Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee - Monday 6 June 2011 3.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1 - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Sharon Clutterbuck 

No. Item


Election of Chairman


Cllr Windsor-Clive proposed Cllr Noble, this was seconded by Cllr Awford.  There were no other nominations.


It was therefore




THAT Cllr Noble be elected as Chairman for the ensuing year.


Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2011.



THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2011 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


As an update in relation to Minute No. 41, Christine Wray advised that the Commissioning Director: Communities & Infrastructure had delegated powers under the Constitution in relation to Emergency Management, however, he had authorised the Chief Fire Officer to exercise those powers, amongst others.


Public Questions

To answer any written public 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  Friday, 27 May 2011.  To answer any oral question(s) put by members of the public with the consent of the Chairperson.


Depending on the nature of the questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.


No public questions were received.


Members' Questions

To answer any written members’ questions.  The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10.00am on Friday, 27 May 2011.


No members’ questions were received.


Proposed Changes to the Members Allowance Scheme pdf icon PDF 111 KB


The Committee gave consideration to a report in relation to proposed changes to the Members’ Allowances Scheme.  The report outlined proposals to introduce a Special Responsibility Allowance for the non-executive Cabinet Project Champions as announced by the Leader of the Council at the Annual Meeting on 18 May 2011.  The Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) had met on 4 May 2011, at the request of the Leader and the Chief Executive to consider the issue.  The IRP agreed that it was appropriate for Cabinet Project Champions to receive a Special Responsibility allowance and suggested a methodology for calculating the level of SRA based on the intensity or impact of each individual project and the financial value allied to that project. 


Members of the Liberal Democrat and Labour Group expressed their concern and disappointment that they had not been informed that the meeting of the IRP was taking place and had not been consulted or asked for their comments.  Concerns were expressed with regard to how the work of the Cabinet Project Champions would be scrutinised, what methodology would be used for the payment levels and why these were needed when Task Groups were established who did some excellent work focussing on specific projects.  It would be appropriate to have provision for there to be a maximum number of Cabinet Project Champions included in the Constitution, together with a maximum allowance equivalent to that of a single Cabinet Members allowance.  It was also proposed that questions could be asked of the Cabinet Project Champions at Council. 


In response Cllr Hawthorne explained that as Leader of the Council he had taken the decision to reduce the number of Cabinet Members from 10 to 8.  The role of Cabinet Project Champions was introduced last year.  Following the changes to the Cabinet he had decided to introduce 5 Cabinet Project Champions to focus on specific projects.  The IRP were asked to look at the roles of the Cabinet Project Champions and give consideration as to whether they should be paid an allowance. The overall cost of the Cabinet had been reduced and this would reduce further once the Cabinet Project Champions have completed their work.  The IRP had met as quickly as it could and one option would have been to hold a meeting of the Constitution Committee prior to the Annual Council meeting, however, he had decided to have the meeting now to allow for sufficient time for a full debate.  It would be the responsibility of the Chairmen of the Scrutiny Committees to decide how they wish to scrutinise the Executive and the Cabinet Project Champions.   He agreed that the maximum number of Cabinet Project Champions would be 5 and this should be included in the Constitution, however, it would not be appropriate to include a cap on the cost when the IRP had set out the levels of allowance to be paid. Clarification would be given, before the next Council meeting, in relation to what the levels of pay would be for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Amendments to the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Assistant Director of Law & Administration that outlined the proposed changes to the Constitution in relation to:


1.    Revised Section 4 setting out the responsibility for executive functions as determined by the Leader in accordance with the Local Government Act 2000.

2.    (a) Amendment made to the Procedural Standing Order 27.2 so as to include reference to paragraph 18 – exclusion of the public.

            (b) consequential amendments to the Council’s Constitution made by the Monitoring Officer under his delegated powers following the changes to the officer scheme of delegation approved by full council. 


On being put to the vote it was




That the changes to the Constitution be ratified.