Agenda item

Changes to the Constitution

For Full Council to agree the changes to the Constitution as specified within the attached report.  


(Councillor Jones left the meeting 10.01pm)


Councillor Butt introduced the report from the Chief Legal Officer which proposed a number of constitutional changes. He explained that these included a change to clarify the powers of the Chief Executive in order for her to make urgent decisions in the event of an emergency and additional changes to the Council’s partnership arrangements and collaborative procurement. 


The Mayor invited Councillor Warren to move his amendments which had been tabled and circulated around the chamber.


Councillor Warren outlined that he had no problem with the recommendation within the report itself, but was minded to propose some additional recommendations. He said that he had raised the issue to delete Standing Order 13 in the past and would continue to do so because of the unnecessary constitutional stipulations which needed to be met before a vote could be held. He also called on Members to agree to the deletion of Standing Order 27(d) (Special Meeting) as there was no procedure of how a special meeting would ever be called in place of an extraordinary meeting, and therefore this standing order was unnecessary.


Councillor Butt responded and stated that the Local Government Act 2000 stipulated where the Council stood on votes of no confidence. He said that the second amendment was a valid point, however it would need to be looked at more closely in future at the Council’s Constitutional Working Group and that Councillor Warren was welcome to attend to discuss further.


Councillor Mashari raised concerns about the number of times that the Constitution had been amended at Full Council meetings in recent years. She requested that Members each be given a hard copy of the Constitution and that the changes over the last five years be detailed and explained to Members. Carolyn Downs explained that there would be a vast expense for the Council if a hard copy was produced for all Members and asked Members to specifically request a copy if they wanted one.


Councillor Collier questioned the extent that the Council was covered by the Constitution for shared service agreements between different authorities when there had been a severe service failure by one of the Councils involved.


Carolyn Downs responded that this was entry in shared services was a contractual matter that the Audit Committee had looked at in the past and could be looked at again by a future meeting of the Committee. 


Councillor Warren’s first amendment was tabled as follows:


  • Delete Standing Order 13 (Vote of No Confidence)


The first amendment was put to a vote by shows of hands and declared LOST.


Councillor Warren’s second amendment was tabled as follows:


  • Delete Standing Order 27(d) (Special Meeting)


The second amendment was put to a vote by show of hands and declared LOST.


The substantive recommendation, as detailed within the report from the Chief Legal Officer, was put to the vote by show of hands and declared CARRIED.


It was therefore RESOLVED that:


(i)         The change to the Constitution be approved and that Chief Legal Officer be authorised to amend the Constitution accordingly; and


(ii)        A report on how contractual arrangements for shared services are formed, be considered by a future meeting of the Audit Advisory Committee.

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