Issue - meetings


Meeting: 07/10/2015 - Constitution Committee (Item 12)


To consider differences between the Council's current Constitution and the model Welsh constitution (MWC) and whether to amend any provisions as a result.

Additional documents:


(a)       That the changes as recommended in Appendixes A-E of the report be approved; and  


(b)       That the threshold for removal of the Leader be set at 25% of Councillors

                        from 2 groups. 



The Chief Officer (Governance) introduced a report on the differences between the Council’s current Constitution and the Model Welsh Constitution (MWC) and whether to amend any provisions as a result.  He provided background information and reported that the Constitution Working Group (CWG) had met in July 2015 to consider the differences and made recommendations as to the changes which it believed should be made and these  were detailed in the report.  There were parts of the old constitution and MWC which the Working Group decided not to adopt.


The Chief Officer referred to the key considerations in the report and explained that the MWC contained a provision at paragraph 6.3.4 which enabled the Council to appoint a new Leader in the event that the existing Leader became too ill or incapacitated to continue in his role.  He emphasised that the inclusion of this provision was not because of any concerns about the Council Leader. The CWG recommended the inclusion of a less legalistic version of the provision which was set out in Appendix E.  The CWG also considered provisions about dismissal of the Leader as there was no provision in the old constitution, as existed in other Councils, enabling the Leader to be removed.  The CWG recommended that 15% of councillors from at least 2 groups would be needed to instigate such a vote and that a simple majority would be required to approve the motion.  As a further safeguard it suggested that no more than one such vote should be permitted in a rolling 12 month period. 


Councillor Clive Carver referred to the recommendation in paragraph 3.05 concerning the provision for removal of the Leader and drew attention to paragraph 4.20.4, Appendix E, where it referred to two political groups.  He raised concerns that if the situation arose whereby the Council was formed by only two political groups the proposal may not be achievable.  The Chief Officer responded to the concerns and suggested that if the Committee wished to address such a situation as raised by Councillor Carver a specific paragraph could be included in the Constitution to address this.  During discussion it was further suggested that so as not to risk destabilising the Council, the Committee may wish to increase the recommended number of councillors to 20-25% to be confident of a reasonable spread of Members.


Councillor Chris Bithell expressed the view that 15% was too small and proposed that the number be increased to 25%.  The proposal was seconded.


In response to a further query from Councillor Carver concerning removal of the Leader and the process for appointment of a new Leader, the Chief Officer suggested that a paragraph could be included in the Constitution, in the event that the notice of motion  was passed, that there would be an election of a new Leader in which the previous deposed Leader was not able to stand.


Councillor Chris Bithell asked  about the terms of office for Members as stated in paragraph 1.2.1.  The Chief Officer explained that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12