Agenda and draft minutes

Procedures Committee - Wednesday, 21st July, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX. View directions

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Vice-Chair pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Cllr Connett be elected Deputy Chair for 2021/22.

 

2.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None.

 

3.

Remit of the Procedures Committee

To remind Members the remit of the Committee as below:-

 

(a)  To review the operation of the Constitution, its Standing Orders, conventions and working practices;

(b)  To oversee the Councils programmes for member development/training; and

(c)   To make recommendations to the Council on its Scheme of Members' Allowances.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members requested that the member training/development programme be brought to the next Procedures Committee meeting.

 

 

4.

Notice of Motion - Constitution pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Link to the Constitution - Teignbridge District Council  

 

To consider the Notice of Motion on the Constitution which was submitted by Cllr Patch to Full Council on 22 February 2021 and referred to the Procedures Committee by Executive 13 May 2021.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Sometime on or after 20th November 2020 a document purporting to be a new version of the Council’s Constitution appeared on the Council website. The version of the Constitution last adopted by the Full Council (Article 4.3 (a)(i)) states that the Full Council is responsible for “adopting and changing the articles in the Constitution or Rules of Procedure – unless otherwise stated”. Delegated powers had been given to the Monitoring Officer by Full Council in September 2019 to make ‘minor’ changes to the constitution as part of a ‘tidying-up’ exercise – at that time assurance was given in writing to Council:

 

For the avoidance of doubt and as indicated above, the existing rules will not be materially changed (i.e. will only cover changes to remove/address clear errors in law or drafting to improve clarity and understanding of the relevant provision as the Monitoring Officer considers appropriate).

(Para 3.6, Report of Constitution Working Group to Full Council, 24 Sept, 2019 – my emphasis added)

Preliminary inspection of the ‘new version’ of the Constitution (dated 20th November 2020) has revealed several apparent material changes from the last adopted version of the Constitution, in the main eroding the rights of Members of the Council and the Public – for example, with respect to:

1.     the rights of Members of this Council to present questions to Full Council (Articles 4.3.2 (f); Article 4.7.3): new/extended discretionary powers have been given to the Chairman of the Council and Managing Director, giving them, respectively, greater scope/new powers to reject questions from elected Members (compare with previous Article 4.5 (k));

2.     the rights of members of the Public to present questions to Full Council (Articles 4.3.2 (e); 4.7.1 (f)): new/extended discretionary powers have been given to the Chairman of the Council and Managing Director, giving them, respectively, greater scope/new powers to reject questions from members of the Public (compare with previous Articles 4.5 (j)(vi) and 4.5 (j)(v));

3.     the rights of Members of this Council to present Motions on Notice to Full Council(Article 4.9.3): new/extended discretionary powers have been given to the Managing Director (in consultation with the Chair of Council) allowing him to reject Motions on Notice from elected Members (compare with previous Article 4.5 (l)(iii));

4.     the remit of Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1(Article 3.6.2): the scope of what of what is covered under Work Area ‘Strategic Direction’ of the Council, and hence what might be scrutinised by this committee, has been restricted/reallocated elsewhere (compare with Resolution of Full Council on 3rd September 2020 – and as still currently recognised on the TDC website for this committee’s  ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members discussed Cllr Patch’s Notice of Motion that had been referred to the Procedures Committee.

 

The Leader commented that Full Council on 24 September 2019 had granted the Monitoring Officer delegated power to amend the Council’s Constitution and this work had been undertaken in accordance with this resolution. 

 

Members voted on each of the recommendations separately.

 

RECOMMENDED to Full Council that:-

 

(A)      The Council strive to uphold the integrity of the Constitution of this Council;

 

(B)      (i)   The constitution as amended by the Monitoring Officer pursuant to the resolution of Full Council 24 September 2019 be reaffirmed as the Council’s working Constitution; and  

 

(ii) The Procedures Committee would undertake to consider any Members queries on the published constitution at a future meeting; and

(C)      Future changes to the constitution be brought to the Procedures Committee for onward recommendation to Council.

 

5.

Voting on Minutes pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider that if a member either votes against or abstains in a vote on the approval of the recorded minutes of a meeting, s/he gives an explanation as to the reasons for their vote.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor G Hook spoke on this item and outlined his support for requesting that if a member either votes against or abstains in a vote on the approval of the recorded minutes of a meeting, s/he gives an explanation as to the reasons for their vote.

 

RESOLVED that there be no further action on this matter at this stage.

6.

Recommendation from Standards Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To consider the recommendation from Standards Sub-Committee on Tuesday, 6th July, 2021 Teignbridge District Council

 

RECOMMENDED to the council’s Procedures Committee for consideration;

 

(1)  The council’s Procedural Rules should be amended so that councillors serving on the Planning Committee are no longer permitted to vote on applications within their ward;

 

(2)  Motion to Approve/Refuse/Defer Planning Applications should be made at the end of a debate on the application, which would allow any questions raised during debate to be answered;

 

(3)                    All Councillors be reminded that the deadline for submission of new  information on planning applications being considered by the Planning Committee is midnight Thursday prior to the meeting and no later; and

 

(4)                    Any new information or submissions regarding planning applications should be submitted to the planning email address.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members discussed the recommendations from the Standards Sub-Committee and voted on each of the recommendations separately.

 

RECOMMENDED to Full Council that:-

 

(1)         The council’s Procedural Rules should be amended so that Councillors serving on the Planning Committee are no longer permitted to vote on applications within their ward;

 

(2)         Motions to Approve/Refuse/Defer Planning Applications should be made at the end of a debate on the application, which would allow any questions raised during debate to be answered;

 

(3)         All Councillors be reminded that the deadline for submission of new  information on planning applications being considered by the Planning Committee is midnight Thursday prior to the meeting and no later; and

 

(4)         Any new information or submissions regarding planning applications should be submitted to the planning email address planadmin@Teignbridge.gov.uk by midnight Thursday prior to the meeting.