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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 03/06/2003
Special Interest Groups' Protocol



1. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are intended to assist the Executive, through the appropriate Portfolio Holder, to:-

(a) develop policy;

(b) examine specific service proposals in depth; and

(c) progress major projects.

2. SIGs have an advisory role only and cannot themselves take decisions.

3. Any Executive member can propose to the whole Executive that a SIG should be established, but when making a proposal should:-

(a) propose terms of reference and the scope of the task; and

(b) set out a timescale for the duration of the SIG.

4. The decision to establish a SIG is for the whole Executive and all SIGs before being reappointed at the commencement of a Council year must be reviewed by the Executive to reaffirm that they are still needed.

5. Membership of SIGs will be based on enabling those with the best skills and knowledge of the matter to contribute, and will be appointed by the Executive based on recommendations by the appropriate Portfolio Holder. The appropriate Portfolio Holder will convene and normally chair a SIG, but may delegate the chairmanship at his/her discretion. Substitutes are not permitted.

6. SIGs may include non-councillors or members from other Councils as non-voting members.

7. Within the overall framework of Waverley’s Procedure Rules and Financial Regulations, SIGs will be able to develop flexible working arrangements best suited to their task.

8. SIGs will normally meet in the absence of the press and public.

9. SIGs will be serviced by officers and Committee Services will record their meetings in report form and these reports will form background papers to the eventual reports to the Executive on matters they have discussed.

10. Reports to SIG meetings will not normally be published, and both reports and discussion at meetings will be treated as exempt. They can, however, be requested by Overview and Scrutiny Committees as part of their work. At this time the Monitoring Officer will decide whether any of the reports should be defined as exempt under access to information legislation.

11. Other members of the Council may attend as observers.

12. If a member has taken part in policy development at a Special Interest Group, and subsequently is involved in an Overview and Scrutiny Committee review of this policy, they may have a conflict of interest. In this case they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer.