Agenda and minutes

Constitution Sub-Committee
Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: West Committee Room - Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Paul Mountford  Email:

Link: Audio recording

No. Item


Appointment of Chairman




That Councillor A Martin be appointed Chairman of the Sub-Committee.



Appointment of Vice-Chairman




That Councillor B Burkhill be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Sub-Committee.


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 Hogben declared a non-pecuniary interest as a director of ANSA in relation to the consideration of governance arrangements for the Council’s ASDVs.


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.




There were no members of the public present.


Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider a proposed work programme and timetable to achieve the timely adoption of a new constitution; and to consider a proposed outline format and general principles for a new constitution to guide the proposed work programmes.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee had been appointed by the Constitution Committee on 4th August 2017 to take forward a full review of the Council’s constitution.


The report proposed a work programme and timetable to achieve a timely adoption of a new constitution. The report also set out a proposed outline format and general principles for a new constitution to guide the proposed work programme.


The work programme comprised five work packages, each focussing on a different section of the constitution as follows:


Work Package 1 – The overall style and presentation of the Constitution

Work Package 2 – Decision-making – Terms of Reference of Member Bodies

Work Package 3 – Decision-making – Officer Scheme of Delegation

Work Package 4 – Procedure Rules

Work Package 5 – Codes/Protocols and Members’ Allowances


Details of each work package were set out in the report.


The Sub-Committee gave consideration to Work Package 1. The proposed content and structure of a new constitution were set out in Appendix 2 to the report. Members agreed on the need for any future constitution to be available in a digital format with hyperlinks to assist navigation both within the document and to provide links to related documents and websites. It was suggested that an ICT officer attend a future meeting of the Sub-Committee.


It was proposed that each of the other four work packages would be dealt with by a small working group of members and officers, with a lead member drawn from the membership of the Sub-Committee and a lead officer being appointed to each group. The groups would report back to the Sub-Committee as appropriate.


It was suggested that there would be merit in the working groups reviewing member and officer decision-making commencing with a joint workshop, facilitated by the Council’s external advisers, Bevan Brittan, to ensure a co-ordinated approach to member and officer decision-making.






1.    the overall style and presentation of the constitution as set out in Work Package 1 be agreed;


2.    the proposed work packages 2 to 5 be agreed; 


3.    joint member and officer working groups be appointed to deliver each of work packages 2 to 5 with a view to submitting recommendations via the Sub-Committee to a meeting of the Constitution Committee in October;


4.    the member leads for the working groups be appointed on a cross-party basis (2 Con; 1 Lab; 1 Ind) as follows:


Work Package 2 – Councillor G Baxendale

Work Package 3 – Councillor N Mannion

Work Package 4 – Councillor A Martin

Work Package 5 – Councillor B Burkhill


5.    the working groups reviewing member and officer decision-making commence with a joint workshop, facilitated by Bevan Brittan, in order to ensure that a co-ordinated approach is taken to reviewing member and officer decision-making, the workshop to be held at 10.00 am on 31st August 2017.



Next and Future Meetings


To be confirmed following consultation with members.