Venue: Conference Room, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping. View directions
Contact: S. Tautz, Governance Directorate Email: email@example.com Tel 01992 564243
Election of Chairman
To appoint a chairman for the meeting of the Panel.
That S. Lye be elected as Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
(Director of Governance) To declare interests in relation to any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest made by Members of the Panel in relation to any item on the agenda.
(Director of Governance) To receive the notes of the meeting of the Panel held on 6 January 2014.
That the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 11 November 2013 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report.
The Panel was advised that a review had recently been undertaken of the Council’s overview and scrutiny panel framework, in light of the adoption of its new management structure in December 2013.
The Democratic Services Manager reported that a new framework, substantially aligned with the management structure, had been agreed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and that this involved the deletion of the existing Constitution and Member Services Scrutiny Panel from 2015/16. Members noted that the Scrutiny Panel was responsible for the ongoing maintenance and review of the Council’s constitution, and had recently commenced a root and branch review of the constitution, which has not been undertaken for a considerable number of years. The Democratic Services Manager reported that this work was not anticipated to be completed until March 2016.
Members were advised that it was intended that the Scrutiny Panel would be re-established as a ‘Constitution Working Group’ from the new municipal year, in order to complete its review of the constitution. It was likely that, on completion of the review of the constitution in 2016, the Working Group would only then meet as occasionally necessary to consider specific constitutional issues, as it was anticipated that no similar review of the constitution would then be required for a number of years. The Democratic Services Manager reported that the responsibilities of the former scrutiny panel in relation to members’ services, would be transferred to a new ‘Governance Select Committee’ also established as part of the review of the overview and scrutiny framework.
The Democratic Services Manager reported that the review of the constitution was an important and complex piece of work and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had recommended that a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) should be applied to the position of the Chairman of the new Working Group. The Panel noted that the current Members’ Allowances Scheme provided for an SRA of £2,150 per annum to be made to the chairmen of each of the standing scrutiny panels, which included the Chairman of the Constitution and Member Services Scrutiny Panel. The Panel understood that, as a result of the disbandment of the Constitution and Member Services Scrutiny Panel, the allocation of the proposed SRA to the Chairman of the Constitution Working Group would be cost neutral in terms of the Council’s budget. The Panel agreed however, that such SRA should be reviewed after the completion of the current review of the constitution, given that it was likely that the new Working Group would only need to meet infrequently thereafter.
The Assistant Director (Governance and Performance Management) reported to the Panel in connection with arrangements for the future review of the Remuneration and Expenses Scheme, which would also need to reflect the revisions to the overview and scrutiny panel framework. The Panel requested that, as part of its report to the Council in connection with the proposed allocation of an SRA to the Chairman of the Constitution Working Group, that members be invited to raise issues or ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
Date of Next Meeting
To be arranged when required.
The Panel agreed that a further meeting be held on a date to be arranged during September 2015, to commence a full review of the Members' Allowances Scheme for 2016/17.