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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 16/10/2001
Proposal for Change by the Majority Group



ANNEXE 1
NEW CONSTITUTION SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
REPORT TO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – 9TH OCTOBER 2001
PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE BY THE MAJORITY GROUP

It is the opinion of the administration that the present arrangements could be improved by separating the overview and scrutiny functions.

(i) The Overview function would concentrate on ensuring a Policy Flow through the system by informed debate and recommendations to the Executive. This concentration on a single role (identical to that of the Service Committees before we embarked on the modernising agenda) would avoid any confusion among members and the public as to purpose a process.

This would satisfy the aim of paragraph 2.1 in the main report. A suggested allocation of portfolios is attached at Annexe 1A.

(ii) More fundamental changes are proposed for the Scrutiny Committee(s) which would cover both the call in and select Committee role across all services. The principal elements would be:-

(a) call-in of executive decisions before they are implemented, (no change to window in time?)

This would satisfy the aim of paragraph 2.2 in the main report.

(b) Scrutinising Executive decisions after they have been implemented in order to measure their effect as part of a learning and improvement process. This “Select Committee” type role could be fulfilled either by requiring members of the Executive and/or Directors to appear before it to answer questions.

This would satisfy the aim of 2.3 in the main report.

(c) Carrying out a structured series of reviews. This would be aimed at picking up issues of Council policy which in the view of the Committee(s) are not being addressed by the Executive. It is envisaged that this should be limited to two topics per year and be ones not contained in the Rolling Programme in order to avoid any duplication of work being undertaken by the Overview Committees.

The allocated staff resources currently available would support this activity with in depth reports.

This would satisfy the aims of 2.4 in the main report.

(iii) It is the opinion of the administration that the above changes need to be implemented as part of our constitution submission. This report will therefore be part of the agenda for the Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 9th October and will be accompanied by a verbal report by the Chairman of the New Constitution SIG on the discussions at the SIG meeting on 5th October 2001.