Agenda item

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure

For the committee to agree and comment on the Amendments to the Rules of Procedure.

Decision:

(a)       That the Committee approves the changes to the Rules of Procedure as shown in appendix 1, subject to the further amendments to the changes as agreed during the meeting; and

 

(b)       That further work be undertaken to develop a policy on multi-location meetings.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services  introduced a report for the Committee to   comment on and agree  amendments to the Rules of Procedure.  He referred to the Annual Meeting of the County Council held on 9 September 2020 and the agreement to the temporary changes to some of the Rules which had been  circulated.  He advised that as the Council moved towards ‘multi location meetings’ required by the Local Government & Elections (Wales) Act 2021 what had been temporary changes should now be formally adopted by the Committee and Council whilst  a policy on multi-location meetings was developed. 

The report explained the need to make the amendments to the rules of procedure   which were  appended to the report.

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained there was a need for flexible rules to accommodate restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic and said there was a possibility that the Council might return to an arrangement where, on occasion, everyone  was   physically present at a meeting;  or where  some people were physically present and others were present remotely (hybrid meetings); or attendance was wholly via remote devices.  The Chief Officer commented on the wider issues to be considered  regarding how the Council wished meetings to proceed in the future.

Councillor Chris Bithell referred to the proposed changes to the Rules of Procedure detailed in the appendix to the report.  Regarding procedure 8 - Duration of Meetings, he expressed concerns that if a Member was required to attend several meetings during a day there could be insufficient time for  an i-pad battery to be recharged.  He also referred to Procedure 17 – Record of Attendance,  and commenting on attendance at remote meetings he said that if members had to leave during a meeting it could have an impact on whether the meeting remained quorate.  The Chief Officer responded to the matters raised.  The Chair suggested that the host of a remote meeting could update the Chair during the meeting to inform of the remainder members present if a number of people subsequently withdrew from the meeting.  The Head of Democratic Services drew attention to Procedure 15.1 – Majority, which addressed voting at remote/hybrid meetings.

 

Councillor Michelle Perfect also referred to procedure 8 - Duration of Meetings, and suggested that the reference to Council meetings starting at 2.00 pm be amended to read: “Council meetings must ordinarily conclude after 3 hours”.  She also referred to Procedure 14 – Previous Decisions and Motions, and suggested that the proposed amendment be clarified to read that 10 individual emails be sent to the Head of Democratic Services. 

 

Councillor Mike Peers referred to Procedure 15.0 – Voting, and commenting on  the proposed amendment regarding ‘silent assent’ he said there was a need to provide guidance in writing on how Members were to indicate if they wished to oppose or abstain on a vote.  Councillor Peers also referred to Procedure 15.5 – Recorded Vote, and suggested that the proposed wording be amended to read: “That the Monitoring Officer will remind Members of the process to put in the ‘chat’ function that they request a formal vote and the requisite number reached will be declared by the Monitoring Officer”.

 

Officers agreed to include the changes to the amendments put forward by Members.

 

The recommendations in the report, subject to the further amendments to the changes to the Rules of Procedure as agreed by the Committee, was moved by Councillor Chris Bithell and seconded by Councillor Jean Davies.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Committee approves the changes to the Rules of Procedure as shown in appendix 1, subject to the further amendments to the changes as agreed during the meeting; and

 

(b)       That further work be undertaken to develop a policy on multi-location meetings.

 

Supporting documents: