Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Alison Wantenaar
Declarations of Interest -
Members of the Committee are invited to declare any financial or pecuniary interest related to specific matters on the agenda.
Please see note b at the end of the agenda.
Cllr Brown made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Gloucester City Council.
Cllr Cooper made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Stroud District Council.
Cllr Hay made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Cheltenham Borough Council.
The Chairman informed members that Alison Wantenaar, support officer for the committee, was retiring and that this would be her final meeting. The Committee thanked Alison for her support and wished her all the best for the future.
Public Questions -
To answer any written questions about matters that are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10.00am on Friday 16th January 2015.
To answer any oral question(s) put by members of the public.
Depending on the nature of the oral 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 16th January 2015.
No members’ questions were received
To consider the final draft of the terms of reference for the new Pension Board and note necessary amendments to the Committee’s remit within the Constitution.
5.1 Jo Walker, Director Strategic Finance, introduced the covering report to members detailing that conversations had been held with Hymans Robertson, internal legal and the monitoring officer to make the necessary changes since the committee had last considered the terms of reference. Members were informed that some detail around code of conduct and data protection had been removed as these were already covered within the constitution.
5.2 Details of the proposed selection process was referenced in the covering report, with required constitutional changes in the annex.
5.3 Referring to section 1.3 of the terms of reference under the ‘Role of the Pension Board’, the committee asked that following the line ‘any risks or concerns identified’ be added the following words: ‘and mitigation steps proposed’. It was clarified that concerns could be raised by the Board to the committee at any time.
5.4 The committee asked that clarification be provided under ‘Code of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest’ around how other policies would be applied including data protection policies. Some members suggested a line could be added which referenced ‘all other relevant policies’.
5.5 There was some discussion around the eligibility of members of the Pension Board and the implications of non-attendance. At point (3.3) it was requested that the word ‘persistent’ be used instead of ‘consistent’. Members asked whether a vote would be taken if a member had not attended a number of meetings and questioned whether that member would no longer be eligible. Officers agreed to seek advice on this point.
5.6 Given the specialist nature of the work it was felt that there should not be substitution arrangements. Currently, the terms of reference did not specify this and members asked that further advice be sought as to whether a statement clarifying no substitution needed to be included.
5.7 The committee considered the knowledge and skills for Pension Board members as detailed at Annex A. The early proposals around the recruitment and selection process was shared with members. The committee suggested that to ensure independence, the Pensions Committee should not be involved in the interview process. There were suggestions that other County Council committees such as Audit and Governance or Constitution Committee might fulfil this role with the advice of officers. It was agreed that further consideration would be given to this and that details would be reported back to Pensions Committee.
5.8 It was recognised that finding individuals that met the criteria around knowledge and skills could be challenging. It was felt that where an individual showed an aptitude and enthusiasm for the role, then appropriate training would allow the individual to meet the requirements. The committee stated that there should be compulsory training for Pension Board members to ensure eligibility. It was stated that training supported the credibility of the Board.
5.9 Clarification was sought around the access to Pensions Committee papers by Pension Board members. Examples were given that supported the practice of asking Pension Board members to make a formal declaration of acceptance of office ... view the full minutes text for item 5.