Agenda and minutes

Governance Committee - Tuesday, 5th March, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms A & B - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@crawley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Disclosures of Interest

In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.

 

Minutes:

The following disclosure of interest was made:

 

Councillor

Item and Minute

Type and Nature of Disclosure

 

Councillor

Jones

Review of the Constitution (Order of Business for the Annual Meeting of the Full Council)

Personal Interest as current Leader of the Council.  If re-elected as Leader in May 2024 any change could potentially affect their office as Leader.

 

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Governance Committee held on 28 November 2023.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Governance Committee held on 28 November 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

3.

Public Question Time

To answer any questions asked by the public which relate to an item on this agenda and which are in line with the Council’s Constitution.

 

Public Question Time will be concluded by the Chair when all questions have been answered or on the expiry of a period of 15 minutes, whichever is the earlier.

Minutes:

No questions were asked by the public.

4.

Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To consider report LDS/215 of the Head of Governance, People & Performance.

Minutes:

The Committee considered report LDS/215 of the Head of Governance, People & Performance which requested that the Committee consider proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution, namely in relation to the guillotine procedures, Licensing Sub-Committee (Hearings) Procedure Rules, and the Order of Business for the Annual Meeting of the Full Council.

 

The Committee discussed and voted upon each proposed change in turn.

 

The Procedures for Guillotine

 

Following discussion, the Committee expressed its support for having consistency across procedures for both Committees and the Full Council by enabling Committees to vote to continue after a meeting had reached 2½ hours with a “hard” Guillotine only being retained to come into effect at 11pm when meetings were held outside the Town Hall.  The Committee viewed that approach as an improvement to the current procedure, as a Committee would have the option to vote to continue the meeting rather than being required to conclude a meeting by 11pm regardless of whether all items on the agenda had been considered.  The Committee’s attention was brought to paragraph 5.8 of the report which set out the consequences for any motions and recommendations which had not been dealt with by the time a guillotine fell.

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend to the Full Council that the Guillotine procedure for Committees be amended to enable Committees to vote to continue after the meeting had reached 2½ hours (mirroring the Full Council Procedure Rules), with a “hard” Guillotine for Committees being retained to come into effect at 11pm when a Committee was held outside the Town Hall.

 

The Committee did not wish to make any changes to the current Guillotine process for meetings of the Full Council.

 

Licensing Sub-Committee (Hearing) Procedure Rules

 

Following a query from the Committee, the Head of Governance, People & Performance clarified that, once a Hearing has been arranged to consider an application to review a licence, legislation did not provide flexibility to withdraw the application (even where all parties had come to an agreement) and therefore such a Hearing was required to go ahead to consider the matter and could not be cancelled.

 

The Head of Governance, People & Performance informed the Committee that, since publication of the report, it had come to light that the Procedure Rules referred to regulations which were no longer in force.  Consequentially the Committee was requested to delegate authority to the Head of Governance, People & Performance to make additional amendments to the Rules to ensure they reflected current legislation.

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend to the Full Council that the Licensing Sub-Committee (Hearings) Procedure Rules be amended as set out in Appendix A to the report; and that the Head of Governance, People & Performance be delegated to make additional amendments to those Rules to ensure they reflected current legislation, with those changes being included in the appendix to these minutes which would be put before the Full Council for its approval.

 

Order of Business for the Annual Meeting of the Full Council

 

The Committee sought clarification on the current provisions available  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Review of Provisions Relating to Call-In and Urgency pdf icon PDF 69 KB

There have been three cases, during the period since the last report, where items have been protected from the Call-In Procedure on the grounds of urgency as provided for in Call-In Procedure Rule 8.

 

In line with the Urgency provisions set out in paragraph 16 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules within the Constitution, the decisions set out in report LDS/214 of the Head of Governance, People & Performance were Protected from Call-In (under Call-In Procedure Rule 8 of the Constitution) by the Chief Executive (as Head of Paid Service) due to their urgent nature.

 

Due to the circumstances surrounding the Protections from Call-In it is not deemed necessary to change the provisions at this stage.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That no change to the provisions relating to Call-In and Urgency be made.

Minutes:

The Committee was advised that there had been three cases since the last report where items have been protected from the Call-In Procedure on the grounds of urgency as provided for in Call-In Procedure Rule 8.  Details of those decisions protected from Call-In were set out in report LDS/214 of the Head of Governance, People & Performance.

 

The Committee was of the view that, although three cases appeared to be a relatively low amount, it was more than the Committee had seen historically.  Additionally, the Committee expressed its disappointment that all three cases had taken place in the month prior to an election.  The Committee therefore wished for its views to be drawn to the attention of the Chief Executive.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      That no change to the provisions relating to Call-In and Urgency be made.

 

2.      That the Committee’s view on the number of cases of Protection from Call-In and the timing of those Protections be brought to the attention of the Chief Executive.

Appendix: Changes to the Constitution - Licensing Sub-Committee (Hearings) Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 166 KB