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APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE & SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS
(If any) – receive.
There were no apologies for absence.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.
Members may still disclose any interest in any item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.
There were no disclosures of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Committee held on 7 June 2023 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 7 June 2023 were agreed as a correct record.
Report and appendices attached.
A report of the Monitoring Officer proposed a number of changes to the Constitution that had been suggested by the Constitution Working Party. It was noted that it was not anticipated that the changes referred to in the report would be brought to Full Council for final approval until the revised Scheme of Delegation was also ready to be approved. This would allow all the changes to be introduced together in a coherent fashion.
The changes agreed by Governance Committee, together with any relevant comments made by Members, are shown below:
Members felt that the proposed changes in the report were too wordy. It was AGREED that relevant sections of the Constitution should be amended to read as follows:
Part 2, Annex 2
2: Licensing Committee
2.2 Licensing Sub-Committees should be politically balanced where possible.
9. (iv) Sub-Committees or Hearings Panels should be politically balanced where possible.
Access to Information
It was AGREED that the revised Part 4.1 of the Constitution covering Access to Information Procedure Rules should be approved.
Officers confirmed that the OneSource Joint Committee still existed for Legal, Exchequer and Transactional which remained part of OneSource. The role of the Joint Committee itself was also under review. It was NOTED that it was proposed to delete the OneSource delegations from the Constitution with the exception of those relating to Exchequer & Transactional. Further details would be included in the Scheme of Delegations report which would be presented to Governance Committee at a future point.
Member Code of Conduct
Members felt that the proposed timescale for dealing with correspondence was not realistic and could not be introduced, at least until a casework management system had been introduced. It was therefore AGREED that the relevant section of part 5.1 of the Constitution should read as follows:
As a Member of the Council, each Member will in particular address the statutory principles of the code of conduct by:
Dealing with representations or enquiries from residents, members of local communities and visitors promptly, fairly, appropriately and impartially.
It was further AGREED that the revised version of the Social Media Protocol as appended to the report and that the relevant section of part 5.1 of the Constitution be amended to read:
Members will be expected to comply with the Council’s policies on Equality in Employment, Equality in Service Provision, Harassment and Bullying at Work as well as the Council’s Social Media Protocol.
Flags and Lighting Up Policy
It was AGREED that Armed Forces Day should be included as an example of a day when flags should be flown. Enquiries would also be made as to the current name of the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Other than the amendment shown above, it was AGREED that the revised Flag Flying and Special Lighting Policy, as appended to the report, be approved.
Recording Executive Decisions
Members felt that the Council’s current process for recording Executive Decisions was very effective. The Executive Decision guidance note as appended to the report was therefore NOTED ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Committee was asked to note two Executive Appointments – that of Councillor Gillian Ford to the North East London Foundation Trust Board of Governors and that of Councillor Ray Morgon to the Thames Freeport Governance Board.
The Committee was also asked to note the position re the Poyntz Charity which was currently dormant.
Members asked for information on some representatives are elected onto the North East London Foundation Trust Board of Governors.
The Committee NOTED the addition of Executive Appointments to the North East London Foundation Trust Board of Governors and the Thames Freeport Governance Board as well as the current situation with the Poyntz Charity.
A report of the Monitoring Officer discussed options should the Committee agree that Trade Unions be allowed voting rights on the Pensions Committee.
It was AGREED that the Monitoring Officer should bring a revised report to a future meeting of Governance Committee proposing one elected staff member with voting rights to have a place on the Pensions Committee.
Members also discussed the establishment of pension scheme for Members and would look to take this forward.