Agenda and minutes
Special Meeting - Call-Ins, Policy and Performance - Coordinating Committee - Thursday, 7th August 2014 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Committee Room 3 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Shirley Hudspeth
Apologies for Absence
To record any apologies for absence received.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Paul Doughty, Anita Leech, Janette Williamson, Mike Sullivan, Wendy Clements and Steve Williams.
Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, Including Party Whip Declarations
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda no later than when the item is reached.
Members are reminded that they should also declare whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered at this meeting and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
Councillor Christine Muspratt declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 3 – Call-in of a Delegated Decision – Cabinet Minute No. 37 – Transformation of Leisure Services Sports and Leisure Facilities Pricing Structure – by virtue of a close family connection with the armed forces.
Councillor Chris Blakeley declared a personal interest in agenda item 3 and also agenda item 4 - Call-in of a Delegated Decision - Cabinet Minute No. 27 – Financial Monitoring 2014/15, as he was a signatory to both key decisions being called in.
The Chair asked whether any Members were subject to a Party Whip and all Members of the Committee confirmed that they were not.
Adjournment of the Meeting to Future Dates
(a) Proposal to adjourn the meeting to 6pm on 23 September 2014 when the Committee would consider the called in delegated decision on the Transformation of Leisure Services Sports and Leisure Facilities Pricing Structure (Cabinet Minute No. 37 refers.)
The Chair moved the above proposal which was seconded by Councillor Christina Muspratt. It was then put to the vote and it was
That the Committee adjourn until 6pm on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 when it will reconvene in order to give consideration to the Cabinet’s decision on the Transformation of Leisure Services Sports and Leisure Facilities Pricing Structure.
(b) Proposal to adjourn the meeting to 6pm on 18 September 2014 when the Committee would consider the called in delegated decision on Financial Monitoring 2014/15 (Cabinet Minute No. 27 refers.)
Councillor Chris Blakeley informed that he was not in favour of the proposal because there were three Members of the Committee who were members of his Political Group, including himself, that were unable to attend the meeting if it was to be held at 6pm on 18 September 2014.
The Chair considered that the three Members who were unable to attend should either change their diary arrangements or use deputies. She then informed the Committee of the following sequence of events which had led to the proposals two hold Special meetings of the Committee on 18 September 2014 ((a) above refers) and on 23 September 2014 as follows:
· On 23 July 2014 the Chair had been notified by a Committee Officer that two valid call-ins had been received and been asked if she wanted to convene one or two Special Committee meetings to hear them. She had preferred one meeting at which to hear both call-ins and had provided possible dates for the meeting.
· On 25 July 2014 the Committee Officer had informed the Chair that she had been unable to find a suitable date within the 15 working days laid down in Standing Order No. 35.
· The Head of Legal and Member Services advised that it was permissible to convene a Committee meeting within the 15 working days and then adjourn it to a future date.
· The Group Spokespersons were asked if they would agree to convening the Committee meeting within the 15 working days and then adjourning it to a future date. The Spokespersons agreed to this request.
· Councillor Blakeley then asked if there could be two Special meetings of the Committee reconvened, one to consider each of the two called in decisions and the Chair agreed to this request.
· The Group Spokespersons were then asked to provide dates when they were available to attend the reconvened Committee meetings.
· The dates provided in the last two weeks of August 2014 were not acceptable to Councillor Blakeley so the Chair agreed to look for dates on which to hold the reconvened meetings in September 2014.
· On 29 August 2014 the Chair explained that she did not want the meeting to be held after September 2014 as she considered ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
The Status of Signatories to Call-ins who are also Members of the Committee
The Chair asked the Head of Legal and Member Services to clarify whether it was appropriate for those Members who were signatories to the call-ins to also sit on the Committee that would hear and consider those call-ins.
The Head of Legal and Member Services advised that in a previous call-in this issue had been raised and whilst there were no restrictions on Members hearing the call-in and being signatories to it, providing they had not pre-determined the matter or were biased, a number of Members had expressed views that it would be preferred that signatories to a call-in did not sit on the Committee to hear it. The Head of Service advised that to give effect to the views expressed previously, Members who were signatories to a call-in should not sit on the Committee that would hear and consider it. However, this limitation had not been formalised by the Policy and Performance Co-ordinating Committee.
Councillor Blakeley informed the Committee that he did not agree with the Head of Legal and Member Services and that he would continue to participate as a Committee Member at Special Committee meetings arranged for the purpose of hearing and considering called in key decisions, when he was also a signatory to the call-in under consideration. Councillor Blakeley maintained that he had, and continued to have, an open mind in relation to the call-in and the subject matter. However, he would not be doing this at the Special meeting of the Committee scheduled for 18 September 2014 as he was unable to attend.