Decision details

Annual Review of the Constitution

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To consider the annual review of the constitution, which includes changes being implemented through the customer connect programme


The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report on the Annual Review of the Constitution. She informed Members that one of her duties as Monitoring Officer was to monitor and review, on an annual basis, the operation of the Constitution to ensure that its aims and principles were given full effect.


Appendix 1 to the report set out proposed changes that had come through the review which Council was asked to approve. 


With regards to Customer Connect and the new operating model and structure of the Council, new arrangements were to be implemented from 1 April 2019, as shown at Appendix 4 to the report.  This required a review of the Council’s Delegation Scheme and Proper Officer appointments.  As had been reported to Council in February, some transitional arrangements had been made to ensure that the Council had the appropriate governance arrangements in place throughout the change.


Following the changes to the management structure approved by Council on 10 October 2018, the Monitoring Officer role would sit with the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist, who would take on the function of Monitoring Officer following the departure of the Director Policy and Resources(Monitoring Officer), with effect from 1 June.  That post was currently being recruited to and a report elsewhere on the agenda dealt with interim arrangements for Monitoring Officer.


The Finance Lead specialist, Helen Smith, would take on the function of Section 151 Officer and it was intended that this function would transfer from 1 April 2019 with support from the Assistant Director (Resources) continuing until 31 May 2019 for the close down of the 2018/19 accounts.


Appendices 2 and 3 to the report updated the required changes to the designations within the Delegation Scheme arising from the new leadership structure and operating model.  The changes to Cabinet delegations had been reported to Cabinet at its meeting on 20 March 2019.  Changes to the Planning Committee delegations had been approved and recommended by the Planning Committee at its meeting on 4 March 2019, shown within Appendix 1 to the report, together with the proposed revision to add clarity to the Public Participation at Planning Committee, shown at Appendix 5 to the report.


With regards to the Proper Officer appointments at Appendix 3 to the report, the Monitoring Officer functions would transfer to the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist on 1 June 2019, subject to any interim arrangements which may be necessary.  The designation of the Data Protection Officer had also now been included within these appointments which would sit with the Senior Specialist, Performance, Innovation and Commissioning.  A separate report on the agenda dealt with the appointment of the Returning Officer with effect from 1 June 2019.


The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) informed Members that the delegations would be kept under review as the Council moved through the implementation stages.


Members, officers, parish councils and the public had been consulted as part of the annual review of the constitution.  The Audit Committee, at its meeting on 5 December 2018, had made some recommendations with regard to the contract and financial procedural rules which had been approved by Council on 18 December 2018.


One representation had been received from a member of the public with regard to the membership of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP).  This fell outside of the review of the Constitution.  The IRP membership had last been considered by Council in December 2017, with the current criteria taking effect from 1 January 2018.  The representations received would be referred through to the IRP for consideration as part of any further review of the IRP membership.


Councillor Tom Harvey welcomed the clarity provided with regard to speaking times for Public Participation at Planning Committee.


Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder, moved the recommendations contained within the report, was seconded by Councillor Mark Wilson and it was unanimously




(1)        the amendments to the Constitution, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved;


(2)        the updated Cabinet delegations be noted and approval be given to the changes to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation, and delegation to officers, as set out within Appendix 2 to the report, following the implementation of the new leadership structure, with effect from 1 April 2019, subject to the transitional arrangements set out at (3) below;


(3)        the Proper Officer appointments as set out within Appendix 3 to the report be confirmed, subject to the agreed transitional arrangements which see the functions of Monitoring Officer transfer from 1 June 2019, and any interim Monitoring Officer arrangements, as detailed above and in paragraph 3.4 and 3.5 of the report; and


(4)        it be noted that the Monitoring Officer will make any necessary additional consequential changes to the Constitution to take account of these changes and that any further update will be notified to Members.

Report author: Debbie Storr

Publication date: 10/04/2019

Date of decision: 28/03/2019

Decided at meeting: 28/03/2019 - Council

Accompanying Documents: