Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee - Monday 10 March 2014 2.00 pm

Venue: Members' Room - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2013.


The minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2013 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



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 3 March 2014.  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 questions from members of the public had been received.



Members' Questions

To answer any written members’ questions.  The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10.00am on 3 March 2014.


No questions from members had been received.



Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:


68.1      William Alexander, Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) attended the meeting and presented the Panel’s report and recommendations for the 2014-15 revision of the Members’ Allowances Scheme.


68.2      He informed the Committee that the Panel had conducted an in-depth review of all matters relating to the remuneration of members.  Throughout October 2013, 27 face to face interviews were conducted with a wide range of members taking into account length of service, political persuasion, back bencher, or Special Responsibility Allowance holder.  He emphasised to the Committee how much he appreciated the members being so open and frank in their responses during the interviews. 


68.3      Mr Alexander reported that the Panel believed the current basic allowance of £8,800 undervalued the role of county councillors, and the Panel was unanimous in its view that the appropriate rate of basic allowance for 2014/15 was in excess of £10,000.  The Panel believed that at this level the basic allowance would more accurately reflect the value of county councillors, recognising the time and level of work involved in carrying out their role, and would assist in attracting a wider pool of electoral candidates at election time.


68.4      Mr Alexander informed the Committee that the Panel did recognise however, that the severe financial pressure on local authorities meant that now was not the right time to make a significant change to allowances.  The Panel was therefore suggesting that the increase in basic allowance should be linked to the pay of council staff. 


68.5      He explained that the net effect of all of the proposed changes the Panel was recommending would increase the members’ allowances budget by just less than 2%.  Therefore broadly in line with the staff pay rise of 1% in 2013-14 and the anticipated rise of 1% in 2014-15.


68.6      Whilst there was recognition from members of the Committee that increasing the basic allowance in excess of £10,000 could not be justified, there was a degree of feeling amongst some members of whether there would ever be a right time to make a significant change to allowances.  Mr Alexander confirmed that one of options the Panel would consider for the future, if it felt the basic allowance should be increased, would be to increase the basic allowance through a series of milestones, so in effect gradually, over a period of time.


68.7      Mr Alexander stressed that whilst remuneration was a factor in attracting election candidates, it was not the all important element.   A common theme arising from the members’ interviews was that there was a strong desire to make a difference in their local area, which was why they had stood for election in the first place.  Many members had stated during their interviews, that they were unaware at the time of standing for election, that an allowance was paid.


68.8      Members discussed the need for more younger people to stand for election, and the Chairman of the Committee reported that the Local Government Association had been doing some work looking into the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.


Constitution Changes pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report from the Monitoring Officer which outlined the following amendments to the constitution:

69.1      Procedural Standing Orders: Recorded votes

The Committee resolved.


That Procedural Standing Orders be amended by the addition of the following new paragraph 15.7 and re-numbering of subsequent paragraphs

“15.7 Immediately after any vote is taken at a budget decision meeting there shall be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of that meeting the names of the persons who cast a vote for the decision, or against the decision or who abstained from voting.”

69.2      Cabinet Procedure Rules: Time Limit for submitting questions to Cabinet

The Committee resolved:


That Cabinet Procedure Rule 9.3 be amended to read:

 “A written copy of the question must have been delivered to the Chief Executive by 4.00pm three clear working days before the date of the meeting.”

69.3      Ratification of changes made by the Monitoring Officer under delegated powers   

The Committee approved the changes and resolved:


To ratify the changes to the Constitution made by the Monitoring Officer under delegated powers regarding:

(a)     The Confidential Reporting Procedure for Employees (whistle blowing). 

(b)     In Article 6.03.1 the deletion of the words ‘but normally only in the event of a change of political control of the Council’.