Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee
Thursday, 19th March, 2020 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Paul Mountford  Tel: 01270 686472 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Bailey, L Crane, S Edgar and R Moreton.


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.


There were no declarations of interest.


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 present 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 54 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21st November 2019.



Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2019.




That the minutes be approved as a correct record subject to Councillor Moreton’s apologies being recorded.


Community Governance Review: Pre-consultation Survey Responses and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To consider a report which provides an update on the pre-consultation survey carried out across the Borough, and which reminds members of the next steps and the process for proposal development.

Additional documents:


The committee considered an update on the pre-consultation survey carried out across the borough and the next steps for the Community Governance Review. Stage 2, the proposal development, would take several months to address a proposed response for all wards, even if the recommendation was for no change. The Constitution Committee would be involved in the development of the proposals through a series of workshops, the draft recommendations would then be submitted to the Sub Committee and Constitution Committee for approval prior to stage 3 being initiated.




That the pre-consultation survey responses be received and the initiation of the development of the Council’s proposals for all parish ward boundaries be approved.


Proposed Change to the Council's Governance Arrangements - Formal Resolution to Move to a Committee System Form of Governance pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To consider a report on work undertaken by the Governance Working Group in relation to the change to a committee system, and proposed recommendations to Council.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the work of the Governance Working Group, and the proposed introduction of a committee system form of governance, specifically:


  1. The design principles of the proposed committee system
  2. Proposed service committee structure chart
  3. Proposed committee functions
  4. Draft Terms of Reference
  5. Roles of Leader and Deputy Leader
  6. Decision review process
  7. Urgent decisions
  8. Role and powers of committee and sub-committee chairs



It was confirmed to Members that further constitutional provisions, including the officer scheme of delegation, would be considered by the Constitution Committee at an appropriate time.


Consideration was also given to a recommendation that the Council should cease operating the existing Leader and Cabinet model of governance and implement a committee system model of governance, to take effect from the Annual Council meeting in May 2021.




1.    That full Council be recommended to resolve that the Council cease operating the existing Leader and Cabinet model of governance and implement a committee system model of governance, to take effect from the Annual Council meeting in May 2021;


2.    That Appendix A to the report, Design Principles, be approved subject to paper copies of agendas being available to Members upon request.


3.    That Council be recommended to approve the following, subject to the amendments to the appendices to the report, as detailed below:


a.    The structure of the service committees (appendices B, C and D to the report); subject to the role of the Scrutiny Committee being considered further by the Governance Working Group.


b.    Roles of Leader and Deputy Leader (Appendix E to the report); subject to the removal of the power to call extraordinary Council meetings, given the existing procedures in place to deal with this.


c.     Decision Review Process (Appendix F to the report); subject to decisions being referred direct to Council; it being agreed that the Director of Governance and Compliance should have an opportunity to review the proposed criteria and submit them to the Governance Working Group for further consideration and;  the proposed requirement for referral of a decision to Council having to be made by two or more political groups be removed.


d.    Urgency Provisions (Appendix G to the report); subject to the existing provisions of Appendix 4 to the Constitution being incorporated; which deal with urgent decisions made as a consequence of failure to plan appropriately, or work without due regard to timeliness.


e.    Role and Powers of Committee and Sub Committee Chairs (Appendix H to the report), subject to (paragraph C) being amended to read ‘appointments should take into account relevant skills, knowledge, experience and suitability subject to suitable training.



4.    That the Director of Governance and Compliance be authorised, in consultation with the Constitution Committee, to prepare such draft constitutional provisions as she considers necessary to give effect to the wishes of the committee, which will be submitted to the Constitution Committee in phases during 2020/21 for recommendation to Council.


5.    That the Director of Governance and Compliance be authorised to recommend such constitutional provisions as reflect the developing nature of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.