Committee chairs have been appointed and constitution changes adopted

Full Council has today (Friday 25 May 2018) announced how Herefordshire Council will be governed in the 2018/19 municipal year. Councillor Jonathan Lester has been elected Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Brian Wilcox is Chairman of the Council and Councillor Philip Edwards is Vice-Chairman of the Council. Full Council also appointed Herefordshire Council’s committee chairs, confirmed as:

Adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee      

Chair: Councillor Polly Andrews              Vice-Chair: Councillor John Stone

Children and young people scrutiny committee      

Chair: Councillor Carole Gandy               Vice-Chair: Councillor Felicity Norman

General scrutiny committee       

Chair: Councillor Sebastian Bowen         Vice-Chair: Councillor Bruce Baker

Planning and regulatory committee     

Chair: Councillor Phillip Cutter                 Vice-Chair: Councillor John Hardwick

Audit and governance committee        

Chair: Councillor Paul Newman               Vice-Chair: Councillor Chris Chappell

Employment panel committee   

Chair: Councillor Tony Johnson               Vice-Chair: Councillor Roger Phillips

Licensing sub-committee           

Chair: Councillor Dave Greenow

 

Full Council also adopted changes to Herefordshire Council’s constitution today. A revised constitution came into effect in May 2017; following this, the council’s Audit and Governance Committee established a cross-party working group to ensure the revised constitution was operating effectively and as intended.

The constitution – which acts as the council’s rule book - explains and regulates how the council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that decisions are efficient, transparent and accountable to the public.

The following changes have been approved by Full Council:

Public questions and members questions

  • Publication of answers to questions prior to the meeting
  • Supplementary questions asked ‘live’ in meeting only
  • Word limit for a question increased to 140 words
  • Removal of limit on six public questions per municipal year
  • Where a written response is required to a supplemental question, a reply will be provided within 10 days
  • Monitoring officer authorised to re-direct question to relevant committee
  • Questions required 3 days (rather than 2) before meeting

Scrutiny

  • All three scrutiny committees provided with function to scrutinise the budget and policy framework items relevant to their remits, with General Scrutiny retaining whole budget oversight

Code of conduct

  • Annual report on code of conduct complaints to Audit and Governance Committee, to include details of individual councillors within unitary, town and parish council names
  • The publication of code of conduct complaints that have been upheld
  • A new right of appeal to the Standards Panel for councillors found to have breached the code by the monitoring officer
  • A new right of appeal to the Standards Panel for complainants where no breach found by the monitoring officer, where new information is available
  • A new function for the Standards Panel to undertake a sample review of monitoring officer decisions
  • A revised description of the type of bodies councillors are members of that require registration.

Health and Wellbeing Board

  • Additional membership with full voting rights
  • Updated the functions to align with the terms of reference of the board

Planning and Regulatory Committee

  • Consideration of redirection requests will have the ward member involved in discussion
  • A redirection decision will be provided in writing

Council procedure rules

  • Re-introduction of limit on motions to three per council meeting
  • Personal explanation to include misquoted

A gender neutral constitution

 

The effectiveness of changes to the constitution will be reviewed as part of preparing the annual governance statement and annual code of conduct report.

Published: Friday, 25th May 2018