Appendix 1 - Scheme of Delegation to Officers - non executive functions
- Meeting of Special Meeting, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee, Tuesday, 4th October 2016 6.00 p.m. (Item 19a)
- View the background to item 19a
The Head of Legal and Member Services introduced his report that detailed proposed revisions to the Scheme of Non-Executive Delegation of Functions to Officers, Council Constitution Part 3 Schedule 4 A Part 1 and Part 2.
The Head of Legal and Member Services informed that the recommendations were necessary to update the Scheme of Delegation in line with the Council’s new Operating Model approved by the Council’s Employment and Appointments Committee in July 2016. He further informed that the changes also provided greater clarity in respect of existing delegations and contained little in terms of additional powers to Officers.
The Committee was apprised that, as part of his preparations for review of the scheme, the Head of Legal and Member Services had made contacted with the Head of Regeneration and Planning with regard to the delegated powers relating to planning and licensing and was happy to present further information on such delegations to a future meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee Working Group.
A Member confirmed that he was content with the existing procedures that existed for Planning decisions and the involvement of, and communication to, Elected Members. He did however feel it was important to communicate where in the decision making process Officer’s decisions were recorded – particularly when involving finance and staffing and personnel matters.
Discussion took place regarding the proper scrutiny of officer decisions. The Head of Legal and Member Services requested that Members provide examples of where it was felt that the information had been hard to come by, this would enable useful understanding of specific areas of Member concern.
A Member pointed out that, using planning procedures as an example, Councillors were notified beforehand, enabling pre-scrutiny of applications prior to decision. It was his view that in some other service areas circumstances could exist whereby Members may not hear about an Officer decision until after the event.
The Head of Legal and Member Services informed that there was no issue with providing the information being sought by Members. He further informed that different arrangements existed with regard to the Executive-side and Council–side, and that the focus of the report related to changes to delegation of Council-side functions. It was noted that the revised document provided clarity and certainty arising from the changes recently agreed by the Employment and Appointments Committee to the Council’s new operating model.
A Member pointed out that, with regard to the option to refer officer decisions to Overview and Scrutiny Committees under paragraph 14, Committee workload was already heavy.
Additional debate took place, with the Head of Legal and Member Services providing additional information regarding the 2011 governance arrangements, strong leader model, and executive functions – to add clarity regarding the jurisdiction and powers falling under the various Parts of the Scheme of Delegation (Executive-side and Council-side).
The Head of Legal and Member Services was requested to provide a further report to the Working Group to enable it to consider the Council’s decision making arrangements and how delegated decisions taken by officers are/can be scrutinised.
Councillor R Abbey moved the report recommendation “that the revised Scheme of Delegation Part 3 Schedule 4 A Part 1 and Part 2 be recommended to Council for approval”, seconded by Councillor P Stuart.
Councillor C Blakeley moved an alternate motion resolving “that no changes be made to the existing scheme”, seconded by Councillor G Ellis.
The Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee then considered Councillor Blakeley’s motion, as seconded by Councillor Ellis that the Scheme of Non-Executive Delegation of Functions to Officers, Council Constitution Part 3 Schedule 4 A Part 1 and Part 2 be retained in its current form. The motion was put and lost (4:5) the Chair having exercised her casting vote.
Resolved (5:4) (the Chair having exercised her casting vote)
(1) RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL
a) that the Scheme of Non-Executive Delegation of Functions to Officers, Council Constitution Part 3 Schedule 4 A Part 1 and Part 2, as amended be agreed; and that
b) the Council’s Constitution be updated accordingly.
- SCHEME OF DELEGATION - Part3 Schedule 4A Scheme of Non Executive Delegation of Functions to Officers (2016) FINAL 2, item 19a PDF 236 KB