Report of the Monitoring Officer
Committee considered a report in relation to areas for review within the Council’s Constitution prior to submission to Council for adoption.
The following 4 areas had been identified for review at this meeting.
A. Discharge of Executive Decisions (Planning/Local Development Orders)
It had been identified that a number of functions relating to planning were reserved to the Executive and should not be discharged by the Planning Committee.
The Functions Regulations specify the functions which must be reserved to Council (and Committees) and that everything else must be Executive. Therefore, the following functions would be the responsibility of Executive (or be delegated to officers):
· Making Local Development Orders (section 61A TCPA);
· Creating Simplified Planning Zones (section 82 TCPA);
· Creating Enterprise Zones (section 88 TCPA).
· Discharge of Conditions
It was proposed that the Discharge of Conditions be delegated to officers, whereas the first three functions be submitted to Executive.
The above functions were not explicitly listed in the Terms of Reference for Planning Committee and therefore no amendment was required.
As Executive functions, these would be covered by the list of Executive Functions;
(30) All other functions not specifically designated as Council functions and not required by law to be exercised by the Council”.
The Discharge of Conditions would be covered by the General Delegations to Heads of Service and Assistant Directors – in this case it would be the Assistant Director of Development and Planning.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor David Downes
RESOLVED that the changes to the discharge of Executive Decisions (Planning/Local Development Orders) be noted.
Councillor James Watson abstained from voting.
B. Revised Cabinet Member Portfolios
Members noted the changes made to Cabinet Member Portfolios which would be presented to Council in November.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor James Watson
RESOLVED that the revised Cabinet Member Portfolios be noted.
C. Motion from Council regarding amendment to the Members Allowance
At its meeting held on 4th March 2020, Council considered motions on notice from Members. The following motion had been put forward by Councillor James Watson;
Bearing in mind Council’s adoption at its 19 February 2020 meeting of the mileage and related travel expenses policy for employees. Council now resolves to incorporate the stated paragraph below from that policy into the Members Allowance Scheme. The stated paragraph to be inserted as the first paragraph of section 6.4 of the Members Allowance Scheme with subsequent paragraphs of the section renumbered accordingly.
The stated paragraph is:
Official travel must always be conducted in an economical manner and alternative means such as telephone/video conferencing, public transport, pool cars etc must be considered as a first option. This approach supports the Council’s Climate Change and Transformation agendas.
An amendment to the motion at Council had referred the motion to the Standards Committee for their consideration.
Councillor James Watson referred to his point made at Council that he felt it was fair and proper that the Members Allowance Scheme should adopt the equivalent paragraph from the Staff Mileage and Related Travel Expenses Policy as stated above. He added that he felt it was not necessary for Members to attend the Arc to carry out their role as Councillor and that this could be done by email or telephone.
A Member responded that she felt it would be utmost in all Members minds that all travel should be done in the most economical way possible, however, she believed that the role of a Councillor could not be fulfilled wholly by working from home making telephone calls and that it would be necessary for some work to be carried out at the Arc. For example, being present in meetings, speaking to officers and other interactions such as ‘corridor business’ that influenced how decisions were made at Council.
Another Member agreed and felt it wasn’t necessary to put the suggested paragraph in the Members’ Allowance Scheme as the Independent Remuneration Panel looked at all aspects of Members’ Allowances. He added that although Members’ place of work was home, he felt that Members should be able to attend the Arc to carry out their work if they felt it was necessary.
Another Member disputed that Members could not carry out all their work from home and felt that it wasn’t necessary to travel to the Arc to attend meetings.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor Deborah Watson
RESOLVED that Council be recommended not to include the stated paragraph in the Members Allowance Scheme.
(Governance Manager/Monitoring Officer)
Councillor James Watson voted against the motion.
D. Homeloss Payments – Delegated Decisions
Committee was advised that this item would be presented to the next meeting of Standards Committee.