Agenda and minutes

Constitution Working Party
Wednesday, 25th November, 2015 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 6, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Clee  (0161 474 3204)

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2015 as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 22 July 2015 were approved as a correct record.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and Officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Changes to the Council Constitution - Financial Procedure Rules Revision pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Corporate and Support Services and the Deputy Chief Executive

 

The report sets out proposed revisions to the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules.

 

The Working Party is requested to comment on the proposed changes with a view to the revised Financial Procedure Rules and consequential changes, as set out in the schedules, going forward via the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee and Executive Meeting for adoption by the Council Meeting on 28 January 2016.

 

Officer Contact: Steve Houston on 0161 474 4000 or email: steve.houston@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Corporate and Support Services and the Monitoring Officer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out proposed revisions to the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules. The report would subsequently be considered by the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee at its meeting to be held on 8 December 2015, the Executive Meeting on 5 January 2016 and the Council Meeting on 28 January 2016.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

·         The proposed changes to the Financial Procedure Rules were supported by operational guidance.

·         The proposed changes removed outdated terminology and cleared up ambiguity where there was doubt over interpretation.

·         None of the proposed changes were as a direct result of fraud or corruption within the Council.

·         The Financial Procedures Rules had been written in such a way so as to accommodate possible changes to the job titles of senior Council Officers.

·         The Financial Procedural Rules may have to be revisited to accommodate partnership working with the health service, for example changes resulting from a review of the Health and Wellbeing Integrated Commissioning Board.

·         It was confirmed that budget holders were required to ensure that financial records, ie documents supporting a payment or an item of income received, were retained for six years or the periods specified by statute if longer.

 

RESOLVED – That the comments of the Working Party be forwarded to the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

4.

Changes to the Council's Constitution - Article 11 – Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider a report of the Monitoring Officer

 

The report sets out proposed changes to Article 11 within the Constitution in relation to the Standards Committee.

 

The Working Party is requested to comment on the proposed changes to ‘Article 11 – Standards Committee’, as set out in the appendix to the report, going forward via the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee and Executive Meeting for adoption by the Council Meeting on 28 January 2016.

 

Officer Contact: Craig Ainsworth on 0161 474 3204 or email: craig.ainsworth@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out proposed changes to Article 11 within the Constitution in relation to the Standards Committee. The report would subsequently be considered by the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee at its meeting to be held on 8 December 2015, the Executive Meeting on 5 January 2016 and the Council Meeting on 28 January 2016.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

·         The independent members of the Standards Committee provided a very worthwhile contribution to the work of the Standards Committee and it was imperative that their importance continued to be emphasised. This should be reflected to a greater extent in the report. It was confirmed that the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standards Committee would continue to be independent members.

·         It was suggested that training for all councillors on standards issues should be mandatory. This was also the view of the Standards Committee. The Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee had also expressed a wish for councillors to be trained when they serve on other bodies, including the Standards Committee. If substitute members were to be permitted, then it was imperative that they had been trained on standards issues.

·         If the voting members of the Standards Committee (ie the Councillors) passed a resolution that was in opposition to the views of the independent members, then this should be recorded in the Minutes. The collective views of the independent members should also be recorded in the Minutes.

·         The issue raised at a previous meeting of the Working Party with regard to whether the Independent Persons were bound by the Code of Conduct had been addressed in the report.

 

RESOLVED– That the comments of the Working Party be forwarded to the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee for consideration.