Agenda and draft minutes

Governance Committee
Friday, 15th November, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Dereck Francis  01902 555835 or Email:  dereck.francis@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies (if any)

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received.

2.

Declarations of interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest submitted.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting - 18 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 298 KB

[For approval]

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 18 October 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting]

Minutes:

Item 5 – Boundary Review

It was confirmed that, due to the General Election, an extension had been negotiated through to the March Council meeting. Councillors Ian Brookfield and Wendy Thompson registered concern that this would not allow for enough time as the budget would be due for discussion and there would be further elections.

 

Item 6 – Review of Polling Places and Districts

It was confirmed that the polling station in East Park would not be moved. Polling places would remain under review given the extensive building programme that was planned for the City over the next few years.

5.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 201 KB

[To recommend to Council changes to the Constitution]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jaswinder Kaur, Democratic Services Manager, presented the Changes to the Constitution for recommendation to Council. The majority of the proposed changes were matters of housekeeping and had been previously agreed by Council. Changes to Terms of Reference documents had been agreed by the relevant Committees. The Committee were informed that officers had been advised that a change to the Official Journal of the European Union threshold for services and supplies had been made since the report had been published. It was agreed that the figure for the threshold be removed from the Constitution and replaced with ‘in line with the Official Journal of the European Union threshold for services and supplies’, to ensure that work could continue.

 

With regards to section 12.13, Point of order, Councillors queried whether the subjectivity of the person would be an issue. It was confirmed that there would be opportunities to adjourn hearings to enable the Monitoring Officer to provide advice. The code of conduct process would remain separate and would still apply. Following a discussion on Council procedure rules, it was agreed that copies of the ABC of Chairmanship would be made available to Councillors. It was confirmed that the incoming Major and Deputy Mayor received specific training on procedure rules as standard, as did all new Councillors. Refresher training was also available to any Councillor on request. All Councillors received a DBS check but the Council had to justify the need for any enhanced checks, which could then be challenged by Councillors.

 

It was noted that, once the Director of Governance was in post, a more fundamental review of the Constitution would be undertaken.

 

Resolved:

 

That Council be recommended to:

 

1. Approve the amendments to the Constitution, with the removal of the figure for the Official Journal of the European Union threshold for services and supplies.

2. Authorise the Monitoring Officer to implement the changes.

6.

Introduction of Paperless Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 163 KB

[To approve to undertake a pilot of ‘paperless’ meetings]

Minutes:

Jaswinder Kaur, Democratic Services Manager, presented the Introduction of Paperless Committee Meetings report for approval. The Committee were requested to approve to undertake a pilot of ‘paperless’ meetings and, subject to the success of the pilot, to extend this approach to all Council and Committee meetings on a phased basis.

 

It was agreed that the Core Principles should include flexibility for finance papers and appendices as some reports were heavily detailed. Councillors reiterated that appropriate support would need to be in place for any Councillors with hidden disabilities. It was noted that the proposal had been discussed previously and had been the justification for Councillors receiving devices. The change would align with the Council’s Climate Change emergency declaration and would create a saving on printing and postage charges. It was agreed that consideration would be given to stopping the posting of any Committee papers to Councillors regardless of the success of the paperless meetings pilot.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That a pilot of ‘paperless’ meetings be undertaken and, subject to the success of the pilot, to extend this approach to all Council and Committee meetings on a phased basis.

2.  That consideration be given to stopping the posting of any Committee papers to Councillors.