Agenda and decisions

Constitution and Standards Committee
Friday 6th July 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Luttrell Room - County Hall, Taunton. View directions

Contact: Katherine Dunn or Scott Wooldridge  01823 357628 or Email: kydunn@somerset.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

2.

Declarations of Interest

Details of all Members’ interests in District, Town and Parish Councils will be displayed in the meeting room. The Statutory Register of Member’s Interests can be inspected via the Democratic Services team.

3.

Minutes from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 83 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm the minutes are accurate.

4.

Public Question Time

The Chair will allow members of the public to present a petition on any matter within the Committee’s remit. Questions or statements about any matter on the agenda for this meeting will be taken at the time when each matter is considered.

5.

Electoral Divisions proposed name changes pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive a report following the completion of public consultation regarding the potential name changes to four electoral divisions.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The committee recommended

  1. that the Wellington and Rockwell Green proposed name change undertakes further public consultation and for proposals to be reported back to the Committee in the Autumn.
  2. That currently no changes are taken forward for the other 3 proposals.

 

6.

Update on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for elected members pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive a report outlining the progress made in completing DBS checks for elected members in accordance with the approach approved by County Council on 29 November 2017.

 

Decision:

The Committee

(a)  noted the current position regarding County Councillor DBS checks as detailed in paragraph 3.5 of the report.

(b)  Requested officers to provide a further update to the committees meeting in October 2018 and consider any further actions to ensure compliance with the Councils polices on DBS checks.

 

7.

Empowerment of the new Interim Director of Finance pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider a report regarding proposed amendments to the Constitution in order to empower the Interim Director of Finance to take delegated decisions.

 

Decision:

The Committee resolved to:

1.        Recommend that the County Council allocate the statutory Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) role to the Interim Director of Finance with effect from the 18 July 2018 pending the recruitment of a permanent employee to the role of Corporate Director for Resources.

2.        Agree, subject to the agreement of the Council to (1) above to amend the Constitution and Council Scheme of Delegation to recognise and empower the Interim Director of Finance to undertake all of the statutory functions of a Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 officer), the functions of the Director of Finance, Legal and Governance and take all decisions related to the role;

3.        Delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to make any changes necessary to the Constitution as a result of the decisions of the Council and the Committee.

4.        Recommend the Leader to make complementary changes to those outlined in 2.1 (2) above to the Cabinet Scheme of Delegation.

8.

Meeting procedure rules, Scrutiny call-in procedure and Public Question Time rules - report to follow pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider a report proposing revisions to the county council meeting procedure rules, scrutiny call in procedure and Public Question Time rules.

 

Decision:

The committee resolved to

1)       Accept the proposals regarding the proposed amendments to the Full Council meeting procedure rules and Public Question Time provisions within the Constitution as set out in paragraph 3.1-3.12 of the report, ahead of the Monitoring Officer reporting these for consideration and approval by Full Council on 18 July 2018 with the following amendments:

(i)       The time allocation for Public Question Time should be 20 minutes or at the discretion of the chair of the committee.

(ii)       If the person is absent and therefore unable to ask a question the relevant democratic service manager can do so on his/her behalf.

 

2)       Accept the proposals regarding the proposed amendment to the scrutiny call-in procedure as set out in paragraph 3.16, ahead of the Monitoring Officer reporting this for consideration and approval by Full Council on 18 July 2018.

3)       Noted the work to be undertaken investigating options to improve the effectiveness of scrutiny.

 

 

9.

Audio recordings of committee meetings pdf icon PDF 36 KB

For the committee to discuss the new provisions for publishing and retaining audio recordings of some of the Council’s meetings.

 

Decision:

The Committee noted the update and requested a further update in Autumn regarding the operation of the policy.

10.

Forward Work Programme

For the Committee to discuss and review the forward work programme of business and in particular the business for the next meeting.

11.

Any other urgent items of business

The Chairman may raise any items of urgent business.