Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee - Monday 12 June 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Sophie Benfield 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne elected as Chair

 

2.

Election of Vice Chair

Minutes:

Cllr Colin Hay elected as Vice Chair

 

3.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

None.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 31 March 2023.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 31 March 2023 were agreed as a correct record.

 

5.

Public Questions

To answer any written public questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closingdate/time for receipt of questions is 10.00am on 5 June 2023.

Minutes:

No questions had been received from members of the public.

 

6.

Members' Questions

To answer any written member questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closing date/time for receipt of questions is 10.00am on 5 June 2023.

Minutes:

No questions had been received from Members.

 

7.

Outside bodies pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1      Gillian Parkinson introduced the report that proposed an annual reporting mechanism by those Members appointed to Outside Bodies to full Council and to provide guidance to Members about the different governance structures which applied to those organisations.

 

7.2      It was recognised that some of the appointments were related specifically to the division of the appointed member and it was suggested that there was no need to report progress in relation to those bodies to council.

 

7.3      Some members commented on how useful a report of this nature would be in order to provide information on the role of the outside body and the work being undertaken. It was noted that it would help new members taken on the role to have a historical record to look back on. It was clarified that there was no current plan for members to be asked questions on this topic at the full Council meeting where the report would be received.

 

7.4      It was noted under resource implications, that there would be an impact on Democratic Services to compile the report.

 

7.5      One member commented that it was important that the report was concise and that there was a word limit on the contributions.  In addition, that there should be a box on the template that provided a link to the website/ annual report of the outside body.

 

7.6      Members queried the changes that had been made to the outside body list from the one that had been received by Council in 2021. It was explained that the list had been ‘tidied up’ with bodies that were not truly independent of the council removed as there was a separate reporting mechanism for them. Members suggested that they be provided with a list that included all the bodies and reporting mechanisms in place.

 

7.7      Members requested the Council and Democracy web page be updated with the latest version of the list.

            ACTION         Democratic Services

 

7.8      A comprehensive list of all appointments would be provided to the next meeting. This would specify the type of appointment and reporting mechanism in place.

ACTION               Gillian Parkinson

 

            RESOLVED:

 

 

           

 

 

            The Committee agreed to introduce an annual reporting mechanism to the Council meeting on the work of Outside Bodies by those Members appointed to such organisations.

 

            The Committee agreed that members would be provided with a guidance note on the roles and responsibilities of their membership of Outside Bodies.

 

8.

Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To consider the attached report.

Minutes:

8.1      Rob Ayliffe introduced the report bringing forward recommendations regarding the allowances paid to the members and the chair of the Independent Remuneration Panel and retaining annual reviews of member allowances.

 

8.2      Additional information was provided on other authorities from a South West Councils survey to add to the benchmarking data provided in the pack. This highlighted three additional councils paying a greater allowance to their chairs and panel. In response to this, the recommended panel member allowance of £300 would be below the mean but close to the median. 

 

8.3      One member commented on the fact that allowances being index linked at Gloucestershire appeared to be a different approach to other councils.

 

8.4      Members commented on the diligent work of the panel and the chair.

 

8.5      It was suggested that the member of the panel allowance be brought to £404 to reflect the additional information they had considered; this was an increase on the recommendation in the paper.

 

8.6      It was suggested that there be a benchmarking exercise undertaken every four years.

 

RESOLVED:

The Constitution Committee agreed that:

 

 

1. That allowances for panel members were set at the following levels for 2023/24:

- Member of the panel: £404 per annum

- Chair of the panel: £1,060 per annum

 

2. That for subsequent years, the allowances were index-linked to the employee pay award as negotiated nationally through the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (‘Green Book’) conditions of service (for employees attached to Grades 1- 11), and automatically increased accordingly.

 

3. That the Council retained its current practice of conducting a full review of all member allowances on an annual basis.