Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee
Thursday, 22nd November, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Paul Mountford  Executive Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

19.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

20.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.32 of the Committee Procedure Rules, a period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the meeting on any matter relevant to the work of the Committee.  Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman or person presiding will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned where there are a number of speakers. Members of the public are not required to give notice to use this facility. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours’ notice is encouraged.

 

Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no members of the public wishing to speak.

21.

Member Speaking

To provide an opportunity for any member to speak in relation to any aspect of the constitution.

 

Minutes:

There were no visiting members wishing to speak.

22.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20th September 2018.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 20th September 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

23.

Community Governance Review Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To consider a report on the proposed terms of reference for the Community Governance Review, and the recommendations of the Community Governance Review Sub-Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the proposed terms of reference for the Community Governance Review, and the recommendations of the Community Governance Review Sub-Committee in relation thereto.

 

The Committee at its meeting on 20th September 2018 had resolved that:a Borough-wide review of the governance arrangements of all of the Borough’s town and parish councils be undertaken, commencing as soon as reasonably practicable after the 2019 all-out elections, and concluding well in advance of the May 2023 elections. The Committee had appointed a sub-committee to conduct the review and make appropriate recommendations to the Committee for decision. An officer working group had also been appointed to work with the Sub-Committee.

 

Prior to considering the report, members received a presentation by Dr Melvin Humphreys, a trainer and specialist in community governance reviews at the Association of Electoral Administrators. Dr Humphreys outlined the legislative framework for the review, the key stages involved and the four principal duties of the Council which were as follows:

 

  1. to adopt and publish terms of reference;
  2. to consult parish councils and other relevant bodies and invite representations by such bodies and from electors;
  3. to ensure an open and transparent decision-making process, with clear reasons given for each decision; and
  4. to publish the outcome of the review in the form of a Reorganisation of Community Governance Order.

 

At the conclusion of the presentation, Dr Humphreys answered members’ questions, following which the Chairman thanked him for his presentation.

 

The Committee then considered the report which set out the terms of reference for the review.

 

The review would relate to the whole of the Borough, and would consider town and parish council governance arrangements. This would include changes to parish areas and parish electoral arrangements such as alterations to parish boundaries; the merging, creation and abolition of parishes; the naming of parishes; the numbers of parish councillors; whether to divide a parish into wards; and the grouping of parishes under common councils. The review could consider any Borough ward boundaries where the parish and Borough ward boundaries were no longer coterminous following a parish boundary change. The review would also deal with consequential matters such as the transfer of parish council staff, property and assets, and the setting of precepts for any new parish councils that may be formed.

 

A key part of the review would be public consultation which would take place over a period of several months and would involve local electors, parish councils, and other bodies with an interest in the review such as local businesses and public and voluntary organisations.

 

In carrying out the review, the Council would be bound by the requirements of the relevant legislation and the terms of reference for the review as adopted by the Council. The Review would be completed when the Council had adopted a Reorganisation of Community Governance Order. 

 

The first stage of the review was the adoption of the terms of reference. This would be followed by a period in which officers would gather the necessary information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Calendar of Meetings for 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 285 KB

To consider the draft Calendar of Meetings for Cheshire East Council for 2019-20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the draft Calendar of Meetings for Cheshire East Council for 2019-20. The draft Calendar was appended to the report.

 

The proposed scheduling of meetings for 2019-20 followed the pattern adopted in previous years. 

 

Since the agenda had been published, Cheshire West and Chester had notified a change of date for the Shared Services Joint Committee as follows:

 

31st May 2019 moved to 28th June 2019

 

The following comments on the draft calendar had been received from consultees:

 

§  The Chairman of the Strategic Planning Board had suggested that it would be beneficial for meetings of the Board to commence at 10.00 am rather than 10.30 am to bring the Board into line with the other two planning committees.

 

§  Councillor A Stott had expressed concern that Council meetings were held on a Thursday in Sandbach when there were difficulties with parking due to it being Market Day; she proposed that consideration be given to changing the day of the week for full Council.

 

It was suggested that the question of an alternative day for Council meetings could be considered by the new Council following the elections in May 2019; in the meantime, the officers would consider what measures could be put in place now to assist members with mobility problems attending Council meetings.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Council be recommended to approve

 

1.    the draft Calendar of Meetings for Cheshire East Council for 2019-20 as appended to the report subject to the following amendments:

 

(a)  the change of date for the Shared Services Joint Committee from 31st May 2019 to 28th June 2019;

 

(b)  meetings of the Strategic Planning Board to commence at 10.00 am;

 

2.    that the question of an alternative day for Council meetings be considered by the new Council following the Borough Council elections in May 2019.

 

25.

Audit and Governance Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To consider revised Terms of Reference for the Audit and Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered revised terms of reference for the Audit and Governance Committee.

 

The Audit and Governance Committee, at its meeting on 27th September 2018, had approved the revised terms of reference set out in Appendix A to the report. The revised terms of reference reflected updated best practice guidance from CIPFA (Practical Guidance for Audit Committees).

 

Since the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee, the following provision from the original terms of reference, which had been excluded from the revised terms of reference, had now, with the agreement of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee, been included in the revised terms of reference:

 

“To approve and monitor Council policies relating to whistleblowing and anti-fraud and corruption.”

Appendix A to the report to the Constitution Committee had included this amendment.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Council be recommended to approve that the constitution be amended to include the revised terms of reference for the Audit and Governance Committee as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

26.

Proposed Changes to the Constitution - Chief Officer Delegations pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider proposed amendments to the constitution in order to improve clarity and operational efficiency in respect of regulatory enforcement functions.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which proposed amendments to three paragraphs of the constitution relating to officer powers. The amendments were required in order to improve clarity and operational efficiency in respect of regulatory enforcement functions. The amendments were considered in detail in the report and the revised provisions were set out in an Appendix.

 

The Monitoring Officer was of the view that the proposed changes ranked as changes which provided clarity and corrected inconsistencies in drafting. They had no impact on the substantive effect of the paragraphs in question as originally drafted and could therefore be made in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee in accordance with Chapter 2, Part 6, paragraph 67 of the constitution.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Committee notes the intention of the Monitoring Officer to amend paragraphs 37, 41 and 42 of the delegations to Chief Officers section of the Constitution as set out in the Appendix to the report.