetings and they had worked well. Costings for hybrid meeting equipment had
been obtained as part of the project to update the sound system in the Council
Chamber and would include providing the equipment to be able to hold hybrid
meetings in both the Council Chamber and the Mandela Room. It was advised that the budget for this had
been secured from the ICT Capital budget prior to Covid.
were in agreement that decision making meetings should be held in person and
felt that it was important for committees such as Overview and Scrutiny Board
and Audit meetings to be held in person.
Concerns were also raised regarding technology issues such as loss of
connection, loss of relationship building and also the impact on town centre businesses if meetings continued to be held
discussions members agreed that it should be down to individual non-decision
making committees to determine whether their meetings should be held virtually
or face to face and that a report should be taken to full Council to approve
a report be submitted to full Council to seek permission for committee’s to
hold virtual meetings if agreed by the full committee
The Head of
Democratic Services presented the results of the Paper-lite and Remote Meeting
survey that Elected Members had completed.
Members were asked to consider submitting a report to full Council
proposing a trial of paper-lite meetings and to encourage all members to use
some concerns and agreed that it was preferred to receive some specific committee
documents such as reports to Overview and Scrutiny Board and Audit in paper
The Head of
Democratic Services advised members that paper copies would still be available
for members that requested them but all members would be encouraged to use the
Modern.gov app to access papers with support and training provided by
Democratic Services if needed.
report will be submitted to full Council proposing a 4 month trial of
Update to Officer Employment Procedure Rules
The Committee were advised
of a proposed change by the Monitoring Officer to the Officer Employment
Rules. The committee were advised that
provision was already included under the Chief Officer Appointment Committee
Terms of Reference which had been agreed by full Council but needed to be
replicated in the Officer Employment Procedure Rules for clarity. The changes
to the Officer Employment Procedure Rules were outlined in bold.
Appointment of Executive/Strategic/Assistant
Directors, Monitoring Officer, and Chief Finance Officer
The appointment of
Executive/Strategic/Assistant Directors, the Monitoring Officer, and the Chief
Finance Officer will be made by the committee referred to in Rule 3 above, unless
the appointment is on an interim basis (6 months or less).
Interim appointments of Directors, for 6 months or less
are delegated to the Head of Paid Service. Longer and permanent appointments to
be reserved to the Chief Officer Appointments Committee.
(c) An offer of employment to these posts shall
only be made where no well- founded objection has been received from any member
of the Executive.
Agreed as follows: