Decision details

Governance Update

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To consider the results of the review of the Council's Constitution and Local Code of Governance carried out by Audit Committee.


Councillor Stephen Coleman, Chairman of the Audit Committee, presented the results of the review of the Council’s Local Code of Governance and Constitution carried out by the Audit Committee on 5 December 2018 (Minutes AUD/39 and AUD/41 (2018/19) refer).


The Audit Committee had considered proposed amendments to the Local Code of Governance to ensure that it met best practice.  The proposed revised Local Code of Governance was set out at Appendix 1 to the report.  The majority of amendments were to include behaviours and actions under all principles to which they applied. One additional measure had been added:-


D14: consider social value when preparing service plans, considering procurement and commissioning and monitoring performance.


Other amendments reflected changes to standards and guidance.


The Audit Committee had also considered proposed changes to the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules and Contract Procedure Rules which formed part of the Council’s Constitution.  The proposed rules were set out at Appendices 2 and 3 to the report.  The main changes were:-


·         to extend the current virement rules for revenue budgets to Capital Programme and reserves;

·         to clarify terminology and update references to other documents;

·         to propose more delegation around the use of reserves.  Under the current arrangements approval to use reserves was needed from Council as part of the final accounts process but there was not a Council meeting between the finalisation of the reserve movements and the approval of the accounts by Audit Committee;

·         to clarify that the Monitoring Officer can agree it is not expedient to comply with certain contract requirements, such as signing under seal or the use of Council policies.  This reflected the growing use of framework agreements where the terms and conditions to be used had already been agreed and would give the Council appropriate protection;

·         to remove references to paper tenders - all tender documents were now submitted electronically.


The changes proposed would apply from the date of Council approval for the remainder of the current financial year and subsequent years.


Further amendment of the Constitution would be required to reflect changes to the Leadership structure and other changes to job titles.  These changes would be included in the Monitoring Officer’s review of the Constitution which was due to be presented to the March meeting of Council.


Councillor Coleman moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Matt Severn.




(1)        the review of the Local Code of Governance be noted and the proposed changes set out at Appendix 1 to the report be approved; and


(2)        the review of the Constitution be noted and the proposed changes set out at Appendix 2 to the report be approved.

Report author: Helen Smith

Publication date: 14/01/2019

Date of decision: 18/12/2018

Decided at meeting: 18/12/2018 - Council

Accompanying Documents: