Councillor Ray Manning proposed and Councillor Mark Howell seconded the amendments to the Standing Orders, as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group. A vote was taken and Council overwhelmingly
AGREED That the following changes to the Council Standing Orders be agreed:
Annual Council Meeting
(a) 1.1(b) (vi) Receive any announcements from the Chairman, (add) Leader of the Council and / or Head of Paid Service
(b) 1.1(b) (viii) appoint up to five (delete four) substitute members per committee from each political group in a hierarchical list to all committees and sub-committees other than the standards committee (this reference to the Standards Committee will be deleted, subject to agreement of the recommendations in respect of the Civic Affairs Committee set out above)
(c) 1.1(b) (xii) receive the Leader of Major Opposition Group’s written Annual Statement on his/her Group’s priorities for action and objectives for the forthcoming municipal year
Selection of Councillors on Committees and Outside Bodies
(d) 1.2 (vi) (the council meeting will) appoint the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the committees established under Standing Order 1.2(a)(i) above.
Notice of Motions
(e) 12.1(a) (Notices of Motion)…must be delivered to the proper officer not later than seven (delete six) working days before the date of the meeting.
(f) 12.1(b) (Motions for the removal of the Leader from office etc)…must be delivered to the proper officer not later than seven (delete six) working days before the date of the meeting.
Point of Order, Point of information, Personal explanation
(g) 14.12 A member may raise a point of order at any time (add) by standing and stating ‘Point of Order’.
(h) 14.13 A member may raise a point of information at any time (add) by standing and stating ‘Point of Information’.
(i) 14.14 A member may make a personal explanation at any time (add) by standing and stating ‘Personal explanation’
Council RESOLVED that:
(a) Standing Order 14.5, When a member may speak again, be amended to include: “A member who has spoken on a motion may not speak again whilst it is the subject of debate, except…(f) at the Chairman’s discretion, to raise a point of information;” with subsequent paragraphs to be renumbered accordingly; and
(b) Standing Order 14.13, Point of Information, be added as follows: “A member may ask to raise a point of information at any time, but will be permitted to speak only at the Chairman’s discretion. A point of information may only be made where a member is aware that the Council has incorrect information before it on a material point. The member who raises the point of information must be able to cite evidence to support their statement. The point of information may be raised whilst another member is speaking but only if that member is willing to give way. The ruling of the Chairman on the admissibility of a point of information will be final.” and subsequent Rules of Debate be renumbered accordingly.
Council NOTED that the Constitution Review Working Party did not recommend any further changes to Standing Orders to address the public recording of meetings or social media use during meetings, as it was felt by the Working Party that the existing provisions for recording were sufficient, and that that nothing in the Constitution specifically prohibited the use of social media by the press, public, councillors or officers.
Council RESOLVED that Council Standing Orders in Part 4 of the Council’s Constitution be amended as follows:
(1) That Standing Order 1.2(b) and (c) be amended to read as follows (new wording in bold italics):
1.2 Selection of Councillors on Committees and Outside Bodies
(b) Executive Members shall be entitled to sit on the following committees as ex officio members:
· Employment Committee: Executive Member with responsibility for staffing matters;
· Licensing Committee, Licensing Committee (2003 Act), Licensing Committee (2005 Gambling Act): Executive Member with responsibility for licensing matters;
· Planning Committee: Executive Member with responsibility for development control matters.
(c) Executive Members shall not be entitled to sit upon the following committees:
· Corporate Governance Committee;
· Electoral Arrangements Committee;
· Scrutiny and Overview Committee;
· any other scrutiny and overview committee.
(2) That Standing Order 4.1(b) be amended to read as follows:
(b) Executive Members shall be allowed to substitute on all committees other than the Scrutiny and Overview Committee or any other scrutiny and overview committee.
(3) That Standing Orders 1(b) and 4.1(a) be amended as follows:
1(b) The annual meeting will…
(viii) appoint up to four substitutes per committee from each political group in a hierarchical list to all committees and sub-committees other than the Standards Committee;
[subsequent paragraphs to be renumbered accordingly]
(a) Substitutes will be allowed on committees and sub-committees, and Council may allocate seats for substitute members on outside or joint bodies, where those bodies allow. The substitute must be a member of the same political group as the member for whom they are substituting. Substitute members will be appointed in a hierarchical list by Council at its Annual Meeting.
Council RESOLVED that:
(1) The following wording be added to Standing Order 7.1 (proposed additions marked in bold):
“The person presiding at the meeting may exercise any power or duty of the Chairman, except where there is equality of votes on an appointment, in which case the provisions of Standing Order 16.7 below shall be followed. Where these Standing Orders apply to committee or sub-committee meetings, references to the Chairman also include the Chairman of committees and sub-committees.”
(2) The following wording be added to Standing Order 7.2:
“The Chairman of Council shall preside over the election of Chairmen of Committees and Sub-Committees of the Council. Where the Chairman of Council is not present, the Chief Executive or an officer nominated by him or her may preside at the election of the Chairman but shall not be entitled to vote. In the event of a tie, the provisions of Standing Order 16.7 below shall be followed.”
(3) The following wording be added to Council Standing Order 16.2:
“If there are equal numbers of votes for and against, the Chairman will have a second or casting vote. There will be no restriction on how the Chairman chooses to exercise a casting vote. This Standing Order shall not apply to situations in which there is equality of voting between two candidates on an appointment. In such cases, the provisions of Standing Order 16.7 below shall apply.”
(B) COUNCIL STANDING ORDER 14.6 – AMENDMENTS TO MOTIONS
Council RESOLVED that the following wording be added to Standing Order 14.6:
“14.6(b – subsequent paragraphs re-numbered accordingly):
The Chairman may request the mover and seconder of the original Motion to indicate whether they are prepared to accept the amendment through its incorporation into their Motion. If they are willing to do so, and the mover of the amendment gives consent, the original Motion will stand altered accordingly, the amendment shall be deemed withdrawn and debate proceed on the original Motion, as altered. If they are not willing to do so, consideration of the amendment shall proceed in accordance with the normal rules of debate.”
Council RESOLVED that the changes to Council Standing Orders set out in the report to the Constitution Review Working Party be approved for incorporation into Part 4 of the Constitution.
(1) That Article 7.02 be amended as follows:
“The executive will consist of the executive Leader with a Cabinet of at least 2, but not more than 9, other Members appointed to the executive by the executive Leader. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council may not be appointed to the Executive.”
(2) That a new Article 7.03(ii) be added to the Constitution as follows:
“The Leader shall be responsible for aggregating and allocating service responsibilities as he/she thinks fit, grouping those responsibilities into portfolios and allocating them to an appropriate portfolio holder. Any such allocations can be adjusted by the Leader as and when he/she thinks necessary.”
(3) That the current Article 7.03(ii) be amended to a new Article 7.03(iii) as follows:
“The Leader shall appoint one member of the Cabinet to be the Deputy Leader.”
(4) That the current Article 7.03(iii) be amended to a new Article 7.03(iv) as follows:
“The Leader shall hold office until:
(a) he/she resigns from office; or
(b) he/she is suspended from being a councillor under Part III of the Local Government Act 2000 (although he/she may resume office at the end of that period of suspension); or
(c) he/she is no longer a councillor; or
(d) he/she is removed from office by resolution of the Council in accordance with the procedure set out in Section 12.1 (b) of Council Standing Orders.
(e) the annual meeting of the Council following his/her appointment unless previously removed by resolution of the Council in accordance with the Rules. He/she shall be eligible for re-election annually, unless removed from office under (d) above. In these circumstances a period of at least 12 months from the date of the council resolution must have passed before he/she can be nominated for re-election.”
(5) That Article 7.04 be amended as follows:
“Other Cabinet Members shall hold office until:
(a) they resign from office; or
(b) they are suspended from being councillors; or
(c) they are no longer councillors; or
(d) they are removed from office by the leader who must give written notice of any removal to the proper officer (the removal will take effect two working days after receipt of the notice by the proper officer); or.
(e) they are removed from office following a vote of no confidence by Full Council following the procedure set out in Section 12.1 (b) of Council Standing Orders (as amended – see below); or
(f) they are removed from office en bloc by resolution of the Council in accordance with the Rules.
Cabinet members who are removed from office under (d) to (f) above will not be eligible for re-appointment to the Cabinet until the next Annual Meeting of Council.”
(6) That the Principles of Proportionality be amended to remove the requirement for Cabinet to be politically balanced.
(7) That the following paragraph be incorporated into the Constitution as Council Standing Order 2.2:
““The Council reserves the right to remove any councillor from a Council Committee or Sub-Committee if it considers that it is no longer in the best interests of the Council for that member to remain. Written notice of motion, giving reasons, signed by five members of the relevant parent committee must to be delivered to the proper officer not later than 7 working days from the date of the council meeting. Any such motion shall be carried only if at least two thirds of the members present at the meeting are in favour.”
(8) That the following paragraph be incorporated into the Constitution as Article 12.08(f):
'The Chief Executive is authorised to cancel, postpone or alter the date or time of a committee meeting but, before doing so, shall consult all members of the committee about the need for the change and about convenient alternative dates and times. If reasonably practicable, the Chief Officer will consult all members of a committee before setting a date and time for a special meeting of that committee.'
(9) That Council Standing Order 12.1(b) be amended as follows:
“In the case of any motion for the removal of the Leader from officer as Leader, the removal of any individual member of the executive or the removal of the members of the executive from office collectively, written notice signed by at least one quarter of the councillors must be delivered to the proper officer not later than 10 days before the date of the meeting. Any such motion shall be carried only if at least two-thirds of the members present at the meeting are in favour.”
(10) That the provision in Article 4 for Council to determine matters relating to the size of the Cabinet, the allocation of portfolio responsibilities and appointment of Members be deleted.
(11) That Council Standing Orders 1.1viii and 2v be deleted.
(12) That authority be delegated to the Chief Executive to make any further minor amendments to the Constitution arising from the recommendations, any amendments to be notified to the next meeting of the Constitution Review Working Party.
Council RESOLVED that the revised Standing Orders be approved as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Party and incorporated into the Constitution.
RESOLVED that the previous decision that the recording of meetings be pursued be rescinded for the following reasons:
(a) The requirement under the Freedom of Information Act that recordings would be disclosable for the periods during which they are held.
(b) There is no available budget to meet installation costs; Officer and financial resources could be better directed elsewhere.
To refer the issue back to full Council for further debate.
that sound recording, in the form of an MP3 player attached to the microphone system, at a cost of up to £1,000, be pursued.
RESOLVED that legal and other implications for officers and the financial and practical implications of recording meetings be investigated and that a report be brought to the 29th April 2004 meeting of Council.