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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 12/07/2005
Constitution Special Interest Group (SIG) - 23rd June 2005 : Report to the Meeting of the Executive - 12th July 2005



APPENDIX K
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

CONSTITUTION SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP (SIG)
23RD JUNE 2005

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE – 12TH JULY 2005


ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

The Special Interest Group (SIG) elected Mrs C E Savage as its Chairman for the current Council year.


A. TERMS OF REFERENCE

The terms of reference of the Constitution Special Interest Group is :-
A.1 The SIG acknowledged the longevity of their work did not conform to the usual ‘task and finish’ nature of SIGS. It agreed that there was continuing work still to be carried out and confirmed that it would like to remain as a ‘long standing’ Special Interest Group continuing to review the Constitution, at least until the next Borough Elections in 2007.

A.2 The Special Interest Group

Recommends that

1. the Executive endorse the status of the Constitution Special Interest Group as a ‘long standing’ Special Interest Group continuing its review of the Constitution.

B. WAVERLEY’S OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCESS

B.1 The Constitution Special Interest Group has carried out an in depth review of best practice in Overview and Scrutiny. The SIG reviewed agendas and visited meetings of other good and excellent Councils in the area. The original proposals and suggestions of the SIG, attached at Annexe 1, were considered at the Executive meeting on 7th February 2005. Since then, all three Overview and Scrutiny Committees were consulted in the March 2005 cycle of meetings on their views on improving Waverley’s Overview and Scrutiny Processes.

B.2 At its meeting on 23rd June 2005, the SIG received feedback on the observations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees which is attached at Annexe 2 along with a consensus on the key issues made by the three Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

B.3 Overview and Scrutiny Committees - Style of working

The SIG agreed that the three Overview and Scrutiny Committees should employ the style of working most appropriate to each Committee and that greater informality be used where most appropriate.

B.4 Annual Report to Council

The SIG agreed that, as is already allowed in the Constitution, there should be an annual review report by all three Overview and Scrutiny committees to be submitted to Council. The SIG agreed that this should include responses by the Executive to in-depth reviews.

B.5 The Special Interest Group

RECOMMENDS that

2. all three Overview and Scrutiny Committees submit an Annual Review Report to Council, and that these reports be considered by each Overview and Scrutiny Committee at their respective September cycle of meetings.

B.6 Setting up Sub-Committees
B.7 Therefore, the Special Interest Group agreed that Article 6 of the Constitution be amended to read as follows:- (amendments underlined and in italics)

B.8 The Special Interest Group

RECOMMENDS that

3. the Executive agree to the amendments to Article 6 of the Constitution as outlined above.

B.9 Other Procedure Rule Changes

B.10 Rights at meetings of Substitute Members who have proposed a call-in

The SIG proposed amending Overview and Scrutiny procedure rules:-

15(c), add to line 2 any four Members (including Substitute Members) of the Committee. Should any Substitute Member be one of those proposing a call-in, he shall have a right to attend the Committee and speak, but not vote unless he is substituting at that meeting for another Member. The Chief Executive shall then notify…”

B.11 Attendance by non-Members of Committee and Sub- Committee at meetings other than the Executive

“RIGHTS OF COUNCILLORS TO ATTEND COMMITTEE AND SUB-COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Any Member of the Council who is not a Member of a Committee or Sub-Committee shall be entitled to attend any meeting of that Committee or Sub-Committee, but not to vote, but shall be entitled to speak on any specific item for up to four minutes.

Any Member wishing to do this shall have to give notice specifying the item
to the Chief Executive by noon on the day of the meeting”. B.12 The SIG agreed that this change to the procedure rules also required an amendment to the Members' Allowances Scheme to allow the attendance by Substitute Members to be an approved duty. It was therefore agreed to add a bullet point to Schedule 3, 'Approved Duties for the purposes of Carer's, Childcare, Travelling and Subsistence Allowances'. To read as follows:-

Attendance by Councillors at Waverley meetings of which they are not Members when exercising their rights under new Council Procedure Rule 24.

B.13 The Special Interest Group
(ii) the Executive agree the insertion of a new Council Procedure Rule number 24, as outlined above and to re-number the existing Council Procedure Rules accordingly; and

(iii) the Executive agree the amendment to Schedule 3 of the Members Allowances Scheme as outlined above.

B.14 FUTURE WORK PROGRAMME

The SIG agreed that they would defer consideration of the delegation scheme and Executive agenda overload and agreed that at their next meeting they would re-consider the Black Book. The SIG also agreed to add to the list, the issue of the use and status of statements on Part 2 and 3 report items to Council, and to clarify procedure rules to resolve any misunderstanding about these.

B.15 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The SIG agreed that they would meet in July 2005, on a date to be agreed with the Chairman.


Present at the meeting:

Members

Mr R J Gates
Mr P D Harmer
Mrs S R Jacobs
Mrs P N Mitchell
Mrs C E Savage

Apologies for absence were received from Mr M H W Band and Miss G B W Ferguson.

The following officers were present:

Miss C Pointer
Mr R Pellow
Mr R Wood
Mr R Standing
Miss M Ghavami

comms/executive/20005-06/046