Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee
Thursday, 21st November, 2019 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Paul Mountford  Executive Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


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.


Councillor S Edgar, as Deputy Mayor, declared a non-pecuniary interest in an item on the agenda relating to the Mayoralty.



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.




There were no members of the public wishing to speak.



Member Speaking

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



There were no members wishing to speak.



Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19th September 2019.





That the minutes of the meeting held on 19th September 2019 be approved as a correct record.



Formal Resolution to Move to a Committee System Form of Governance pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To consider a report on the formal resolution to move to a committee system form of governance.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the current progress with the governance review and the proposed introduction of a committee system.


At the Chairman’s invitation, the Acting Chief Executive advised the Committee that the decision to change the Council’s governance arrangements should be made on the best possible information. From the recent member briefings, members had sought more information on various aspects of the proposed arrangements. It was clear to the Acting Chief Executive that at the present time, members had insufficient information to take a decision on the matter and more work needed to be done. This did not necessarily mean that the objective of introducing the new arrangements by May 2020 could not be achieved.


The Deputy Leader also addressed the Committee, commenting that, from the papers shared with members to date, there were a range of matters about which more detailed information was needed before members were in a position to take an informed decision on future governance arrangements.




That no recommendations be made to Council in relation to alternative governance arrangements, and the officers be asked to produce further detailed work with a view to reporting back to the Governance Working Group in January 2020, but on the understanding that the Council would continue to work towards the introduction of a committee system by May 2020.



Addition of Rudheath Lodge Liaison Committee to List of Outside Organisations pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider a report which seeks approval for the addition of Rudheath Lodge Liaison Committee to the list of outside organisations and for the Committee to make an appointment to the Liaison Committee.




The Committee considered a proposal to add the Rudheath Lodge Liaison Committee to the list of outside bodies, and to appoint a representative to the body.






1.    Rudheath Lodge Liaison Committee be added to the list of Category 2 Outside Organisations; and 


2.    Councillor Andrew Kolker be appointed as the Council’s representative with Councillor Les Gilbert as nominated deputy.



The Future of the Cheshire East Mayoralty pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider proposed arrangements for reviewing the Mayoralty.

Additional documents:


Councillor S Edgar, having earlier declared an interest in this matter, left the meeting during its consideration, taking no part in the voting or discussion.


The Committee considered a report on proposed arrangements for conducting a review of the Mayoralty. This included the appointment of a member working group. Members agreed that it would be desirable, but not essential, for members of the working group to be drawn from the membership of the Constitution Committee.


The Committee considered the terms of reference for the review, along with additional background information to be presented to the working group, as appended to the report. The Working Group would also be asked to consider the Mayoral Protocol.


Members asked that paragraph 1 of the proposed terms of reference be amended to read as follows:


“1. Review and make recommendations as to the future of the Mayoralty.”


They also asked that the terms of reference be amended to reflect the exact status of the Mayor.






1.    an eight Member, politically proportionate working group be established (3 Con: 2 Lab: 2 Ind: 1 Lib Dem) to review the Cheshire East Mayoralty and make recommendations to the Constitution Committee;


2.    a member of the Real Independent Group be invited to attend meetings of the Working Group on a non-voting basis;


3.    the Working Group adopt the terms of reference set out in Appendix 1 to the report, subject to the amendments requested by the Committee; and


4.    the Working Group be presented with the background-information outlined in Appendix 2.



Council Meeting Arrangements pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To consider a report on proposed changes to Council and other meeting arrangements and the results of a survey of all members.

Additional documents:


The Committee gave further consideration to its original recommendations to Council on 17th October 2019 in relation to proposed changes to meeting arrangements. This followed a survey of all members on the proposals.

The survey results had indicated broad support for all of the proposals originally recommended by the Committee.




That, having considered the results of the survey of all members, the Committee recommends to Council that the recommendations set out in the Committee’s report to Council on 17th October 2019 be approved.


Appointment and Rights and Privileges of Honorary Aldermen pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider a report on the appointment of former members of the Council with the requisite service as Honorary Aldermen; the report also discusses the rights and privileges of both Honorary Aldermen and Freemen.


The Committee considered a report informing it of those former Members of the Council who had the requisite service in order for Council to consider their appointment to the position of Honorary Alderman. The report also discussed the rights and privileges of both Honorary Aldermen and Freemen.






1.    the former Members of Cheshire East Council named in paragraph 3.5 of the report be offered the position of Honorary Alderman;


2.    a Special Meeting of Council be held immediately before the regular meeting of Council on 20th February 2020 to appoint new Honorary Aldermen; and


3.    free tickets to the Royal Cheshire Show and RHS Show at Tatton no longer be offered to Honorary Aldermen and Freemen.