Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Jonathan Goodrum, Senior Governance Officer. Tel. 01302 736709 

Items
No. Item

14.

Declarations of Interest, if any.

Minutes:

There were no declarations reported at the meeting.

15.

Revisions to the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 740 KB

Minutes:

Scott Fawcus, Assistant Director for Legal and Democratic Services, presented a report which consulted Members on proposed revisions to the Council’s Constitution, including, the Financial Procedure Rules (FPRs) and Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs), as set out at Appendices A to C of the report, respectively, prior to any formal recommendations being considered by full Council at its Annual Council meeting on 17th May, 2019. 

 

The proposed revisions were:

 

·         in response to issues which have arisen since the Constitution was last reviewed. Specifically, these related to the Articles (Section 3 of Part 2 of the Constitution) Council Procedure Rules (Section 1 of Part 4 of the Constitution) and the Executive Procedure Rules (Section 4 of Part 4 of the Constitution). 

 

·         to ensure the CPRs were in line with the relevant legislation; best practice procurement practices and enhance the governance around contracting activity; and

 

·         to ensure the FPRs were in line with the relevant legislation; current working practices; better aligned to the key decision thresholds; provide greater clarity to managers and ensure financial decision making is made at the appropriate level.

 

The Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Director Finance, the Head of Financial Management, the Head of Procurement and Governance Manager were in attendance at the meeting and outlined the key changes to the Financial Procedure Rules and the Contract Procedure Rules.

 

Members of the Audit Committee had been invited to the meeting to comment on the proposed changes to the Constitution.  The Chair welcomed Councillor David Nevett to the meeting.

 

Discussion followed, during which the Assistant Director for Legal and Democratic Services, the Chief Financial Officer, the Head of Financial Management, the Head of Procurement and Governance Manager responded to a range of questions and concerns from Members seeking clarity on the provisions. The Committee made the following comments/recommendations:-

 

Part 2 - Proposed revisions to Article 3 of the Constitution – The Full Council 3.01 Functions of Full Council:-

 

Following questions from Members, it was noted that the Chair of Council in consultation with the Elected Mayor could call a State of the Borough Assessment at any time.  The revised suggestion was to hold a Partnership seminar to meet with other agencies to consider the State of the Borough Assessment and other matters including, health and crime and disorder and all Members of Council would be invited to attend. Members welcomed the opportunity to attend a Partnership Summit or an alternative forum to meet with other agencies to consider the State of the Borough Assessment. The Committee gave their support to the proposal to remove the obligation to hold a State of the Borough Assessment on an annual basis.

 

Part 2 – Articles of the Constitution Article 8 – Decision Making 8.03 Types of Decision – Appendix B1 Key Decisions and Proposed Revisions to Financial Procedure Rules

 

Members supported the proposal for the overall definition for key decisions to remain unchanged and for the financial threshold to be retained at £250,000 for revenue decisions, including the additional limit of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.