Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 2 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Shirley Hudspeth
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Chris Jones. Councillor Angela Davies present as substitute.
Member Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were received.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer introduced a report of the Director: Governance and Assurance (Monitoring Officer) that provided the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee with an overview of the current status of, and progress made in respect of the Council’s Webcasting Project; and feedback and comments from the Senior Leadership Team and the Members’ Equipment Steering Group regarding the various options for consideration relating to the number of meetings to be webcast in the future, style of meeting minutes and staffing resource. The Deputy Monitoring Officer informed that the Committee’s view was sought.
The Principal Committee Officer (designated Project Manager) informed the Committee of the reports purpose, namely:
Members were further informed that the results of the consultations would be fed back to the Director: Governance and Assurance and Monitoring Officer to aid departmental planning and restructuring.
The Principal Committee Officer provided a summary of the project’s timeline from inception, through Capital Budget approval at Cabinet in February 2017, and subsequently at Council in March 2017. He added that a number of project variations had taken place during the tender process including, but not exclusively additional upgrades/replacement of defunct equipment i.e. the Wallasey Town Hall Council Chamber microphones and audio visual equipment in the Committee Rooms. Members were apprised that a Project Board had been established in October 2017, drawing together officers from ICT, Finance, Communications and Committee Services to oversee the project’s implementation. In December 2017, further additional consultation on the project was undertaken with the SLT and the contract awarded, on schedule, in January 2018. Members noted that as a result of some challenges that had arisen during installation phase a number of benefits had arisen (upgraded equipment) and that even so, the first and subsequent webcasts had taken place as scheduled. Development of the system continued and a new electronic voting system had now been installed in the Wallasey Council Chamber and Members were invited to have sight of the display screen options and provide further feedback.
The Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee were then informed of individual MESG member’s comments on the Options proposals which had reached a reasoned consensus in favour of broadcasting as many meetings as practicable (to fully utilise the system based on the project expense, and to find out how good it can be), adding that reducing meetings in the future would be a more practical alternative than settling for ‘second best’ from the start.
In terms of ‘Minute Style’ the MESG member views were unanimous in supporting retention of the current house style, providing an easily checked permanent record of meetings. With regard to staffing, views were expressed that Option B (single clerk/web operator) would place too ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Article 9 of the Council Constitution (paragraph 9.5) requires that the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee establish a Standards Panel and a Standards Appeal Panel.
The Committee is requested to agree 3 Members (one Member from the three main political parties) to each Panel who shall be members of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee (unless an Alternate Member is nominated) Article 9 (Paragraphs A2 and B4) of the Council Constitution refer.
A report by the Director: Governance and Assurance and Monitoring Officer proposed that the Committee establish the Standards Panel and Standards Appeal Panel in accordance with the paragraph 9.5 of Article 9 of the Council’s Constitution and the Protocol for Dealing with Complaints against Members.
Appended to the report were the following appendices:
Resolved - That
(1) a Standards Panel be formally established pursuant to paragraph 9.5 of Article 9 of the Council’s Constitution;
(2) Membership of the Standards Panel comprise:
Councillors M McLaughlin (Lab), C Blakeley (Con), P Gilchrist (Lib Dem) and Independent Member Prof RS Jones; and
Membership of the Standards Appeal Panel comprise:
Councillors B Kenny (Lab), T Cox (Con), D Mitchell (Lib Dem);
(3) where a representative Member, confirmed under recommendation (2) above, is unavailable to attend a proposed meeting of the Standards Panel or Standards Appeal Panel but that meeting can be attended by all other persons required, then the relevant political group through their Group Leader/Deputy Group Leader or Party Spokesperson shall promptly confirm another representative member who is able to attend that meeting;
(4) the procedure for dealing with a matter before either the Standards Panel or Standards Appeal Panel set out at Appendix 4 to the report be agreed; and
(5) Members of the Standards Panel be consulted on provisional Panel meeting dates, subsequent to the closure of this meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.