Skip to Content

Agenda item

Constitutional Matters: Committees

Decision:

(i) Appointment of Committees

 

That Council appoints the following Committees:

 

Audit Committee

Clwyd Pension Fund Committee

Constitution and Democratic Services Committee

Joint Governance Committee (for Pensions)

Licensing Committee

Planning Committee

Standards Committee

The six Overview & Scrutiny Committees listed in paragraph 1.01

Grievance Committee (appointed on 9 April 2019)

Investigation and Disciplinary Committee

 

(ii) Determination of the size of Committees

 

(a)       That the size of each committee be as set out in paragraph 1.04 of the report and that an additional lay Member be recruited to the Audit Committee as set out in the report; and

 

(b)       That a review of committees be undertaken in the next 12 months including the number of elected Members and lay members on the Audit Committee membership.

 

(iii) Terms of Reference of Committees

 

That the terms of reference for each Committee in the Constitution be approved with the addition of the Grievance Committee appointed at the last meeting and the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee as set out in the report.

 

(iv) Political Balance

 

That the seats be allocated in accordance with political balance (and the rules on membership of the Planning Committee) as set out in the revised spreadsheet.

 

(v) Appointment of Chairs of Standing Committees

 

(a)       That the Chairs of the following Committees be appointed (noting any restrictions on eligibility):

 

·         Clwyd Pension Fund Committee - Councillor Aaron Shotton

·         Constitution and Democratic Services Committee - Councillor Ted Palmer

·         Licensing Committee - Councillor Tony Sharps

·         Planning Committee - Councillor David Wisinger

 

(b)       That the Grievance Committee and Investigation & Disciplinary Committee should each appoint its own Chair from amongst its membership; and

 

(c)        That the following groups be allocated the chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committees as outlined:

 

            Community and Enterprise           -             Labour Group

            Corporate Resources                     -             Conservative Group

            Education and Youth                     -             Labour Group

            Environment                                    -             New Independents Group

            Organisational Change                 -             Independent Alliance Group

            Social & Health Care                      -             Liberal Democrats Group

 

(vi) Local Choice Functions

 

That the Local Choice functions as set out in the Constitution be approved.

 

(vii) Nominations to Internal Bodies

 

That the make-up of the Appointments Committee be approved.

 

(viii) Standards Committee and Appointments to Outside Bodies

 

(a)       That the composition and membership of the Standards Committee be noted; and

 

(b)       That Council notes that nominees to Outside Bodies have been appointed for the whole Council term and the Chief Executive’s power to vary those nominations (in consultation with Group Leaders).

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Chief Officer (Governance) which dealt with matters that required decision at the Annual Meeting of the County Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 1.1 (vii) - (xiv).  The report was split into sections, each one dealing with one decision that needed to be made and the relevant issues for consideration.  Each section was considered and voted on in turn.

 

(i)        Appointment of Committees

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that the Constitution provided for the appointment of the following: Audit Committee; Clwyd Pension Fund Committee; Constitution & Democratic Services Committee; Joint Governance Committee (for Pensions); Licensing Committee; Planning Committee; Standards Committee; and the six Overview & Scrutiny Committees.  The Grievance Committee and Investigation & Disciplinary Committee were also to be appointed as agreed at the previous meeting.

 

Councillor Patrick Heesom asked for clarification on the need to appoint an Investigation & Disciplinary Committee when the Standards Committee was already in place.  The Chief Officer advised that whilst the Standards Committee considered any breaches of the Code of Conduct by councillors, a separate committee was required to be established to consider disciplinary matters relating to officers, specifically the named statutory officers as set out in legislation.  Councillor Heesom requested details of the officers to whom this would apply.  The Chief Officer agreed to supply the names of the officers whose posts were indicated on the report.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell moved approval of the recommendation in the report which was seconded by Councillor Ian Roberts.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Council appoints the following Committees:

 

Audit Committee

Clwyd Pension Fund Committee

Constitution and Democratic Services Committee

Joint Governance Committee (for Pensions)

Licensing Committee

Planning Committee

Standards Committee

The six Overview & Scrutiny Committees listed in paragraph 1.01

Grievance Committee (appointed on 9 April 2019)

Investigation and Disciplinary Committee

 

(ii)        Determination of the size of Committees

 

The Chief Officer explained that the size of each committee must be decided at the Annual Meeting.  Details of the provision for the size of the Committees were set out in the report, including a recommendation from the Audit Committee to increase its size to allow for an additional lay member.

 

In referring to the importance of the Audit Committee, Councillor Heesom called for further consideration on the size of its membership to include wider Member representation, particularly if there was an increase in the number of lay members.  He asked whether the Leader would consider deferring a decision on that particular committee to allow for more discussion.

 

The Chief Officer explained that such a decision would result in the postponement of the next Audit Committee meeting to enable the item to be decided at the next Council meeting in June.

 

On the legislative restrictions on membership of the Planning Committee, Councillor Mike Peers drew attention to the rules on multiple Member ward representation as set out in the Political Balance section of the report.

 

In response to Councillor Heesom, Councillor Roberts acknowledged the benefits of lay members serving on Committees and proposed that the number of councillors on the Audit Committee remain unchanged and to start the process to recruit an additional lay member.  He proposed that Councillor Heesom’s suggestion be considered as part of a wider review of Committees (including membership sizes) to be undertaken during the year, with recommendations made by the Constitution & Democratic Services Committee submitted to Council.  This was seconded by Councillor Carolyn Thomas.

 

The Chief Officer sought clarification on whether Councillor Heesom’s suggestion had been a formal proposal and whether he was satisfied with the response given by Councillor Roberts.

 

Councillor Heesom said that whilst he appreciated the response, the value of the Audit Committee was under-estimated and moved that his proposal be dealt with urgently whilst not impeding the recruitment process for a second lay member.  This was seconded by Councillor Carol Ellis.

 

The Chief Officer advised that Councillor Roberts’ amendment, which had been formally proposed and seconded, now became the substantive Motion.  On being put to the vote, it was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the size of each committee be as set out in paragraph 1.04 of the report and that an additional lay Member be recruited to the Audit Committee as set out in the report; and

 

(b)       That a review of committees be undertaken in the next 12 months including the number of elected Members and lay members on the Audit Committee membership.

 

(iii)       Terms of Reference of Committees

 

The Chief Officer explained that the Annual Meeting was required to decide the terms of reference of the committees that it appointed.  This included the terms of reference for existing committees as set out in the Constitution and terms of reference for the Grievance Committee agreed at the previous meeting.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell moved approval of the recommendation in the report which was seconded by Councillor Glyn Banks.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the terms of reference for each Committee in the Constitution be approved with the addition of the Grievance Committee appointed at the last meeting and the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee as set out in the report.

 

(iv)      Political Balance

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that at, or as soon as practicable after the Annual Meeting, the Council was required to decide the allocation of seats to political groups in accordance with the Political Balance Rules contained in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 as amended.

 

There were 179 seats in total for Councillors across all of the committees based on the current group membership.  The entitlement of each group to seats was shown in the revised spreadsheet circulated which reflected changes to group sizes since publication of the report.  The political balance seat calculations set out for consideration were one of a number of possible solutions and included provision for the Grievance Committee and Investigation & Disciplinary Committee to have representation from all political groups.

 

Councillor Ian Roberts moved approval of the recommendation in the report which was seconded by Councillor Carolyn Thomas.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the seats be allocated in accordance with political balance (and the rules on membership of the Planning Committee) as set out in the revised spreadsheet.

 

(v)       Appointment of Chairs of Standing Committees

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that Committee Chairs were appointed by different bodies, some of which were subject to restrictions.  A table in paragraph 1.20 of the report outlined which body appointed which Chair and what restrictions (if any) applied.  As it had been agreed at the previous meeting that the Grievance Committee would appoint its own Chair, it was assumed that the same would apply to the Investigation & Disciplinary Committee.

 

Councillor Ian Roberts moved the following, which was seconded by Councillor Carolyn Thomas:

 

  • That Councillor Wisinger be appointed as Chair of Planning Committee;
  • That Councillor Aaron Shotton be appointed as Chair of the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee;
  • That Councillor Ted Palmer be appointed as Chair of the Constitution & Democratic Services Committee;
  • That Councillor Sharps be appointed as Chair of the Licensing Committee.

 

Councillor Patrick Heesom moved an amendment that the Leader consider deferring the appointment of the Chair of Clwyd Pension Fund to allow for further consideration and brought back to the next Council meeting.  This was seconded by Councillor Helen Brown.

 

In highlighting the key role of the Chair of the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee, Councillor Roberts considered that this was not a substantial reason for deferral.

 

Councillor Mike Peers proposed a further amendment that Councillor Haydn Bateman be appointed as Chair of the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee on which he had served for a number of years and that this would be a natural progression from his role as Vice-Chair.  This was seconded by Councillor Dennis Hutchinson.

 

Councillor Heesom subsequently withdrew his proposal.

 

The amendment put forward by Councillor Peers became the substantive Motion.  He requested a recorded vote to which the requisite ten Members stood in support.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell referred to the political balance spreadsheet on which the Independent group (to which Councillor Bateman belonged) had not been allocated any seats on the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee.  The Chief Officer said that groups decided their own nominations to committees and that other groups may wish to consider allocating a seat to the Independent group in order that Councillor Bateman may take up the position of Chair.

 

On being put to the vote, Councillor Peers’ amendment was lost as follows:

 

For the amendment:

Councillor: Mike Allport, Bernie Attridge, Janet Axworthy, Haydn Bateman, Marion Bateman, Sian Braun, Helen Brown, Clive Carver, Bob Connah, Jean Davies, Rob Davies, Adele Davies-Cooke, Rosetta Dolphin, Carol Ellis, Veronica Gay, George Hardcastle, Patrick Heesom, Dennis Hutchinson, Rita Johnson, Richard Jones, Colin Legg, Brian Lloyd, Dave Mackie, Mike Peers, Ralph Small, Owen Thomas, David Williams and Arnold Woolley

 

Against the amendment:

Councillor: Glyn Banks, Sean Bibby, Chris Bithell, Derek Butler, Geoff Collett, David Cox, Paul Cunningham, Ron Davies, Ian Dunbar, Andy Dunbobbin, David Evans, David Healey, Gladys Healey, Cindy Hinds, Dave Hughes, Kevin Hughes, Joe Johnson, Paul Johnson, Christine Jones, Mike Lowe, Billy Mullin, Ted Palmer, Michelle Perfect, Vicky Perfect, Mike Reece, Ian Roberts, Aaron Shotton, Paul Shotton, Ian Smith, Carolyn Thomas, Andy Williams and David Wisinger

 

Abstentions:

Councillors: Chris Dolphin, Mared Eastwood, Tudor Jones and Neville Phillips

 

The substantive Motion, as moved by Councillor Ian Roberts, was put to the vote and carried.

 

The recommendation for the Grievance Committee and Investigation & Disciplinary Committee to appoint their own Chairs from their memberships was also put to the vote and carried.

 

The Chief Officer explained that the chairs of Overview & Scrutiny Committees were chosen by the political groups based on the strength of the various groups and which had seats on the Cabinet.  Chairs were allocated to groups with a place on Cabinet first and any entitlement was rounded down to the nearest whole number.  The remaining Chairs were then allocated to groups without a seat on Cabinet, rounding up to the nearest whole number.

 

Councillor Roberts moved the following, which was seconded by Councillor Carolyn Thomas:

 

Overview & Scrutiny Committee      Group to Choose Chair

Community & Enterprise                      Labour (Councillor Ian Dunbar)

Education & Youth                                Labour (Councillor David Healey)

Corporate Resources                            Conservative

Environment                                           New Independent

Organisational Change                        Independent Alliance

Social & Health Care                             Liberal Democrat (swap with Independent)

 

On being put to the vote, this was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Chairs of the following Committees be appointed (noting any restrictions on eligibility):

 

·             Clwyd Pension Fund Committee - Councillor Aaron Shotton

·             Constitution and Democratic Services Committee - Councillor Ted Palmer

·             Licensing Committee - Councillor Tony Sharps

·             Planning Committee - Councillor David Wisinger

 

(b)       That the Grievance Committee and Investigation & Disciplinary Committee should each appoint its own Chair from amongst its membership; and

 

(c)        That the following groups be allocated the chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committees as outlined:

 

            Community and Enterprise           -             Labour Group

            Corporate Resources                     -             Conservative Group

            Education and Youth                     -             Labour Group

            Environment                                    -             New Independents Group

            Organisational Change                 -             Independent Alliance Group

            Social & Health Care                      -             Liberal Democrats Group

 

(vi)      Local Choice Functions

 

The Chief Officer explained that the Council was required to agree such part of the Scheme of Delegation as the Council determined it was for the Council to agree.  This related to local choice functions which could be decided either by the Council or the Cabinet and/or delegated to officers.

 

Councillor Roberts moved approval that the existing Local Choice functions be confirmed, which was duly seconded.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Local Choice functions as set out in the Constitution be approved.

 

(vii)     Nominations to Internal Bodies

 

The Chief Officer explained that the existing Scheme of Delegation provided for an Appointments Committee for first and second tier officers, comprising seven Members.  This was not a standing committee and was convened when required by seeking nominations from Group Leaders.  It was recommended that the make-up of the Committee continue, as set out in the report.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell moved approval of the recommendation in the report which was seconded by Councillor Roberts.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the make-up of the Appointments Committee be approved.

 

(viii)    Standards Committee and Appointments to Outside Bodies

 

The Chief Officer explained the composition and membership of the Standards Committee which Members were requested to note along with the appointment of Members to Outside Bodies for the whole term of the Council.

 

Councillor Roberts moved both recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Bithell.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the composition and membership of the Standards Committee be noted; and

 

(b)       That Council notes that nominees to Outside Bodies have been appointed for the whole Council term and the Chief Executive’s power to vary those nominations (in consultation with Group Leaders).

Supporting documents:

 

Related Pages

Useful Websites

Useful Documents