Agenda and minutes

Constitution Working Group - Tuesday 23rd November 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting on Zoom. View directions

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No. Item


Substitute Members

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.


The Committee noted that Councillor R Baldwin was appointed as substitute for Councillor C C Pond and Councillor L Mead was appointed as substitute for Councillor H Kauffman.


Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To agree the notes of the meeting of the Working Group held on 2 September 2021.




That the notes of the meeting of the Working Group held on 2 September 2021 be agreed as a correct record.


Terms of Reference & Work Programme pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To review the terms of reference and progress with the achievement of the current work programme for the Working Group.

Additional documents:


a) Terms of Reference


The Working Group noted the Terms of Reference.


(b) Work Programme


The Working Group noted the work programme.


Constitution - Revisions & Amendments pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To note that the following revisions or amendments have been made to the Constitution since the previous meeting of the Working Group, pursuant to the authority delegated to the Monitoring Officer.


N Boateng, Service Manager (Legal) and Monitoring Officer, informed members that updates to the Constitution had been published on 5 August and 12 November 2021.


The update on 5 August 2021 incorporated minor changes to officers’ names in various posts, as previously agreed at meetings, as well as revisions to Article 11 Audit and Committee Terms of Reference and Part 4 Employment Officer Rules that Council approved on 30 July 2020.


The update on 12 November 2021 included the latest agreements of the Working Group namely, approval of the Statutory Statement of Accounts by Audit and Governance Committee and a revised version of the Procurement Rules – both approved by Council on 28 October 2021. A revision of Part 3 Scheme of Delegation Appendix 4 Portfolio Holders Responsibilities was published, Members’ Allowances Scheme 2021/22 and minor amendments were made on licensing legislation – the Gambling Act and a general tidying up within Article 8 Regulatory and other Committees.




That the updates to the Constitution be noted.


Constitution - Review of Article 4 The Full Council Terms of Reference Sub-Paragraph 1(c) pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To review the list of plans and strategies listed at sub paragraph 1 (c) of Article 4 of the Constitution (see report attached).

Additional documents:


N Boateng informed members that this review had occurred as a result of questions from members on a Constitution training course in May 2021 on whether the plans and strategies listed in sub-paragraph 1(c) of Article 4 (Appendix 1 of the agenda report) needed to be updated. These plans, policies and strategies made up the Council’s strategy framework and were agreed by Full Council. It was noted that some strategies did not necessarily need to go to Council as it depended on their degree of influence and it would be sufficient for some to go to a scrutiny committee and then to Cabinet, as with the recent amendment to the Constitution on the Annual Statement of Accounts that now went yearly to Audit and Governance Committee and not afterwards to Council to be rubber stamped.


The Working Group took each plan or strategy in the order listed in Appendix 1 of the agenda report, as detailed below.


(a)          Terms of Reference – (c) Adoption of the following


(i)            Asset Management Plan (Strategy)


The Working Group supported the need for more participation by going to scrutiny with a review being undertaken by the Stronger Council Select Committee and then to Cabinet. Regarding a timeline, Councillor J Philip advised that, as the Portfolio Holder (Finance, Qualis Client and Economic Development), this would be coming forward in a year because members were aware the Asset Management Team was seconded to Qualis, so it should undergo scrutiny by the select committee followed by Cabinet. The recommendation was to remove this from the list.


(ii)          Capital Strategy


The Working Group recommended that as this was a key part of the budget it should go to Council following scrutiny by the Audit and Governance Committee.


(iii)         Community Plan / Strategy


The Working Group was of the opinion that because of the long timeframe it was unsure if in 21 years’ time it would have much bearing on the Council and that a significant number of councillors would not remember it if they were still councillors, so concluded that it should usefully be removed from this list.


(iv)         Corporate Plan


The Working Group firmly recommended this was a key document that should continue to go to Council.


(v)          Crime & Disorder Reduction Strategy


It was noted this was known as the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership Plan. The Working Group recommended its reporting should continue with the Stronger Communities Select Committee and then go to Council.


(vi)         Leisure & Cultural Strategy


The Working Group was not convinced it was useful for this strategy to go to Council, as it was in a very different position now to that in 2014. The equivalent could go to a scrutiny committee when there was an update available. It was noted that two select committees currently scrutinised the reach of the strategy – Stronger Communities (cultural / museum) and Stronger Place (leisure). Therefore, the relevant Portfolio Holder should ensure the title of the strategy adequately reflected what was in the strategy. The recommendation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting of the Working Group will be held on 3 February 2022 at 19.00.


It was noted that the next meeting of the Working Group would be held virtually on 3 February 2022 at 19.00.