To receive a verbal report from the Data and Democracy Manager over appointing and membership to the Full Council Outside Bodies.
The Democracy and Data Manager addressed the Committee and advised that the Chair of the Governance Committee and Councillor Crow had requested that Outside Bodies be contacted as follows:
1) For those Outside Bodies where the Council had two seats and did not currently state that it receive a representative from each political Group - would those Outside Bodies prefer to have a representative from each Group or were they happy to receive nominations from any Group? Those Outside Bodies were namely:
· Crawley Museum Society.
· West Sussex Mediation Service Management Committee.
· Crawley Arts Council (CAC).
· Age UK – West Sussex Trustee Board.
2) For those Outside Bodies where the Council had one seat - would they allow/prefer two seats and, if so, would they prefer that those seats were politically balanced? Those Outside Bodies were namely:
· Crawley Ethnic Minority Partnership (CEMP) Board.
· Relate – North and South West Sussex Trustee Board.
The Data and Democracy Manager apologised that the item was being presented verbally, but advised that several responses had not been received in time for inclusion in the published Agenda. During the Committee’s consideration of the item the Democracy and Data Manager provided clarification with regard to the Council’s representation on several other Outside Bodies.
The Committee noted that, from those Outside Bodies which had responded, the majority did not place importance on political proportionality but were keen that any representative appointed was engaged in its cause and attended its meetings. Several Committee members agreed that it was important for any Council representative to be engaged in an Outside Body’s cause regardless of political Group. It was also put forward that having a range of views represented on an Outside Body would be advantageous.
Several Committee members referred to report LDS/162 of the Interim Monitoring Officer which had been considered by the Committee on 26 January 2021 (minute 5 of that meeting referred) which proposed a change to the then approach to allocating Committee Chair and Vice-Chairs. At that meeting the Committee had resolved to recommend that the Full Council adopt a Fixed Cascade Approach for the allocation of Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs.
That resolution had subsequently been agreed by the Full Council at its meeting on 24 February 2021 and the Constitution had been amended to reflect the adopted protocol. It was suggested that approach had been successful and had aided the smooth running of the Full Council AGM, for that reason several Committee members suggested that a similar approach be adopted for the allocation of seats to Outside Bodies.
It was moved by Councillor Crow (seconded by Councillor Burrett) that “Where the Council makes an appointment to an Outside Body with two or more Council representatives, at least one position is given to each of the largest political Groups on the Council (where those Groups have made a nomination), and that the Constitution be amended to reflect this arrangement”.
Following a vote, the proposal was declared to be CARRIED unanimously.
1. That the views of the Outside Bodies be noted.
2. That the Full Council be recommended to agree that:
When the Full Council, normally at the Annual Meeting, appoints representatives to a Council Outside Body with two or more Council seats, at least one position is given to each of the largest political Groups on the Council (where those Groups have made a nomination), and that the Constitution be amended to reflect this arrangement.