To consider the recommendations from the Corporate Policy Committee.
Consideration was given to the recommendations of the Corporate Policy Committee, which had met on 14 April 2021, in relation to the First Annual Review of the Committee System.
RESOLVED: That Council
1 note the comparative data and successful operation of the committee system to date, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.
2 agree the revisions to the Constitution, as set out in Appendices 2 to 4 to the report.
3 agree the future work to be undertaken, as set out in Part 3 of the report.
4 require a further review annual review report be made to the meeting scheduled to be held in July 2023.
To consider a report which provides an update on how the first year of the committee system has functioned and makes recommendations to improve the future functionality of the committee system.
The Committee considered a report which provided an update on how the first year of the committee system had functioned and which made recommendations to improve the future functionality of the committee system.
The report was divided into three parts. Part 1 set out the review of the first year. Part 2 made recommendations for immediate changes, with the updated consolidated text of Chapters 4 to 7 of the Constitution attached at Appendix 3. Part 3 set out the proposed future work to the Constitution.
In response to members’ questions and comments, officers advised as follows:
§ The criteria for the new committee system provided that any additional costs would be kept to a minimum. The outturn figures for this year would be calculated at year end. Whilst a potential additional cost had been anticipated, additional provision had not been made within the Democratic Services budget to support the new committee system and to date officers had not recorded an overspend. However, the Council had not yet had a full year of normal running costs since the start of the pandemic, it was unlikely that a definitive position on costs could be arrived at for the first year of operation of the system.
§ The wording for the Member Code of Conduct had been adopted from the Nolan Principles. The wording for the Officer Code of Conduct reflected the particular roles of officers. However, it was open to the Constitution Working Group to review the Officer Code of Conduct to decide whether transparency should be considered further as part of its future work programme.
§ The Director of Governance and Compliance was not aware of any impending judicial review relating to the operation of the committee system.
§ The scrutiny role as set out in the constitution could be reviewed and developed further alongside the development of the Integrated Care System arrangements.
§ The next annual review report would be submitted to the Committee in July 2023 so that the review covered a whole 12 month period of the committee system.
Members expressed the view that more qualitative indicators should be included in future assessments of the committee system, such as public engagement and transparency of decisions. Consideration should also be given to how the committee system could be improved further.
That the Committee recommends that Council:
1. note the comparative data and successful operation of the committee system to date in Appendix 1 to the report;
2. agree the revisions to the Constitution in Appendices 2 to 4;
3. agree the future work to be undertaken in Part 3 of the report; and
4. require a further annual review report at its meeting scheduled to be held in July 2023.