Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Shirley Hudspeth 

No. Item




No declarations of interest were received.


Member Survey on and proposed revisions to the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Legal and Member Services introduced a report by the Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources which informed that the Council’s Constitution was a ‘living document’ that needed to be kept under review to reflect changes in the Council and, in the way the Council delivered its services and conducted its business.  It was noted that regular review helped to:


·  ensure the Constitution remained relevant and effective;

·  identify changes required to ensure clarity and consistency; and

·  provide an opportunity for the Council’s constitutional arrangements to continuously improve.


The Committee was responsible for keeping the Council’s Constitutional arrangements under review.  It was able to make minor changes to the Constitution as it considered appropriate and make recommendations to the Council regarding changes.  Any changes made should be made to better achieve the purposes set out in Article 1 – The Constitution of the Council’s Constitution.


The Strategic Director’s report had appended to it:


·  a draft member Survey in relation to the Council’s Constitution (Appendix 1);


·  additional questions for the Member Survey relating to Member conduct/behaviour and the Members’ Code of Conduct (Appendix 2); and


·  proposals to amend the Council’s Constitution (Appendix 3).


The proposals to the Council’s Constitution had been considered by the Committee at its previous meeting held on 26 November 2013. (Minute No. 8 refers)  However, various issues and representations had been made concerning this matter and although a recommendation had been made to the Council, it had not been approved.


It was noted that the Council at its meeting on 16 December 2013 had resolved




“Council considers that it is not in a position to accept the amendments suggested in Schedule 2.


The schedule of items set out on pages 45-49 of the Summons fails to clarify the concerns raised at the meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee held on 26 November.


Given the confusion and conflicting opinions expressed and evident at that meeting, Council believes that the matter be deferred. In order to restore confidence in the process, all Members should have full opportunity to see and consider the changes set out more clearly.  There has to be ample time for further study and potential agreement.


To aid this consideration, the various issues shall be set out on these suggested lines:


(i)  The original wording, with the full paragraph;

(ii)  The wording that is the subject of suggested change;

(iii)  The revised wording in context;

(iv)  A reasoned argument setting out the background and comment explaining the proposed change.


Individual Members should be invited to comment by a date to be agreed so that their views on the issues can be considered at the next meeting of the Committee on 5February 2014.


That the date for consulting with Members on potential changes to the Constitution as indicated in the report from the Cabinet Member for Governance is moved from 18 December 2013 to 7 January 2014 to commence 13 January 2014 and end 24 January 2014 to give Members more time  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.