Council considered this item. Cllr Fox proposed that council agree to the recommendations but with and amendment to the time between nominations for Leader and the full council meeting. The Head of Legal and Support Services, Mr Anderson stated that there could now only be 1 day from nominations to the council meeting. Therefore the number of days stated in the constitution would need to be reduced. Mr Anderson also stated that on page 175 that was a typographical error in that the paragraph relating to the delegation of responsibilities to the Head of Finance and Asset Management. The sentence “The administration of Council tax mandatory and discretionary relief, within approved Council policy” should read “The administration of mandatory and discretionary business rates relief, within approved Council policy.”
Cllr Dixon asked for clarification of how the changes to the dates of the council meetings would work as nominees could circulate a statement prior to the meeting. He asked if there would be time to circulate this statement before the council meeting.
Mr Anderson indicated that any nominations and statements would have to be received and circulated on the day before the Council meeting which was set for the Tuesday. Cllr Fox stated that these were the time constraints that the council had to work with and that councillors who were thinking of standing for election as Leader should be writing their statement now.
Council agreed to the proposed amendments allowing for receipt and circulation of nominations the day before the Council meeting to appoint the Leader and the proposed changes to the delegation to the Head of Finance and Asset Management.
The following Changes to the Constitution be approved to provide for the situation following the reduction in Heads of Service (with effect from 1 April 2011) and the May 2011 election:
(a) The amendments to the Council Procedure Rules relating to the appointment of the Leader identified at Appendix 1 of the report be approved, but amended to allow for the receipt and circulation of nominations the day before the Council meeting to appoint the Leader;
(b) the amendments to Article 7 relating to the role of the Executive identified at Appendix 2 of the report be approved;
(c) the amendments to the Scheme of Delegation to Individual Cabinet Members (Schedule 2) and the Scheme of Delegation to Officers (Schedule 3) identified at Appendix 3 of the report be approved (with effect from 1 April 2011), with the delegation to the Head of Finance and Asset Management at Appendix 3 amended to refer to mandatory business rate relief rather than council tax relief;
(d) the consequential and clarifying amendments to Articles 4 and 8, and 10 at Appendix 4 of the report be approved;
(e) the amendments to the Access to Information Rules at Appendix 5 of the report relating to the management of exempt information be approved;
(f) the amendments to the Additional Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Area Committee Rules identified at Appendix ... view the full minutes text for item 7
To consider a report by the Head of Legal and Support Services (Reference 11/107 attached).
The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Legal and Support Services (Reference 11/107). Cabinet were informed that there were two key matters to consider. The first was the changes from May 2011 for strong leadership. This document provided a mechanism for the Leader to be elected. It was noted that the first Council meeting was expected to elect the strong Leader. The Constitutional Working Group proposed an arrangement under which all Councillors would have the right to elect any candidate that has the support of 5 or more Councillors. The successful candidate would require 50% or more of the votes to be elected Leader. Where no nominee had more than 50% of votes cast then the name of the person with the least number of first preference votes will be disregarded and the votes allocated to the remaining nominees in order of the preference indicated on the voting slips. The process would be continued until in excess of 50% of votes had been allocated to one nominee or in the altnerate more than 50% of members had elected to Re-open nominations. This method should allow the chosen Leader to have the most support and the process recognised the importance of the appointment for a four year period.
The other change was the reduction in the Heads of Service by one and the reallocation of the work of the Head of Technical Services. It was noted there was an error at page 72 at section 14.1 which should say Parking Manager and not Parking and CCTV Manager.
The Head of Legal and Support Services also proposed an amendment to reduce the number of items coming to Cabinet if the proposal to dispense with Cabinet Grants and Relief Sub-Committee was accepted. The suggestion was that this was delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management for discretionary rate relief and business hardship relief subject to the decision being within existing council policy. The power to determine the use of parish council contingency funds of up to £1000 within a year could also be delegated as this would not significantly affect the contingency budget, but would reduce the number of reports coming to Cabinet. Mr Anderson apologised for the lateness of this amendment however, they reflected proposals that had come forward following publication of he report.
Cabinet were informed that amendments were being made to the access to information rules in relation to the management of Executive exempt information including a water mark identifying the recipient, but allowing for Members to destroy confidential documents themselves. The notice period for convening an urgent scrutiny meeting following call in had also been clarified.
Mr Anderson stated that there was a proposal for introduction of a protocol relating to appointment to external bodies. Some appointments were part of the Executive function, and following the introduction of strong leadership would be determined by the Leader. For the balance of external appointments it was proposed that appointment be for a period of 4 years to ... view the full minutes text for item 9