Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee
Monday, 13th February, 2017 2.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Paul Mountford  Democratic Services Officer

Link: audio recording

Items
No. Item

27.

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.

28.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with Procedure Rules Nos.11 and 35 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 body in question.  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.

29.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24th November 2016.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 24th November 2016 be approved as a correct record.

30.

Staffing Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 39 KB

To report to the Committee for information the amended terms of reference of the Staffing Committee as approved by Council on 15th December 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the amended terms of reference of the Staffing Committee as approved by Council on 15th December 2016.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

31.

New JNC Handbook for Chief Executives and Consequential Amendments to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To consider a report which explains the changes made in the new JNC handbook for Chief Executives which reflect changes made to the statutory employment protections for the Head of Paid Service, Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring Officer. The report also recommends changes to the Constitution to comply with the new requirements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report setting out the changes made in the new JNC handbook for Chief Executives which reflected changes made to the statutory employment protections for the Head of Paid Service, Chief Finance Officer (the Section 151 Officer) and Monitoring Officer who, together, were referred to as the “Protected Officers”. The report also recommended changes to the Constitution to comply with the new requirements.

 

The changes were required to comply with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 and followed the issuing of the revised JNC handbook in October 2016.

 

Full details of the proposals were set out in the report and its appendices.

 

In addition to the report, the Committee had regard to a supplementary paper which set out a number of points of clarification in respect of matters within the main report and its appendices. This had followed discussion with the Chairman of the Staffing Committee who had provided additional helpful perspectives and suggestions on the matter. The clarification paper recommended a number of consequential amendments to the appendices to the report.

 

The Committee was informed that external solicitors had advised on the constitutional and employment law issues and had contributed to the report. Such external advice had been sought so that the Council could benefit from the experience of a firm that had advised a number of councils on how best to align their constitutions and procedures with the new regulations and JNC handbook. In this respect, the approach recommended in the report reflected best practice.

 

The Committee discussed the relative merits of a single set of procedures to apply to all three Protected Officers as opposed to one process for the Head of Paid Service and another for the Section 151 and Monitoring Officers. A single approach for all three officers would provide clarity and consistency, and would avoid any unnecessary complexity. If two separate processes were adopted, they would be unlikely to differ to any great extent, given the need to comply with the rules of natural justice. It was not clear what particular benefits would be gained by such an approach. The report therefore recommended a single set of processes for all three Protected Officers.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Constitution Committee recommends to Council that

 

1.    a single, uniform dismissal and disciplinary procedure as set out in the report be adopted in relation to the Head of Paid Service, the Section 151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer; and

 

2.    subject to the additional recommendations set out in paragraphs 13, 14 and 15 of the clarification paper:

 

a)    the Staff Employment Procedure Rules be amended as set out in Appendix 2;

 

b)    the Terms of Reference of the Staffing Committee be amended as set out in Appendix 3;

 

c)    an Investigation and Disciplinary Committee (comprising 7 elected Members) be established with the terms of reference set out in Appendix 4;

 

d)    a Disciplinary Appeals Committee (comprising 7 elected Members) be established with terms of reference as set out in Appendix 5;

 

e)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.