MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION

 

March 2022



 

 

 


 

OUTLINE CONTENTS

PART A:

CORE PROVISIONS

6

PART B:

RESPONSIBILITIES

40

PART C:

RULES

101

PART D:

CODES

225

PART E:

PROTOCOLS

308

PART F:

FINAL PROVISIONS

322

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

 

324

 


 

DETAILED CONTENTS

 

PART A - CORE PROVISIONS. 6

A1.      The Council and the Constitution. 7

A2.      Core Provisions of The Constitution. 11

PART B - RESPONSIBILITIES. 40

B1.      Responsibility for Functions. 41

B2.      Responsibility for Council Functions. 43

B3.      Responsibility for Executive Functions. 60

B4.      Functions of Other Committees. 64

B5.      Responsibilities of Senior Officers. 73

B6.      Proper Officer Provisions. 88

PART C - RULES OF PROCEDURE. 101

C1.      Council Procedure Rules. 102

C2.      Committee Procedure Rules. 126

C3.      Executive Procedure Rules. 147

C4.      Access to Information Procedure Rules. 157

C5.      Maidstone Crime & Disorder Reduction Rules. 168

C6.      Financial Procedure Rules. 174

C7.      Contract Procedure Rules: General 199

C8.      Contract Procedure Rules: Land Transactions. 208

C9.      Officer Employment Procedure Rules. 212

C10.   Budget and Policy Framework Rules. 217

PART D - CODES. 225

D1.      Members’ Code of Conduct 226

D2.      Code Complaints. 239

D3.      Local Code on Planning Matters. 265

D4.      Local Code on Licensing Matters. 287

D5.      Officers’ Code of Conduct 297

PART E - PROTOCOLS. 308

E1.      Protocol on Member/Officer Relations. 309

E2.      Protocol on Mayor & Deputy Mayor Pre-Selection. 317

E3.      Protocol on Honorary Aldermen. 319

PART F - FINAL PROVISIONS. 322

F1.       Scheme of Allowances. 323

GLOSSARY OF TERMS. 324

 

ANNEX: MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE

ANNEX: GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION

 

 


 

 

PART A -  CORE PROVISIONS

A1.          The Council and the Constitution

1.                  The Council

1.1.         The Maidstone Borough Council is constituted by virtue of Section 2 of the Local Government Act 1972 as consisting of the Chairman and the Councillors, being the Mayor and the Members.

1.2.         The Council shall exercise all its powers and duties in accordance with the law and with this Constitution.

2.                  Purpose of this Constitution

The Council is required by law to have a written Constitution setting out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the rules and procedures that need to be followed.  The arrangements making up this Constitution have the purpose of: -

2.1.         Ensuring that the strategies, policies, ethos & direction of the Council are determined by elected Members;

2.2.         Facilitating decision-making closest to those elected Members who can be held politically accountable for such decisions by other Members and also by Local Residents (as defined in Part A2, provision 1.1);

2.3.         Maintaining political accountability during periods of no overall control by any individual Political Group;

2.4.         Providing elected Members with the information, mechanisms & forums needed to represent Local Residents effectively and to hold those responsible for discharging functions to account; and

2.5.         Enabling Local Residents opportunities to be heard and to participate directly in the proceedings of the Council, the Committees & the Executive.

3.                  The Structure of this Constitution

3.1.         This Constitution, in all six parts, together with annexes, appendices & schedules, and also with the Glossary of Terms, is the Constitution of the Maidstone Borough Council.

3.2.         The six parts cover different areas and have differing levels of status.

3.2.1.       Part A contains the higher-level principles and core provisions of the Constitution.

3.2.2.       Part B contains provisions on responsibilities for discharging the functions of the Council and for making decisions.

3.2.3.       Part C sets out various rules of procedure around how certain proceedings of the Council are regulated and how decisions are made. This also impinges on how the Council enters into certain transactions. These are intended to be binding on all bodies of the Council.

3.2.4.       Parts D & E set out respectively the Codes and Protocols followed by the Council.  These are intended to be binding on the Council’s Officers and on its decision-making bodies save that the Council may resolve to make a decision notwithstanding the content of these Codes and Protocols.

3.2.5.       Part F contains final provisions such as the statutory Scheme of Allowances.

3.3.         The Parts and provisions of this Constitution should not conflict. Where however provisions in this Part A conflict with any provision in any other Part of this Constitution, the provisions in this Part A shall prevail.

4.                  Citation

4.1.         Within any Chapter, a reference to a numbered Provision, Rule or Clause shall refer to the contents of that Chapter of the Constitution unless specified otherwise.  Within an Appendix to a Chapter, references to a numbered Paragraph shall likewise refer to the contents of that Chapter.

4.2.         The contents of this Part A, and also Parts B, D, E & F are correctly referred to as Provisions (e.g. “Provision 4.2”), save for any appendix whose content is correctly referred to as Paragraphs. 

4.3.         The individual chapters of Part C may be referred to by Chapter number (e.g. “Chapter C1”) or by their title (e.g. “Council Procedure Rules”).  Within these particular chapters, the contents are correctly referred to as Rules (e.g. “Rule 2” or “Council Procedure Rule 2”).

5.                  Interpretation

5.1.         Every Provision in this Constitution, including every Rule, Clause or Paragraph, must be interpreted in the light of its purpose.

5.2.         The purpose of any such Provision in this Constitution is to be gathered first and foremost from the words used in that Provision.

5.3.         Where particular words or phrases are defined within the Local Government Acts, they shall have the same meaning for the purposes of this Constitution unless negated by a particular definition within this Constitution or by the context in which the words or phrases are used.

5.4.         A number of definitions for particular words or phrases are contained in the Glossary of Terms.  These are capitalised throughout this Constitution.

5.5.         Where the words used provide for any ambiguity or for alternate interpretations of a Provision, that Provision shall be construed in accordance with any particular statement of purpose applying to that provision or to that Part or sub-Part of the Constitution.  Where there is no such particular statement of purpose, the general purpose of the arrangements that make up this Constitution set out above in Provision 2 of this Chapter shall apply.

6.                  Monitoring and Reviewing this Constitution.

6.1.         The Democracy & General Purposes Committee shall monitor and review the operation of the Constitution and associated guidance at least once a year to ensure that the aims and principles of the Constitution are given full effect.

6.2.         A key role for the Monitoring Officer is to regularly review the Constitution adopted by the Council, and to make recommendations for ways in which it could be amended to better achieve the purposes set out in Provision 2.

7.                  Changes to the Constitution

7.1.         Subject to Provision 7.2 below, changes to the Constitution will only be approved by the Full Council after consideration of the proposal by the Democracy & General Purposes Committee.

7.2.         The first exception to Provision 7.1 is the power of the Monitoring Officer who has delegated authority to make changes to the Constitution which are necessitated by decisions taken by the Council; which remove inconsistency or ambiguity; which are minor; or to effect changes in the law. The other exceptions apply to the following Council bodies or Officers in respect of particular Chapters or parts thereof: -

Section

Body / Officer

Subject or Scope

Chs. B3 & B5

Leader

Delegations of Executive Functions to Officers and individual portfolio holders

Ch. B5

Chief Executive

Division of delegated matters amongst Officer roles

Ch. B6

Chief Executive

Appointment of new Proper Officers

Ch. C6

Executive

Crime & Disorder Reduction Rules

 

8.                  Suspension & Derogation

8.1.         The Core Provisions contained in this Part A may not be suspended or excepted.

8.2.         The Provisions in Part B may not be suspended or excepted.

8.3.         The Rules of Procedure in Part C provide for the circumstances in which particular Rules may be suspended.  No other suspension or exception shall be permitted.

8.4.         The nature of the Codes in Part D and the Protocols in Part E are such that the Council may resolve to make any exception to their terms as the Council may see fit.

8.5.         No other suspension, exception or derogation shall be permitted other than in accordance with this Provision 8.

9.                  Publicity and Information

9.1.         The Democracy & General Purposes Committee and the Monitoring Officer shall ensure that the Guide to the Constitution (“the Guide”) is produced and maintained alongside the Constitution itself.  The Guide shall serve as the summary and explanation of the Constitution and shall be attached as an Appendix.

9.2.         The Council shall ensure that a copy of this Constitution and the Guide are readily available to Local Residents, Members and Officers alike.  This shall include maintaining copies on the Council’s website.

9.3.         This shall include offering all newly elected Members a hard copy of the Guide, as well as providing soft copies of both the Guide and the Constitution and ensuring the same are covered in any induction training.


 

A2.          Core Provisions of The Constitution

1.                  THE RESIDENTS

1.1.         Rights of Local Residents

“Local Residents” in this Constitution means people who reside, work or own or operate a business in the Borough of Maidstone or who use its services or are affected by its decisions or services, and shall have the following rights in respect of the Council.  These are subject to the Rules of Procedure in Part C of this Constitution where they pertain to the proceedings of the Council.

1.1.1.       Voting. Eligible Local Residents on the electoral roll have the right to vote in elections of the Members, and in local referendums or polls.

1.1.2.       Information. Local Residents shall have the right to: -

(a)         Attend meetings of the Council, the Committees and the Executive;

(b)         Make such recordings and records of such meetings as they wish;

(c)          Know via the Forward Plan what Key Decisions and Other Material Decisions will be taken by the Executive and when;

(d)         Copies of reports and background papers, and any records of decisions made;

(e)         Inspect the Council’s accounts and make their views known to the External Auditor.

1.1.3.       Participation. Local Residents shall have the right: -

(a)         At meetings of the Council, the Committees and the Executive,

·            To ask questions and to receive answers,

·            To address the meeting, and

·            To present petitions in accordance with the Petition Scheme;

(b)         Via consultations, that where possible shall include an online option, to give their views;

(c)          To lobby their local Ward Members.

1.1.4.       Complaints. Local Residents have the right to make complaints and to have these determined objectively by: -

(a)         the Council itself under its Complaints Scheme and arrangements as to Member conduct;

(b)         where applicable, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

1.2.         Responsibilities

If Local Residents disrupt or participate in the disruption of meetings or engage in abusive or threatening behaviour or a course of behaviour amounting to harassment of any Member or Officer, then this will affect the way in which the Council interacts with those Local Residents in the exercise of those rights.  In these instances, the Council may take action such as removing individual Local Residents from meetings and/or managing their contact with Officers and/or Members.

 


 

2.                  THE MAYOR

2.1.         Election of the Mayor

2.1.1.       The Mayor shall be elected by the Council annually in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules in Part C of this Constitution, and the Deputy Mayor shall be appointed in accordance with the same.

2.1.2.       In preparing for the election of the Mayor and the appointment of the Deputy Mayor, the Council shall have regard to the Protocol on Mayor & Deputy Mayor Pre-Selection contained in Part E of this Constitution.

2.2.         Efficient Role of the Mayor

The Mayor and, in his or her absence, the Deputy Mayor shall have the following responsibilities: -

2.2.1.       To preside at meetings of the Council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of elected Members and the interests of Local Residents;

2.2.2.       To ensure that the Council meeting is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to Local Residents and a place at which Members who are not on the Executive are able to hold the Executive to account;

2.2.3.       To promote public involvement in the Council’s proceedings & activities;

2.2.4.       To uphold & promote the purposes of this Constitution and to be the conscience of the Council.

2.3.         Dignified Role of the Mayor

The Mayor and, in his or her absence, the Deputy Mayor shall also: -

2.3.1.       Be the First Citizen of the Borough of Maidstone and shall take precedence, save for members of the Royal family and the Lord Lieutenant of Kent when present in the Borough;

2.3.2.       Promote the Council as a whole and act as a focal point for the community;

2.3.3.       Attend such civic and ceremonial functions as the Council and he/she determine to be appropriate.

 


 

3.                  THE MEMBERS

3.1.         Composition & Eligibility

3.1.1.       Composition. The Council shall comprise of a number of Members, otherwise called councillors, with one or more Members elected by the voters of each Ward in accordance with a scheme drawn up by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and approved by the Secretary of State (“Scheme of Elections”).

3.1.2.       Eligibility. Only registered voters of the Borough or those living or working or owning land there will be eligible to hold the office of Member of the Council as long as they are not otherwise disqualified

3.2.         Election & Terms of Members

3.2.1.       The ordinary election of a third (or as near as may be) of all Members will be held on the first Thursday in May in each year until 2023 inclusive, in accordance with the Scheme of Elections. 

3.2.2.       From 2024, whole council elections shall be held on the first Thursday in May of that year and then every four (4) years thereafter.

3.2.3.       The terms of office of Members will ordinarily be four (4) years starting on the fourth day after being elected and finishing on the fourth day after the date of the regular election four (4) years later.

3.3.         Role of Members

All Members will: -

3.3.1.       Collectively be the ultimate policymakers and will carry out a number of strategic & corporate functions;

3.3.2.       Contribute to the good governance of the Borough;

3.3.3.       Effectively represent the interests of their Ward and Local Residents;

3.3.4.       Respond to enquiries & representations, and offer representation & assistance in respect of the Council, to individual Local Residents.

3.4.         Rights of Members to Access Information & Meetings

3.4.1.       The following principles are subject to further explanation given in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part C and to case law and legislation which deals with members rights to access information.

3.4.2.       An elected Member is entitled by virtue of his or her office to have access to all documents in the Council’s possession where he/she has a need to know the information contained in those documents, and where the Member’s interest in having access to a document is not outweighed by any other legal duties which would normally require the document not to be provided to the Member, such as data protection and confidentiality duties.

3.4.3.       Members also have statutory rights to access documents held by the Council.  The Access to Information Procedure Rules sets out how the need to know operates and how decisions will be made on when a member will be entitled to exempt information.

3.4.4.       Any officer or body with delegated authority to make a decision under this Constitution determining whether a Member has a need to know certain information shall consider that there is likely to be a need to know where: -

(a)     The Member sits on the relevant Member body considering a matter to which the information relates, or the proper officer has been notified that the member will be sitting on that body as a substitute when it is to consider the information in questions;

(b)     The information relates directly and materially to a matter which affects the Member’s role in representing their Ward; or

(c)     If a Member has a reasonable based concern for a problem, and it is reasonably necessary for the member to access the information in order that they can properly carry out their duties as a Member, such that they can apply their minds and efforts to shaping decision-making.

(d)         Where the need to know is not outweighed by any other legal duties which would normally require the document not to be provided to the Member, such as data protection and confidentiality issues.

3.4.5.       Members are not entitled to all information held by the Council and there is no right to roving commission or to seek to obtain information for purposes other than those directly related to the Council’s functions and their role as a Member. As stated above the need to know is also subject to other legal considerations such as any duties of confidentiality owed by the Council and the law on data protection.

3.5.         Rights in Respect to Proceedings

To assist Members in their work, their rights in respect of the proceedings of the Council shall include: -

3.5.1.       The right, together with four (4) others, to requisition an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council;

3.5.2.       The right to move amendments to any Motion by the Leader concerning the Administration’s Programme for the Municipal Year;

3.5.3.       The right to move a Motion on Notice at a meeting of the Council;

3.5.4.       The right to ask Questions on Notice at meetings of the Council, the Committees and the Executive;

3.5.5.       The right to have a subject added to the agenda of a meeting of a Committee;

3.5.6.       The right to refer the determination of a planning application affecting the Member’s Ward to the Planning Committee;

3.5.7.       The right to refer a breach of planning control to the Planning Committee;

3.5.8.       The right, together with two (2) others, to refer a serious nuisance or a major service failing directly to the Executive;

3.5.9.       The right, together with two (2) others, to call-in a decision of the Executive for scrutiny;

3.5.10.    The right to issue a Member Call for Action;

3.5.11.    For the purposes of provision 3.5.8;

“Serious nuisance” shall mean conduct or behaviour that causes a significant nuisance or annoyance to, or has a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on, the quality of life of Local Residents;

“major service failure” shall mean a failure in a service which it is a function of the Council to provide, or failure to provide such a service where such failure has a significant impact on Local Residents.

This is a non-exhaustive statement of Member rights, the contents of which are without prejudice to any rights arising under any other Provision within this Constitution or the law.

3.6.         Conduct

Members will at all times observe the Members Code of Conduct in Part D of this Constitution and the Protocol on Member/Officer Relations set out in Part E of this Constitution.

3.7.         Allowances

Members will be entitled to receive allowances in accordance with the Scheme of Allowances set out in Part F of this Constitution.

 


 

4.                  DECISIONS

4.1.         Principles of decision making

All decisions of the Council will be made in accordance with the following principles:

4.1.1.       reasonableness i.e. not being manifestly unreasonable;

4.1.2.       due consultation;

4.1.3.       the taking of professional advice from Officers;

4.1.4.       the need to explain the reasons for decisions and the options considered;

4.1.5.       respect for human rights and procedural fairness;

4.1.6.       a presumption in favour of openness;

4.1.7.       clarity of aims and desired outcomes; and

4.1.8.       the Public Sector Equality Duty.

4.2.         Rules of Procedure

Subject to the Provisions of this Chapter, all decisions must comply with the Rules of Procedure in Part C of this Constitution.

4.3.         Types of decision 

Decision types may be classified in a number of ways

4.3.1.       The Member Body Responsible

(a)         Functions may be reserved for the Full Council as a matter of law or Local Choice.  These in turn maybe subdivided into:

(i)       those the Full Council must retain by law,

(ii)      those the Full Council chooses to retain, and

(iii)     those delegated to Committees and/or to Officers.

(b)         Functions not so reserved are the responsibility of the Executive.  These may similarly be delegated by the Executive.

4.3.2.       Significance

(a)         Key decisions will be those which :

(i)       result in the Council incurring expenditure, or making savings, of more than £250,000; or

are significant in terms of its effects on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more Wards in the Borough. Procedural and Minor Decisions are those decisions pertaining to procedural matters and those decisions of little or no policy significance where expenditure or loss is less than £5,000.

(b)         Other Material Decisions are those decisions not otherwise falling into (a) or (b) above.

4.3.3.       The Administration’s Programme: Whether the matter for decision is contained within the Administration’s Programme for the Municipal Year or whether it arises in another way.

4.3.4.       The Nature of the Decision: ranging from general policy to quasi-judicial in particular cases.

4.4.         Responsibility for decision making

The remaining Provisions in this Chapter set out the principles by which particular types of decision or decisions relating to particular areas or functions are the responsibility of which Member body of the Council and/or Officer Role.

Part B of this Constitution gives effect to these Core Provisions by setting out the responsibility for decisions and functions in more detail.

4.5.         Decision making in Certain Individual Cases

Decisions in individual cases that involve the determination or consideration of the civil rights and obligations, or criminal responsibility of any person will follow a proper procedure.  Such a procedure shall accord with the requirements of natural justice, procedural fairness and human rights as the context may require.

 

 


 

5.                  THE FULL COUNCIL

5.1.         Introduction

5.1.1.       Full Council is a formal meeting of the Mayor and Members and may also be referred to as “the Council” where the context allows.  Full Council is required by law to take certain important decisions including setting the Council’s Budget and Council Tax and approving a number of key plans and strategies, which together form the Policy Framework. Full Council must also by law take decisions on a number of specific matters.

5.1.2.       Full Council provides a central forum for debate and gives the opportunity for Members and indeed Local Residents to hold those discharging functions to account.

5.2.         Types of Meeting

There are three types of Council meeting: -

5.2.1.       The Annual Meeting

5.2.2.       Other Ordinary Meetings

5.2.3.       Extraordinary Meetings

5.3.         Proceedings at Meetings of the Council

All meetings of Full Council are subject to the Council Procedure Rules contained in Part C of this Constitution.

5.4.         Functions of Full Council

Subject to the detailed specification maintained in Part B of the Constitution, only a meeting of the Council will make decisions in respect of those matters reserved for it by law or by Local Choice that are not in turn delegated. 

5.5.         Meaning of Budget and Policy Framework

5.5.1.       The Policy Framework means the following Plans and Strategies:

(a)         Those required by law to be adopted by the Council. These include:

(i)       Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy;

(ii)      Licensing Authority Policy Statement including any Cumulative Impact Policies;

(iii)     Local Development Framework - Plans and alterations which together comprise the Development Plan and Development Plan Documents;

(iv)    Sustainable Community Strategy;

(v)      Policies made under the Gambling Act (including any resolution relating to casinos);

(b)         Those which the Council has decided should be adopted by the Council meeting as a matter of Local Choice:

(i)       The Strategic Plan

5.5.2.       The Budget includes the allocation of financial resources to different services and projects, proposed contingency funds, the Council Tax base, setting the Council Tax and decisions relating to the control of the Council’s borrowing requirement, the control of its capital expenditure (including the Capital Strategy) and the setting of virement limits.

5.6.         The Budget and Policy Framework will be adopted pursuant to the Budget and Policy Framework Rules at Part C20 of this Constitution. Those rules will govern how any decisions are to be made in accordance with that framework and how any changes may be made to it.

 

 


 

6.                  THE COMMITTEES

6.1.         Outline of the Council’s Committees

6.1.1.       The Council shall establish a number of different committees, of variable standing, to assist in the decision-making of the Council and the discharge of its functions.

6.1.2.       These are: -

(a)         Policy Advisory Committees;

(b)         The Overview & Scrutiny Committee;

(c)          Regulatory Committees;

(d)         Committees in respect of governance, standards and general purposes;

(e)         The Employment Committee.

6.1.3.       These Committees shall be subject to the requirements for political balance and proportionality laid down in Sections 15-17 & Schedule 1, Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

6.1.4.       Part B of this Constitution contains further provisions where Committees are responsible for the discharge of the Council’s functions.

6.1.5.       Part C of this Constitution contains Rules of Procedure applying to the Committees.

(a)         The Committee Procedure Rules shall apply to all Committees.

(b)         The Access to Information Procedure Rules shall apply to all Committees.

6.2.         Policy Advisory Committees

6.2.1.       There shall be up to four Policy Advisory Committees (“PACs”) consisting each of nine (9) Members.

6.2.2.       The purpose of the PACs shall be: -

(a)         To involve Members who are not on the Executive in the work of the Executive and to promote collegiate working between the Executive and such Members;

(b)         As a forum for: -

(i)       Members to raise issues pertaining to the discharge of the Council’s functions;

(ii)      Officers and/or the Executive to inform Members and seek feedback via reports for noting and comment;

(iii)     Budget and Performance Monitoring.

(c)          To provide an appraisal and opinion of proposed decisions, reflecting the balance on the Council, before they are made with a view to reducing the need for calling-in of decisions.

6.2.3.       The portfolios of the PACs shall be assigned by the Proper Officer according to a set formula and method.  This shall be specified in Part B of this Constitution.  

6.2.4.       The Executive shall nominate a Member on each PAC to coordinate its activities with the Executive.  The PAC shall appoint one of its members to act as Committee Chairman.

6.2.5.       Each PAC shall elect a member who is not on the Executive to act as its vice-chair, with preference in the election process to be given to Members on the PAC belonging to the non-Administration Political Groups.

6.3.         The Overview & Scrutiny Committee

6.3.1.       There shall be an Overview & Scrutiny Committee of the Council consisting of thirteen (13) Members who are not on the Executive plus up to two (2) non-Members co-opted in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

6.3.2.       The purpose of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee shall be: -

(a)         To review and/or scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any of the Council’s functions;

(b)         To make reports and/or recommendations to the Full Council and/or the Executive in connection with the discharge of any functions;

(c)          To consider any matter affecting the Council, the Borough or Local Residents;

(d)         To act as the Council’s Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee for the purposes of Section 19, Police and Justice Act 2006; and

(e)         To exercise the right to call-in, for reconsideration, decisions made but not yet implemented by the Executive.

6.3.3.       Part B of this Constitution shall set out a more detailed specification of the functions of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

6.3.4.       The Members on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee shall elect one of their number to chair that Committee and another to act as vice-Chair, with preference in the election process to chair that Committee being given to Members from the largest non-Administration Political Group on the Council

6.3.5.       The role and powers of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee are not affected by whether or not a decision relates to a matter within the Administration’s Programme.

6.3.6.       The Overview & Scrutiny Committee must report annually to the Council on their workings and make recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods if appropriate.

6.4.         Regulatory Committees

6.4.1.       There shall be a Licensing Committee consisting of thirteen (13) Members.

6.4.2.       The purpose of the Licensing Committee shall be to exercise the licensing and gambling functions on behalf of the Council including: -

(a)         the creation and review of the statutory and non-statutory policies;

(b)         the setting of fees and charges including making recommendations to the Council as required; and

(c)          via the Licensing sub-Committee, to make decisions about individual licensing matters and appeals where not otherwise delegated to Officers

6.4.3.       The Members on the Licensing Committee shall elect one of their number to chair that Committee and another to act as vice-Chair.

6.4.4.       There shall be a Planning Committee consisting of thirteen (13) Members.

6.4.5.       The functions of the Planning Committee shall be to determine town and country planning and development control matters and associated issues.

6.4.6.       The Members on the Planning Committee shall elect one of their number to chair that Committee and another to act as vice-Chair.

6.4.7.       Part B of this Constitution provides for the functions & responsibilities of these Committees.

6.5.         Governance, Standards & General Purposes

6.5.1.       There shall be an Audit, Governance & Standards Committee consisting of nine (9) Members.

6.5.2.       The purpose of the Audit, Governance & Standards Committee shall include: -

(a)         The promotion and maintenance of high standards of Member and Officer conduct within the Council;

(b)         Adopting and reviewing the Council's Annual Governance Statement;

(c)          Independent assurance of the adequacy of the financial and risk management framework and the associated control environment;

(d)         Independent review of the Council’s financial and non-financial performance to the extent that it affects the Council’s exposure to risk and weakens the control environment; and

(e)         Overseeing the financial reporting process.

6.5.3.       There shall be a Democracy & General Purposes Committee consisting of nine (9) Members.

6.5.4.       The functions of the Democracy & General Purposes Committee shall include: -

(a)         Acting as the guardian of this Constitution, working with the Monitoring Officer to ensure that it is maintained and adhered to;

(b)         Being responsible for Member training and development

(c)          Determining matters relating to elections and electoral registration;

(d)         Other democratic services responsibilities and functions;

6.5.5.       Part B of this Constitution provides more detail of the role & responsibilities of these Committees.

6.6.         The Employment Committee

6.6.1.       There shall be an Employment Committee consisting of nine (9) Members.

6.6.2.       The purpose of the Employment Committee shall be to undertake the following functions: -

(a)         To develop and approve the Council’s human resources strategies, policies and officer terms and conditions of employment subject to the approval of any budget implications by the Cabinet and/or Council as appropriate.

(b)         To appoint: -

(i)       a Chief Officers Appointments Panel to consider appointments at chief officer and head of service level;

(ii)      a Chief Officers Investigation and Disciplinary Panel to consider any disciplinary allegations against chief officers and head of service level (excluding the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer);

(iii)     a Chief Officers Disciplinary Appeals Panel to consider appeals against dismissal by any chief officer or heads of service (excluding the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer) or disciplinary action short of dismissal by any chief officer or head of service (including the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer); and

(iv)    a Statutory Officer’s investigation and Disciplinary Panel to consider any disciplinary allegations against the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer.

(c)          Dealing with employment and staffing matters unless otherwise delegated.

6.7.         Miscellaneous

6.7.1.       Any sub-Committee of any of the aforementioned Committees shall:

(a)         Be drawn mainly from the membership of the parent Committee;

(b)         Be subject to the rules on political balance cited above;

(c)          Hold its meetings in public;

(d)         Report the minutes of its proceedings to its parent Committee; and

6.7.2.       Any Working Group of any of the aforementioned Committees shall:

(a)         Be limited in its terms of reference to exploratory work on behalf of its parent Committee;

(b)         Report the minutes of its proceedings to its parent Committee;

(c)          Be drawn primarily though not necessarily exclusively from the membership of its parent Committee, and shall aim for inclusivity though not subject to the requirements of political balance cited above.

6.7.3.       For any other council body that is neither constituted by this Constitution nor by a Political Group, involving two (2) or more Members that endures for six (6) months or more, the Proper Officer shall ensure that: -

(a)         The existence of the body is documented;

(b)         The body is assigned to a Parent body, being a Member body that is formally constituted under this Constitution;

(c)          It reports the minutes of its proceedings to its Parent body.

6.7.4.       For the avoidance of doubt, the Executive is not to be treated as a Committee of the Council for the purposes of this Provision 6.


 

7.                  THE EXECUTIVE

7.1.         Role and Form

7.1.1.       The Executive shall be responsible for all of the functions of the Council that are not designated by law or this Constitution (where permitted by law) to other Member bodies.

7.1.2.       The Executive shall consist of the Leader together with at least two (2), but no more than nine (9), Members appointed to the Executive by the Leader.

7.1.3.       Members appointed to the Executive shall be referred to as “Members on the Executive”.  Individual Members on the Executive assigned portfolios may be referred to as “Lead Member for [portfolio name]”.

7.2.         The Leader

7.2.1.       The Leader will be a Member elected to the position of Leader by the Council.

7.2.2.       The Leader will hold office until:

(a)         He/she resigns from office; or

(b)         He/she is no longer a Member; or

(c)          The earlier of: -

(i)       The fourth Annual Meeting following his or her election, or

(ii)      The Annual Meeting following Whole Council Elections

save that the Leader may be removed from Office at an earlier date by resolution of the Council.

7.3.         The Deputy Leader

7.3.1.       The Leader may designate one of the Members on the Executive as the Deputy Leader.

7.3.2.       The Deputy Leader may exercise all the functions of the Leader where the position is vacant or where the Leader is absent or is otherwise unable to act.

7.3.3.       The Leader may, if he/she thinks fit, remove the Deputy Leader from office at any time.

7.4.         Other Members on the Executive

Other Members on the Executive shall hold office until:

7.4.1.       they resign from office; or

7.4.2.       they are no longer Members; or

7.4.3.       they are removed from office by the Leader acting in accordance with the provisions for removal in the Rules of Procedure in Part C.

7.5.         The Administration’s Programme

7.5.1.       By the latter of sixty (60) days from his or her election or the Annual Meeting, the Leader and/or the Executive shall submit to Full Council for consideration & approval the Administration’s Programme for the remainder of the Municipal Year.

7.5.2.       Where Full Council does not approve the Administration’s Programme within the timescales set out in Provision 7.5.1 above, with or without amendments agreed by Full Council, the Executive and the Officers shall use their best endeavours to secure that such a programme, acceptable to the majority of Members, is so approved.  In this event, a proposal for the Administration’s Programme shall be put to each meeting of Full Council until one is approved.

7.5.3.       Where the Administration’s Programme is approved by Full Council but either sets out proposed changes to the Budget & Policy Framework, or otherwise conflicts with the Budget & Policy Framework, this shall not alter the prevailing Budget & Policy framework unless Council resolves explicitly that the Budget and Policy Framework should be so amended; if no such resolution is made the Executive and the Officers shall undertake the work necessary to bring detailed implementation proposals for such changes to a future meeting of Full Council for approval.

7.5.4.       Where the Administration’s Programme is approved by Full Council and contains particular pledges within the scope of Executive Functions that are not in conflict with the existing Budget & Policy Framework, each of those particular pledges shall then form priority items for consideration by the Executive and not require prior consideration by a Policy Advisory Committee.  This shall not prevent the Leader or a Member on the Executive choosing to place the matter before a Policy Advisory Committee nevertheless.

 

 

7.6.         Delegations, Decisions and Proceedings of the Executive

7.6.1.       The Leader shall maintain a Scheme in Part B of this Constitution setting out which individual Members on the Executive, Committees of the Executive, Officers or Joint Arrangements are responsible for the exercise of particular Executive Functions.

7.6.2.       No Key Decision or Other Material Decision in respect of a matter shall be placed before the Executive or any individual Member on the Executive, no report prepared for them by Officers nor any decision made by the Executive or any individual Member on the Executive on such a matter unless: -

(a)         A report on the matter has previously been considered by a meeting of a Policy Advisory Committee;

(b)         The matter is a reference to the Executive from another Committee, including the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, whose terms of reference allowed the matter to be considered;

(c)          The matter was the subject of a particular pledge contained within the Administration’s Programme approved by the Full Council and does not conflict with the Budget & Policy Framework;

(d)         The matter was the subject of a Motion before Full Council referred directly to the Executive for consideration;

(e)         The matter was the subject of a Member Agenda Item Request that has been considered by any Committee and that Committee has resolved to request an Officer’s report on the matter be submitted directly to the Executive;

(f)           The matter concerns a serious nuisance or major service failure and at least three (3) Members have submitted a request it be considered by the Executive;

(g)         The matter is urgent and the Urgency Arrangements set out in the Executive Procedure Rules in Part C of the Constitution have been engaged.

7.6.3.       Key Decisions and Other Material Decisions which are made by Members or Member bodies shall be made in public, either at a meeting of the Executive or at another meeting convened for the purpose of making the decision.  This will not prevent all or part of any item being considered in private in accordance with the Access to Information Procedure Rules if confidential or exempt information is likely to be discussed but the decision will always be made in public.

7.6.4.       Proceedings of the Executive shall take place in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules set out in Part C of this Constitution.

 


 

8.                  THE OFFICERS

8.1.         Roles to be Appointed

8.1.1.       The Council shall engage such staff as it considers necessary to carry out its functions.

8.1.2.       The following shall be designated as Chief Officers: -

(a)         The Chief Executive (and Head of Paid Service);

(b)         The Director of Finance & Business Improvement;

(c)          The Director of Regeneration & Place;

8.1.3.       The following Statutory Officers must be appointed and/or designated: -

(a)         Head of Paid Service;

(b)         Chief Finance Officer; and

(c)          The Monitoring Officer

8.1.4.       The role of Head of Paid Service may be undertaken by the same person, if a qualified accountant, who undertakes the role of Chief Finance Officer.  The role of Monitoring Officer however must not be undertaken by a person also undertaking either the role of Head of Paid Service or the role of Chief Finance Officer. 

8.2.         Appointments

8.2.1.       The recruitment, selection and dismissal of Officers will comply with the Officer Employment Rules set out in Part C of this Constitution.

8.3.         Delegations to Officers

8.3.1.       Officers have the delegated powers as set out in Part B, 5 of the Constitution.

8.4.         Principles of Officer Support of Member Bodies

In employing and organising Officer support for the different roles within the Council, the Council will follow a number of key principles with a view to delivering efficient and effective services:-

8.4.1.       all Officers are employed by, and are accountable to, the Council as a whole, and the Council will both expect and respect the political neutrality of Officers in the discharge of their functions;

8.4.2.       adequate support from Officers is provided for the discharge of all the functions of the Council and specifically the roles of the Council, the Committees, the Executive and individual Members representing their communities;

8.4.3.       day to day managerial and operational decisions are the responsibility of the Council’s Chief Executive, Directors, Heads of Service, and other Officers;

8.4.4.       the Council seeks to avoid creating potential conflicts of interests for Officers arising from the separation of the Executive and Scrutiny roles; and

8.4.5.       all Officers have access to appropriate training and development to help them support the various functions of the Council and its Members effectively.

8.5.         The roles, responsibilities and rights of Officers and Members are set out in the Protocol on Officer/Member Relations in Part E of this Constitution.

8.6.         Scope of Senior Officer Roles

8.6.1.       The Council employs officers to give advice, implement decisions and manage the day-to-day planning and delivery of the wide range of functions undertaken for the Council on a non-party political basis. Some officers have a specific duty to ensure that the Council acts within the law uses its resources wisely. A protocol in Part Four governs the relationships between Officers and Members.

8.6.2.       The Council’s most senior officers are set out below with details of their responsibilities:

8.6.3.       Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service)

(a)         Being Chief Advisor to the Council;

(b)         Having overall corporate management and operational responsibility;

(c)          Managing the Council’s electoral and democratic processes, including record keeping;

(d)         Providing professional advice to all parties in the decision-making process;

(e)         Representing the Council on partnerships and external bodies;

(f)           Communications

8.6.4.       Director of Regeneration and Place

(a)         Environment and Public Realm

(b)         Regeneration and Economic Development

(c)          Housing and Community Services

(d)         Planning and Development

8.6.5.       Director of Finance and Business Improvement

(a)         Business Improvement

(b)         Finance

(c)          Policy, Communications and Governance

8.6.6.       Director of Mid-Kent Services

The Director of Mid-Kent Services has line management responsibilities for:

(a)         Head of Audit Partnership

(b)         Head of Human Resources Shared Service

(c)          Head of Legal Partnership

(d)         Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service

8.6.7.       In addition, the Council is required to appoint three statutory officers whose roles are set out below:

8.6.8.       Post and Designation Role and Responsibilities

Head of Paid Service, Chief Executive (may not be the Monitoring Officer but may hold the post of the Chief Finance Officer if a qualified accountant).

(a)         Responsible for effective corporate management.

(b)         May report to full Council on the manner in which the discharge of the Council’s functions is co-ordinated, the number and grades of officers required and the organisation of officers.

8.6.9.       Monitoring Officer

(a)         Head of Legal Partnership

(b)         The Monitoring Officer will maintain an up-to-date version of the Constitution and will ensure that it is widely available for consultation by Members, staff and the public.

(c)          After consulting with the Head of Paid Service, the Monitoring Officer will report to the full Council if he/she considers that any proposal, decision or omission would give rise to unlawfulness or maladministration. Such a report will have the effect of stopping the proposal or decision being implemented until the report has been considered.

(d)         The Monitoring Officer will contribute to the promotion and maintenance of high standards of conduct through provision of guidance and support to the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee.

(e)         The Monitoring Officer shall receive complaints relating to alleged breaches of the Part D Members’ Code of Conduct and shall process complaints in accordance with the adopted procedure for dealing with complaints, as set out in Part D of this Constitution.

(f)           The Monitoring Officer is the Proper Officer for the purposes of receiving declarations of Members’ interests, maintaining the Register of Interests and determining applications for Dispensations to allow Members to vote where they have a conflict of interest pursuant to Section 33(1) of the Localism Act 2011.

8.6.10.    Chief Finance Officer

(a)         Director of Finance and Business Improvement

(b)         The Chief Finance Officer has responsibility for the proper administration of the Council’s financial affairs

(c)          After consulting with the Head of Paid Service and Monitoring Officer, the Chief Finance Officer will report to the full Council and the Council’s external auditor if he/she considers that any proposal, decision or course of action will involve incurring unlawful expenditure, or is unlawful and is likely to cause a loss or deficiency, or if the Council is about to enter an item of account unlawfully.

(d)         The Chief Finance Officer will provide advice on financial impropriety, financial probity and the budget to all Members and will support and advise Members and officers in their respective roles, as well as provide financial information to the public.

8.6.11.    The Head of Paid Service will determine and publicise a description of the overall departmental structure of the Council showing the management structure and deployment of Officers. This is set out in Part Six of this Constitution.

8.6.12.    The Council is required to provide the Monitoring Officer and Chief Finance Officer with such officers, accommodation and other resources as are in their opinion sufficient to allow their duties to be performance. The Council approves an annual Pay Policy Statement before the start of the financial year and this includes details of the remuneration of senior officers. It can be viewed on the Council’s website and the Protocol on Member/Officer Relations set out in Part E of this Constitution.  

8.7.         Conduct

Officers will comply with the Officer’s Code of Conduct in Part D of this Constitution and the Protocol on Officer/Member Relations set out in Part E of this Constitution.

8.8.         Structure

The Head of Paid Service shall determine and publicise a description of the overall departmental structure of the Council showing the management structure and deployment of Officers. This is set out in an Annex to this Constitution.

 

 

 

 

 


 

9.                  JOINT ARRANGEMENTS

9.1.         Outline of Arrangements

The Council and the Executive may: -

9.1.1.       enter into arrangements or agreements with any person or body;

9.1.2.       co-operate with, or facilitate or co-ordinate the activities of, any person or body; and

9.1.3.       exercise on behalf of that person or body any functions of that person or body.

9.2.         Joint Arrangements

9.2.1.       The Council may establish Joint Arrangements with one or more local authorities and/or their Executives to exercise functions which are not Executive Functions in any of the participating authorities or to advise the Council. Such arrangements may involve the appointment of a joint committee with these other local authorities.

9.2.2.       The Executive may establish Joint Arrangements with one or more local authorities to exercise functions which are Executive Functions. Such arrangements may involve the appointment of joint committees with these other local authorities.

9.2.3.       Except as set out below, the Executive may only appoint Members on the Executive to a joint committee and those Members need not reflect the political composition of the Council as a whole.

9.2.4.       The Executive may appoint Members to a joint committee from outside the Executive in the following circumstances:

(a)         the joint committee has functions for only part of the area of the Borough. In such cases, the Executive may appoint to the joint committee any Member whose Ward is wholly or partly contained within the area;

(b)         the joint committee is between the County Council and this Borough Council only and relates to functions of the Executive of the County Council.  In such cases, the Executive of the County Council may appoint to the joint committee any Member for an electoral division which is wholly or partly contained within the area.

In both of these cases the political balance requirements do not apply to such appointments.

9.2.5.       Details of any Joint Arrangements including any delegations to joint committees are set out in Part B of this Constitution.

9.3.         Access to information

9.3.1.       The Access to Information Rules in Part C of this Constitution apply to any joint arrangements.

9.4.         Delegation to and from other local authorities

9.4.1.       The Council may delegate functions that are not Executive Functions to another local authority or, in certain circumstances, the Executive of another local authority.

9.4.2.       The Leader or, in the absence of any direction by the leader to the contrary, the Executive, a Member on the Executive or a committee of the Executive may delegate Executive Functions to another local authority or the Executive of another local authority in certain circumstances.

9.4.3.       The decision whether or not to accept a delegation of a service from another local authority shall be reserved to a Full  Council meeting  The agreement to collaborate on one off cross border investigations and prosecutions may be dealt with through officers delegated powers.

9.5.         Contracting out

The Council (for functions which are not Executive Functions) and the Executive (for Executive Functions) may contract out to another body or organisation functions which may be exercised by an Officer and which are subject to an order under section 70 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, or under contracting arrangements where the contractor acts as the Council’s agent under usual contacting principles, provided there is no delegation of the Council’s discretionary decision making.


 

10.              FINANCE, CONTRACT AND LEGAL MATTERS

10.1.     Financial management

The management of the Council’s financial affairs will be conducted in accordance with the Financial Procedure Rules set out in Part C of this Constitution.

10.2.     Contracts

10.2.1.    Every contract made by the Council will comply with the Contract Procedure Rules set out in Part C of this Constitution.

10.3.     Legal proceedings

The Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership is authorised to institute, defend, settle or participate in any legal proceedings in any case where such action is necessary to give effect to decisions of the Council, or any part of it, or in any case where the Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership considers that such action is necessary to protect the Council’s interests.

10.4.     Authentication of documents

Where any document is necessary to any legal procedure or proceedings on behalf of the Council, it will be signed by the Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership or other person authorised by him/her, unless any enactment otherwise authorises or requires, or the Council has given requisite authority to some other person.

10.5.     Common Seal of the Council

The Common Seal of the Council will be kept in a safe place in the custody of the Mid Kent Legal Partnership.  A decision of the Council, or of any part of it, will be sufficient authority for sealing any document necessary to give effect to the decision. The Common Seal will be affixed to those documents which in the opinion of the Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership should be sealed. The affixing of the Common Seal will be attested by the Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership or some other person authorised by him/her.

 

 


 

PART B -  RESPONSIBILITIES

B1.           Responsibility for Functions

1.                  INTRODUCTION TO THIS PART

1.1.         Core Provision 4 in Chapter A2 of this Constitution outlined the how the Council approaches decision-making and how decisions or functions of the Council might be classified.  The principal classification relates to how functions divide between the Council and the Executive.  Functions must in law be: -

1.1.1.       Council Functions that are either: -

(a)         Retained by Full Council, or

(b)         Delegated to Committees;

1.1.2.       Executive Functions;

1.1.3.       Local Choice Functions where the law states that a function may but need not be exercised by the Executive.

1.2.         In addition to this apportionment between Member bodies, responsibility for functions may be delegated to Officers for the purposes of operational effectiveness.

2.                  EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS

Executive Functions are those functions that are not Council Functions and also not Local Choice Functions assigned to the Council.  Where functions are not specified in law or this Constitution to be Council functions then they will be presumed to be the responsibility of the Executive.

3.                  FUNCTIONS THAT ARE NOT TO BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EXECUTIVE (WHOLLY COUNCIL FUNCTIONS)

These are the functions set out in Schedule 1, Functions & Responsibilities Regulations.

4.                  RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOCAL CHOICE FUNCTIONS

4.1.         These are functions set out in Schedule 2, Functions & Responsibilities Regulations, where the Council has agreed the following apportionment:

FUNCTION

MEMBER BODY

Any function under a local Act

Council

The determination of an appeal against any decision made by or on behalf of the Council

Council

The passing of a resolution that Schedule 2 to the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 should apply in the Borough

Council

The appointment of any individual:

·         to any office other than an office in which they are employed by the Council;

·         to anybody other than the Council;

·         a joint committee of two or more authorities; or

·         to any committee or sub-committee of such a body; and the revocation of any such appointment

Council

Any function relating to contaminated land

Executive

The discharge of any function relating to the control of pollution or the management of air quality

Executive

The service of an abatement notice in respect of a statutory nuisance

Executive

The inspection of the Borough to detect any statutory nuisance

Executive

The investigation of any complaint as to the existence of a statutory nuisance

Executive

The obtaining of information under Section 330 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as to interests in land

Executive

The obtaining of particulars of persons interested in land under Section 16 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Executive

The making of agreements with other authorities for the placing of staff at the disposal of those other authorities.

Executive

 

B2.           Responsibility for Council Functions

1.                  FUNCTIONS RETAINED BY FULL COUNCIL

The following Council Functions are retained by the Council.  This means that decisions in respect of these can only be made at a meeting of the Full Council.

1.1.1.       Constitutional and Procedural Matters

(a)         to adopt and change the Core Provisions of this Constitution;

(b)         to change the name of the area;

(c)          to make, amend or revoke any of the Rules of Procedure set out in Part C of this Constitution;

(d)         to make, amend or revoke the Codes of Conduct and Protocols set out in Part D and Part E to this Constitution;

(e)         to confer the Freedom of the Borough or the title of Honorary Alderman.

1.1.2.       Setting the Policy Framework and Related Matters

(a)         to approve the Council's Policy Framework;

(b)         to determine each year the Council's revenue and capital budget and Council Tax;

(c)          to make decisions about any matter in the discharge of an Executive Function which is covered by the Policy Framework or the Budget where the Cabinet is minded to make it in a manner which would be:-

(i)       contrary to the Policy Framework; or

(ii)      contrary to (or not wholly in accordance with) the Budget.

(d)         To adopt, amend or revoke the Scheme of Allowances for Members in Part F of this Constitution;

(e)         to make, amend, revoke, re-enact or adopt bylaws;

(f)           to promote or oppose the making of local legislation or personal Bills;

(g)         to authorise applications to the Secretary of State for housing land transfers of housing stock.

1.1.3.       Appointments and Delegations

(a)         to appoint (and remove) the Leader;

(b)         To determine the terms of reference & composition of any Committees et cetera that report directly to the Council;

(c)          to adopt and approve amendments to the powers and terms of reference of Joint Committees in respect of Council Functions and to make appointments to them;

1.1.4.         Regulatory and Electoral Matters

(a)         To deal with findings of maladministration (on receipt of a report from the relevant Scrutiny Committee or the Monitoring Officer following a report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman);

(b)         to determine the action to be taken on reports by the Monitoring Officer or the Chief Finance Officer (including Section 5 and Section 114 reports);

(c)          To consider reports concerning the dismissal of the Head of Paid Service, Monitoring Officer or Chief Finance Officer pursuant to the procedures set out in the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015;

(d)         To determine matters within the Council’s powers and responsibilities relating to local elections;

(e)         To review matters relating to electoral and administrative arrangements and to determine the Council's response to any consultations or proposals by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England relating to the Borough.

1.1.5.       Other Matters

(a)         To determine any matters referred to the Council for decision by a Committee, Board or Panel that reports directly to the Council;

(b)         To deal with all ‘local choice functions’ set out in Ch.B1 of this Constitution which the Council decides should be undertaken by itself rather than by the Executive or a Committee;

(c)          To deal with any other matter which must, by law, be reserved for determination by the Council.

2.                  COUNCIL COMMITTEES: FUNCTIONS & DELEGATIONS

2.1.         All Committees may hold inquiries and investigate the available options for future direction in policy development and may appoint advisors and assessors to assist them in this process. They may go on site visits, conduct public surveys, hold public meetings, commission research and do all other things that they reasonably consider necessary to inform their deliberations, providing budget is available within the budget and policy framework approved by Council to do so.

2.2.         All Committees may consider any subject that, in the opinion of the Committee is relevant to the formulation and delivery of its purpose.

2.3.         LICENSING COMMITTEE

2.3.1.       Membership: 13 Members

2.3.2.       Purpose: To exercise the licensing and gambling functions on behalf of the Council including the creation and review of the statutory and non- statutory policies and the setting of fees and charges (including making recommendations to the relevant Member on the Executive as required).

FUNCTION

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

Functions relating to licensing exercisable by a District Council as set out in Schedule 1 of the Functions and Responsibilities Regulations

Director of Regeneration and Place / Head of Housing and Community Services or their delegated officers except for:

·         The determination of policy.

·         The setting of fees and charges.

Licensing Act and Gambling Act matters will be dealt with by the Head of Housing and Community Services.

Responsible authority functions will be dealt with by the Director of Regeneration and Place except for:

·         Where this is inconsistent with legislation.

Where the function is otherwise delegated under this Constitution.

To deal with licensing functions in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 and the Licensing Policies agreed by the Council.

Director of Regeneration and Place / Head of Housing and Community Services or their delegated officers except for:

·         The determination of policy.

·         The setting of fees and charges.

Which are the responsibilities of the Licensing Committee.

And;

·         All matters where a ‘relevant representation’ has been made. This includes an objection, an objection notice and an application for summary review.

·         Which is the responsibility of a Licensing Sub-Committee.

To deal with gambling functions in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005 and the Statement of Principles agreed by the Council.

Director of Regeneration and Place / Head of Housing and Community Services or their delegated officers except for:

·         The determination of policy.

·         The setting of fees and charges.

which are the responsibilities of the Licensing Committee.

And;

·         All matters where a ‘relevant representation’ has been made. This includes an objection and the cancellation of club and gaming machine permits.

·         Giving a Counter Notice to a Temporary Use Notice.

which are the responsibilities of a Licensing Sub-Committee.

Consider and recommend to the Council adopting a new Licensing Policy Statement, any Cumulative Impact Policies for the Borough decisions, Late Night Alcohol Levy and to make, vary or revoke Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders.

A Licensing Sub-Committee.

Consideration of appeals against any officer decision on a licence or consent.

A Licensing Sub-Committee.

2.4.         LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE

2.4.1.       Membership: Three (3) Members from the Licensing Committee

2.4.2.       Purpose: To make decisions about individual licensing matters and appeals where not otherwise delegated to the Head of Housing and Community Services.

2.5.         PLANNING COMMITTEE

2.5.1.       Membership: Thirteen (13) Members

2.5.2.       Purpose: To determine town and country planning and development control matters and associated issues.

FUNCTIONS

Planning and Conservation - Functions relating to town and country planning and development control as specified in Schedule 1 to the Functions & Responsibilities Regulations as amended from time to time including:

·         Development Management and Enforcement

·         Rights of way

·         The protection of important hedgerows

·         The preservation of trees

·         Functions relating to High Hedges contained in Part 8 of the Anti- Social Behaviour Act 2003

·         Town and village green matters

·         Commons registration and enforcement

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

The Director of Regeneration and Place/Head of Planning and Development has delegated power to undertake all the functions relating to planning and conservation, except where the intended delegated decision on a planning or related application:

·         is subject to call-in in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 14;

·         would be contrary to the written view of any statutory consultee in the planning process; or

·         would be contrary to the provisions of the Development Plan or any emerging development plan policies that have been adopted by the Council for Development Control purposes; or

·         is on an application made by: a Member; an Officer; or the Council itself.

The Head of Planning and Development has delegated power to: -

·         Undertake all functions relating to planning and enforcement save for where a matter is referred to the Planning Committee in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17;

·         Determine high hedges complaints and to take appropriate enforcement action, except in the following specific circumstances;

·         Where the case relates to a hedge on Council land or complaints relate to Council Officers or Members;

·         Where trees within a hedge are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or are located within a Conservation Area and the Officer decision would be contrary to the views of Ward Members or the Parish Council; and

·         Exceptional cases where there are wider issues of a public nature or where there is a potential impact on the Council and/or its policies.

 

2.6.         AUDIT, GOVERNANCE AND STANDARDS COMMITTEE

2.6.1.       Membership: Nine (9) Members; plus two (2) non-voting Parish Councillors appointed by the Council for a three-year term of office. The Chairman of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee may not be a member on the Executive.

2.6.2.       Purpose: The promotion and maintenance of high standards of Councillor and Officer conduct within the Council; adoption and reviewing the Council's Annual Governance Statement; independent assurance of the adequacy of the financial and risk management framework and the associated control environment; independent review of the authority’s financial and non-financial performance to the extent that it affects the authority’s exposure to risk and weakens the control environment; and to oversee the financial reporting process.

(Other than the induction training delivered to all new Members and Substitute Members of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee, the Committee will identify its training requirements through an annual assessment of skills and knowledge and Members will undertake training as required)

 

 

FUNCTIONS

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

Audit Activity/Finance

To consider the Head of Internal Audit Partnership’s annual report and opinion, and a summary of Internal Audit activity (actual and proposed) and the level of assurance it can give over the Council’s corporate governance arrangements

Report may go to the Executive with a reference from this Committee to ensure that the Council satisfactorily addresses all of the issues.

To consider reports dealing with the management and performance of Internal Audit Services, including consideration and endorsement of the Strategic Internal Audit Plan and any report on agreed recommendations not implemented within a reasonable timescale and the Internal Audit Charter

As above

To consider the External Auditor’s Annual Audit Letter, relevant reports, and any other report or recommendation to those charged with governance; and ensure that the Council has satisfactorily addressed all issues raised

To comment on the scope and depth of external audit work and to ensure it gives value for money

As above

To review and approve the annual statement of accounts. Specifically, to consider whether appropriate accounting policies have been followed and whether there are concerns arising from the financial statements or from the audit that need to be brought to the attention of the Executive or Council

The summary balance sheet will be reported to the relevant Policy Advisory Committee as part of its Budgetary Control/Budget Strategy arrangements

Consider and review the effectiveness of the Treasury Management Strategy, Investment Strategy, Capital Strategy, Medium Term Financial Strategy, Annual Report and Mid- Year review and make recommendations to the Executive, relevant Policy Advisory Committee(s) and Council

 

Recommend and monitor the effectiveness of the Council's Counter-Fraud and Corruption Strategy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive to approve

Head of Audit Partnership to monitor effectiveness

Governance

To maintain a financial overview of the operation of the Council’s Constitution in respect of Financial & Contract Procedure Rules and codes of conduct

The Monitoring Officer will deal with the detail of any proposed minor changes, but significant recommendations for change will be made to the Democracy and General Purposes Committee (then Council)

In conjunction with the relevant Policy Advisory Committee(s) to monitor the effective development and operation of risk management and corporate governance in the Council to ensure that strategically the risk management and corporate governance arrangements protect the Council

Head of Audit Partnership/ Director of Finance and Business Improvement

To monitor Council policies on ‘Raising Concerns at Work’ (Whistleblowing') and the ‘Anti-fraud and Corruption’ Strategy

Head of Audit Partnership

To oversee the production of the authority’s Annual Governance Statement and to agree its adoption

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

The Council’s arrangements for corporate governance and agreeing necessary actions to ensure compliance with best practice and high standards of ethics and probity

This Committee will receive the annual review of the Local Code of Corporate Governance and may make recommendations for proposed amendments, as necessary

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

To consider whether safeguards are in place to secure the Council’s compliance with its own and other published standards and controls

Directors and Heads of Service

Standards

The promotion and maintenance of high standards of conduct within the Council

N/A

To advise the Council on the adoption or revision of its Codes of Conduct

N/A

To monitor and advise the Council about the operation of its Codes of Conduct in the light of best practice, and changes in the law, including in relation to gifts and hospitality and the declaration of interests

N/A

Assistance to Members, Parish Councillors and co-opted members of the Council to observe the Code of Conduct

N/A

To ensure that all Members have access to training in Governance, Audit and the Member Code of Conduct; that this training is actively promoted; and that Members are aware of the standards expected under the Council’s Codes and Protocols

Democracy and General Purposes Committee to oversee Member training

To deal with complaints that Members of the Borough Council and the Parish Councillors may have broken the Member Code of Conduct

Monitoring Officer in consultation with an Independent Person through informal resolution where possible

Following a formal investigation and where the Monitoring Officer’s investigation concludes that there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct a hearing into the matter will be undertaken

See the procedure in Part D of this Constitution for dealing with complaints that a Member has breached the Code of Conduct

Hearings Panel comprising three (3) Members (plus 1 non-voting Parish Member when a Parish Member is the subject of the complaint) Drawn from the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

Advice on the effectiveness of the above procedures and any proposed changes

Democracy and General Purposes Committee and Monitoring Officer

Grant of dispensations to Members with disclosable pecuniary interests and other significant interests, in accordance with the provisions of the Localism Act 2011

Monitoring Officer

 

 

2.7.         DEMOCRACY AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

2.7.1.       Membership: Nine (9) Members

2.7.2.       Purpose: To be responsible for Councillor training and development; to determine matters relating to elections, electoral registration; and other democratic services responsibilities and functions, including reviewing this Constitution on a regular basis.

FUNCTIONS

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

To recommend to the Council appointment of an Electoral Registration Officer & Returning Officer

N/A

To consider any matters relating to electoral registration, elections or electoral boundaries which have not been delegated to the Electoral Registration Officer or Returning Officer

Electoral Registration Officer or Returning Officer

To consider matters relating to the Mayoralty or Members generally, where appropriate

N/A

To appoint Council nominees to seminars as appropriate

N/A

To appoint Members to the outside bodies assigned to the Committee and to receive annual reports from the appointed outside body representative

N/A

Consider applications from persons wishing to act as Independent Persons in connection with Member and Statutory Officer conduct; and for the Independent Remuneration Panel and make recommendations to Council to appoint such persons

N/A

In the event of more than one candidate being nominated by Parish Councils to fill a vacancy in the office of non-voting Parish Council representative on the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee, to consider expressions of interest in support of the nominations, and make a recommendation to Council as to the person to be appointed

N/A

To advise Members and the Head of Human Resources Shared Service on Member development priorities where appropriate

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

To regularly review the Constitution in conjunction with the Monitoring Officer and recommend proposed changes, where significant, to the Council

The Monitoring Officer may make changes to the Constitution which are necessitated by decisions; which remove inconsistency or ambiguity; which are minor; or to effect changes in the law

The determination of an appeal against any decision made by or on behalf of the Council where there is a statutory appeals procedure, and no other panel or Sub-Committee is appropriate elsewhere under this Part of the Constitution

Panel of three (3) Members, to include the Committee Chairman

The consideration of a Member agenda item request in respect of the application of the Constitution.

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.8.         EMPLOYMENT COMMITTEE

2.8.1.       Membership: Nine (9) Members

2.8.2.       Purpose: To deal with employment and staffing matters unless otherwise delegated.

FUNCTIONS

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

To develop and approve the Council’s human resources strategies, policies and officer terms and conditions of employment subject to the   approval of any budget implications by the Cabinet and/or Council as appropriate.

Head of Human Resources Shared Service (within approved policies)

Pensions and superannuation matters related to terms and conditions

Head of Human Resources Shared Service

Joint Consultative Committee

A consultative forum for views to be expressed between both parties on the Committee regarding the following issues relating to the employment of staff by the Council but excluding individual cases:

·         Health and Safety Issues at Work

·         Changes in Staff Structures

·         Terms of Conditions of Employment

Such views are referred to the appropriate   Council Decision Making Body

N/A

To appoint the following:

·         Chief Officers Appointment Panel

·         Chief Officers Investigation and Disciplinary Panel

·         Chief Officers Disciplinary Appeals Panel

 

 

2.9.         CHIEF OFFICERS APPOINTMENTS PANEL

2.9.1.       Membership: Five (5) members of the Employment Committee (at least one of whom must be a Member on the Executive). Substitute members of the Employment Committee may be selected to sit on the Panel.

2.9.2.       Purpose:  

(a)         Within relevant legislation, Council policies and agreed appointment procedures to make appointments to posts of Chief Officers and Heads of Service within the Council's agreed officer structure.

(b)         Within relevant legislation, Council policies and agreed appointment procedures to recommend to Council the appointment for the positions of Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive), Monitoring Officer or section 151 officer.

2.10.     CHIEF OFFICERS' INVESTIGATION AND DISCIPLINARY PANEL

2.10.1.    Membership: Three (3) members of the Employment Committee (at least one of whom must be a Member on the Executive).  Substitute members of the Employment Committee may be selected to sit on the Panel.

2.10.2.    Purpose:  

(a)         In accordance with the Model Disciplinary Procedure contained in the JNC Handbook for Chief Executives, Panel meetings shall be convened by the Monitoring Officer (in consultation with the Chairman of Staffing Committee).  The Monitoring Officer will, in consultation with the Chairman of the Staffing Committee, filter out and deal with allegations which are clearly unfounded, trivial or can best be dealt with under some other procedure.  If the complaint is about the Monitoring Officer, then this will be done by the chief executive.

(b)         For consistency, unless unavoidably indisposed or conflicted, once appointed, the same Members shall comprise the Panel (and any adjournment of it) over the course of the full consideration of the matter (and any related matter) that it has been convened to consider, until such time as the matter is disposed of.

(c)          To consider allegations/issues regarding disciplinary matters relating to the designated Statutory Officers of the Council (the Head of Paid Service, the Monitoring Officer and the Chief Finance Officer) (the “DSOs”) and other Chief Officers and Heads of Service.

(d)         To appoint an Independent Investigator (“II”) to investigate allegations of misconduct against any DSO and to commission reports from an II.    The Chief Executive has delegated authority to appoint an II in respect of any Chief Officer or Head of Service who is not a DSO.

(e)         To determine appropriate action upon receipt of any preliminary investigation.

(f)           To decide whether to suspend a DSO and to review decisions taken to suspend a statutory officer.  The Chief Executive has delegated authority to suspend any Chief Officer or Head of Service who is not a DSO.

(g)         To conduct a hearing into any disciplinary matter against a Chief Officer, Head of Service or DSO.

(h)         To determine what action should be taken against a Chief Officer, Head of Service or DSO following an investigation. This could include dismissal or action short of dismissal.

(i)           In the event that the Panel recommends dismissal of a DSO then that recommendation shall be referred to the Independent Persons Panel prior to being referred to Council for a determination in accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules.

(j)           With the exception of a decision to recommend to Council that a DSO be dismissed, there shall be a right of appeal to the Chief Officers Disciplinary Appeals Panel against any decisions made by the Panel to take disciplinary action against a Chief Officer, Head of Service or DSO.

2.10.3.    Decision

(a)         If the Committee decides that a DSO shall be dismissed the Full Council shall consider the Committee’s recommendation of dismissal. Prior to consideration by Full Council the Independent Persons Panel shall consider the matter and the Proper Officer shall give all members of the Cabinet the opportunity to raise any objections prior to the decision. This process is governed by the Staff Employment Procedure Rules set out in this Constitution.  The consideration by Full Council shall constitute the DSO’s appeal against the decision to dismiss.

(b)         In the case of any disciplinary action other than dismissal in respect of a DSO the officer may appeal to the Chief Officers Disciplinary Appeals Panel against the decision.

2.10.4.    Suspension

(a)         If a DSO has been suspended for a period of 2 months (or in the case of a decision to suspend taken under urgency provisions) then the Committee shall review that suspension. The Committee shall continue to review any continuing suspension every 2 months. In carrying out such review the Committee shall consider any representations made by the II and the DSO and/or his or her representative.

2.11.     Chief Officers Disciplinary Appeals Panel

2.11.1.    Membership: Three (3) members of the Employment Committee (at least one of whom must be a Member on the Executive) other than those who sat on the Investigation and Disciplinary Panel which made the decision being appealed.  Substitute members of the Employment Committee may be selected to sit on the Panel.

2.11.2.    Purpose:

(a)         To determine any appeal made by a chief officer or head of service (other than a DSO) against a decision to dismiss them; and

(b)         To determine any appeal by a chief officer, head of service or DSO to take any disciplinary action (short of dismissal) against them.

2.12.     Independent Persons Panel

2.12.1.    Membership: At least two (2) independent persons appointed by the Proper Officer in the following priority order:

(a)         Any Independent Person or Independent Persons who has/have been appointed by the authority and who is/are a local government elector(s) in the Council’s area;

(b)         Any other Independent Person(s) who has/have been appointed by the authority; and

(c)          Any Independent Person(s) who has/have been appointed by another authority or authorities.

2.12.2.    Purpose: To advise the Council on matters relating to the dismissal of a DSO in accordance with the Employment Procedure Rules where the Investigation and Disciplinary Panel recommends the dismissal of one of the post holders.

2.13.     INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL

2.13.1.    Membership: Three (3) independent people being one representative each of the following:

(a)         Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce;

(b)         South East Employers; and

(c)          The Community, appointed by Council on the recommendation of the Democracy and General Purposes Committee.

2.13.2.    Purpose: To recommend to Council the level of Members' allowances and expenses that should be paid to Members on Maidstone Borough Council.

2.13.3.    In accordance with the requirements of the Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, the terms of reference of the Independent Remuneration Panel are to:

(a)         Make recommendations to the Borough Council as to the amount of basic allowance which should be payable to its elected Members, co-optees and Independent Persons;

(b)         Make recommendations to the Borough Council about the role and responsibilities for which a special responsibility allowance should be payable and the amount of each such allowance;

(c)          Make recommendations as to whether the Council's Scheme of Allowances should include an allowance in respect of the expenses of arranging for the care of children and dependents and if it does make such a recommendation, the amount of this allowance and the means by which it is determined;

(d)         Make recommendations as to whether the Council's Scheme of Allowances should include a travelling subsistence allowance and whether such allowances should be pensionable; and

(e)         Undertake a general review of the Members' Scheme of Allowances and make recommendations to the Council.

2.14.     SHARED SERVICES

2.14.1.    The Council may establish joint services arrangements with other local authorities. Such arrangements may involve the appointment of a Joint Committee with those other Local Authorities and delegation o functions to the Joint Committee. Alternatively the Council or Committees may delegate functions to another local authority or to an officer of another Local Authority. The Shared Services Arrangements in which the Council is involved include:

(a)         Mid Kent Services (MKS) which has a Joint Board

(b)         Audit (Ashford, Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells)

(c)          Environmental Health (Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells)

(d)         Human Resources (Maidstone and Swale)

(e)         ICT (Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells)

(f)           Legal (Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells)

(g)         Licensing (Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone)

(h)         Planning Support (Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells)

(i)           Revenues and Benefits (Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells)

(j)           Waste (Maidstone, Ashford, Swale and Kent County Council)

Marked in bold are the host (employing authorities). Environment Health and Revenues and Benefits do not have a host authority, they are simply run on a collaborative basis.

B3.           Responsibility for Executive Functions

1.                  BACKGROUND

1.1.         The Executive is responsible for all functions that are neither Council Functions in law nor those Local Choice Functions assigned to the Council.

1.2.         The Executive is also responsible for co-ordinating the development of the Budget & Policy Framework and the presentation of proposals to Full Council.

2.                  DECISION MAKING & DELEGATION

2.1.         The proceedings of the Executive are subject to the Executive Procedure Rules in Part C of this Constitution.

2.2.         The Appendix to this Chapter sets out the roles, responsibilities and limitations to delegation for each Member on the Executive, as determined by the Leader.

2.3.         Chapter B5 also sets out delegations to Officers that include Executive Functions.

2.4.         The Leader shall put in place appropriate arrangements for the making of decisions by the Council in its roles as corporate trustee in respect of Cobtree Manor Estate (Reg Charity Number 283617) and land of the same name.

2.5.         The Leader shall put in place appropriate arrangements for the making of decisions by the Council in its role as corporate trustee in respect of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust (Reg Charity Number 1083570)

 

 


 

APPENDIX: EXECUTIVE ROLES

[Role 1 Title]

Area of Responsibility

Particulars

Limitations

[Area 1]

[Particular 1-1]

 

[Particular 1-2]

 

[Particular 1-3]

 

[Area 2]

[Particular 2-1]

 

[Particular 2-2]

 

[Particular 2-3]

 

[Area 3]

[Particular 3-1]

 

[Particular 3-2]

 

[Particular 3-3]

 

 

[Role 2 Title]

Area of Responsibility

Particulars

Limitations

[Area 1]

[Particular 1-1]

 

[Particular 1-2]

 

[Particular 1-3]

 

[Area 2]

[Particular 2-1]

 

[Particular 2-2]

 

[Particular 2-3]

 

[Area 3]

[Particular 3-1]

 

[Particular 3-2]

 

[Particular 3-3]

 

 

[Role 3 Title]

Area of Responsibility

Particulars

Limitations

[Area 1]

[Particular 1-1]

 

[Particular 1-2]

 

[Particular 1-3]

 

[Area 2]

[Particular 2-1]

 

[Particular 2-2]

 

[Particular 2-3]

 

[Area 3]

[Particular 3-1]

 

[Particular 3-2]

 

[Particular 3-3]

 

 

[Role 4 Title]

Area of Responsibility

Particulars

Limitations

[Area 1]

[Particular 1-1]

 

[Particular 1-2]

 

[Particular 1-3]

 

[Area 2]

[Particular 2-1]

 

[Particular 2-2]

 

[Particular 2-3]

 

[Area 3]

[Particular 3-1]

 

[Particular 3-2]

 

[Particular 3-3]

 

 

[Role n Title]

Area of Responsibility

Particulars

Limitations

[Area 1]

[Particular 1-1]

 

[Particular 1-2]

 

[Particular 1-3]

 

[Area 2]

[Particular 2-1]

 

[Particular 2-2]

 

[Particular 2-3]

 

[Area 3]

[Particular 3-1]

 

[Particular 3-2]

 

[Particular 3-3]

 

 

B4.           Functions of Other Committees

1.                  COMMITTEES SUPPORTING GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS

1.1.         POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEES

1.1.1.       Where portfolios are assigned to individual Members on the Executive, the Proper Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, shall assign to each PAC one or more portfolios mirroring these.

(a)         Where portfolios are not assigned to individual Members on the Executive, the Proper Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, shall assign to each PAC portfolios according to the Default Scheme in the Appendix to this Chapter of the Constitution.

(b)         Where the Leader has assigned portfolios of limited scope to individual Members on the Executive, such that material matters in the Default Scheme are not so assigned to any Member, the Proper Officer in consultation with the Leader of the Council,  shall assign such matters to one or more PACs. 

(c)          PAC’s are advisory committees and may only advise the executive on matters within their remit and do not have any power to make decisions on those matters.

1.2.         OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

1.2.1.       Policy Development and Review Functions:

(a)         To assist the Council and the Executive in the development of its Budget and Policy Framework by in-depth analysis of policy issues;

(b)         To hold enquiries, conduct research, community and other consultation in the analysis of policy issues and possible options;

(c)          To consider and implement mechanisms to encourage and enhance community participation in the development of policy options;

(d)         To question Members on the Executive and/or Committee Chairmen and Chief Officers about their views on issues and proposals affecting the area;

(e)         To liaise with other external organisations operating in the area, whether national, regional or local, to ensure that the interests of local people are enhanced by collaborative working.

 

1.2.2.       Scrutiny Functions:

(a)         review and scrutinise the decisions made by and performance of the Executive and/or committees and council officers both in relation to individual decisions and over time;

(b)         review and scrutinise the performance of the Council in relation to its policy objectives, performance targets and/or particular service areas;

(c)          question members of the executive and/or committees and chief officers about their decisions and performance, whether generally in comparison with

(d)         plans and targets over a period of time, or in relation to particular decisions, initiatives or projects;

(e)         make recommendations to the executive and/or appropriate committee and/or Council arising from the outcome of the scrutiny process;

(f)           review and scrutinise the performance of other public bodies in the area and invite reports from them by requesting them to address the committee and local people about their activities and performance;

(g)         question and gather evidence from any person (with their consent).

1.2.3.       Finance Functions: The Overview and Scrutiny Committee may exercise overall responsibility for the finances made available to it.

1.2.4.       Officers: The Overview & Scrutiny Committee may exercise overall responsibility for the work programme of the officers employed to support its work.

1.2.5.       Annual Report: The Overview and Scrutiny Committee must report annually to the full Council on its workings and make recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods if appropriate.

2.                  JOINT ARRANGEMENTS

2.1.         KENT JOINT WASTE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

2.1.1.       Membership: comprises the portfolio holders or designated members with responsibility for waste within the 12 Districts and the County. Each Member will be entitled to one vote and will act as the Partner Authority’s appointed member.

2.1.2.       Partner Authorities may each appoint another named person to act as a Deputy for their appointed Kent Joint Waste Management Committee Member. Where the appointed Committee Member is unable to attend a meeting, their Deputy may attend and speak in their absence and may vote.

2.1.3.       The purpose of the Joint Waste Management Committee (Objectives) is to:

(a)         Ensure the delivery of the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy and Vision for Kent;

(b)         Provide a platform for cooperative and joint working to improve or deliver services;

(c)          Act as a single voice for strategic waste issues for Kent local authorities and to influence Central Government and other bodies as necessary on key strategic waste issues;

(d)         Increase awareness of waste as a resource and to interact with other stakeholders to promote waste minimisation and achieve an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable waste strategy; and

(e)         Work with and support as required statutory agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s), business, scientific and commercial organisations and other bodies who are in pursuit of developing, supporting and influencing the future direction of sustainable waste/resource management.

2.1.4.       The key functions of the Joint Waste Management Committee are to:

(a)         Ensure the implementation, monitoring and review of the approved Joint Municipal Waste Strategy for Kent;

(b)         Advise on the future development of the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy for Kent;

(c)          Produce the Draft Annual Action Plan, including a budget, for approval by the Partner Authorities;

(d)         Take decisions relevant to the implementation and future development of the Joint Waste Management Strategy and the Approved Annual Action Plan;

(e)         Authorise any relevant expenditure as outlined in the budget of the Approved Annual Action Plan;

(f)           Undertake joint funding applications relevant to the implementation and future development of the Joint Waste Management Strategy and the Approved Annual Action Plan;

(g)         Act as a forum for consideration of strategic/operational municipal and other waste management issues in Kent;

(h)         Encourage the adoption and sharing of waste management best practices and initiatives;

(i)           Co-ordinate baseline evaluation and monitoring of services; Facilitate constructive partnership working;

(j)           Inform and raise awareness of Members, officers, and the community with regards to key waste management and resource issues;

(k)         Consult and engage key interested bodies and stakeholders;

(l)           Influence, advise and lobby government and other agencies, both nationally and internationally, where to do so is consistent with Kent’s Joint Municipal Waste Strategy and the Purpose of the Joint Waste Management Committee; and

(m)       Carry out such other activities calculated to facilitate, or which are conducive or incidental to the discharge of the Joint Waste Management Committee’s function in implementing the Approved Annual Operating Plan.

2.2.         JOINT TRANSPORTATION BOARD

2.2.1.       Membership: 9 Members from Maidstone Borough Council; and 9 Councillors from Kent County Council (“KCC”) representing divisions in Maidstone Borough area; and two (2) representatives of the Parish Councils in the District.

2.2.2.       Purpose: Collaboration on the delivery of highways functions where KCC is the Highway authority, in the interests of Maidstone residents.

2.2.3.       Terms of Reference:

(a)         The Joint Transportation Board (“JTB”) will consider:

(i)       capital and revenue funded works programmes

(ii)      traffic regulation orders

(iii)     street management proposals

and will provide advice on these matters to the relevant Committee as appropriate.

(b)         Be a forum for consultation between KCC, Parish Councils and the Council on policies, plans and strategies related to highways, road traffic and public transport.

(c)          Review the progress and out-turn of works and business performance indicators.

(d)         Recommend and advise on the prioritisation of bids for future programmes of work.

(e)         Receive reports on highways and transportation need within the district.

(f)           The JTB will generally meet four times a year on dates and at times and venues to be specified by the Council in accordance with the normal arrangements in consultation with KCC.

(g)         The quorum for a meeting shall be four comprising at least two voting members present from each of KCC and the Council.

(h)         In alternate years a Member of KCC (who is a member of the JTB) will chair the JTB and a Council Member (who is a member of the JTB) will be Vice-Chairman of the JTB and then  a Member of the Council will chair the JTB and a KCC Member will be Vice-Chairman of the JTB and so on following on the arrangements which existed in the year before this agreement came into force.

(i)           The relevant Member on the Executive will be the lead Member on behalf of the Council.


 

Appendix: Default Scheme for Policy Advisory Committees

FINANCE & CORPORATE SERVICES

·         The Council Tax Base and recommendations to Full Council concerning financial decisions

·         Financial management and performance across the Council including virement between services, business rates, council tax,  and revenue & benefits functions

·         Land and property including acquisition (by agreement or compulsorily), disposal, appropriation and development with the exception of the declaration of Open Space surplus to requirements

·         Compulsory purchase orders on planning grounds and/or recommending to Council the making of compulsory purchase orders

·         Strategic budget-related staffing issues

·         Health & Safety Strategy and reporting

·         The Council’s functions as Shareholder in Maidstone Property Holdings Limited

·         People strategy and workforce plan

·         Medium Term Financial Strategy to include, though not exclusively, Capital Investment Strategy, Council tax support scheme, business rates and income generation

·         Communication and Engagement Strategy

·         Corporate Improvement Plan

·         Information Management Strategy

·         Risk Management Strategy including Counter Fraud

·         Commissioning Strategy

·         Asset Management Strategy including assets of community value

·         Council Accommodation Strategy

·         Emergency and Resilience Planning

·         Commercialisation Strategy

·         Information and communications technology (ICT)

COMMUNITIES, HOUSING & ENVIRONMENT

·         The Council’s strategic objectives with regard to Communities, Housing, Public Health and the Environment

·         Revenue estimates and capital programmes in respect of the same

·         All strategic budget related staffing matters in respect of the same

·         To take the lead within the Council in ensuring that the Council achieves inclusiveness and productive community engagement

·         Open Space in respect of Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 or any other similar enactment and related disposals

·         Housing Strategy

·         Community Development Strategy

·         Climate Change Framework

·         Parish Charter, Parishes and Community Governance

·         Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy (and recommend changes to full Council); and Community Safety Strategy to include CCTV

·         Compact with Voluntary and Community Sector

·         Public Health, Healthy Living and Health Inequalities Strategy

·         Waste Management, Waste Minimisation and Recycling Strategy

·         Private Water Management

·         Responsibility for Safeguarding children and adults who come into contact with Council services and activities

·         District flood risk management functions

·         Public Conveniences

·         Street Scene and Environmental Strategy to include Clean Neighbourhood Enforcement, monitoring

·         Enforcement of Air Quality Policies

·         Renewable Energy Strategy

·         Contaminated Land Strategy

·         Community Safety, Protection and combatting anti-social behaviour

·         Parks and Open Spaces 10 Year Plan including play areas and allotments

·         Bereavement Services – Vinters Park Crematorium and Maidstone Cemetery

ECONOMIC REGENERATION & LEISURE

·         The Council’s strategic objectives with regards to Maidstone as a decent place to live , cultural and leisure pursuits, a sense of place, with access to quality open space, sports and leisure facilities

·         Maidstone’s Heritage and Culture together with its leisure facilities play a key role in regeneration and in improving and sustaining the Borough’s economic development and health and wellbeing

·         Revenue estimates and capital programmes in respect of the same

·         All strategic budget related staffing matters in respect of the same

·         Festivals and Events Policy including the Hazlitt Theatre and Arts Centre contract

·         Tourism Destination Management Plan

·         Maidstone Culture and Leisure Business Plan

·         Museums 20 Year Development Plan

·         Maidstone Market

·         Public Realm Design Guide and Public Arts Policy

·         Economic Development Strategy

 

STRATEGIC PLANNING & INFRASTRUCTURE

·         The Council’s strategic objectives for planning, sustainability and transportation

·         Revenue estimates and capital programmes in respect of the same

·         All strategic budget related staffing matters in respect of the same

·         Potential application of Schedule 2 to the Noise and Nuisance Act 1993 to the Borough

·         Development Plan, including the Maidstone Borough Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans (subject to approval by Council)

·         Spatial planning documents such as supplementary planning documents and planning policy advice notes;

·         Master Plans and development briefs; The Infrastructure Delivery Plan; and The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), spending strategic CIL funds

·         Development Management, Enforcement, Building Control

·         Car Parking Plans and Strategy

·         Low Emissions Strategy, smoke free premises and control of pollution

·         Integrated Transport Strategy

·         Park and ride and district highways functioning


 

B5.           Responsibilities of Senior Officers

1.                  INTRODUCTION

1.1.         Any post referred to in this part shall be deemed to include any successor post or a post which includes within the job description element’s relevant to any particular delegate, which were also present in the earlier post and shall include anyone acting up, employed on an interim basis or into such a post.

1.2.         The Chief Executive, Directors and Heads of Service will be responsible for the execution of functions and the provision of all the services under their respective headings as set out below, having authority to act on all such matters (including the authorisation of legal proceedings and the issue and service of notices) and deal with staffing matters in their service, subject to:

1.2.1.       actions being taken being in accordance with the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework; and

1.2.2.       the referral of any required decision or action which is controversial in nature to the appropriate Member decision making body.

1.3.         The Head of Planning and Development, Head of Legal Partnership, Head of Finance, Head of Housing and Community Services, Head of Audit Partnership, Head of Human Resources Shared Service, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance, Head of ICT Shared Service, Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service, Head of Environment and Public Realm and Head of Regeneration and Economic Development are all Heads of Service for the purpose of the Constitution.

1.4.         The Chief Executive, Directors and Heads of Service may exercise the following functions:-

1.4.1.       appointment and dismissal of staff below Chief Executive level;

1.4.2.       all exercises of discretion under Council policies relating to staff;

1.4.3.       secondment of staff, including under section 113 Local Government Act 1972;

1.4.4.       to implement approved schemes and projects and incur expenditure on items approved within the Council’s approved Budget. Each Director is responsible for the supervision of the expenditure of their Directorate and for reporting to the appropriate Committee any proposed expenditure not included, or in excess of, the amount included in their estimate; and

1.4.5.       deal with everything related to or associated with their designated areas of responsibility, except insofar as such functions are reserved to the Council, Committees or Sub- Committees from time to time.

1.5.         The Chief Executive, Directors and Heads of Service may authorise any other Officer of the Council to exercise their delegated functions on their behalf. This must be evidenced in writing in an Officer’s job description; in a list of delegations to Officers to be maintained by the Monitoring Officer specifically for a particular function; or generally.

1.6.         All Officers who take delegated decisions shall keep an appropriate record of the date that the decision was taken, the principal considerations involved in reaching the decision and the reasons for the decision. In exercising delegated authority, regard must be had to:

1.6.1.       All relevant considerations, disregarding irrelevant considerations, ensuring that the decision is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances of the case and particularly having regard to the Council's fiduciary duties; duty of best value; equalities duties; human rights impact if any; and other relevant statutory duties (i.e. biodiversity, public health, climate change and crime and disorder reduction).

1.6.2.       The lawfulness of the decision in terms of statutory powers and compliance with relevant procedural rules and other legal or procedural requirements.

1.6.3.       Acting for a Proper purpose, consistent with the Council's purposes and vision.

1.6.4.       Following financial and contract procedure rules, information and advice.

1.6.5.       Ensuring high standards of integrity and probity.

1.7.         Where an Officer considers it appropriate, the Officer shall be entitled to refer matters for decision to a more Senior Officer or to the appropriate Member body.

1.8.         All Directors and Heads of Service shall be responsible for health and safety at work within their area of responsibility.

2.                  Action in Response to a Major Emergency:

The most senior Officer of the authority present will have the authority to approve any expenditure in expediting the Council’s response to a major emergency affecting the Borough where it is not possible to refer the matter for decision to a more senior Officer of the Council, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, or the Policy and Resources Committee.

3.                  The Chief Executive

The Chief Executive has direct responsibility for the provision of the following services together with those separately listed which are undertaken in the Sections of his or her Department or other Directorates. The Chief Executive may undertake any decision in respect of these services as required.

3.1.         The provision of policy advice to the Council, Committees and Sub-Committees, ensuring that they receive such guidance and advice as will enable them to use the Council's resources to the best advantage in the development of its strategies and policies. Specifically to ensure that the Council has advice on the establishment and structure needed to carry out efficiently the work of the Council.

3.2.         The exercise of authority over all other Officers of the Council so far as this is necessary for the efficient management of the Council's functions.

3.3.         Supervising, co-ordinating and ensuring the implementation of the Council's decisions. Specifically to lead the Council's Corporate Leadership Team in securing a co-ordinated approach to the affairs of the Council generally.

3.4.         Ensuring the propriety of the Council's actions (together with the Monitoring Officer).

3.5.         The research and development of corporate policy options for consideration by Members.

3.6.         The development of beneficial relations between Members and Officers of the Council.

3.7.         The promotion and safeguard of the best interests of the Council locally and nationally. Specifically to liaise with national and local associations, authorities, groups, companies, organisations and individuals to further the policies and objectives of the Council.

3.8.         Provision of advice and support on the implementation and delivery of Best Value.

3.9.         The preparation and submission of the draft Strategic Plan, Sustainable Community Strategy and any other corporate plans and policies and upon approval by Council, the implementation of the Plans.

3.10.     Responsibility for undertaking negotiations and consultation with staff through their trade unions on all matters relating to employment.

3.11.     To hear and determine appeals under the Grievance, Capability or Disciplinary (Level 4) Procedures for all categories of employees.

3.12.     To take any action necessary in connection with any civil emergency or disaster including response, recovery and business continuity as may be required from time to time.

3.13.     To exercise a power delegated to any other Chief Officer of the Council when that Officer is unable or unwilling to act, or to authorise another person to exercise such functions in the absence of that Officer (for example if neither the Monitoring Officer nor the Deputy Monitoring Officer is available and willing to act).

3.14.     To submit responses to government and other bodies, consulting on changes to legislation and policy, as considered appropriate, following consultation with the appropriate Chairman and/or Member on the Executive.

3.15.     To authorise any action necessary to give effect to any decision to the Council, or any board, Committee, Sub- Committee for involvement in partnerships or outside bodies.

3.16.     To be responsible for corporate communications including official publicity, public relations and liaison with the press.

3.17.     To be the (Acting) Returning Officer for the election of Members for the Borough, for Parishes within the Borough, Members of Parliament, and any other elections or referendums as required.

3.18.     To exercise all Electoral Registration and Returning Officer functions, including as to polling stations, or delegate such functions, as required.

3.19.     To exercise all functions in relation to parishes, parish councils and community governance.

3.20.     To make payments or provide other benefits in case of maladministration etc. up to £10,000.

3.21.     To appoint Officers for particular statutory purposes (appointment of “Proper Officers”).

4.                  The Director of Finance & Business Improvement

The Director has responsibility for the provision of the following services and may exercise any function in respect of these services as required:

4.1.         The Director of Finance and Business Improvement is the Council's Chief Finance Officer, responsible for the proper management of the Council's financial affairs.

4.2.         The Director of Finance and Business Improvement is also the Council’s Senior Information Risk Owner.

4.3.         The provision of financial advice throughout the authority to Officers and Members.

4.4.         The compilation of financial accounts in accordance with statutory requirements.

4.5.         Compilation and submission of grant claims.

4.6.         The provision of general financial advice on the allocation of resources for concurrent functions.

4.7.         To provide through the Property and Procurement Section:-

4.7.1.       Policy and strategic advice to Members and Council Officers on all technical and consultancy matters.

4.7.2.       The procurement and supervision of a full range of architectural, building and engineering related professional services to ensure the completion of the various Council construction programmes through all work stages from inception/feasibility to completion and final account.

4.7.3.       Collation and holding of professional and trade references.

4.7.4.       Conservation and preservation of the Council's stock of civic buildings.

4.7.5.       Preparation and holding of archival, historic and statistical information on Council buildings.

4.7.6.       Community Projects relating to construction activities. Responsibility for land drainage matters.

4.7.7.       Flood plan advice, flood risk management co-operation and liaison with the Environmental Agency on flooding and related matters.

4.7.8.       Advice on procurement services.

4.8.         Acquisition and disposal of land and buildings, including all appropriations between purposes up to a value of £100,000.

4.9.         The management and maintenance of all general fund properties and all non-operational properties.

4.10.     Responsibility for discharging the functions in Chapter 3 of Part 5 of the Localism Act 2001 (Assets of Community Value) including determining nominations and compensation claims.

4.11.     The provision of a valuation service for the Council.

4.12.     The provision of a property advisory service.

4.13.     Authorise all special categories of sale pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Contract Procedure Rules for Land including right to buy sales; where the Council is mortgagee; non-operational land not exceeding 0.25 hectares etc.

5.                  Head of Commissioning & Business Improvement

The Head of Commissioning & Business Improvement is responsible for:

5.1.         The provision of customer services channels including face to face, telephone and website.

5.2.         The development and implementation of the Council’s Customer Care Strategy.

5.3.         Business transformation.

6.                  Head of Finance

The Head of Finance is responsible for: -

6.1.         The maintenance of corporate financial systems and ensuring the financial integrity of all other systems.

6.2.         The provision of corporate financial services.

6.3.         Operation of the receipt of payments service.

7.                  Head of Policy, Communication’s & Governance

The Head of Policy, Communication & Governance is responsible for: -

7.1.         To deal with stage 2 complaints.

7.2.         Implementation of the Council’s Performance Management System.

7.3.         The provision of Public Relations Marketing, and Public Consultation Services.

7.4.         Responsibility for a Communication and Engagement Strategy.

7.5.         Corporate Governance.

7.6.         Equalities.

7.7.         Freedom of Information, complaints handling, customer feedback.

7.8.         Organisation of the Mayoral function, Civic matters and Town Hall.

7.9.         The provision of Facilities for Members.

7.10.     The servicing of the Council’s Committees and Sub- Committees and the Executive.

7.11.     The production of an annual register of electors and responsibility for the running of elections, electoral boundaries and all parish council matters.

7.12.     The provision of a printing service.

8.                  Director of Regeneration & Place

8.1.         The Director of Regeneration and Place has responsibility for the provision of the following services and may undertake any function in respect of these services as required: -

8.2.         The Director of Regeneration and Place is the authorised Officer for Responsible Authority Functions under the Gambling Act 2005 and the Licensing Act 2003.

8.3.         Emergency Planning Function and to lead the Council’s response.

8.4.         The operation of the Park and Ride car parks in the Borough.

8.5.         Decriminalised Parking service and the provision of off-street parking facilities.

8.6.         Undertaking consultation concerning and making traffic regulation orders.

8.7.         Health and Safety and Corporate Manslaughter.

8.8.         Taking action to foster an efficient and attractive public transport network in the Borough, including the development of the Park and Ride service and implementation of the concessionary fares scheme.

9.                  Head of Environment & Public Realm

The Head of Environment & Public Realm is responsible for: -

9.1.         The development and provision of a cleansing service including street cleansing, refuse collection, public conveniences, and building cleaning, and also including the enforcement of litter and waste control.

9.2.         The monitoring of Council contracts in respect of all cleansing services.

9.3.         Co-ordination and implementation of environmental improvement schemes in accordance with the Council's strategy.

9.4.         Responsibility for the development and provision of a grounds maintenance service including parks and open spaces, horticulture, arboriculture and sports pitches.

9.5.         The responsibility for the Vinters Park Crematorium and Maidstone Cemetery.

9.6.         The responsibility for the central purchasing of vehicle and transport supplies.

9.7.         The responsibility for running a Direct Services Organisation (DSO).

9.8.         Ensuring that the optimum level of the works and services provided by the Council in the areas of Highways and Sewers, Grounds Maintenance, Emergencies and any other areas as determined by the Council are undertaken.

9.9.         To be responsible for the Council’s Emergency Response Service.

9.10.     To be responsible for the licensing of caravan sites.

9.11.     Responsibility for the provision and development of the Borough’s parks and open spaces and the monitoring of all contracts in respect of grounds maintenance.

9.12.     Inspection of the authority’s area to detect any statutory nuisance relating to litter and the service of any abatement notice in respect of a statutory nuisance if appropriate.

10.              Head of Regeneration & Economic Development

The Head of Regeneration & Economic Development is responsible for: -

10.1.     Implementation of the Economic Development and Housing & Regeneration Strategies for Maidstone Borough.

10.2.     The delivery of initiatives across the Borough to further the Council’s corporate priority for Maidstone to have a growing economy.

10.3.     Implementation of the Destination Management Plan and Festival and Events Policy for Maidstone Borough.

10.4.     Implementation of the Council’s Public Realm Design Guide and Public Arts Policy.

10.5.     Identification, development and mobilisation of projects to increase the quantum and resilience of the Council’s income from commercial activities and its commercial property portfolio.

10.6.     International activities and relationships established by the Council.

10.7.     The contract with the external operator for the Hazlitt Theatre.

10.8.     The Museums in Maidstone Borough and the provision of the various facilities and activities at these sites.

10.9.     The development and provision of leisure facilities and activities including the contract with the external operator for Maidstone Leisure Centre.

10.10.  Entering into arrangements with third parties to enable the delivery of new affordable housing including authorising payments either directly or via government appointed bodies.

10.11.  Development of the Council’s housing enabling role, including liaison with the Homes & Communities Agency and Housing Providers as appropriate.

10.12.  Management of the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity and the Estate.

10.13.  Responsibility for the management of The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust.

10.14.  Management of the Lockmeadow Market.

11.              Head of Housing & Community Services

The Head of Housing & Community Services is responsible for: -

11.1.     All aspects of community safety and crime and disorder reduction.

11.2.     The provision of a sport play and youth development service.

11.3.     Ensure the Council’s duties and obligations in relation to homelessness and the operation of the Council’s allocation scheme are fulfilled. This includes the contracting out of homelessness review functions under Section 202 of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended).

11.4.     Manage all forms of temporary accommodation in connection with the Council’s homelessness duties including entering into lease agreements and service of any related notices.

11.5.     The development of policies on social inclusion, community development and community planning.

11.6.     Undertaking any special housing initiatives that might arise,

11.7.     Ensuring that private sector housing standards are achieved, in particular as they relate to houses in multiple occupation and unfit dwellings.

11.8.     Operation of the grants system for renovating private sector properties.

11.9.     Perform the Council’s duties and obligations in connection with private sector housing including enforcement measures.

11.10.  The management of Gypsy and traveller caravan sites.

11.11.  The drafting and implementing of the Council’s Housing Strategy, including the preparation of the Housing Investment Programme and its submission to the Secretary of State.

11.12.  To liaise and negotiate with government bodies and their appointees, third parties and housing providers in order to promote the priorities identified in the Council’s Housing Strategy.

11.13.  Compact, relationships and funding with the voluntary and community sector.

11.14.  The various halls used for recreational purposes throughout the Borough.

11.15.  Advice to the Council and other organisations on all matters relating to grants and lottery applications.

11.16.  The Sustainable Community Strategy and renewable energy strategy.

11.17.  All licensing functions (not otherwise delegated or prohibited).

11.18.  All gambling functions (not otherwise delegated or prohibited).

11.19.  To ensure that sustainable development policies and good environmental working practices are widely promoted and integrated into the day to day working practices of the Council and publicised to all sectors of the wider community.

11.20.  The hygiene and control of food including the provision of safe food, control of standards, meat inspection and education.

11.21.  The control of infectious diseases and the general health and wellbeing of the local population.

11.22.  The provision of a health promotion service, including home and water safety.

11.23.  The enforcement of the Sunday Trading Act 1994.

11.24.  Road closure orders.

11.25.  The provision of advice and taking actions to further the aim of sustainability and tackle climate change both internally within the Council and externally throughout the Borough.

11.26.  The inspection of the authority’s area to detect any statutory nuisance and the investigation of any complaints as to the existence of a statutory nuisance.

11.27.  The enforcement of Street Trading Legislation (including the Maidstone Borough Act 2006 and any other functions arising under the Act).

11.28.  The Enforcement of Smoke Free Legislation.

11.29.  Pest control service, enforcement against pest concerns and the cleansing of filthy or verminous property.

11.30.  Development and provision of animal welfare and dog control including enforcement.

11.31.  Inspection of the authority’s area to detect any statutory nuisance (including relating to noise in the street and waste) and the service of any abatement notice in respect of a statutory nuisance.

11.32.  Taking action to remove gypsies and travellers from Council land.

11.33.  Promoting Maidstone Borough Council’s (MBC) commitment and intent towards its statutory and moral duties to safeguard children and adults who come into contact with its services and activities and ensure that they are protected from harm, exploitation and abuse.

11.34.  Enforcement of Health and Safety at work legislation, including the appointment of Inspectors.

11.35.  Dealing with issues arising from contaminated land.

11.36.  The discharge of any function relating to pollution control (including noise, air, land, water and private drainage) and the management of air quality.

11.37.  Pollution control including noise, air, land, water and private drainage and the service of any abatement notice in respect of a statutory nuisance.

11.38.  Making Community Protection Notices under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

11.39.  To make Public Space Protection Orders and Orders under the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003.

11.40.  The enforcement of Section 2 of the sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010, including the appointment of authorised officers.

12.              Head of Planning & Development

The Head of Planning & Development is responsible for: -

12.1.     Handling and determination of all applications submitted under the Town and Country Planning Acts in accordance with criteria as set out in the Constitution, including the adoption of screening and scoping opinions in relation to Environmental Statements.

12.2.     The enforcement of all aspects of planning control.

12.3.     Exercising all other functions relating to planning, conservation areas, listed buildings and trees.

12.4.     Taking action to remove gypsies and travellers from non- Council owned land.

12.5.     Responsibility for the Council’s local land charges service.

12.6.     Providing heritage asset conservation and landscape advice in the determination of planning applications and policy.

12.7.     Responsibility for all aspects of heritage asset conservation and Tree Preservation and advice, including: proposing buildings for listing, amendments and Orders within Conservation Areas, making Tree Preservation Orders and determining applications for works to Preserved Trees and section 211 notices on trees in Conservation Areas.

12.8.     Responsibility for functions relating to High Hedges legislation.

12.9.     All aspects of the preparation of statutory and non-statutory spatial planning documents on any relevant matter including planning tariff and infrastructure planning and advice to Council, developers and others on these matters.

12.10.  Procuring and securing of relevant technical and consultancy advice on the matters to the above.

12.11.  Authority to liaise with the highways authorities, strategic planning bodies and neighbouring authorities and other bodies on matters relevant to coordinated strategic transport and spatial planning.

12.12.  Handling and determination of all applications submitted under the building regulations and enforcement of building regulations.

12.13.  The exercise of control over demolitions and dangerous structures under the Public Health Acts and Building Act.

12.14.  Obtaining information under Section 330 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

12.15.  Policy and strategic advice to Members and Council Officers on all the above.

12.16.  Making representations to Government and other authorities on these matters and any new legislation or policies and guidance impacting on all the above matters for which the Officer has responsibility.

13.              Director of Mid Kent Services

The Director of Mid Kent Services has line management of the   following:

13.1.     Head of Audit Partnership

13.2.     Head of Human Resources Shared Service

13.3.     Head of ICT Shared Service

13.4.     Head of Legal Partnership

13.5.     Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service

14.              Head of Audit Partnership

The Head of Audit Partnership is responsible for: -

14.1.     The provision of an adequate and effective system of internal audit of the Council’s accounting records and its system of internal control in accordance with the proper practices in relation to internal control as prescribed by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.

14.2.     The maintenance the Council’s Strategic Risk Register and the provision of advice and guidance on the principles and practices of Risk Management and counter-fraud.

14.3.     To be the principal point of contact on Public Interest Disclosure Act referrals (Whistleblowing); to arrange for investigation and action as appropriate.

15.              Head of Human Resources Shared Service

The Head of Human Resources Shared Service is responsible for: -

15.1.     The provision of advice to Members and Officers of the Council on all aspects of personnel policy and issues including employment issues, conditions of service, pay and grading, pensions and superannuation discretion.

15.2.     The administration of the Council's scheme of job evaluation for the grading of posts.

15.3.     Ensuring that the Council's personnel policies and procedures comply with employment legislation and EC Directives.

15.4.     The approval of all staff qualification training; planning and design of in-house training services and co-ordination of the Youth Training Scheme.

15.5.     Ensuring the payment of salaries, wages and associated employer expenses to employees and Members, and advising on pension matters.

15.6.     Ensuring the appropriate development of Members and Officers.

15.7.     Ensuring that the Council’s Health and Safety at Work policies and procedures comply with legislation and EC Directives including Fire Regulations and training.

16.              Head of ICT Shared Service

The Head of ICT Shared Service is responsible for: -

16.1.     The provision of advice on the formulation of the Council’s IT Strategy and the facilitation of Corporate IT activities so that they may remain within the corporate IT Strategy.

16.2.     The provision of a central purchasing service for all IT related functions including hardware, software and consumables.

16.3.     The provision of a strategic input to decisions on matters concerning new technology.

16.4.     Maintaining all appropriate Data Protection and other registrations with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

17.              Head of Legal Partnership

The Head of Legal Partnership is responsible for: -

17.1.     The provision of advice to Members and Officers of the Council on all legal issues.

17.2.     The provision of a legal service relating to the Council’s functions.

17.3.     Provision of advice to Members, the Council and Committees on the operation of the Constitution.

17.4.     Dealing with the Local Government Ombudsman.

17.5.     The authorisation of Council Officers to appear on behalf of the Council in legal proceedings.

17.6.     Obtaining information under Section 330 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

17.7.     The Head of Legal Partnership is authorised to institute, defend or participate in any legal proceedings in any case where such action is necessary to give effect to decisions of the Council or in any case where the Head of Legal Partnership considers that such action is necessary or appropriate to protect the Council’s interests.

17.8.     Where any document is necessary to any legal procedure or proceedings on behalf of the Council it will be signed by the Head of Legal Partnership or other person authorised by him/her unless any enactment otherwise authorises or requires, or the Council has given requisite authority to some other person.

17.9.     Contracts exceeding the value specified within the Financial Procedure Rules must be made under the common seal of the Council or the mobile seal for remote use attested by the Head of Legal Partnership or other authorised signatory, unless the Head of Legal Partnership considers that certain contracts may be signed rather than sealed.

17.10.  The Common Seal of the Council and the mobile seal for remote use will be kept in a safe place in the custody of the Head of Legal Partnership. A decision of the Council or a Committee or Sub-Committee or Officer will be sufficient authority for sealing any document necessary to give effect to the decision. The Common Seal or mobile seal for remote use will be affixed to those documents which in the opinion of the Head of Legal Partnership, should be sealed. The affixing of the Common Seal or the mobile seal for remote use will be attested by the Head of Legal Partnership or any other solicitor authorised by him/her.

18.              Monitoring Officer

18.1.     The Monitoring Officer has delegated authority to make changes to the Constitution which are necessitated by decisions taken by the Council; which remove inconsistency or ambiguity; which are minor; or to effect changes in the law.

18.2.     All Monitoring Officer duties, including maintaining the registers of Members and Officers interests and gifts and hospitality; granting dispensations to speak and vote at meetings as appropriate; authority to investigate (or arrange for the investigation of) Member misconduct; and to resolve matters informally where he/she considers appropriate after consulting the Independent Person.

19.              Head of Revenues & Benefits Shared Service

The Head of Revenue & Benefits Shared Service is responsible for: -

19.1.     The administration, collection and recovery of non-domestic rates and Council Tax, including determining any discretionary items in connection with local taxation or national non- domestic rates.

19.2.     The determination, administration and making payments including arranging abatements and rebates for Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit including determining any discretionary items in connection with Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit.

 


 

B6.           Proper Officer Provisions

Function

Proper Officer

Person to act in the event of the Proper Officer being absent or otherwise unable to act

Any reference in any enactment passed before or during the 1971/72 Session of Parliament, other than the Local Government Act 1972, or in any instrument made before 26 October 1972 to the Clerk of a Council or the Town Clerk of a Borough.

Chief Executive

Monitoring Officer

Any reference in any enactment passed before or during the 1971/72 Session of Parliament, other than the Local Government Act 1972, or in any instrument made before 26 October 1972 to the Treasurer of a local authority.

Chief Finance Officer

Head of Finance

Any reference in any enactment passed before or during the 1971/72 Session of Parliament, other than the Local Government Act 1972 or in any instrument made before 26 October 1972 to the Public Health Inspector.

Director of Regeneration and Place

Head of Housing and Community Services

The following provisions of the Local Government Act 1972:

Section 115(2) – the Officer who shall receive all money due from any other Officer of the Council.

Chief Finance Officer

Head of Finance

Section 146(1) – the Officer who (upon a transfer of securities the alteration of the name of the District) shall make a statutory declaration specifying the securities and verifying the change of name and identity of the Council or shall give such a certificate as is prescribed.

Chief Finance Officer

Head of Finance

Section 151 – the Officer having responsibility for the proper administration of the financial affairs of the Council.

Chief Finance Officer

Head of Finance

The following provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983:

Section 8 and Section 52 – the Registration Officer for any constituency of part of a constituency coterminous with or situated in the Borough.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 35 (1) the Returning Officer for the election of Councillors of the District and for elections of Councillors of Parishes within the District and 52 Deputy Electoral Registration Officer.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 82 – To receive declarations of Election expenses.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

The following provisions of the Local Government Act 1972:

Section 83(1) – the Officer to whom a person elected shall deliver a declaration of acceptance of office in a form prescribed by rules made under Section 42 of the Act.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 84 – the Officer to whom a Member may give written notice of resignation.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Section 86 – declare any vacancy in office.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 88(2) - the Officer who may convene a meeting for the election of Chairman of the Council following a casual vacancy in that office.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 89(1) – the Officer to whom notice shall be given of any casual vacancy occurring in the office of Councillor.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 191(2) – the Officer who shall receive an application under Section 1 of the Ordnance Survey Act 1841.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 210(6) – the Officer who shall exercise the powers relating to charities conferred by these subsections.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Head of Finance

Section 223 - authorise Officers to appear in legal proceedings (and Section 60 County Courts Act 1984).

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

Section 225(1) – the Officer who shall receive and retain documents deposited with the Council pursuant to the Standing Orders of either Houses of Parliament or to any enactment or instrument, and shall take such action relating to these documents as may be directed.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 229(5) – the Officer who shall certify a photographic copy of a document in the custody of the Council, or of a document which has been destroyed while in the custody of the Council, or of any part of any such document.

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

Schedule 12, Part I, para 4(3) – the Officer to whom a Member of the Council shall give notice in writing desiring summonses to attend meetings of the Council to be sent to an address specified in the notice other than his or her place of residence.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Democratic Services Officer

Schedule 14, Part II, para 25(7) – the Officer who shall certify a resolution of the Council applying or disapplying provisions under the Public Health Acts 1875- 1925.

Director of Regeneration and Place

Chief Executive

Section 234(1) – the Officer whose signature shall authenticate any notice, order or other document which the Council is required or authorised to issue by or under any enactment.

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

Section 236(9) – the Officer who shall send a copy of every byelaw made by the Council and confirmed to the Proper Officer of every parish to which they apply.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Monitoring Officer

Section 236(10) – the Officer who shall send a copy of every byelaw made by the Council and confirmed to the Council of the County.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Monitoring Officer

Section 238 – the Officer who shall certify a printed copy of a byelaw of the Council.

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

Section 248 – to keep the roll of Freemen.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Section 13(3) of the Local Government Act 1972 – the Officer who together with the Chairman of the Parish Member shall be a body corporate by the name “The Parish Trustees”.

Chief Executive

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

The Officer responsible for the convening of newly created Parish Councils.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Local Government and Housing Act 1989:

3A – To determine applications for exemption from the list of politically restricted posts.

Chief Executive

Monitoring Officer

2 -   Maintain a list of politically restricted posts.

Chief Executive

Monitoring Officer

4 -   Head of Paid Service

Chief Executive

Any Director

5 -   Monitoring Officer

Interim Deputy Head of Legal Partnership

Team Leader Corporate Governance

Local Government and Housing Act 1989 Sections 15-17 and Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990:

9 -   Regulation 9 – Receipt of Notice re Political Groups.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

10 - Receipt of Notice of Cessation of Membership of Political Groups.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

13 - To accept wishes of Political Groups in respect of proportionality.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

14 - To notify Political Groups of allocations.

Chief Executive

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

All other cases in respect of which the Strategic Director has from time to time been appointed as the Proper Officer of the Council.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Chief Executive

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976:

Section 16 – Service of notices requiring details of any interests in land.

Directors and Heads of Service

Chief Executive

Section 41 – the Officer for certifying documents as provided for under this section.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Chief Executive

 

 

 

PART I PUBLIC HEALTH ENACTMENTS

Public Health Act 1936 & Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984

Section 11 - Duty of local authority to supply forms to doctors for purposes of Section 48.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Section 48 – Removal of dead body to mortuary for burial.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Section 58 – Authentication of documents.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Section 60 – Service of notices and other documents.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

PART II STATUTORY INSTRUMENT

Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010/659 Including cases of infectious disease to be notified to proper Officer and disclosure of information/notices.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Public Health (Fees for Notification of Infectious Disease) Order 1968 (SI 1968 No. 1365).

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Public Health (Prevention of Tuberculosis) Regulations 1925 (SI 1925 No. 757).

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Food Hygiene (Docks, Carriers etc.) Regulations 1960 (SI 1960 No. 1602) Article 11.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations 1979 No. 1434).

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Public Health (Ships) Regulations 1979 (SI 1979 No. 1435).

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Local Government Act 1974

Part 3 – Local Government Ombudsman functions, including giving public notice of reports.

Chief Executive

Monitoring Officer

Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982

Part XI - Public Health

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Building Act 1984

78 - Authorise action in relation to dangerous structures.

Head of Planning and Development

Building Control Officers

The local registrar within the meaning of the Land Registration Act 2002 and Local Land Charges Act 1975 who shall register any matters specified by these Acts affecting land and situate within the district.

Head of Planning and Development

Chief Executive

Food Safety Act 1990

 Food Safety and authentication of documents

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010

Appointment of authorised Officer(s) for the purposes of section 7

Mid Kent Environmental Health Manager

Head of Housing and Community Services

Freedom of Information Act 2000

36 – Non-disclosure where potential to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.

Chief Executive

Monitoring Officer

Local Authorities (Referendum) (Petitions and Directions) Regulations 2000 as amended

Whole – Proper Officer function

Monitoring Officer

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Licensing Act 2003

Whole Proper Officer function

Director of Regeneration and Place

Head of Housing and Community Services

Localism Act 2011

29 – Establish and maintain a register of members’ and co-opted members’ interests.

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

30 – 31 – Receipt of Members and co-opted members’ declarations of interests and changes to those interests within 28 days.

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

32 – Sensitive Interests

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

33 – Dispensations from restrictions under Section 31(4).

Monitoring Officer

Deputy Monitoring Officer

Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2012

Whole – Proper Officer function

Monitoring Officer

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Whole-Proper Officer function

Head of Housing and Community Services

Director of Regeneration and Place

Any other Provisions/Legislation

Any other provisions for which arrangements are not specifically made under the Scheme of Delegation.

Chief Executive to authorise

Monitoring Officer

Any other legislation whether made before or after this list was approved and requiring a proper Officer or authorised Officer where not otherwise stated in this list or the Council’s approved scheme of delegation from time to time.

Chief Executive to authorise

Monitoring Officer

RULES OF PROCEDURE

Council Procedure Rules, Committee Procedure Rules, Executive Procedure Rules,

Chief Executive or Head of Policy, Communications & Governance

Access to Information Procedure Rules

Head of Policy, Communication & Governance

Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

Part VA, Local Government Act 1972

100B (2),(7) and 100H -

Excluding from the Public reports which are not likely to be considered in open session; and provision to the press/public of other documents provided to Members where the Proper Officer thinks fit.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Chief Executive

100C (2) - Where part or the whole of the report has been exempt the Proper Officer shall make a written summary of the proceedings or part to provide a record without disclosing the exempt information.

Directors and Heads of Service

Democratic Services Officer

100D - Compilation of list of background documents, relied upon to a material extent in producing the report or disclosing important facts.

Directors and Heads of Service

Democratic Services Officer

100F - Deciding whether documents for inspection in connection with Committees contain exempt information under a paragraph of Schedule 12A.

Directors and Heads of Service

Democratic Services Officer

100G (optional) - Maintain a list of Members and list of delegations to Officers and the like.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Democratic Services Officer


 

 

PART C -  RULES OF PROCEDURE


 

C1.           Council Procedure Rules

1.                  INTRODUCTION

1.1.         The Rules in this Chapter regulate the business at Full Council meetings.  Other member bodies are subject to other Rules of Procedure set out later in this Part.

1.2.         The purpose of these Rules is to ensure that the Council meeting: -

1.2.1.       Provides a forum for the debate of matters of concern to Local Residents; and

1.2.2.       Acts as a place at which Members who are not on the Executive are able to hold the Executive and others discharging functions to account.

2.                  MEETINGS

2.1.         Calling Annual and Ordinary Meetings.

Subject to Rule 3 on the timing of the Annual Meeting, these meetings shall take place in accordance with a calendar of meetings agreed by Council Resolution.

2.2.         Calling of Extraordinary Meetings

The Proper Officer shall call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council where requested by: -

2.2.1.       the Council by resolution;

2.2.2.       the Mayor;

2.2.3.       the Monitoring Officer; and

2.2.4.       any five (5) Members.

Any meeting should be held within 21 days of the receipt of the requisition, unless a resolution of the Council requesting a meeting does so in respect of some future date.

In the event that the Mayor refuses to call or does not call a meeting within seven (7) days of receipt of such a requisition, those members of the council, on that refusal or on the expiration of those seven (7) days, as the case may be, may forthwith call an Extraordinary meeting of the Council.

 

2.3.         Time & Place of Meetings

The time and place of meetings will be determined by the Proper Officer and notified in the summons.

2.4.         Notice of and Summon to Meetings

The Proper Officer will give notice to the public of the time and place of any meeting in accordance with the Access to Information Rules. At least five (5) clear working days before a meeting, the Proper Officer will publish on the Council's website and send a summons signed by him/her electronically to every Member (or on request by post or by leaving it at their usual place of residence or other address).  The summons will give the date, time and place of each meeting and specify the business to be transacted and will be accompanied by such reports as are available.  No business other than that specified in the summons to the meeting may be considered at a meeting of the Full Council.

2.5.         Cancellation of Meetings

In exceptional circumstances the proper officer may cancel or alter the time or location of any meeting.

3.                  THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

3.1.         Occurrence of the Annual Meeting

In a year when there is an ordinary election of Members, the Annual Meeting shall take place within 21 days of the retirement of the outgoing Members.  In any other year, the Annual Meeting will take place in March, April or May.

3.2.         Business of the Annual Meeting. 

The Annual Meeting will:

3.2.1.       elect a person to preside if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are not present, or if the Mayor is not present and the Deputy Mayor is to be a candidate for election as Mayor;

3.2.2.       elect the Mayor;

3.2.3.       consider whether any items should be taken in private because of the likely disclosure of Confidential or Exempt Information;

3.2.4.       approve and sign the minutes of the last meeting;

3.2.5.       appoint the Deputy Mayor;

3.2.6.       receive any announcements from the Mayor;

3.2.7.       receive congratulations from local scholars;

3.2.8.       elect the Leader should the post have become vacant;

3.2.9.       receive the Leader’s appointment of Members to the Executive and scheme of delegation in respect of Executive Functions;

3.2.10.    consider any motion moved by the Leader in respect of the Administration’s Programme;

3.2.11.    agree a Scheme of Seat Allocations for the Committees;

3.2.12.    adopt the scheme of delegation in respect of non-Executive Functions;

3.2.13.    consider any business set out in the summons convening the meeting; and

3.2.14.    consider matters where confidential or exempt information may be revealed.

4.                  BUSINESS OF ORDINARY MEETINGS

Ordinary meetings will:

4.1.         elect a person to preside if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are not present;

4.2.         receive any declarations of interest from Members and Officers and deal with any applications for dispensations;

4.3.         receive any disclosures of lobbying by Members;

4.4.         consider whether any items should be taken in private because of the likely disclosure of Confidential or Exempt information;

4.5.         approve and sign the minutes of the last meeting;

4.6.         receive any announcements from the Mayor;

4.7.         receive any petitions or deputations;

4.8.         receive questions from, and provide answers to, Local Residents in relation to matters which in the opinion of the Member presiding at the meeting are relevant to the business of the Council;

4.9.         allow Local Residents to speak in accordance with Rule 13 on Public Speaking;

4.10.     the following will receive and respond to questions from Members in chronological order of receipt:

4.10.1.    The Leader;

4.10.2.    Member on the Executive with a portfolio to which the question relates,

4.10.3.    Other Members who chair a Committee with terms of reference to which the question relates;

4.11.     receive the Leader’s Report on Current Issues and the Group Leaders’ responses;

4.12.     deal with any business from the last Council meeting;

4.13.     consider any motion moved by the Leader in respect of the Administration’s Programme where this has not hitherto been approved by the Council for the Municipal Year;

4.14.     receive reports from the Executive or the Committees where there are recommendations for the Council to take a decision;

4.15.     receive reports about the business of Joint Arrangements and external organisations which include matters for decision;

4.16.     consider motions in the order in which notice has been received;

4.17.     consider any other business specified in the summons to the meeting; and

4.18.     consider matters where Confidential or Exempt information may be revealed.

5.                  QUORUM AT MEETINGS

The quorum of any meeting of the Council will be one quarter of the whole number of Members.

6.                  PRESIDING AT THE MEETING

6.1.         The Mayor or in his or her absence the Deputy Mayor will preside at meetings of the Council.

6.2.         If both the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor are absent, the Members present at the meeting will choose another Member to preside: -

6.2.1.       any power or duty of the Mayor to conduct a meeting including exercising a second or casting vote, may be exercised by the Member presiding at the meeting;

6.2.2.       if the Mayor or Deputy Mayor arrive after the start of the meeting the Member then presiding will vacate the chair and the Mayor or Deputy Mayor will take the chair.

 

7.                  DURATION OF MEETINGS

7.1.         Each unfinished meeting will adjourn at 10.30 pm unless a majority of Members present vote to extend the meeting to 11.00 pm at which time the meeting will stand adjourned;

7.2.         The time and date of the continuation of the adjourned meeting will be decided by a majority of those Members present, or if no decision is reached, by the Proper Officer in consultation with the Mayor and Leader, and it should normally take place within ten (10) working days of the meeting.

8.                  PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS

8.1.         Appendix A sets out the nature of those petitions received by the Council that are to be considered by the Full Council.

8.2.         No more than three (3) petitions may be presented per meeting.

8.3.         Where a petition is presented: -

8.3.1.       Only one person may speak to a petition for a maximum of five (5) minutes. They should have signed the petition, be a Local Resident and be a supporter of the body submitting the petition. This may include someone acting for that petitioner in a professional capacity.

8.3.2.       At a Council meeting, at the conclusion of the speech of the presenter, a debate will take place on the petition for up to a period of twenty minutes or if the petition has at least 1,500 signatures, with no time limit on the debate.  The debate should take place with the intention that the petition and the views of the Council will then be referred to the appropriate Committee. The debate will be subject to normal council debating rules with the exception that at the end of the debate no vote will be taken, but the petitioner will have an opportunity to speak for a further period of three (3) minutes responding to the issues raised in the debate.

8.3.3.       If the Mayor determines that it is inappropriate to debate the petition as a separate item at Full Council, then the petition will be considered later at the same Council meeting in conjunction with any report that has been placed on the agenda concerning the matter raised in the petition.

8.3.4.       Any report relating to the subject matter of the petition will be placed on the agenda immediately following the presentation of petitions or in the order petitions are presented if more than one petition is presented at the meeting.

8.4.         Petitions which are not to be presented in person at meetings of the Council will be reported to it.  Debate shall take place as per Rule 8.3 above, save that there will be no speeches by a presenter.

9.                  QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

9.1.         At every Ordinary meeting of the Council, save for the Annual meeting, there shall be: -

9.1.1.       A one (1) hour session for Local Residents; followed by

9.1.2.       A half-hour session for Members

to pose Questions on Notice concerning the business of the Council.

9.2.         The questions may be asked of: -

9.2.1.       The Leader;

9.2.2.       A Lead Member to whose portfolio the question relates;

9.2.3.       Other Members who chair a decision-making Committee with terms of reference to which the question relates.

9.3.         Appendix B on Questions from Notice sets out the process for giving notice of such questions prior to the Council Meeting and record keeping subsequent to the meeting.

9.4.         Order of Questions

Questions will be asked of the relevant Members in the order that notice of them was received, except that the Mayor may group together similar questions.

9.5.         Posing a Question at the Meeting

The Mayor will invite the questioner to put the question to the Member named in the notice. If a questioner who has submitted a written question is unable to be present, they may ask the Mayor to put the question on their behalf, in which event the answer given by the relevant Member shall also be written and sent to the questioner.

9.6.         Supplementary Questions

A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the Member who has replied to his or her original question.  A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.  The Mayor may reject a supplementary question if it would not have been allowed as a Question on Notice or because it does not arise directly out of the question or reply.

9.7.         Nature of Reply

The form and content of reply to an original or a supplementary question will be at the discretion of the Member giving the reply, unless in respect of an original question a written request has been received specifying a specific form of reply or replies. He/she may decline to give a full or any reply if in his or her opinion to do so would involve an unreasonable amount of labour or cost.

10.              LEADER’S REPORT ON CURRENT ISSUES

10.1.     At every Ordinary Meeting of the Council except the Annual Meeting, the Leader shall report to the Council on current issues. The leaders of every other Political Group shall then have the right to respond, focusing primarily but not exclusively on the issues raised by the Leader.  Each statement may last for up to five minutes.

10.2.     After the Leader and the other Group Leaders have spoken, the Mayor will open the item to questions from Members for a period of fifteen (15) minutes.  Questions may be on any subject relevant to the role of the Leader.

11.              INVITATION OF THIRD PARTIES TO COUNCIL

11.1.1.    An Ordinary Meeting of Council may invite, through the Leader or Mayor, a third party to attend a meeting to speak and answer questions on a particular item on the agenda.

11.1.2.    An item on the agenda of an Ordinary Meeting of Council may be deferred if Council agrees that a third-party contribution to the discussion is necessary.

12.              MOTIONS ON NOTICE

12.1.     Subject to the exceptions listed in Rule 12.4 below, written notice of every motion must be delivered to the Proper Officer not later than six (6) clear working days before the meeting of the Council at which it is to be moved. Motions will be set out in the summons for the Council in the order received, with the names of the signatories, unless the Member giving notice states, in writing, that they propose to move it at a later meeting or withdraw it.

12.2.     A Notice of Motion requires signing by at least one third of the Members of the Council where the matter is subject to the limitations in Rule 17.

12.3.     Notices of Motions will be entered in a book open to public inspection.

12.4.     Exceptions to the requirement for written notice include: -

12.4.1.    Motions in respect of reports by Committees or the Executive as per Rule 14;

12.4.2.    Procedural Motions as per Rule 15.

12.5.     Proposals for the Administration’s Programme for the Municipal Year must similarly be made in writing and submitted to the Proper Officer by 4pm three (3) Clear Days before the day of the meeting where this is listed as an agenda item.  Such proposals may only be submitted by the Leader or by a Member identifying themselves on the public record as a candidate for election as Leader at the coming meeting.

12.6.     Amendments to the recommended Budget, or alternative proposals, are to be made in writing and delivered to the Proper Officer by 4pm on the Monday before the meeting. In proposing any changes to the Budget any amendment must ensure that the proposal achieves a balanced budget.

12.7.     If a motion set out in the summons is not moved at the meeting by a Member who gave notice, or by another Member, it will be deemed withdrawn unless deferred by the Council.

12.8.     If the subject of a motion concerns a matter of a quasi-judicial nature, and the matter appears within the competence of a Committee or other Member body, at the meeting the Mayor shall declare the motion referred to that Committee or Member-body without debate, and the motion shall be so referred.  If the subject of the motion is any other matter of a quasi-judicial nature, at the meeting the Mayor shall refer the matter to the relevant Officer(s) and declare the motion disposed of.

12.9.     If the subject of a motion comes within the province of any Executive Function, at the meeting: -

12.9.1.    The Mayor shall first allow for a debate.

12.9.2.    If the Member moving the motion so proposes, and the Member seconding the motion is in agreement, the Mayor shall call a vote on whether to refer the matter directly to the Executive for consideration. 

(a)         Should Council so resolve, the motion shall be referred. 

(b)         Should Council refuse to so resolve, the motion shall be deemed to have fallen.

12.9.3.    If there is no proposal to refer the matter directly to the Executive, the Mayor shall refer the matter to the relevant Policy Advisory Committee.

12.10.  If the subject of a motion concerns a matter within the competence of any other Committee: -

12.10.1. The Mayor shall first allow for a debate;

12.10.2. The Mayor shall then declare the motion referred to the relevant Committee for consideration.

12.11.  For the purposes of Rule 12.10, any motion that seeks to amend any Provision within Part A of this Constitution, or any Rule within Part C of this Constitution, shall be regarded as within the competence of the Democracy & General Purposes Committee. 

12.12.  Every motion must be relevant to the Council’s powers or duties or to a matter which affects the Borough.

12.13.  Any motion which in the opinion of the Proper Officer after consultation with the Head of Legal Partnership is out of order, or illegal, will be submitted to the Mayor who will decide whether it is accepted and the Proper Officer will notify the Member(s) accordingly.

13.              PUBLIC SPEAKING AT COUNCIL

Where the meeting is open to the public, a Local Resident or a representative of a local organisation may speak at the invitation of the Mayor in respect of an item on the agenda. Notice of a request to speak must be given to Democratic Services by no later than 4pm one clear working day before the relevant meeting. Public speaking is subject to the following time limits:

13.1.     The total time for speaking on an item on the agenda is twelve (12) minutes; within that twelve (12) minute period, each speaker has a maximum of three (3) minutes.

13.2.     In addition to the twelve (12) minutes, a relevant Parish Council representative may be allocated a maximum of three (3) minutes each; where there are several such speakers, they will be asked by the Proper Officer to appoint a single spokesperson to represent all views.

13.3.     When these times have expired, speakers will not be allowed to speak further unless asked by the Mayor to clarify a point of fact.

14.              REPORTS BY COMMITTEES AND THE EXECUTIVE

14.1.     The Council will consider reports by Committees who are empowered to make recommendations to the Council and also reports of the Executive making recommendations.  Motions concerning such reports, where the subjects of these reports are included in the Summons for the purposes of Rule 2.4, do not require notice for the purposes of Rule 12.

 

 

15.              RULES OF DEBATE

15.1.     No speeches until motion seconded

No speeches may be made after the mover has moved a proposal and explained the purpose of it until the motion has been seconded.

15.2.     Right to require motion in writing

Unless notice of the motion has already been given, the Mayor may require it to be written down and handed to him/her before it is discussed.

15.3.     Seconder’s speech

When seconding a motion or amendment, a Member may reserve their speech until later in the debate.

15.4.     Content and length of speeches

Speeches must be directed to the matter under discussion or to a personal explanation or point of order. No speech may exceed three (3) minutes without the consent of the Mayor, except when moving a motion submitted in accordance with Rule 12 or Rule 14 above, when the mover will be entitled to speak for five (5) minutes, or except when a Group Leader is moving his or her Group’s budget proposals at the Budget Making Council, or the Leader is moving the Administration’s Programme, when the mover will be entitled to speak for ten (10) minutes.

15.5.     When a Member may speak again

A Member who has spoken on a motion may not speak again whilst it is the subject of debate, except:

15.5.1.    to speak once on an amendment moved by another Member;

15.5.2.    to move a further amendment if the motion has been amended since he/she last spoke;

15.5.3.    if his or her first speech was on an amendment moved by another Member, to speak on the main issue (whether or not the amendment on which he/she spoke was carried);

15.5.4.    in exercise of a right of reply;

15.5.5.    on a point of order; and

15.5.6.    by way of personal explanation.

 

15.6.     Amendment to motions

15.6.1.    An amendment to a motion must be relevant to the motion and will either be:

(a)         to refer the matter to an appropriate body or individual for consideration or reconsideration;

(b)         to leave out words;

(c)          to leave out words and insert or add others; or

(d)         to insert or add words

as long as the effect of (b) to (d) is not to negate the motion.

15.6.2.    Only one amendment may be moved and discussed at any one time. No further amendment may be moved until the amendment under discussion has been disposed of.

15.6.3.    If an amendment is not carried or accepted by the motion’s proposer and seconder, other amendments to the original motion may be moved.

15.6.4.    If an amendment is carried, or accepted by the motion’s proposer and seconder, the motion as amended takes the place of the original motion. This becomes the substantive motion to which any further amendments are moved.

15.6.5.    If there are no further amendments the Mayor will put the substantive motion to the vote.

15.7.     Alteration of motion

15.7.1.    A Member may when moving a motion of which he/she has given notice under Rule 12, alter it with the consent of the meeting and the other signatories. The meeting’s consent will be signified without discussion.

15.7.2.    A Member may alter a motion which he/she has moved without notice with the consent of both the meeting and the seconder. The meeting’s consent will be signified without discussion.

15.7.3.    Only alterations which could be made as an amendment may be made.

15.8.     Withdrawal of motion

A Member may withdraw a motion which he/she has moved with the consent of the seconder. No Member may speak on the motion after the mover has withdrawn it.

15.9.     Right of reply

15.9.1.    The mover of a motion has a right to reply at the end of the debate on the motion, immediately before it is put to the vote.

15.9.2.    The mover of the amendment has a right of reply to the debate on his or her amendment (before the right of reply of the mover of the original motion).

15.9.3.    If an amendment is moved, the mover of the original motion has the right of reply at the close of the debate on the amendment, if he/she has spoken on it.

15.10.  Motions which may be moved during debate

15.10.1. When a motion in under debate, no other motion may be moved except the following procedural motions:

(a)         to amend a motion;

(b)         a Closure motion (as below);

(c)          to move;

(d)         that the meeting continue until 11.00pm;

(e)         to exclude the public and press in accordance with the Access to Information Rules;

(f)           to not hear further from a Member named under Rule 16.3 or to exclude them from the meeting under Rule 16.4;

(g)         to suspend a particular Council procedure rule;

(h)         to give the consent of the Council where its consent is required by this Constitution;

(i)           to extend the time limit for speeches;

(j)           to determine the time and date of the adjourned meeting in accordance with Council procedure Rule 7.2; and

(k)         to put the motion in parts to the vote.

15.11.  Closure motions

15.11.1. A Member may move, without comment, the following motions at the end of a speech of another Member:

(a)         to proceed to the next business;

(b)         that the question be now put;

(c)          to adjourn a debate; or

(d)         to adjourn a meeting.

15.11.2. If a motion to proceed to next business is seconded and the Mayor thinks the item has been sufficiently discussed, he/she will give the mover of the original motion a right to reply and then put the procedural motion to the vote.

15.11.3. If a motion that the question be now put is seconded and the Mayor thinks the item has been sufficiently discussed, he/she will put the procedural motion to the vote. If it is passed, he/she will give the mover of the original motion a right to reply before putting his or her motion to the vote.

15.11.4. If a motion to adjourn the debate or to adjourn the meeting is seconded and the Mayor thinks the item has not been sufficiently discussed and cannot reasonably be so discussed on that occasion, he/she will put the procedural motion to the vote without giving the mover of the original motion the right of reply.

15.12.  Point of order

A Member may raise a point of order at any time. The Mayor will hear them immediately. A point of order may only relate to an alleged breach of these Council Procedure Rules, the rest of the Constitution, or the law. The Member must indicate the Provision, Rule or law and the way in which he/she consider it has been broken. The ruling of the Mayor on the matter will be final.

15.13.  Personal explanation

A Member may make a point of personal explanation at any time. A personal explanation may only relate to some material part of an earlier speech by the Member (whether or not made at the meeting) which may appear to have been misunderstood in the present debate. The ruling of the Mayor on the admissibility of a personal explanation will be final.

16.              CONDUCT OF ELECTED MEMBERS

16.1.     Standing to speak

When a Member speaks at Full Council they must usually stand and address the meeting through the Mayor. If more than one Member stands, the Mayor will ask one to speak and the others must sit. Other Members must remain seated whilst a Member is speaking unless they wish to make a point of order or a personal explanation.

16.2.     Mayor standing

When the Mayor stands during a debate, any Member speaking at the time must stop and sit down. The meeting must be silent.

16.3.     Member not to be heard further

If a Member persistently disregards the ruling of the Mayor by behaving improperly or offensively or deliberately obstructs business, any Member may move that the Member be not heard further. If seconded, the motion will be voted on without discussion.

16.4.     Member to leave the meeting

If the Member continues to behave improperly after such a motion is carried, the Mayor may move that either the Member leaves the meeting or that the meeting is adjourned for a specified period. If seconded, the motion will be voted on without discussion.

16.5.     General disturbance

If there is a general disturbance making orderly business impossible, the Mayor may adjourn the meeting for as long as he/she thinks necessary, or may adjourn and re-convene elsewhere.

17.              PREVIOUS DECISIONS & MOTIONS

17.1.     Motion to rescind a previous decision

A motion or amendment to rescind a decision made at a meeting of Council within the past six months cannot be moved unless the notice of Motion is signed by at least one third of the whole number of the Council.

17.2.     Motion similar to one previously rejected

A motion or amendment in similar terms to one that has been rejected at a meeting of Council in the past six months cannot be moved unless the notice of motion or amendment is signed by at least one third of the whole number of the Members.

18.              VOTING

18.1.     Unless this Constitution or the law provides otherwise, any matter will be decided by a simple majority of those Members voting and present in the room at the time the question was put.

18.2.     Mayor’s casting vote 

If there are equal numbers of votes for and against, the Mayor will have a second or casting vote, regardless of whether he/she has used his or her first vote. There will be no restriction on how the Mayor chooses to exercise a casting vote.

18.3.     Means of Voting

Unless a recorded vote is demanded under Rule 18.4, the Mayor will take the vote by show of hands, or if there is no dissent, by the affirmation of the meeting.

18.4.     Recorded vote

If five Members present at a Council meeting, the names for and against the motion or amendment or abstaining from voting will be taken down in writing and entered into the minutes.

18.5.     Right to require individual vote to be recorded

Where any Member requests it immediately after the vote is taken, their vote will be so recorded in the minutes to show whether they voted for or against the motion or abstained from voting.

18.6.     Recorded votes at Budget meetings

Immediately after any vote is taken at a Budget Decision Meeting, on any decision related to the making of the calculation or the issuing of the Council Tax as the case may be there must be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of that meeting the names of the persons who cast a vote for the decision or against the decision or who abstained from voting.

18.7.     Voting on appointments

If there are more than two people nominated for any position to be filled and there is not a clear majority of votes in favour of one person, then the name of the person with the least number of votes will be taken off the list and a new vote taken. The process will continue until there is a majority of votes for one person.

19.              MINUTES

19.1.     Signing the minutes

The Mayor will sign the minutes of the proceedings at the next suitable meeting. The Mayor will move that the minutes of the previous meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

19.2.     No requirement to sign minutes of previous meeting at extraordinary meeting

Where in relation to any meeting, the next meeting for the purpose of signing the minutes is a meeting called under paragraph 3 of schedule 12 to the Local Government Act 1972 (an Extraordinary Meeting), then the next following meeting (being a meeting called otherwise than under that paragraph) will be treated as a suitable meeting for the purposes of paragraph 41(1) and (2) of schedule 12 relating to signing of minutes.

19.3.     Form of minutes

Minutes will contain all motions and amendments in the exact form and order the Mayor put them and shall record all questions and answers in accordance with Rule 9.

20.              RECORD OF ATTENDANCE

All Members present during the whole or part of a meeting must sign their names on the attendance sheets before the conclusion of every meeting to assist with the record of attendance.

21.              EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC & RECORDING OF MEETINGS

21.1.     Members of the public and press may only be excluded in accordance with the Access to Information Rules in Part C of this Constitution or Rule 23 (Disturbance by Public).

21.2.     Any member of the public or press attending meetings of the Council may record such meetings in open session using whatever non-disruptive methods that they consider appropriate, including filming, photographing, audio recording and use of social media.  Anyone filming a meeting is asked to focus only on those actively participating

21.3.     Recording of any part of a meeting held in closed session is not permitted.

21.4.     All attendees should be made aware that they may be filmed or recorded whilst attending a meeting and that attendance at the meeting signifies consent to this.

22.              DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS

22.1.     A Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or Other Significant Interest in a matter to be considered, or being considered at a meeting must:

22.1.1.    disclose the interest; and

22.1.2.    explain the nature of that interest at the commencement of that consideration or when the interest becomes apparent (subject to Rule 22.3 below); and unless they have been granted a dispensation;

22.1.3.    not participate in any discussion of, or vote taken on, the matter at the meeting unless they have been granted a dispensation; and

22.1.4.    withdraw from the meeting room whenever it becomes apparent that the business is being considered; and

22.1.5.    not seek improperly to influence a decision about that business.

22.2.     A Member with an Other Significant Interest, may attend a meeting but only for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business, provided that the public are also allowed to attend the meeting for the same purpose, whether under a statutory right or otherwise. The Member will withdraw from the meeting room immediately after making representations, answering questions or giving evidence.

22.3.     Where a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or an Other Significant Interest has been agreed by the Monitoring Officer as being a Sensitive Interest, the Member need only disclose the existence of the interest but not its nature.

23.              DISTURBANCE BY PUBLIC

23.1.     Removal of member of the public

If a member of the public interrupt’s proceedings, the Mayor will warn the person concerned. If they continue to interrupt, the Mayor will order their removal from the meeting room.

23.2.     Clearance of part of meeting room

If there is a general disturbance in any part of the meeting room open to the public, the Mayor may call for that part to be cleared and may adjourn the meeting and/or re-convene elsewhere.

24.              SIGNATURES OF MEMBERS

Where any of these Rules require a Member to sign or consent to a document or requisition to be provided to the Proper Officer, an authentic email message from that Member shall suffice.  Where there is a requirement for more than one (1) Member to sign or consent to a document or requisition, the Members may indicate the same to the Proper Officer through multiple counterparts.

 

25.              SUSPENSION OF THESE RULES

All of these Council Procedure Rules except Rules 16.2, 18.5, 18.6 and 19.2 may be suspended by motion on notice or without notice if at least one half of the whole number of Members are present and the majority present approve. Suspension can only be for the duration of the meeting.

 


 

Appendix A: The Council’s Petition Scheme

 

Para.

Appendix A: Petitions

1.

The Council welcomes petitions from Local Residents.  Subject to Para.2 below, all petitions received by the Council that are signed by at least 100 Local Residents will be presented or reported to the relevant Member body.

2.

The Member body to which a petition is presented or reported shall depend on whether or not it pertains to an Executive Function and the number of signatories.

 

2.1.

For Executive Functions where the number of signatories is at least 200 Local Residents, the petition shall go to the Executive.

 

2.2.

For Executive Functions where the number of signatories is fewer than 200 Local Residents, the petition shall go to the relevant Committee.

 

2.3.

For non-Executive Functions where the number of signatories is at least 200 Local Residents, the petition shall go to Full Council.

 

2.4.

For non-Executive Functions where the number of signatories is fewer than 200 Local Residents, the petition shall go to the relevant Committee.  Where the petition concerns a matter not otherwise within the competence of a Committee, the petition shall go to the Democracy & General Purposes Committee.

3.

If so required by a signatory to a petition, it may be presented in person at meetings of the relevant Member body, subject to compliance with the following procedure:-

 

3.1.

The wording of the petition to be presented to be presented must be given in writing to the Proper Officer at least two (2) weeks before the day of the meeting.  Ward Members will be notified of the wording of petitions when received;

 

3.2.

If a petitioner has submitted a petition of at least 100 signatures requesting a Senior Officer of the Council to attend, give evidence and provide information on activities for which they are responsible, then that Senior Officer will attend;

 

3.3.

Petitions must be presented to the Proper Officer at least one (1)  clear day before the day of the meeting (i.e. two days) of the relevant Member body;

 

3.4.

No more than three (3) petitions may be presented per meeting;

 

3.5.

If more than one petition is notified to the Proper Officer to the same meeting, they shall rank in order of priority according to the time of notice given;

 

3.6.

No petition may be presented relating to an application for a licence;

 

3.7.

No petition may be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Council or to any meeting of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee.

4.

Petitions which are not to be presented in person at meetings of the Council or appropriate Committee will be reported to that body. 

5.

Provision will be made for a facility to submit petitions electronically.

6.

Any checking or sampling of signatories by Council Officers to verify the number of signatories shall give due consideration to the rights of younger Local Residents whose names may not yet appear on the Electoral Roll on account of their age.


 

Appendix B: Questions on Notice

 

Para.

Appendix B: Questions on Notice

1.

Notice of questions

A question may only be asked if notice has been given by delivering it in writing (including by electronic mail) to the Proper Officer no later than close of the office one clear working day before the day of the meeting. Each question must give the name and address of the questioner and must name the relevant Member to whom it is to be put.

2.

Number of questions

At any one meeting no person may submit more than one question.

3.

Scope of questions

The Proper Officer may reject a question if in his or her opinion:

 

3.1.

it is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or that affects the Borough;

 

3.2.

it is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;

 

3.3.

it cannot be answered with sufficient accuracy without unacceptable disclosure of Confidential or Exempt information;

 

3.4.

the Local Resident seeking to ask a question has previously withdrawn questions on three consecutive occasions, any further question from that person will be refused unless that person confirms in writing that they will be attending the meeting to ask the question. If that person does not attend the meeting after confirming they will do so, no further action will be taken with regard to that question.

 

3.5.

the question has been asked at a previous meeting of the Council either in the exact or similar form and/or;

 

3.6.

the question concerns a planning matter about which questions have been posed at the last two (2) meetings of the same Member body, or at two (2) out of the last three (3) such meetings;

 

3.7.

the Council has resolved the issue raised and the question has been brought to a close.

 

4.

 

Record of questions

The Proper Officer will enter each question in a book open to public inspection and will immediately send a copy of the question to the Member to whom it is to be put. Rejected questions will include the reasons for rejection.  Copies of all questions will be circulated to all Members and will be made available to the public attending the meeting.

6.

Written answers

Any question which cannot be dealt with during public question time, either because of lack of time or because of the non-attendance of the Member to whom it was to be put, will be dealt with by a written answer that is sent to the questioner. The written response will be included in the minutes with a note that a written response was given either because of a lack of time or because the relevant Member was not present.

7.

Response to Questions

 

7.1.

Where the question is discussed and answered during the meeting, the responses to the questions will not be minuted, as the Council webcasts its meetings so there is already a full record of the response. The minutes will state whether the Member responded to the question or not and will refer the public to the webcast for the full response.

 

7.2.

If the webcast has failed prior to the start of the meeting, a summary of the answer will be included in the minutes.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Appendix C: Outside Bodies

 

Para.

 

Appendix C: Outside Bodies

 

1.                  Appointment to Outside Bodies

All Outside Body Appointments are to be made by the Executive, except those positions that fall within the remit of the Democracy & General Purposes Committee.

2.                  List of Outside Bodies

2.1.          Kent and Medway Civilian-Military Partnership Board – Leader automatically appointed unless he/she delegates to another Member

2.2.          Kent and Medway Economic Partnership – Leader automatically appointed unless he/she delegates to another Member

2.3.          Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel – Leader automatically appointed unless he/she delegates to another Member

2.4.          Local Government Association General Assembly - Leader automatically appointed unless he/she delegates to another Member

2.5.          One Maidstone BID Advisory Board

2.6.          Rochester Bridge Trust

2.7.          Upper Medway Internal Drainage Board

2.8.          West Kent Improvement Board Elected Members Forum – Leader automatically appointed unless he/she delegates to another Member

2.9.          Headcorn Aerodrome Consultative Committee – Headcorn Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

2.10.      Kent Downs AONB Joint Advisory Committee

2.11.      Kent Community Railway Partnership

2.12.      Maidstone Cycling Campaign Forum

2.13.      Maidstone Quality Bus Partnership – Lead Member for (portfolio) automatically appointed

2.14.      Medway Valley Line

2.15.      Kent Downs Line

2.16.      Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London Adjudication Joint Committee (“PATROLAJC”)

2.17.      Action with Communities in Rural Kent

2.18.      Age UK

2.19.      Allington Millennium Green Trust – Bridge Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

2.20.      Citizens’ Advice Bureau

2.21.      Collis Millennium Green Trust – High Street Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

2.22.      Cutbush and Corrall Charity

2.23.      Hayle Park Nature Reserve – South Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

2.24.      Howard de Walden Centre – East and North Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

2.25.      Maidstone Mediation Scheme

2.26.      Relate West and Mid Kent

2.27.      Vinters Valley Park Trust – Boxley Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

2.28.      Brenchley Charity – Lead Member for (portfolio) automatically appointed

2.29.      Maidstone Area Arts Partnership – Lead Member for (portfolio) automatically appointed

2.30.      Maidstone/Beauvais Twinning Association

2.31.      Maidstone Sea Cadets

3.                  Democracy and General Purposes Committee

3.1.         South East Employers

3.2.         Maidstone Street Pastors Management Committee – High Street Ward Members to be appointed, unless no relevant Ward Member nomination is received, in which case this restriction no longer applies

3.3.         Relief in Need Charities – Mayor automatically appointed “ex-officio”

C2.           Committee Procedure Rules

1.                  INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE

1.1.         The Rules in this Chapter regulate the business of the Committees and may be cited as the Committee Procedure Rules.  They also apply to any Sub-Committee with any such qualification or modification as may be specified or evident from the context.

1.2.         The purpose of these Rules is to ensure that the Committees: -

1.2.1.       Function smoothly and efficiently;

1.2.2.       Reflect the political balance of the Council as whole, as far as possible and in accordance with the law;

1.2.3.       Act as a place at which Members, including those who are not on the particular Committee, are able to raise matters of concern;

1.2.4.       Enhance the quality & transparency of decision-making, especially in respect of Executive Functions;

1.2.5.       Are accessible directly to Local Residents.

2.                  APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES

2.1.         Appointments to Committees are made at the Annual Council Meeting or, when a vacancy occurs, at the next available meeting of the Council, in accordance with the legislation and rules on political balance.

2.2.         Any Member on a Committee may give notice to the Proper Officer of his or her resignation from a particular Committee of which he/she is on.

2.3.         A Group Leader may request, and the Proper Officer shall give effect to, the removal from a particular Committee of a Member belonging to his or her Political Group, subject to the Group Leader also requesting that an alternative Member belonging to his or her Political Group be appointed to that Committee.

2.4.         Co-Option of Non-Members

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Audit, Governance & Standards Committee, or any sub-committee of either, shall be entitled to recommend to Council the appointment to it of people as co-optees.

2.5.         Members as Substitutes on Committees

2.5.1.       For each Committee, the Proper Officer shall appoint up to the number of seats allocated to that Political Group, who may act as Substitutes on that Committee.

2.5.2.       A Member who acts as a Substitute on a Committee may sit at meetings of that Committee in place of a Member on that Committee belonging to the same Political Group (“Full Member”), where that Full Member is either absent from that meeting or opts to attend that meeting as a Visiting Member instead.

2.5.3.       A Member attending a meeting as a Substitute will have all the powers and duties of a Member ordinarily on that Committee but will not be able to exercise any special powers or duties exercisable by the person they are substituting for.

2.5.4.       Members may attend meetings as Substitutes only:

(a)         if the substitution is notified to the proper officer or the Chairman before the meeting begins;

(b)         if the Full Member arrives after the substitution has been made, and opts to take his or her seat, and no other Full Members belong to that Political Group are absent, the substitution shall end and the Member attending as a Substitute shall cease to sit on the Committee and shall be deemed a Visiting Member.

3.                  CHAIRING OF COMMITTEES

3.1.         Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairs to be Committee Members

No Member may serve as the Chairman or vice-Chair of any Committee unless he/she is on that Committee. Where a Member serves as Chairman or vice-Chair of a Committee, and then ceases to be on that Committee, he/she shall cease to be the Chairman or the vice-Chair (as the case may be).

3.2.         Policy Advisory Committees

3.2.1.       The Chairman of each Policy Advisory Committee for the Municipal Year shall be the appointed by the Committee. The Committee may revise this appointment during the course of the Municipal Year.

3.2.2.       The vice-Chair of each Policy Advisory Committee shall be elected by the Members on that Committee at their first meeting of the Municipal Year using the following procedure.  The purpose of this procedure is to give preference to Members who belong to non-Administration Political Groups. 

(a)         Nominations will open firstly to Members on the Committee who belong to non-Administration Political Groups.

(b)         Should more than one Member be nominated at this stage, there shall be a vote amongst all Members on the Committee to elect the vice-Chair from those nominated.

(c)          Alternatively, should just a single Member be nominated at this stage, the Member so nominated shall be declared elected vice-Chair.

(d)         Alternatively, should no Members be nominated at this stage, nominations will then be opened to all Members of the Committee and a vice-Chair elected accordingly.

3.3.         Overview and Scrutiny Committee

3.3.1.       The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee shall be elected by Members on that Committee at their first meeting of the Municipal Year using the following procedure. The purpose of this procedure is to give preference to Members belonging to the largest non-Administration Political Group.

(a)         Nominations will open firstly to Members on the Committee who belong to the largest non-Administration Political Group.

(b)         Should more than one Member be nominated at this stage, there shall be a vote amongst all Members on the Committee to elect the Chairman from those nominated.

(c)          Alternatively, should just a single Member be nominated at this stage, the Member so nominated shall be declared elected as Chairman.

(d)         Alternatively, should no Members be nominated at this stage, the process shall be attempted again with nominations opened to Members on the Committee belonging to all non-Administration Party Groups.

(e)         Should this stage also fail to attract any nominations, the process shall be attempted again with nominations opened to all Members on the Committee.

3.3.2.       The vice-Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee shall be elected by the Members on the Committee at their first meeting of the Municipal Year with nominations open to all Members on the Committee (save for the Chairman).

3.4.         Other Committees

All other Committees shall elect a Committee Chairman and a vice-Chair at the first meeting of the Municipal Year with nominations open to all Members on the Committee.

3.5.         Vacancies Arising

A vacancy arising during the Municipal Year in respect of a Committee Chairman or vice-Chair shall be filled using the same procedure for appointment or election applying at the beginning of the Municipal Year with any election taking place at the next meeting of the Committee.

3.6.         Chairing Meetings

3.6.1.       The Committee Chairman shall chair each meeting of that Committee.  In his or her absence, the vice-Chair shall chair the meeting unless the vice-Chair opts to remain at the meeting but not take the chair.

3.6.2.       Where the Committee Chairman is both absent from a meeting of the Committee, and the vice-Chair is also absent or is present but opts not to take the chair, and the meeting is nevertheless quorate, then: -

(a)         The Members on the Committee who are present shall elect of their number to chair the meeting;

(b)         Should the Committee Chairman or a previously absent vice-Chair subsequently arrive, he/she shall take the chair for the remaining duration of the meeting and the Member elected in (a) shall vacate the chair.

3.6.3.       The process in Rule 3.6.2(a) shall apply where either the Committee Chairman or the vice-Chair has been chairing a meeting but had to leave resulting in both being absent or in the Chairman being absent and the vice-Chair opting not to take the chair.

4.                  HOLDING OF MEETINGS

4.1.         Ordinary meetings of the Committees shall be held according to a calendar of meetings agreed by resolution of the Council.

4.2.         The Proper Officer may, after consulting the Chairman and vice-Chair of a Committee, cancel or postpone any meeting of that Committee.

4.3.         The Proper Officer may, after consulting the Chairman and vice-Chair of a Committee, call a special meeting of that Committee.

4.4.         The Proper Officer shall call a special meeting of a Committee where one is requested by:

4.4.1.       the Chairman;

4.4.2.       Full Council; or

4.4.3.       The Monitoring Officer.

4.5.         The Proper Officer shall call a special meeting of a Committee where: -

4.5.1.       At least three (3) Members on that Committee sign a requisition for such a meeting; and

4.5.2.       The requisition specifies matters for consideration that are within the terms of reference or competence of that Committee, and are: -

(a)         sufficiently urgent such that it would be un-reasonable to wait until the next Ordinary meeting, or

(b)         are of a size & significance relative to the forecast workload of the next Ordinary meeting such as to warrant a Special meeting.

4.6.         The Proper Officer shall call a meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee within five (5) working days of the expiry of the call-in period.

5.                  NOTICE OF MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TO BE DISCUSSED

5.1.         The agenda for any Committee meeting shall be set following discussion between the Committee Chairman, the vice-Chair, and Officers. 

5.2.         The agenda shall accommodate: -

5.2.1.       For any Policy Advisory Committee, the Forward Plan set by the Executive;

5.2.2.       For all Committees, any: -

(a)         Member Agenda Item Requests,

(b)         Motions referred to that Committee following Full Council,

(c)          Previous resolutions of that Committee in respect of its Work Programme;

5.2.3.       In respect of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, any: -

(a)         Call-in by a Member,

(b)         Any Member “call for action”.

 

5.3.         Summons & Notice

5.3.1.       The Proper Officer will give notice to the public of the time and place of any meeting in accordance with the Access to Information Rules.  At least five (5) Clear Days before a meeting (or if a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee is called at shorter notice, as soon as the meeting is called), the Proper Officer will publish on the Council's website and send a summons signed by him/her electronically to every Member of the Council (or on request by post or by leaving it at their usual place of residence/other address).

5.3.2.       The summons will give the date, time and place of each meeting and specify the business to be transacted, and will be accompanied by such reports as are available. Where not all of the reports are available with the summons they will be posted on the Council's website as soon as they become available and e-mailed or posted to Members.

6.                  MEMBER AGENDA ITEM REQUESTS

6.1.         Any Member may ask that a particular matter is added as an item to the agenda of a Committee, subject to: -

6.1.1.       The matter being relevant to the Committee’s terms of reference;

6.1.2.       Written notice of the request is provided to the Proper Officer by the ordinary deadline of 4pm, six (6) clear days before the meeting is to be held;

6.1.3.       Notice may be accepted after closure of the ordinary deadline where, in the opinion of the Committee Chairman and vice-Chair, the Member is able to demonstrate that the matter: -

(a)         Only came to his or her attention around or after the ordinary deadline; and

(b)         It is of an apparent immediacy or is likely to command sufficient public concern, that it cannot wait until the meeting of the Committee after the next one.

6.1.4.       The matter should not be such that it is judged by the Committee Chairman and vice-Chair, in agreement, as being defamatory or offensive or otherwise unlawful, having consulted the Proper Officer and the Monitoring Officer.

6.2.         A Member Agenda Item Request may also be contained within a requisition signed by three (3) Members on a Committee requesting a special meeting. 

6.3.         Where an item is added to the agenda of a Committee as a result of a Member Agenda Item Request:

6.3.1.       The Committee shall be able to debate the principles of the matter, with or without Officer input. 

6.3.2.       The Member raising the Member Agenda Item Request shall have the right to both introduce the item and the right to reply to the debate at its conclusion as the last speaker on the item.  This shall apply even where that Member is attending as a Visiting Member.

6.4.         There is no expectation for Officers to provide a report concerning a Member Agenda Item Request ahead of the meeting at which the item is first discussed.  Where one is provided however, the Committee has the freedom to deal with the matter like any other agenda item supported by an Officer’s report.

6.5.         Where a Member Agenda Item Request leads to consideration of the item by a Committee without an Officer’s report, the Committee may only: -

6.5.1.       For any type of Committee, resolve to request that an Officer’s report be provided to a future meeting of the Committee, on which occasion it may then be debated and dealt with by the Committee as any other agenda item supported by an Officer’s report.

6.5.2.       For a Policy Advisory Committee, request that an Officer’s report be prepared and submitted with the item directly to the Executive for consideration.

6.5.3.       Conclude the debate with no further action agreed for the time being.

7.                  ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS

7.1.         Committees Generally

7.1.1.       A Committee shall be clerked by a Democratic Services Officer.

7.1.2.       A Committee may invite such further Officers as are necessary for the presentation of Officer Reports or to inform discussion in respect of agenda items.

7.1.3.       A Committee may invite a third party to attend a meeting to speak and answer questions on a particular item on the agenda.

7.1.4.       An item on the agenda may be deferred if the Committee agrees that a third-party contribution to the discussion is necessary.

7.2.         At Overview & Scrutiny Committee

7.2.1.       The Overview and Scrutiny Committee or sub-committee may scrutinise and review decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any Council functions. As well as reviewing documentation, in fulfilling the scrutiny role, it may require any Member on the Executive, the Chief Executive and/or any senior Officer to attend before it to explain in relation to matters within their remit:

(a)         any particular decision or series of decisions;

(b)         the extent to which the actions taken implement Council policy; and/or

(c)          their performance

and it is the duty of those persons to attend if so required.

7.2.2.       The appropriate “senior Officer” shall be identified following consultation with the Chief Executive.

7.2.3.       Where any member or Officer is required to attend the Overview and Scrutiny Committee under this provision, the chairman of that committee will inform the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive shall inform the member or Officer in writing giving at least 10 working days’ notice of the meeting at which they are required to attend. (A shorter period of notice may be given with the agreement of the member or Officer in question.) The notice will state the nature of the item on which they are required to attend to give account and whether any papers are required to be produced for the committee. Where the account to be given to the committee will require the production of a report, then the member or Officer concerned will be given sufficient notice to allow for preparation of that documentation.

7.2.4.       Where, in exceptional circumstances, the member or Officer is unable to attend on the required date, then the Overview and Scrutiny Committee shall in consultation with the member or Officer arrange an alternative date for attendance.

7.3.         Visiting Members

7.3.1.       At each meeting of each Committee, it shall be an early agenda item for the Member chairing the meeting to ask any Visiting Members to introduce themselves and state the agenda item(s) to which he/she intends speaking. 

7.3.2.       Subject to Rules 7.3.3 & 7.3.4 below, any Member may attend any meeting of a Committee or Sub- Committee on which he/she does not sit on in order to speak on particular items provided he/she specifies those items at the point in the meeting when Visiting Members are asked to introduce themselves. 

7.3.3.       No other Member except for those on the Committee may attend and/or speak on: -

(a)         Panels or sub-committees of any Member body relating to employment functions;

(b)         hearings in respect of individual applications before the Licensing Committee or Sub-Committee, other than to observe proceedings only for training purposes with leave of the Member chairing the meeting having consulted the legal officer attending;

(c)          the Hearings Sub-Committee of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee when it is considering allegations of misconduct; or any other panel hearing or appeal.

7.3.4.       To speak on an item at the Planning Committee, notice must be given to the Proper Officer by 4pm on the preceding working day.

7.3.5.       Visiting Members speak after the Officer introduction on an item, but before the general debate.

7.3.6.       Having spoken, the Visiting Member will not participate further unless:

(a)         the Member chairing the meeting agrees, or

(b)         the item arises from a motion that the Visiting Member moved at Full Council, or the item arises from a Member Agenda Item Request raised by that Visiting Member, in which event the Visiting Member shall have a right to reply at the end of the debate and immediately before any motion is put to the vote.

7.3.7    Where the committee resolves to exclude the press and public any visiting member shall be entitled to remain at the discretion of the chairman if he/she is satisfied, on the advice of the Monitoring Officer or their representative at the meeting, that the Visiting Member has a need to know in respect of the item being considered by the committee in private.

8.                  CONDUCT OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8.1.         Quorum

The quorum of a meeting will be at least one quarter of the whole number of Members provided that: -

8.1.1.       the quorum of the Trustee Committee is not less than three (3) Members;

8.1.2.       the quorum of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee is not less than five (5) Members;

8.1.3.       the quorum of any other Committee is not less than four (4) Members; and

8.1.4.       The quorum of a Sub-Committee is not less than two (2) Members.

8.2.         Standing Items

Before any substantive items are considered, the following items shall be considered at each meeting of any Committee: -

8.2.1.       Apologies for absence;

8.2.2.       Notification of substitute Members sitting;

8.2.3.       Disclosures of interest;

8.2.4.       Declarations of lobbying from interested parties or objectors in respect of any particular agenda item;

8.2.5.       Minutes of the previous meeting(s);

8.2.6.       Any petitions, in accordance with Rule 9;

8.2.7.       Any Questions on Notice from Local Residents;

8.2.8.       Any Questions on Notice from Members.

Save that petitions and questions maybe omitted at the first meeting of the Municipal Year if convened only for the purpose of electing the Chairman and/or vice-Chair.

8.3.         Recording of Meetings

8.3.1.       Any member of the public or press attending meetings of the Council may record such meetings in open session using whatever non-disruptive methods that they consider appropriate, including filming, photographing, audio recording and use of social media.  Anyone filming a meeting is asked to focus only on those actively participating

8.3.2.       Recording of any part of a meeting held in closed session is not permitted.

8.3.3.       All attendees should be made aware that they may be filmed or recorded whilst attending a meeting and that attendance at the meeting signifies consent to this.

8.4.         Exclusion of the Public & Press

In accordance with the Access to Information Procedure Rules, a Committee meeting: -

8.4.1.       Shall go into closed session where Confidential Information is to be discussed

8.4.2.       May go into closed session where Exempt Information is to be discussed

in relation to an item.

This means that the press and members of the public shall be excluded from the meeting. 

8.5.         Duration of Meetings

8.5.1.       Each unfinished meeting will adjourn at 10.30 pm unless a majority of Members present vote to extend the meeting to 11.00 pm at which time the meeting will stand adjourned;

8.5.2.       The time and date of the continuation of the adjourned meeting will be decided by a majority of those Members present, or if no decision is reached, by the Executive in the case of a Policy Advisory Committee or the Proper Officer in the case of any other Committee, and it should normally take place within ten (10) working days of the meeting.

8.6.         Removal of member of the public

If a member of the public interrupt’s proceedings, the Member chairing the meeting will warn the person concerned, and will order their removal from the meeting room should they continue to interrupt.

8.7.         Clearance of part of meeting room

If there is a general disturbance in any part of the meeting room open to the public, the Member chairing the meeting may call for that part to be cleared and may adjourn the meeting and/or re-convene elsewhere.

8.8.         Minutes

8.8.1.       The Mayor will sign the minutes of the proceedings at the next suitable meeting. The Mayor will move that the minutes of the previous meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

8.8.2.       Where in relation to any meeting, the next meeting for the purpose of signing the minutes is a meeting called under paragraph 3 of schedule 12 to the Local Government Act 1972 (an Extraordinary Meeting), then the next following meeting (being a meeting called otherwise than under that paragraph) will be treated as a suitable meeting for the purposes of paragraph 41(1) and (2) of schedule 12 relating to signing of minutes.

8.8.3.       Minutes will contain all motions and amendments in the exact form and order the Mayor put them and shall record all questions and answers in accordance with Rule 9.

9.                  PETITIONS AT COMMITTEES

9.1.         Appendix A of the Council Procedure Rules on the Council’s Petitions Scheme sets out the nature of those petitions received by the Council that are to be considered by a particular Committee.

9.2.         No more than three (3) petitions may be presented per meeting.

9.3.         Where a petition is presented: -

9.3.1.       Only one person may speak to a petition for a maximum of five (5) minutes. They should have signed the petition, be a Local Resident and be a supporter of the body submitting the petition.  This may include someone acting for that petitioner in a professional capacity.

9.3.2.       A debate will take place on the petition.

9.3.3.       The petitioner will have an opportunity to speak for a further period of three (3) minutes responding to the issues raised in the debate.

9.3.4.       Where the petition relates to another item on the agenda, the matter should then be dealt with alongside that other agenda item.

9.3.5.       Where the petition is not dealt with by another item on the agenda, the Committee may resolve: -

(a)         To request an Officer’s Report be provided to a future meeting of the Committee;

(b)         Where the petition pertains to an Executive Function, to request that an Officer’s report be prepared and submitted with the item directly to the Executive for consideration;

(c)          To conclude the debate with no further action agreed for the time being.

9.4.         Petitions which are not to be presented in person at a meeting of the pertinent Committee will be reported to it. Debate and determination shall take place as per Rule 9.3 above, save that there will be no speeches by a presenter.

10.              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

10.1.     At Ordinary meetings of any Committee, save for a meeting called at the start of the Municipal Year to elect a Committee Chairman and/or vice-Chair, there shall be: -

10.1.1.    A 30-minute session for Local Residents; followed by

10.1.2.    A 15-minute session for Members

to pose Questions on Notice concerning the business of the Council.

10.2.     The questions may be asked of the Member chairing the meeting and any Lead Member who sits on the Committee.

10.3.     Appendix B of the Council Procedure Rules on Questions on Notice shall apply to meetings of the Committees.  It sets out the process for giving notice of such questions prior to the Committee meeting and record keeping subsequent to the meeting.

10.4.     Order of Questions

Questions will be asked of the relevant Members in the order that notice of them was received, except that the Member chairing the meeting may group together similar questions.

10.5.     Posing a Question at the Meeting

The Member chairing the meeting will invite the questioner to put the question to the Member named in the notice. If a questioner who has submitted a written question is unable to be present, they may ask the Member chairing the meeting to put the question on their behalf, in which event the answer given by the relevant Member shall also be written and sent to the questioner.

10.6.     Supplementary Questions

A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the Member who has replied to his or her original question.  A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.  The Member chairing the meeting may reject a supplementary question if it would not have been allowed as a Question on Notice or because it does not arise directly out of the question or reply.

10.7.     Nature of Reply

The form and content of reply to an original or a supplementary question will be at the discretion of the Member giving the reply, unless in respect of an original question a written request has been received specifying a specific form of reply or replies. He/she may decline to give a full or any reply if in his or her opinion to do so would involve an unreasonable amount of labour or cost.

11.              COMMITTEE DEBATE

11.1.     This Rule 11 applies to Committees generally save that Rule 14 takes precedence in respect of the proceedings of the Planning Committee.

11.2.     Order

For any item on the agenda of a Committee meeting, the order of speaking shall be: -

11.2.1.    Public speaking by Local Residents;

11.2.2.    Any introduction to the item, typically by an Officer but by the relevant Member in the case of a Member Agenda Item Request;

11.2.3.    Statements by Visiting Members;

11.2.4.    Questions, statements and/or motions by Members on the Committee.

11.3.     Public Speaking by Local Residents

Local Residents may speak to an agenda item at a Committee meeting subject to: -

11.3.1.    Notice of wishing to speak on a particular item must be given to the Proper Officer by no later than 4pm the working day before the meeting.

11.3.2.    Public speaking under this Rule shall take the form of making a statement only.  Any questions from Local Residents should be made using the procedure in Rule 10.

11.3.3.    The total time for Local Residents speaking on an item on the agenda is twelve (12) minutes; within that twelve (12) minute period, each speaker has a maximum of three (3) minutes.

11.4.     Statements & Questions by Members on the Committee

Contributions by Members on the Committee may include statements, questions to the Officers present for the item, motions, amendments, procedural motions, and points of order.

Where questions are posed to the Officers present, the Member chairing the meeting shall invite those Officers to provide answers.  Where matters are raised in statements that are not covered by the Officer’s report, the Member chairing the meeting shall invite the Officers to comment.

11.5.     Motions

Any motion must be proposed and seconded, including where recommendations are made within any Officer’s report.  Once a motion has been proposed and seconded, no other motion may be moved until that earlier motion has been dealt with. 

11.6.     Amendments

Any motion maybe subject to reasonable amendment with the agreement of the Committee and/or the Members proposing & seconding the motion.

11.7.     Procedural Motions

A Member on the Committee may move any reasonable procedural motion, with a seconder.  A procedural motion shall be dealt with immediately once it is moved and seconded.

11.8.     Points of Order

A Member may raise a point of order at any time. The Member chairing the meeting will hear them immediately.  A point of order may only relate to an alleged breach of the Constitution or the law. The Member must indicate the Provision, Rule or law and the way in which he/she consider it has been broken. The ruling of the Member chairing the meeting on the matter will be final.

 

11.9.     Right of Reply

The mover of a motion has a right to reply at the end of the debate on the motion, immediately before it is put to the vote.

 

 

12.              VOTING AT COMMITTEES

12.1.     Unless this Constitution or the law provides otherwise, any matter will be decided by a simple majority of those Members voting and present in the room at the time the question was put.

12.2.     If there are equal numbers of votes for and against, the Member chairing the meeting at the time will have a second or casting vote, regardless of whether he/she has used his or her first vote. There will be no restriction on how this casting vote is used.

12.3.     Unless a recorded vote is demanded under Rule 12.4, the Member chairing the meeting will take the vote by show of hands, or if there is no dissent, by the affirmation of the meeting.

12.4.     If three (3) Members present at the meeting so request, the names for and against the motion or amendment or abstaining from voting will be taken down in writing and entered into the minutes.

12.5.     Where any Member requests it immediately after the vote is taken, their vote will be so recorded in the minutes to show whether they voted for or against the motion or abstained from voting.

12.6.     When voting on any appointments, if there are more than two people nominated for any position to be filled and there is not a clear majority of votes in favour of one person, then the name of the person with the least number of votes will be taken off the list and a new vote taken. The process will continue until there is a majority of votes for one person.

13.              REPORTS BY THE OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

13.1.     In exercising its policy development remit, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will prepare a formal report containing its recommendations.  This will be submitted to the Proper Officer for consideration by: -

13.1.1.    the executive if the proposals are consistent with the existing budgetary and policy framework, and/or

13.1.2.    the Council as appropriate e.g. if the recommendation would require a departure from or a change to the agreed budget and policy framework.

13.2.     The report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee shall be considered by the Council or by the Executive at its next appropriate meeting following submission to the Chief Executive, or such longer time scale as the chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee may agree.

 

14.              PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE PLANNING COMMITTEE

14.1.     Call-in to Planning Committee

14.1.1.    The following may call-in the determination of a Planning Application: -

(a)         A Ward Member of a Ward that the proposed development would have an impact upon;

(b)         The Parish Council of a Parish that the proposed development would have an impact upon;

(c)          A neighbourhood forum with an adopted or post examination Neighbourhood Plan.

14.1.2.    The request for the application to be heard by the Planning Committee must be made in writing to the Proper Officer or the Case Officer to whom the application is assigned prior to the expiry of the Call-in Window.

14.1.3.    For Rule 14.1.1 (a), the Call-in Window shall be the period of twenty-one (21) days from the date of the weekly list advising them of the application.

14.1.4.    For Rule 14.1.1 (b), the Call-in Window shall be for a minimum period of twenty-one (21) days of the date of the letter of consultation advising them of the application.

14.1.5.    For Rule 14.1.1 (c), the Call-in Window shall be for a minimum period of twenty-one (21) days of the date of the weekly list advising them of the application.

14.1.6.    For Rules 14.1.1 (b) and (c), the Call-in Window shall extend to the period of six (6) weeks unless such a delay in exercising the call-in is likely, in all the circumstances known at the time of receipt, to cause a failure to determine the application in time, where that failure would not have occurred had the call-in been exercised within twenty-one (21) days.

14.2.     Referral of Enforcement Matters to the Planning Committee

14.2.1.    A Member may use a Member Agenda Item Request to refer to the Planning Committee an act or omission of the Council in respect of enforcement following an alleged breach of planning control.

14.2.2.    Such a request may be rejected by the Proper Officer, in consultation with the Committee Chairman and vice-Chair where: -

(a)         Enforcement issues in respect of the matter complained of has already been addressed at the Committee, the Committee took no action and requested no further update, and there have been no clear material developments that might reasonably lead to a different conclusion by the Committee;

(b)         The matter complained of is the subject of an extant planning application, an appeal before the Planning Inspector, or proceedings have been issued in the Courts, unless the Chairman and vice-Chair judge that the matter nevertheless warrants discussion.

14.2.3.    The procedure further differs from other Member Agenda Item Requests: -

(a)         Where reasonable notice is given of the Member Agenda Item Request, Planning Officers should endeavour to provide a short report.

(b)         The Member raising the matter, unless themselves a Member on the Planning Committee, is limited to addressing the meeting with a single three (3) minute statement.

14.3.     Public speaking at Planning Committee meetings

14.3.1.    If a planning application is to be determined by the Planning Committee and a speaker wishes to address the Committee in respect of that application, he/she must give notice of that request to the proper Officer by 4 p.m. on the working day before the relevant meeting.

14.3.2.    The following speakers will be allowed to address the Committee for each planning application or enforcement matter (except exempt reports) in the following order: -

(a)         Parished Areas

An Objector

A petitioner, or a representative of a Residents’ Association or Amenity Group, or an individual objector.

A representative of the appropriate Parish Councils

Where a representative of the Parish Council does not register to speak, a concerned resident may speak with the Chairman’s discretion.

*The applicant or his/her representative

The applicant or his or her representative (incl. a supporter),  or a petitioner, or a representative of a Residents’ Association or Amenity Group.

 

(b)         Non-Parished Areas

A representative of a Residents’ Association/Amenity Group

Where a representative of a Residents’ Association or Amenity Group does not register to speak, a concerned resident may speak with the Chairman’s discretion.

An Objector

A petitioner, or a representative of a second Residents’ Association or Amenity Group, or an individual objector.

*The applicant or his or her representative

The applicant or his or her representative (including a supporter), or a petitioner, or a representative of a second or third Residents’ Association or Amenity Group.

* The applicant or his or her representative would have priority.

 

14.3.3.    In order to avoid repetition, a petitioner may present a petition but the appropriate speaker slot will be forfeited. A petitioner may speak for three minutes.

14.3.4.    Each category of speaker will be limited to three (3) minutes to address the Committee. He/she will not be allowed to ask a supplementary question, make a supplementary statement and will not be cross examined. Also, no written material or photographs may be handed out at the meeting.

14.3.5.    When more than one person wants to speak for or against a planning application or more than one amenity group or organisation or residents’ association wishes to speak for or against a planning application, the first person or group to register their wish to speak will be afforded that right. However, the Proper Officer shall keep a reserve list of speakers for each application. If, at the meeting the original speaker is not in attendance, a speaker from the reserve list, depending on if the original speaker was a supporter or objector, i.e. an objector replaces an objector, taken in the order which they registered their right to speak shall be invited to address the Committee.

14.3.6.    In addition to the public speakers above, Visiting Members may address the Planning Committee for three (3) minutes on individual matters but should give the same notice of their intention to speak to the Head of Policy, Communications and Governance as members of the public. If they do not do so, the application will not be brought forward on the agenda.

14.3.7.    Visiting Members should sit away from the body of the Committee.

14.3.8.    An objector or applicant may be represented by an agent at the Committee.

14.4.     Visiting Members –Planning Committee

In respect of the Planning Committee, if a visiting Member gives the requisite notification to the Proper Officer by 4.00 p.m. on the day preceding the meeting, the Chairman shall seek to give the relevant application some priority in the meeting, otherwise the application will be dealt with in the normal course of the meeting.

14.5.     Deferral of planning decisions

It is likely that from time to time the Planning Committee will defer a decision to a future meeting of the Committee, in order to enable the Officers to report back on any areas of concern raised by the Committee. Minor applications should only be deferred if there is a need for additional information or if there are disputed facts within the report, otherwise they should be determined as reported with the proviso that there may be occasions when the Planning Officers may seek deferral/withdrawal of an application or to implement the agreed procedures for dealing with cases where they believe that the proposed reasons for refusal are unsustainable. On the second occasion that the matter is discussed at Committee, a decision must be made.

14.6.     Planning Decisions which have significant cost implications

14.6.1.    If during consideration of an application, after a motion has been proposed and seconded, the Head of Planning and Development or their representative, in consultation with the Legal Officer present at the meeting, believes that the Planning Committee’s reasons to justify refusal/the imposition of conditions would not be sustainable at appeal and would more likely than not cause significant costs to be incurred by the Council because of unreasonable behaviour, then they will inform the Committee that if the motion is agreed it will stand deferred to the next meeting of the Committee. Following the vote, if the motion is agreed the decision will be deferred to the next meeting of the committee. The Committee itself may also agree to defer consideration of an application for the same reasons.

14.6.2.    For the purposes of this rule significant cost is defined as the Chief Finance Officer’s virement limit set out in the Financial Procedure Rules within this Constitution and relates to any punitive award of costs granted against the Council by the Planning Inspectorate or Secretary of State for unreasonable behaviour.

14.6.3.    For the purposes of this Rule 14.6, unreasonable behaviour is defined as set out in the National Planning Guidance and/or any Guidance issued by the Planning Inspectorate or Secretary of State.

 


 

C3.           Executive Procedure Rules

1.                  INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE

1.1.         The Rules in this Chapter regulate the business of the Executive and its decision-making.  They may be cited as the Executive Procedure Rules.

1.2.         The purpose of these Rules is to ensure that the Executive: -

1.2.1.       Functions smoothly and efficiently;

1.2.2.       Is transparent in its proceedings and its decision-making;

1.2.3.       Remains accessible to Members who are not on the Executive and to Local Residents;

1.2.4.       Makes most its decisions only after consideration by another Member body.

2.                  OPERATION OF THE EXECUTIVE

2.1.         Background to Executive Decisions

The arrangements for the discharge of Executive Functions may be set out in the Executive arrangements adopted by the Council. If they are not set out there, then the Leader may decide how they are to be exercised. In either case, the arrangements or the Leader may provide for Executive Functions to be discharged by:

2.1.1.       The Executive as a whole;

2.1.2.       A committee of the Executive;

2.1.3.       An individual Member on the Executive;

2.1.4.       An Officer;

2.1.5.       Joint Arrangements; or

2.1.6.       Another local authority.

2.2.         Delegation of Functions

2.2.1.       At the Annual Meeting of the Council, the Leader will present to the Council for adoption a written statement of delegations in respect of Executive Functions.  This shall be included in the Council's scheme of delegation in Part B of this Constitution. The document presented by the Leader shall specify the following in respect of Executive Functions in relation to the coming year:

(a)         the extent of any authority to be delegated to Executive Members individually, including details of the limitation on their authority;

(b)         the terms of reference and Constitution of such Executive committees as the Leader recommends be appointed and the names of Members on the Executive to be appointed to them;

(c)          the nature and extent of any intended delegation of Executive Functions to any other authority or any Joint Arrangements and the names of those Executive Members to be appointed to any joint committee for the coming year; and

(d)         any changes in the delegation of Executive Functions to Officers and to any limitations on that delegation.

2.2.2.       The Leader may amend the delegations at any time but must notify the Proper Officer who will report any changes to the Council and the Constitution will be amended accordingly.

2.3.         Sub-delegation of Executive Functions

2.3.1.       Where the Executive, a Committee of the Executive or an individual Member on the Executive is responsible for Executive Functions, they may delegate further to Joint Arrangements or an Officer

2.3.2.       Even where Executive Functions have been delegated, that fact does not prevent the discharge of delegated functions by the person or body who delegated the functions.

2.4.         Conflicts of Interest

Unless a dispensation to vote has been given:

2.4.1.       Where the Leader has a conflict of interest this should be dealt with as set out in the Council's Code of Conduct for Members in Chapter D1 of this Constitution.

2.4.2.       If every Member on the Executive has a conflict of interest this should be dealt with as set out in the Council's Code of Conduct for Members in Chapter D1 of this Constitution.

2.4.3.       If the exercise of an Executive Function has been delegated to a Committee of the Executive, an individual Member or an Officer, and should a conflict of interest arise, then the function will be exercised in the first instance by the person or body by whom the delegation was made and otherwise as set out in the Council's Code of Conduct for Members in Chapter D1 of this Constitution.

2.5.         Manner of Decision Making

2.5.1.       Key Decisions may only be made by the Executive or individual executive members (where authorised by the Leader).  Where Key Decisions or Other Material Decisions are made by the Executive or by an individual Member on the Executive they shall only be made:

(a)         At a public meeting of the Executive or other public meeting arranged for the purposes of an individual Member on the Executive making one or more such decisions.

(b)         Save for urgent matters, where the matter has been considered and/or referred to the Executive by another Member body.

2.5.2.       Where Executive decisions are delegated to a committee of the Executive, the rules applying to Executive decisions taken by them shall be the same as those applying to those taken by the Executive as a whole

2.5.3.       Key Decisions and Other Material Decisions may only be made where the Access to Information Procedure Rules have been complied with.

2.5.4.       The powers of an individual Member on the Executive shall be exercised by them personally save where they are unable to act owing to absence or illness, when they may be exercised on their behalf by another Member on the Executive who has been nominated for the purpose by the Leader and the Proper Officer has been given written notice of such nomination.

2.5.5.       A Key Decision or Other Material Decision does not take effect until it has been signed by the Leader or a Member on the Executive, this may be in the form of a digital signature.

3.                  CONDUCT OF MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE

3.1.         Time and Place of Meetings of the Executive

The Executive will be scheduled to meet at least eight (8) times per year in the Calendar of Meetings to be agreed by resolution of the Council. The Executive shall meet at the Town Hall or any other location within the Borough to be determined by the Leader.

3.2.         Public Access to meetings of the Executive

All meetings of the Executive will be open to the public, unless the item under discussion is likely to lead to the disclosure of Confidential or Exempt Information per the Access to Information Procedure Rules. 

3.3.         Chairing of Meetings

If the Leader is present they will chair the meeting. In his or her absence, then a person appointed to do so by those Members on the Executive present shall chair the meeting.

3.4.         Quorum

The quorum of a meeting of the Executive, or a committee of it, shall be three Members of the Executive.

3.5.         Attendance

3.5.1.       Any Member of the Council may attend any Executive meeting. Members of the Council who are not members of the Executive may attend meetings of the Executive and any committee of the Executive including any part of any meeting closed to the public in accordance with the Access to Information Rules at the discretion of the chair where in his or her opinion, having considered the advice of the Monitoring Officer or their representative at the meeting, the member has a need to know in relation to the item being considered in private.  Members may speak as Visiting Members to an item where they have given written notice of their intention to do so to the Proper Officer by 4pm on the day one (1) Clear Day before the meeting.

3.5.2.       Members of the public may attend any Executive meeting, except when Confidential or Exempt Information is being discussed and, save for the Rules below in respect of Questions by Local Residents and Petitions, may address the meeting for up to three (3) minutes where they have given written notice of their intention to do so to the Proper Officer by 4pm on the day one (1) Clear Day before the meeting.

3.5.3.       The Proper Officer, the Chief Finance Officer and the Monitoring Officer and their nominees are entitled to attend any meeting of the Executive or a committee of the Executive.

3.6.         Business of Meetings

At each meeting of the Executive the following business will be conducted:

3.6.1.       Consideration of the minutes of the last meeting;

3.6.2.       Declarations of interest, if any;

3.6.3.       Petitions;

3.6.4.       Questions on Notice from Local Residents;

3.6.5.       Questions on Notice from Members;

3.6.6.       Matters referred to the Executive (whether by the Overview & Scrutiny committee or by the Council) for reconsideration by the Executive in accordance with the provisions contained in the Overview & Scrutiny Procedure Rules;

3.6.7.       Issues arising from Overview & Scrutiny;

3.6.8.       Matters referred by any other Committee;

3.6.9.       Any matter relating to a serious service failure or Nuisance referred by at least three (3) Members of the Council, where written notice has other been given in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 6.1 (“Member Agenda Item Requests”);

3.6.10.    Receipt of written representations from Members of the Council; and

3.6.11.    Matters for decision set out in the agenda for the meeting, and which shall indicate which Key Decisions are and which are not in accordance with the Access to Information Procedure rules set out in Part C of this Constitution.

3.7.         Consultation

All reports to the Executive from any Members of the Executive or an Officer on proposals relating to the Budget and Policy Framework must contain details of the nature and extent of consultation carried out with stakeholders, the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and the relevant Policy Advisory Committee(s), and the outcome of that consultation.

3.8.         Meeting Agenda

3.8.1.       Any Member on the Executive may require the Proper Officer to ensure that an item is placed on the agenda of the next available meeting of the Executive for consideration whether or not authority has been delegated to the Executive, a committee of the Executive, any individual Member on the Executive, or Officer in respect of that matter.

3.8.2.       The Proper Officer will ensure that an item is placed on the agenda of the next appropriate meeting of the Executive where the Overview & Scrutiny Committee or the Full Council have resolved that an item be considered by the Executive.

3.8.3.       If the volume of business for any one meeting appears excessive, the Leader, in consultation with the Proper Officer, may defer consideration to the next appropriate meeting except that items placed on the agenda by the Council may not be deferred if the Council requires them to be considered at that meeting.

3.9.         Voting at Executive Meetings

The Executive will decide all matters before it by simple majority. The Leader or, in his or her absence, other Member chairing the meeting, will have a second or casting vote in the event of a tie.  There will be no restriction on how this casting vote is used.  If any Member on the Executive present at the meeting demands it, the names for and against the motion or amendment or abstaining from voting will be taken down in writing and entered into the minutes.

3.10.     Disturbance

3.10.1.    If a member of the public interrupt’s proceedings, the Leader (or other Member chairing the meeting) will warn the person concerned. If they continue to interrupt, the Leader (or other Member chairing the meeting) will order their removal from the meeting room.

3.10.2.    If there is a general disturbance in any part of the meeting room open to the public, the Leader (or other Member chairing the meeting) may call for that part to be cleared.

3.11.     Substitution

There shall be no substitution at any meeting of the Executive.  Any Member on the Executive may, with the prior approval of the Leader which shall be notified to the Proper Officer, act as a substitute for another Member on the Executive at a meeting of a sub-committee of the Executive.

4.                  PETITIONS AT EXECUTIVE MEETINGS

4.1.         Appendix A of the Council Procedure Rules on the Council’s Petitions Scheme sets out the nature of those petitions received by the Council that are to be considered by the Executive.

4.2.         No more than three (3) petitions may be presented per meeting.

4.3.         Where a petition is presented: -

4.3.1.       Only one person may speak to a petition for a maximum of five (5) minutes. They should have signed the petition, be a Local Resident and be a supporter of the body submitting the petition.  This may include someone acting for that petitioner in a professional capacity.

4.3.2.       A debate will take place on the petition.

4.3.3.       The petitioner will have an opportunity to speak for a further period of three (3) minutes responding to the issues raised in the debate.

4.3.4.       Where the petition relates to another item on the agenda, the matter should then be dealt with alongside that other agenda item.

4.3.5.       Where the petition is not dealt with by another item on the agenda, the Executive may resolve: -

(a)         To request an Officer’s Report be provided to a future meeting, at which point it will be treated as any other agenda item with an Officer’s Report;

(b)         To conclude the debate with no further action agreed for the time being.

4.4.         Petitions which are not to be presented in person at a meeting of the pertinent Committee will be reported to it. Debate and determination shall take place as per Rule 4.3 above, save that there will be no speeches by a presenter.

4.5.         Where a Policy Advisory Committee has debated a Petition concerning an Executive Function and has resolved to send the matter to the Executive, that item shall be dealt with like any other agenda item.

5.                  QUESTIONS ON NOTICE AT MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE

5.1.         Appendix B of the Council Procedure Rules (“Questions on Notice”) shall apply to meetings of the Executive.  It sets out the process for giving notice of such questions prior to the Executive meeting and record-keeping subsequent to the meeting.

5.2.         At any meeting of the Executive, the session for Questions on Notice from Local Residents shall be limited to 30 minutes and the session for such questions from Member shall be limited to 15 minutes.

5.3.         The questions may be asked of the Leader or of any individual Lead Member and must concern the business of the Council in so far as it relates to Executive Functions.

 

5.4.         Order of Questions

Questions will be asked of the relevant Members in the order that notice of them was received, except that the Leader may group together similar questions.

5.5.         Posing a Question at the Meeting

The Leader will invite the questioner to put the question to the Member named in the notice. If a questioner who has submitted a written question is unable to be present, they may ask the Leader to put the question on their behalf, in which event the answer given by the relevant Member shall also be written and sent to the questioner.

5.6.         Supplementary Questions

A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the Member who has replied to his or her original question.  A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.  The Leader may reject a supplementary question if it would not have been allowed as a Question on Notice or because it does not arise directly out of the question or reply.

5.7.         Nature of Reply

The form and content of reply to an original or a supplementary question will be at the discretion of the Member giving the reply, unless in respect of an original question a written request has been received specifying a specific form of reply or replies. He/she may decline to give a full or any reply if in his or her opinion to do so would involve an unreasonable amount of labour or cost.

6.                  CALL-IN

6.1.         When a decision (other than a Minor decision) is taken by the Executive, an individual Member on the Executive, a committee of the Executive, or made by an Officer with delegated authority from the Executive, or an Area Committee or under Joint Arrangements, that decision shall be notified to all members of the Council as soon as possible after it is taken (normally within two working days) and shall be made available at the main offices of the Council.

6.2.         That notice will bear the date on which it is published and will specify that the decision will come into force and may then be implemented on the expiry of five (5) working days after publication of the decision unless it is called in.

6.3.         During that period the Proper Officer shall call in a decision for scrutiny by the committee if so requested by:

6.3.1.       the Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee; or

6.3.2.       any three (3) Members of the Council.

Such a request must be made in writing and must state the reason the call-in is believed to be necessary. On receipt of such a request within five (5) working days of publication of the decision, the Proper Officer shall notify the decision-taker of the call-in and shall within five (5) working days of the expiry of the call-in period, call a meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. Pending that meeting, the decision shall stand deferred and shall not be implemented.

6.4.         If, having considered the decision, the Overview & Scrutiny Committee is still concerned about it, then it may refer it back to the decision-making person or body for reconsideration, setting out in writing the nature of its concerns or refer the matter to Full Council. If referred to the decision maker they shall then reconsider it, amending the decision or not, before adopting a final decision.

6.5.         If following a call-in of the decision, the Overview & Scrutiny Committee does not refer the matter either to Council or back to the decision-making person or body, the decision shall take effect on the date of the Overview & Scrutiny meeting.

6.6.         If the matter was referred to Full Council and the Council does not object to a decision which has been made, then no further action is necessary and the decision will be effective in accordance with the Rule 6.7 below. However, if the Council does object, it has no locus to make decisions in respect of an Executive decision unless it is contrary to the policy framework, or contrary to or not wholly consistent with the budget. Unless that is the case, the Council will refer any decision to which it objects back to the decision-making person or body, together with the Council’s views on the decision. That decision making body or person shall choose whether to amend the decision or not before reaching a final decision and implementing it.

6.7.         If the Council does not decide to refer the decision back to the decision-making body or person, the decision shall take effect on the date of the Council meeting.

6.8.         A decision-making person or body can be required to reconsider any particular decision only once.

7.                  Call-in and Urgency

7.1.         The call-in procedure set out above shall not apply where the decision being taken by the Executive is urgent. A decision will be urgent if any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public’s interest. The record of the decision and notice by which it is made public shall state whether, in the opinion of the decision-making person or body, the decision is an urgent one, and therefore not subject to call-in. The decision proposed shall be regarded as reasonable in all the circumstances and be treated as a matter of urgency unless the Chairman of Overview & Scrutiny and the political group leaders by simple majority, disagree.  Decisions taken as a matter of urgency must be reported to the next appropriate meeting of the Council by the Proper Officer, together with the reasons for urgency.

7.2.         The operation of the provisions relating to call-in and urgency shall be monitored annually, and a report submitted to Council with proposals for review if necessary.

8.                  CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS BY THE EXECUTIVE

8.1.         If the Proper Officer refers an Overview & Scrutiny Committee report to Council, he/she shall also serve a copy on the Leader with notice that the matter is to be referred to Council. When the Council meets to consider any referral from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on a matter which would have an impact on the budget and policy framework, it shall also consider the response of the Executive on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee proposals.

8.2.         Overview & Scrutiny Committee will have access to the Executive’s forward plan and timetable for decisions and intentions for consultation. Even where an item is not the subject of detailed proposals from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee following a consideration of possible policy/service developments, the committee will at least be able to respond in the course of the Executive’s consultation process in relation to any key decision.

9.                  APPOINTMENT TO OUTSIDE BODIES

9.1.         The Executive is responsible for the appointment of representatives to all Outside Bodies, except those within the remit of the Democracy & General Purposes Committee. The list of Outside Bodies can be found in Appendix C to the Council Procedure Rules.

 

 


 

C4.           Access to Information Procedure Rules

1.                  SCOPE

1.1.         These rules apply to all meetings of the Council, Committees, Panels and Sub-Committees including meetings of the Executive and its sub-committees (together called meetings).

1.2.         Whilst these rules set out the rights of members of the Council and members of the public to (1) attend member meetings and (2) to see Council documents, the statutory schemes are complex and take precedence in the event of any conflict with the rules.

2.                  ADDITIONAL RIGHTS TO INFORMATION

2.1.         These Rules do not affect any more specific rights to information given elsewhere in this Constitution or by the law.

3.                  RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO ATTEND AND RECORD MEETINGS

3.1.         Members of the public may attend all meetings subject only to the exceptions in these Rules and subject to the lawful power to exclude members of the public in order to maintain orderly conduct or to prevent misbehaviour at a meeting, or in the interests of health and safety.  

3.2.         Members of the public attending meetings of the Council and Committees in open session may record the meeting using whatever non-disruptive methods that they consider appropriate, including filming, photographing, audio recording and use of social media.

3.3.         Recording of any part of a meeting held in closed session is not permitted. Anyone filming a meeting is asked to only focus on those actively participating.

3.4.         All attendees should be made aware that they may be filmed or recorded whilst attending a meeting and that attendance at the meeting amounts to consent to this.

3.5.         The Chairman of the meeting has the discretion to halt any recording for a number of reasons including disruption caused by the filming, recording or its transmission or the nature of the business being conducted.

3.6.         Questions should be addressed to the Democratic Services Team at committeeservices@maidstone.gov.uk (members of the press should contact the Press Office).

 

 

4.                  EXCLUSION OF ACCESS BY THE PUBLIC TO MEETINGS

 

4.1.         Confidential information – requirement to exclude public. 

The public must be excluded from meetings whenever it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that Confidential Information, or information subject to any other duty of confidentiality which should not be disclosed to the public, would be disclosed.

4.2.         Exempt information – discretion to exclude public.

4.2.1.       The public may be excluded from meetings whenever it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that exempt information (see below) would be disclosed.

4.2.2.       Where a meeting will determine any person’s civil rights or obligations, or adversely affect their possessions Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 establishes a presumption that the meeting will be held in public unless a private hearing is necessary for one of the reasons specified in Article 6, or the person who is the subject of the hearing requests that the matter is determined in private and no other consideration outweighs that request.

4.3.         Meaning of Confidential Information.

Confidential Information means information given to the Council by a Government Department on terms which forbid its public disclosure, or information which cannot be disclosed to the public by Court Order.

4.4.         Meaning of Exempt Information. 

Exempt Information means information falling within the following categories and not subject to any of the conditions:

Category

1.

Information relating to any individual.

2.

Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

3.

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).*

4.

Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and any employees of, or office holders under, the authority.

5.

Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

6.

Information which reveals that the authority proposes:-

a)   to give under any enactment a notice under or by virtue of which requirements are imposed on a person; or

b)   to make an order or direction under any enactment.

7.

Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention investigation or prosecution of crime.

 

4.5.               Conditions

4.5.1.       C (1) Information falling within paragraph 3 above is not exempt information by virtue of that paragraph if it is required to be registered under—

(a)         the Companies Acts (as defined in section 2 of the Companies Act 2006);

(b)         the Friendly Societies Act 1974;

(c)          the Friendly Societies Act 1992;

(d)         the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014;

(e)         the Building Societies Act 1986; or

(f)           the Charities Act 2011.

4.5.2.       C (2) Information is not exempt if it relates to proposed development for which the Local Planning Authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General) Regulations 1992.

4.5.3.       C (3) Information which—

(a)         (a)     falls within any of paragraphs 1 to 7; and

(b)         (b)     is not prevented from being exempt by virtue of conditions (1) or (2)

(c)          is exempt information if and so long, as in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

5.                  NOTICES OF MEETINGS

5.1.         The Council will give at least five (5) Clear Days' notice of any meeting by posting details of the meeting at the offices of the Council unless the meeting is called at shorter notice, when details of the meeting will be posted as soon as it is called. This is subject to additional rules in the case of Key Decisions by the Executive which are referred to at 11 below.

6.                  RIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC TO ACCESS TO AGENDA AND REPORTS BEFORE THE MEETING

6.1.         The Council will make copies of the agenda and reports open to the public available for inspection at the designated office at least five (5) Clear Days before the meeting.  If an item is added to the agenda later, the revised agenda will be open to inspection from the time the item was added to the agenda.  Where reports are prepared after the summons has been sent out, the Proper Officer shall make each such report available to the public as soon as the report is completed and sent to Members.  Agendas and papers may be viewed on the Council’s website.

7.                  RIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC TO SUPPLY OF COPIES

The Council will supply copies of:

7.1.         Any agenda and reports which are open to public inspection;

7.2.         Any further statements or particulars necessary to indicate the nature of the items in the agenda; and

7.3.         If the Proper Officer thinks fit, copies of any other documents supplied to Members in connection with an item

7.4.         To any person on payment of a charge for postage and any other costs, or electronically without charge.

8.                  RIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC TO ACCESS TO MINUTES ETC. AFTER THE MEETING

8.1.         The Council will make available for public inspection copies of the following for six (6) years after a meeting:

8.1.1.       the minutes of the meeting or records of decisions taken, together with reasons, excluding any part of the minutes of proceedings when the meeting was not open to the public or which disclose Exempt Information or Confidential Information or information subject to any other duty of confidentiality;

8.1.2.       a summary of any proceedings not open to the public where the minutes open to inspection would not provide a reasonably fair and coherent record;

8.2.         the agenda for the meeting; and

8.3.         reports relating to items when the meeting was open to the public.

9.                  BACKGROUND PAPERS

9.1.         The author of a report will set out in every report which is not Confidential Information or Exempt Information or subject to any other duty of confidentiality a list of those documents (“Background Papers”) relating to the subject matter of the report and where they can be inspected which in his or her opinion:

9.1.1.       Disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based; and

9.1.2.       Which have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report;

9.1.3.       But this does not include published works or those which disclose Exempt or Confidential information or information subject to any other duty of confidentiality.

9.2.             Public inspection of Background Papers. 

The Council will make available for public inspection for four years after the date of the meeting a copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers.

10.              EXCLUSION OF ACCESS BY THE PUBLIC TO REPORTS

10.1.     Where reports are likely to contain Exempt or Confidential Information or information subject to any other duty of confidentiality requiring it not to be disclosed, those Officers preparing them shall attempt to structure them in such a manner as to separate such information in sections, appendices or annexes away from key information concerning the matter and any decision to be made.

10.2.     If the Proper Officer thinks fit, the Council may exclude access by the public to reports, or to parts of reports, which in his or her opinion contain information which, in accordance with Rule 4, the meeting would be likely to enter a closed session in order to discuss.  Such reports or appendices will be marked “Not for publication” together with the category of information likely to be disclosed.

11.              DECISIONS BY THE EXECUTIVE

11.1.     Rules 1–10 apply to the Executive and its committees.

11.2.     Subject to Rule 15 (general exception) and Rule 16 (special urgency), a Key Decision may not be taken unless: -

11.2.1.    A Notice of Forthcoming Key Decisions has been published in connection with the matter in question at least 28 clear days before the key decision is made;

11.2.2.    Where the decision is to be taken at a meeting of the executive or its committees, notice of the meeting has been given in accordance with Rule 4 (notice of meetings).

11.3.     Contents of Notice of Forthcoming Key Decisions

11.3.1.    The Notice of Forthcoming Key Decisions will contain matters which will be subject of a key decision to be taken by the Executive, a committee or area committee of the executive, individual members of the executive, officers, or under joint arrangements in the course of the discharge of an executive function.

11.3.2.    It will describe the following particulars in so far as the information is available or might reasonably be obtained:

(a)         The matter in respect of which a key decision is to be made;

(b)         Where the decision maker is an individual, their name and title, if any and where the decision maker is a body, its name and details of membership;

(c)          The date on which, or the period within which, the decision will be taken;

(d)         A list of the documents submitted to the decision maker for consideration in relation to the matter;

(e)         The address from which, subject to any prohibition or restriction on their disclosure, copies of or extracts from any document listed is available;

(f)           That other documents relevant to those matters may be submitted to the decision maker; and

(g)         The procedure for requesting details of those documents (if any) as they become available. It will also state that a Key Decision is about to be made on behalf of the Council.

11.4.     Publication of Notice of Forthcoming Key Decisions

At least 28 clear days before a key decision is made, the Notice of Forthcoming Key Decisions referring to that decision must be made available for inspection by the public at the offices of the Council and on the website, this will take the form of a Forward Plan and will include other material decisions. 

11.5.     Urgency

Where the publication of the intention to make a Key Decision is impracticable, the decision may only be made if:

11.5.1.    The Proper Officer has given notice to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, or if there is no such person, each Member on that committee in writing, by notice, of the matter about which the decision is to be made and why compliance with Rule 11.4 is impracticable;

11.5.2.    The Proper Officer has made a copy of that notice available to the public at the offices of the Council and published it on the website; and

11.5.3.    At least five (5) clear days have elapsed since the Proper Officer complied with Rules 11.5.1.

11.5.4.    As soon as reasonably practicable after the Proper Officer has carried out the steps in 11.5.1 and 11.5.2 he or she must:

(a)         Make Available at the Council offices a notice setting out the reasons why compliance with 11.2.1 and 11.3.1 is impracticable

(b)         Publish that notice on the Council’s website.

11.6.     Special Urgency

11.6.1.    If by virtue of the date by which a key decision must be taken, Rule 11.55 cannot be followed then the decision can only be taken if the decision maker obtains the agreement of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee or, if they are unable to act, of the Mayor or Deputy Mayor that the making of the decision is urgent and cannot reasonably be deferred.

11.6.2.    As soon as reasonably practicable after obtaining the above agreement, a notice setting out the reasons that the decision is urgent and cannot reasonably be deferred shall be made available to the public at the offices of the Council and published on the website.

12.              JOINT ARRANGEMENTS

12.1.     If all the members of a joint committee are Members on the Executive in each of the participating authorities then its access to information regime is the same as that applied to the Executive of the lead authority.

12.2.     If the joint committee contains members who are not on the Executive of any participating authority then the access to information rules in Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972 will apply.

13.              OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEES ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

13.1.     Subject to Rule 13.2 below, Overview and Scrutiny Committee (and its sub-committees) will be entitled to copies of any document which is in the possession or control of the Executive (or its committees) and which contains material relating to:

13.1.1.    Any business transacted at a public or private meeting of the Executive or its committees; or

13.1.2.    Any decision taken by an individual Member on the Executive; or

13.1.3.    Any decision taken by an officer of the authority exercising an Executive function.

13.2.     Limit on rights

An overview and scrutiny committee will not be entitled to:

13.2.1.    Any document that is in draft form;

13.2.2.    Any part of a document that contains Exempt Information or Confidential Information, unless that information is relevant to an action or decision they are reviewing or scrutinising or to any review contained in any programme of work of the committee; or

13.2.3.    The advice of a political adviser.

13.3.     Copies of documents requested under this rule must be supplied within 10 clear days of receipt of the request. Where the Executive determines that a member of an overview and scrutiny committee is not entitled to a copy of a document or part of any such document it must provide the overview and scrutiny committee with a written statement setting out its reasons for that decision.

14.              MEMBERS’ RIGHTS TO INSPECT DOCUMENTS AND TAKE COPIES

14.1.     An elected Member is entitled by virtue of his or her office to have access to all documents in the Council’s possession where it contains information which he/she has a need to know, and where the need to know is not outweighed by any other legal duties which would normally require the document not to be provided to the Member, such as Data Protection law and confidentiality duties.    All members will have any additional rights to access information provided by section 100F of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

14.2.     All information obtained from an inspection and any copy document received shall be treated as confidential to the Member and shall be for his or her use as a Member of the Council only.

15.              Determination

15.1.     Any question on the right of a member to access documents shall in the first instance be determined by the Proper Officer.  The member shall complete a written declaration setting out why they believe that they have a need to know the information.  Where the information is to be provided to a Member meeting, this declaration shall be provided to the Proper Officer at least three clear working days before the meeting at which the material is to be considered.

15.2.     If the Proper Officer is satisfied that the member has the need to know the information the member will be provided with that information unless the need to know is outweighed by any other legal duties which would normally require the document not to be provided to the Member.  If the Proper Officer determines that the member does not have the need to know and is not otherwise entitled to the information, and the information is to be provided to a Member meeting, then the member may raise a request with the member body which is considering the information to which the request relates.  That member body will consider the member’s request and declaration and the Proper Officer’s reasons for declining the request and shall determine whether the Member has a need to know in accessing any part of that meeting held in closed session or any papers for that meeting.  In reaching its decision the member body shall take legal advice from the Monitoring Officer or his/her representative at the meeting.  The member body decision will be made at the meeting in private session at the meeting where the information is being considered by it or at the first available meeting after the member’s request has been determined by the Proper Officer.

16.              Considerations

16.1.     Provision 3.4 of Chapter A2 provides the circumstances in which Members would be likely to have the need-to-know information.

16.2.     Other considerations which must be taken into account in reaching a decision on whether to provide the information to the Member making the request include:

16.2.1.    Where the Council has been given information by a Government Department on terms which preclude disclosure to individual Members or information the disclosure of which to the public is prohibited by or under any enactment or by the order of a court;

16.2.2.    Where the information or document sought is about an individual or contains personal data and the proposed disclosure would not accord with the principles relating to lawful processing of personal date in Article 5. UK GDPR;

16.2.3.    Where the information concerns a matter in which the Member has a Disclosable Pecuniary or other Interest;

16.2.4.    Where disclosure is sought for a purpose other than a material purpose connected with the Council's exercise of its functions;

16.2.5.    Where disclosure could give rise to a breach of a duty of confidence owed by the Council to a third party; or

16.2.6.    Where disclosure could prejudice any tender being carried out by the Council or negotiations between the Council and another party on the terms of a proposed contract.

16.3.     Consideration should be given to other methods of safeguarding information before elected Members are refused access to information and documents.  These other methods include: -

16.3.1.    Redacting personal and/or commercial data from any document;

16.3.2.    Allowing Members to inspect documents at the Council’s offices, with or without the ability to make notes, but without taking copies; and

16.3.3.    Requiring personal undertakings from Members as to confidentiality before providing information or documents on an individual basis.

17.              Monitoring

The Proper Officer shall report annually to the Democracy & General Purposes Committee on the functioning of these Rules in respect of Members’ Access to Information, including the number of instances where requests were declined and the rationale for such decisions.

 


 

C5.           Maidstone Crime & Disorder Reduction Rules

1.                  Introduction

1.1.         The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires various 'Responsible Authorities' to work together to develop and implement a Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy for the area as well as a strategy for combatting the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances and a strategy for reducing re-offending. The Responsible Authorities are the Council, along with:

1.1.1.       Kent County Council;

1.1.2.       Kent Police and Crime Commissioner;

1.1.3.       Kent Chief Constable;

1.1.4.       Kent Fire and Rescue Authority;

1.1.5.       Clinical Commissioning Groups; and

1.1.6.       Probation providers

1.2.         In exercising their functions the Responsible Authorities must also co- operate with various other bodies, known as 'Co-operating Authorities' including:

1.2.1.       Parish Councils

1.2.2.       NHS Trusts/NHS Foundation Trusts

1.2.3.       Governing bodies of schools

1.2.4.       Proprietors of independent schools

1.2.5.       Governing bodies of an institution

1.2.6.       Social landlords

1.3.         The Safer Maidstone Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership fulfils this function.

1.4.         Every local authority must also establish a committee with responsibility for Crime and Disorder matters that has the power to:

1.4.1.       Review decisions made or action taken by the Responsible Authorities in connection with their crime and disorder functions; and

1.4.2.       Make reports or recommendations to the authority with regard to the discharge of these functions.

1.5.         The Council has adopted the following rules and protocols for when the Overview & Scrutiny Committee exercises the crime and disorder functions.

2.                  Working Assumptions

This document assumes:

2.1.         The continued operation of the Police and Justice Act 2006;

2.2.         The continued existence of a Crime and Disorder Committee function within the Maidstone Borough Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee;

2.3.         The existence of a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership for the Borough of Maidstone (currently the Safer Maidstone Partnership);

2.4.         A partnership approach, working with responsible authorities within the Borough (and, where appropriate, beyond) as a “critical friend”.

3.                  Purpose

The purpose of this document is to ensure effective interaction between the Safer Maidstone Partnership and the Crime and Disorder Committee to:

3.1.         Enhance the public accountability of the Safer Maidstone Partnership;

3.2.         Establish acceptable and appropriate ways of working between the two bodies; and

3.3.         Develop and maintain a positive working relationship for the benefit of the residents of the Borough of Maidstone.

4.                  Principles

The protocols are based on the following principles:

4.1.         The Safer Maidstone Partnership should focus on supporting the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour and reducing fear of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough of Maidstone.

4.2.         Safer Maidstone Partnership should seek to minimise any unnecessary additional administrative burdens on responsible authorities.

4.3.         Crime and Disorder Committee agendas need to be developed in conjunction with the Safer Maidstone Partnership.

4.4.         It is the intention of the Crime and Disorder Committee to require the Safer Maidstone Partnership to demonstrate added value in the work it does.

5.                  Statutory Role

The Crime and Disorder Committee has the statutory power to:

5.1.         Consider Member Calls for Action made in relation to community safety matters (that is the ability for any Member to refer a matter to the Crime and Disorder Committee for consideration and for the Committee to place the matter on the agenda and consider the matter);

5.2.         Review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge by the responsible authorities of their crime and disorder functions; and

5.3.         Make reports or recommendations to the local authority with respect to the discharge of those functions.

6.                  Responsibility for Joint Working

Maidstone Borough Council has a responsibility to work with Kent County Council and other district councils on community safety issues where this is possible, for example through joint development of work programmes.

7.                  Communication

7.1.         The Crime and Disorder Committee and the Safer Maidstone Partnership will each nominate a named Officer to be the main point of contact. That Officer will direct all correspondence to the appropriate person.

7.2.         The Democratic Services Team will inform the Safer Maidstone Partnership of all Committee work programmes on a six-monthly basis to give Partners the opportunity to comment on any items that they feel appropriate to their own work. The Safer Maidstone Partnership will also be invited to propose future work items for the Crime and Disorder Committee where it wishes to do so, though the Committee is under no obligation to take these on.

7.3.         The Safer Maidstone Partnership will inform the Crime and Disorder Committee of its forthcoming work on a six-monthly basis and consult the Committee on its work where appropriate. In particular, the Safer Maidstone Partnership should consult the Crime and Disorder Committee on its Partnership Plan.

7.4.         Both parties will inform the other of structure changes and significant changes to priorities or future plans to ensure accuracy of information.

8.                  Information Sharing

8.1.         The Safer Maidstone Partnership will distribute public minutes of full Partnership, Policy group and Strategy group meetings to members of the Crime and Disorder Committee as soon as these are agreed.

8.2.         The Crime and Disorder Committee may also request informal notes of delivery group meetings where this is relevant to work being carried out by the Committee.

8.3.         The Safer Maidstone Partnership is required to respond to requests for information by the Crime and Disorder Committee “as soon as reasonably possible”. These requests from Members should be well focussed and thought through.

8.4.         Information provided to the Crime and Disorder Committee by responsible authorities should be depersonalised and should not include any information that would be reasonably likely to prejudice legal proceedings or current or future operations of the responsible authority. These requirements cannot be bypassed by Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 i.e. by putting an item onto Part II of a committee agenda.

9.                  Meeting Procedures and Protocols

9.1.         The Committee has a duty to meet at least once a year and is recommended to meet at 6 monthly intervals to ensure the ongoing building and maintenance of knowledge.

9.2.         Review task and finish groups may meet outside of these formal meetings with the requirement to report findings in full at a Crime and Disorder designated meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

9.3.         Officers or employees of responsible authorities and co-operating persons or bodies are required to attend meetings of the Crime and Disorder Committee to answer questions or provide information. The Committee will endeavour to give at least one month’s notice to persons requested to attend. The person required must attend on the specified date unless they have a reasonable excuse not to.

9.4.         Prior to meetings between the Crime and Disorder Committee and the Safer Maidstone Partnership, the Democratic Services Team will:

9.4.1.       Agree meeting dates as far in advance as possible;

9.4.2.       Provide meeting paperwork at least 5 working days prior to the meeting;

9.4.3.       Provide the Safer Maidstone Partnership with a list of proposed questions or key areas of inquiry.

9.5.         When representatives of the Safer Maidstone Partnership are invited to attend meetings of the Crime and Disorder Committee, the following protocols will apply:

9.5.1.       Committee Members should endeavour not to request detailed information from representatives of the Safer Maidstone Partnership at meetings of the Committee, unless they have given prior notice through the appropriate Officer. If, in the course of question and answer at a meeting of the Committee, it becomes apparent that further information would be useful, the representative being questioned may be required to submit it in writing to members of the Committee through the appropriate Officer.

9.5.2.       In the course of questioning at meetings, representatives of the Safer Maidstone Partnership may decline to give information or respond to questions on the ground that it is more appropriate that the question be directed to a more senior representative.

9.5.3.       Representatives of the Safer Maidstone Partnership may decline to answer questions in an open session of the Committee on the grounds that the answer might disclose information which would be exempt or confidential as defined in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. In that event, the Committee may resolve to exclude the media and public in order that the question may be answered in private sessions.

9.6.         Committee members may not criticise or adversely comment on any individual representative of the Safer Maidstone Partnership by name.

9.7.         A record will be made of the main statements of witnesses appearing before the Committee and will be agreed with the witness prior to publication or use by the Committee. Committee meetings may be electronically recorded and webcast.

10.              Reporting and Recommendations

10.1.     Section 19(2) of the Police and Justice Act 2006 states that where the Crime and Disorder Committee makes a report or recommendations, a copy shall be provided to each of the Responsible Authorities.

10.2.     In accordance with Section 19(8) of the Police and Justice Act, the authority, person or body to which a copy of the report or recommendations is passed shall:

10.2.1.    Consider the report or recommendations;

10.2.2.    Respond to the Crime and Disorder Committee indicating what (if any) action it proposes to take; and

10.2.3.    Have regard to the report or recommendations in exercising its functions.

10.3.     The relevant partner (or partners, including the full Safer Maidstone Partnership) will have 28 days to formally respond to any recommendations made by the Committee, or if this is not possible as soon as reasonably possible thereafter. The relevant partner(s) will inform the Crime and Disorder Committee Chairman if delays are expected.

10.4.     The Democratic Services Team will ensure that drafts of Committee reports are made available for comment by the Safer Maidstone Partnership Strategy Group and any adverse comments or concerns reported to the Committee before the final report is published.

10.5.     The Chairman of the Safer Maidstone Partnership will be given advance notice of the date of publication of the report and consulted on the text of any accompanying press release.

11.              Co-option

11.1.     The Crime and Disorder Committee may co-opt additional members as it sees appropriate. These co-optees will be non-voting. The relevant Responsible Authority will be consulted as to the most suitable person prior to co-option, and the membership of the co-optee can be withdrawn at any time.

11.2.     In addition to Co-option, the Crime and Disorder Committee will invite the Chief Inspector from Kent Police (Maidstone) to attend committee meetings when items on community safety are being considered.

12.              Changing the Rules and Protocols

These rules and protocols will be reviewed on an annual basis, at the first meeting of the Crime and Disorder Committee each Municipal Year by the Committee and the Safer Maidstone Partnership Chairman to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. The Overview & Scrutiny Committee may change these rules and protocols as considered appropriate and the Monitoring Officer may update these rules (in the same way as the rest of the Council's Constitution) to deal with any changes in legislation and to remove ambiguity or inconsistency etc.

 

 


 

C6.           Financial Procedure Rules

1.                  GENERAL

1.1.         Financial Procedure Rules regulate the Council's financial affairs and maintain an acceptable standard of financial administration. Financial Procedure Rules are Council policy and must be complied with.

1.2.         No exceptions from any of the provisions of these Financial Procedure Rules will be made other than by agreement of the responsible Committee or Officer, whose reasons will be recorded in the decision record.

1.3.         These Financial Procedure Rules should be read in conjunction with the Council's Contract Procedure Rules and delegations to Officers in Part B of the Constitution.

2.                  FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION - RELEVANT LEGISLATION

2.1.         Section 151 Officer

2.1.1.       Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 states "Every Local Authority shall make arrangements for the proper administration of their financial affairs and shall secure that one of their Officers has responsibility for the administration of these affairs”.

2.1.2.       The Chief Finance Officer is, for the purposes of Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972, responsible for the proper administration of the Council's financial affairs.

2.2.         Responsibilities of the Section 151 Officer

2.2.1.       Section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 states the person (referred to as the Chief Finance Officer of the Authority) having responsibility for the administration of the financial affairs of a relevant authority under Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972, shall: -

2.2.2.       Make a report under this section if it appears to him/her that the Authority, the Executive, a Committee or Officer of the Authority, or Joint Committee on which the Authority is represented:-

(a)         has made or is about to make a decision which involves or would involve the Authority incurring expenditure which is unlawful;

(b)         has taken or is about to take a course of action which, if pursued to its conclusion, would be unlawful and likely to cause a loss or deficiency on the part of the Authority; or

(c)          is about to enter an item of account, the entry of which is unlawful.

(d)         Make a report under this section if it appears to him/her that the expenditure of the Authority incurred or to be incurred in a financial year is likely to exceed the resources available to it to meet that expenditure (including sums borrowed).

3.                  ESTIMATES

3.1.         Medium Term Financial Strategy

3.1.1.       The Chief Finance Officer will prepare and maintain a Medium-Term Financial Strategy giving a five year forward assessment (for the next budget year and the following four years) of revenue and capital commitments based on present levels of service and efficiency, and reflecting decisions taken on new commitments.

3.1.2.       Directors and their duly authorised Officers will, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, when giving consideration to significant individual proposals, also give consideration to resulting future commitments.

3.1.3.       Reports to Members will include the following information:

(a)         The revenue consequences of a decision over a five-year period;

(b)         In the case of capital expenditure the results of an options appraisal and the difference between any unique potential funding option and the option as agreed in the Treasury Management Strategy; and

(c)          The implications of the new commitment for the medium-term financial strategy.

3.2.         Annual Estimates

3.2.1.       In order to set a budget requirement as required by Local Government Finance Acts, annual revenue and capital estimates will be submitted by the Chief Finance Officer to the Council for approval. Such estimates will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Chief Finance Officer.

3.2.2.       The Chief Finance Officer will provide annual guidelines including a timetable relating to the production of the annual estimates. Directors and duly authorised Officers will produce all estimates that form part of their service responsibilities strictly in accordance with such guidelines.

3.2.3.       Discretionary fees and charges will be reviewed and fixed each year by the Committee responsible for the function or the Service Director as appropriate having considered a report from the Director or duly authorised Officer in conjunction with the Chief Finance Officer, as part of the estimate cycle.

3.2.4.       In addition, any Officer of the Council will provide any information the Chief Finance Officer requires for the preparation of the annual estimates.

3.2.5.       The relevant Member on the Executive will co-ordinate the estimates and will then make budget recommendations to Council.

3.2.6.       Following approval by the Council the estimates will be used by the Chief Finance Officer, Directors and duly authorised Officers for the control of expenditure and the recovery of income. All monitoring will occur in the Financial Management System.

4.                  AUTHORITY FOR THE INCURRING OF EXPENDITURE

4.1.         General Authority

4.1.1.       Directors and their duly authorised Officers have authority to incur expenditure on items approved within the Council’s Budget. Each Director will be responsible for the supervision of the expenditure of their Directorate and for reporting to the appropriate Committee any proposed expenditure not included, or in excess of, the amount included in their estimate.

4.1.2.       A Committee or Officer will, before incurring any expenditure not included in an approved estimate, consider the use of virement up to the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix between budget heads (also listed at the end of these Rules) or, if virement is not possible, submit to the Committee or Chief Finance Officer a request for a transfer from balances accompanied by a detailed statement in support of the expenditure, as long as the amount being taken from balances does not take balances below the minimum level set by Council. Any amount above or below these figures will require the approval of Council.

4.1.3.       The Chief Finance Officer will keep the income and expenditure of the Council under review and throughout the year give the Committees and    appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer, such information as is necessary.

 

4.2.         Acceptance of Tenders

4.2.1.       The Chief Finance Officer has authority to accept tenders and quotations in excess of the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix on the recommendation of the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer: -

(a)         Directors are authorised to accept tenders and quotations not exceeding the relevant sums shown in the Financial Limits Appendix, subject to the criteria detailed in paragraph 4.2.1 (b) or (c)below.

(b)         If the tender or quotation figure is within the financial provision; or

(c)          Subject to prior consultation with the relevant Member on the Executive including proposals for funding, where:

(i)       The tender or quotation figure is within the financial provision but the lowest tender is not to be accepted; or

(ii)      In the case of construction contracts, although the tender figure exceeds the financial provision it does not exceed such provision by more than 10%.

4.2.2.       Directors are authorised to accept quotations in excess of the limit for quotations shown in the Financial Limits Appendix, referred to in paragraph 4.2.1 above, where:

(a)         The quotation is below the limit set for the Chief Finance Officer;

(b)         The relevant Director is satisfied that, on seeking quotes, it was reasonable to expect a quote would be returned that was within the specified limit for quotations; and

(c)          The quote meets the criteria detailed in paragraph 4.2.1 (b) or (c) above.

4.2.3.       All Committees have authority to incur expenditure, including the acceptance of tenders in excess of the sums shown in the Financial Limits Appendix, when the delegation to the Chief Finance Officer has not been exercised.

4.3.         Revenue Overspending & Virement

When a Director or duly authorised Officer proposes to consider an overspend or under-recovery, the following will apply:

4.3.1.       If a saving cannot be made from the same service budget, then an overspend or under-recovery may only occur if the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer can produce a compensating saving from other service budget(s) under their control, subject to the Chief Finance Officer’s approval to virement. The limit of the Chief Finance Officer’s approval is shown in the attached Financial Limits Appendix;

4.3.2.       The Executive and Committees have the power of deferred virement, which is to spend immediately on projects while accepting the requirement to specifically identify the funding budget at some later time during the financial year. The overall limit for the deferred virement is given in the Financial Limits Appendix;

4.3.3.       Where the authority of the Chief Finance Officer has been exceeded, the Executive and all Committees have authority to approve virement up to the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix;

4.3.4.       The Chief Finance Officer may approve revenue supplementary estimates up to the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix;

4.3.5.       Where the Borough Emergency Coordinator has determined that an emergency exists or an incident has created the need to implement the Council’s Business Continuity Plan, the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, may approve revenue supplementary estimates specific to expenditure on that situation, up to the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix;

4.3.6.       Any proposal outside of 4.3.1 to 4.3.3 above, or not approved by the Chief Finance Officer, will be submitted for the prior approval of the relevant Member on the Executive, accompanied by a financial comment from the Chief Finance Officer on the effects of the proposal.

4.3.7.       After consideration of paragraph 4.8 above, if virement is not possible or is insufficient, a Committee may make a request for a transfer from balances to the relevant Member on the Executive. The request will be accompanied by a detailed statement in support of the expenditure as long as the amount being requested from balances does not reduce the level of balances below the minimum level set by Council. Any amount above these figures will require the approval of Council.

4.3.8.       The Chief Finance Officer will report periodically to the relevant Member on the Executive. on the total amount of virement and transfer from balances already approved during the financial year.

 

 

4.4.         Carry Forward of Resources

4.4.1.       The Chief Finance Officer is authorised to carry forward to the next financial year resources allocated to specific projects which cannot be spent in the existing financial year subject to the following conditions:

(a)         The minimum carry forward is the sum set out in the Financial Limits Appendix;

(b)         The resources carried forward must be capable of being and must be spent within the next financial year; and

(c)          The resources must be allocated to specific projects only and must not be available as unallocated resources or for normal running costs.

4.4.2.       The ability to carry forward resources will not be available if, in overall terms, it has been identified that the cash allocation is overspent.

4.4.3.       The decisions made by the Chief Finance Officer under this delegation must be reported to the relevant Member on the Executive. when the provisional revenue outturn for the previous financial year is reported.

4.4.4.       When the Chief Finance Officer is unwilling to exercise the delegation, the matter will be put to the relevant Member on the Executive. for authority to carry forward the resources.

4.5.         Capital Overspending

4.5.1.       When virement is required it is the responsibility of the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer to find compensating savings on schemes within the Capital Programme. The scheme identified must be underspent at completion and the savings identified must be achievable in the financial year in which the virement is proposed.

4.5.2.       The Executive or a Committee has authority to approve any virement proposed by the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer where compensating savings are found from within the Executive or the same Committee's budget.

4.5.3.       When a request or proposal for additional finance cannot be met by compensating savings within the Executive or the same Committee, a report by the Director or duly authorised Officer, accompanied by a comment from the Chief Finance Officer on the financial effects of the proposal, will be submitted for approval to the relevant Member on the Executive.

4.5.4.       If, after consideration of paragraphs  4.5.1 to 4.5.3, virement cannot be found or is insufficient, a report on alternative funding proposals by the Director or duly authorised Officer, accompanied by a comment from the Chief Finance Officer on the financial effects of the proposal, will be submitted to the Council for consideration and if thought fit approval.

5.                  TREASURY MANAGEMENT

5.1.         General Management

5.1.1.       This Council has adopted CIPFA's Code for Treasury Management in Local Authorities.

5.1.2.       All money in the hands of the Council will be aggregated for the purpose of Treasury Management and will be under the control of the Chief Finance Officer.

5.1.3.       All executive decisions on borrowing, investing, or financing are delegated to the Chief Finance Officer who is required to act in accordance with the adopted code of practice as detailed in paragraph 5.1.1 and the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy as detailed below.

5.2.         Treasury Management Strategy

5.2.1.       The Chief Finance Officer will prepare and maintain a Treasury Management Strategy for the forthcoming three years. This strategy will be reported annually to the relevant Member on the Executive and approved by Council.

5.2.2.       The strategy will follow the recommendations of the code of practice mentioned in paragraph 5.1.1 but allowing for the specific circumstances of the Council where these affect treasury management. In addition the strategy will set the “prudential indicators” as required to be set by the Local Government Act 2003.

5.2.3.       The Chief Finance Officer will also report either to the relevant Member on the Executive or Audit, Governance and Standards Committee not less than once each financial year on the activities of the Treasury Management operation and on the exercise of the Treasury Management powers delegated to him/her. At least one report will be an Annual Report on Treasury Management for presentation on or around 30th June in the succeeding financial year.

 

6.                  ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES

6.1.         All accounting records and procedures of the Council will be subject to the approval and overall control of the Chief Finance Officer.

6.2.         The Chief Finance Officer will be responsible for keeping the Council's accounts having regard to statutory requirements, regulations and codes of practice in force at any one time. The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 require that the authority has a sound system of internal control which: -

 

(a)      facilitates the effective exercise of its functions and the achievement of its aims and objectives;

(b)      ensures that the financial and operational management of the authority is effective; and

(c)       includes effective arrangements for the management of risk.

 

 

6.3.         Every year the authority must review the effectiveness of its systems of internal control and prepare an annual governance statement.

6.4.         The Chief Finance Officer will have sole responsibility for claiming Government grants and subsidies. All Officers of the Council will provide any information required by the Chief Finance Officer to submit or substantiate such claims.

7.                  AUDIT

7.1.         Internal Audit is an assurance function that primarily provides an independent and objective opinion to the organisation on the control environment comprising risk management, control and governance by evaluating its effectiveness in achieving the organisation's objectives, in line with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards. The Council has adopted an Internal Audit Charter that provides more details of this role and reporting relationships.

7.2.         Internal Audit is a statutory requirement for all local authorities, as set out in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 which state that: -

 

A relevant authority must undertake an effective internal audit to evaluate the effectiveness of its risk management, control and governance processes, taking into account public sector internal auditing standards or guidance.

 

Any Officer or member of a relevant authority must, if required to do so for the purposes of the internal audit—

 

(a)    make available such documents and records; and

(b)    supply such information and explanations as are considered necessary by those conducting the internal audit.

 

 

7.3.         The Chief Executive, on behalf of the Council, is responsible for ensuring that an adequate and effective internal audit exists and has appointed a Head of Internal Audit Partnership to achieve this. The Head of Internal Audit Partnership reports to the Director of Finance and Business Improvement (as client for the service), but also has unrestricted access to the Leader of the Council, the Chairman of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee and the Chief Finance Officer.

7.4.         The Head of Internal Audit Partnership will produce a strategic internal audit plan covering a three/four-year period and an annual programme. The plan will be reported to Audit, Governance and Standards Committee for approval. The Council has also approved an Internal Audit Charter which is available from the Head of Internal Audit Partnership.

7.5.         The Head of Internal Audit Partnership has authority to:

7.5.1.       Enter at all reasonable times any premises or land under the control of the Council;

7.5.2.       Access all records, documents and correspondence relating to any financial and other transactions of the Council;

7.5.3.       Require and receive such explanations as are necessary concerning any matter under examination; and

7.5.4.       Require any Officer of the Council to produce cash or any other Council assets under their control.

7.6.         When any matter involves, or is thought to involve, irregularities concerning cash, property or other assets and interests of the Council or there is any suspected irregularity in the exercise of the functions of the Council, the Director or duly authorised Officer concerned will immediately notify the Head of Internal Audit Partnership who will take the steps that he/she considers necessary to investigate and report in accordance with the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy.

7.7.         A report which provides a summary of the work of Internal Audit will be submitted to the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee on a six-monthly basis. Progress against the Audit plan will be shown.

7.8.         If any severe control weakness is identified by Internal Audit and not immediately rectified, a report will be submitted to the next meeting of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee. If the matter is considered by the Chief Finance Officer or the Chief Executive to be of such importance and materiality that it should be brought to the more immediate attention of Members, a special meeting will be convened or matters will be reported to the relevant Member on the Executive.  

8.                  RISK MANAGEMENT

8.1.         The Head of Internal Audit Partnership will maintain and publish guidance and policies on sound risk management. The Chief Executive will maintain a strategic risk register. This register will be subject to annual review by the Corporate Leadership Team and annual approval by the relevant Member on the Executive.

8.2.         Directors or duly authorised Officers must conform to the Council’s policies on risk management and are responsible for ensuring that:

8.2.1.       Strategic risks are identified and reported to the Chief Executive for inclusion in the strategic risk register;

8.2.2.       Service specific operational risk registers are maintained for all services. Such registers should be maintained and updated on an annual basis; and

8.2.3.       All employees follow guidance and policies on risk management, understand the nature of risk and accept responsibility for risk associated with their area of authority.

8.3.         Where appropriate risk management issues should form a key part of all planning processes including strategic plans, service plans and project plans.

9.                  PROCUREMENT OF GOODS, SERVICES AND WORKS

9.1.         Procurement of Goods, Services and Works shall be in accordance with the Contract Procedure Rules.

9.2.         Contracts, including official orders, will not be issued for work, goods or services unless the cost is covered by an approved annual or supplementary estimate and the arrangement represents good value for money for the Council.

9.3.         Except where the Contract Procedure Rules apply, periodical or petty cash payments are made, or in instances complying with paragraph 9.4 below, official orders, raised in the Financial Management System, will be issued in all instances for works, goods and services.

9.4.         For items of an obligatory and continuous nature, such as electricity or telephone charges, other than for the initial commitment, it is not necessary to raise an official order. However, a register detailing the location, usage, and amount of any charges must be maintained and regularly reconciled to the Financial Management System by the administrator of the register.

9.5.         Official orders will describe:

9.5.1.       For materials and simple services not covered by a separate contract

(a)         The nature and quantity of the work, goods or services required;

(b)         The quality of the work, goods or services where this can be quantified and is a factor in the placing of the order;

(c)          Any contract or agreement or agreed prices relating thereto;

(d)         The total cost.

9.5.2.       For services and high value materials and works where a formal contract is in place

(a)         Clear reference to the contract including reference number, name and date.

9.6.         Official orders will be authorised in the Financial Management System by the authorised Officer as approved by the Chief Finance Officer and defined in the Delegated Authorities Matrix.

9.7.         The duties of requesting orders and the receipting of goods and services must not be performed by the same Officer as the approval of official orders and the certifying of invoices.

9.8.         It will not be possible to issue a verbal order except in cases of genuine emergency or other special circumstances that has been specifically approved by the Director or duly authorised Officer. Such approval will be subject to the completion of an advisory purchase order within the Financial Management System as soon as possible. Such purchase orders will clearly state that a verbal order has already been given.

10.              FIXED TERM SUPPLY CONTRACTS

10.1.     The Council operates certain fixed term supply contracts with specified suppliers who are chosen as a result of competitive tendering. The purpose is to obtain the supply of goods and materials at prices most advantageous to the Council.

10.2.     Individual purchases of goods and materials supplied under these contracts are subject to the requirements to raise official orders as detailed in paragraph 9 above regardless of the fact that a fixed term contract exists.

11.              PAYMENT OF INVOICES

11.1.     Invoices for the purpose of this Financial Procedure Rule include invoices from suppliers raised against purchase orders along with other items such as certificates, utility bills, reimbursements and payment requisitions.

11.2.     Authorisation of the purchase order and the receipt of goods or services will be accepted by the Chief Finance Officer as authorisation for payment of an invoice where the following are true:

11.2.1.    Official orders will be authorised in the Financial Management System by the authorised Officer as approved by the Chief Finance Officer and defined in the Delegated Authorities Matrix;

11.2.2.    Goods or services received transaction[s] have been created in the Financial Management System to match the invoice; and

11.2.3.    The invoice has a value no greater than 110% of the goods/services received value, as per the unit price approved on the purchase order.

11.3.     Official orders will be authorised in the Financial Management System by the authorised Officer as approved by the Chief Finance Officer and defined in the Delegated Authorities Matrix. Invoices will not be authorised for payment unless:

11.3.1.    The goods or services have been received, examined and approved for quality and quantity, or the work has been done satisfactorily;

11.3.2.    For items of an obligatory and continuous nature not requiring the raising of a purchase order, details of the payments have been recorded in the appropriate register (see paragraph 9.4);

11.3.3.    The expenditure is:

(a)         Within the Budget; or

(b)         Approved in accordance with Financial Procedure Rule 4, or in accordance with Financial Procedure Rule 12.2; and

(c)          In accordance with the Council's Contract Procedure Rules.

11.3.4.    The prices, arithmetic, coding and treatment of VAT are correct, and any discount, credit or other allowances to which the Council is entitled have been deducted correctly;

11.3.5.    The invoice has not been certified for payment previously and is a proper liability of the Council; and

11.3.6.    The appropriate and proper entries have been made in a stores’ stock record or inventory.

11.4.     Where paragraph 11.3 applies, confirmation that the requirements for payment have been met will be by the Director or duly authorised Officer authorising the invoice concerned in one of the following ways:

11.4.1.    Where the invoice has been processed in the Financial Management System and approval has been requested electronically, by the acceptance of that invoice within the Financial Management System; or

11.4.2.    By signature on the original invoice in all other cases. Such invoices will be authorised and passed to the Chief Finance Officer in time to enable payment 30 days from receipt of the invoice by the Council,  unless alternative terms are required and explicitly agreed.

11.5.     The Chief Finance Officer will examine, in so far as he/she considers necessary, invoices passed to him/her for payment and be entitled to have access at all times to such documents as appear to him/her to be necessary for the purpose of the examination and be entitled to such information and explanation as he/she thinks necessary.

11.6.     Each Director or duly authorised Officer will, after 31 March of each year and by such date as is necessary, give the Chief Finance Officer schedules of all invoices outstanding relating to that Directorate, and when such invoices are subsequently certified for payment, shall identify them accordingly.

12.              PAYMENT BY CERTIFICATE

12.1.     When a contract (including official orders) provides for payments to be made on an interim or stage basis, the Responsible Officer will set up and maintain a contract file including details of award, waivers, contract, payments, variations, extensions and correspondence.

12.2.     Interim or stage payments will be authorised only on a certificate signed by:-

12.2.1.    The appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer concerned; and

12.2.2.    The named Supervising Officer or Engineer or Contract Administrator, whichever is appropriate, showing the total amount of the contract, the value of work executed to date, retention money, amount paid to date, the amount now certified and any deduction of liquidated damages.

12.3.     The appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer will issue the final certificate for a contract or accepted estimate, provided the regulations relating to any overspending have been complied with. The appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer will be fully responsible for the accuracy of the final account supporting such final certificate. The Chief Finance Officer will inspect selected contracts during the currency of the work both on and off site and the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer will provide the Chief Finance Officer with such vouchers/documents or other assistance as required.

13.              VARIATIONS TO CONTRACTS

13.1.     Every variation on a contract (including official orders) will be authorised in writing by the appropriate person (referred to in 11.2) for that purpose.

13.2.     If variations to a contract seem likely to result in the original contract sum (including any contingency sum) being exceeded, the main items will be reported, on each occasion, by the Director or designated duly authorised Officer to the Chief Finance Officer as soon as possible, and no variation will be certified in respect of additional costs to the original contract sum unless:

13.2.1.    Such additional costs have been approved by the Executive or the appropriate Committee; or

13.2.2.    The effect of any additional costs do not result in the final value of completed work exceeding 5% of the original contract sum, and the Chief Finance Officer is satisfied the Director or duly authorised Officer is able:

(a)         In the case of any scheme funded from capital, to find compensatory savings from other schemes within the approved Capital Programme which will be underspent on completion; and

(b)         In the case of any scheme funded from revenue, to find specific savings equivalent to the excess within the approved Revenue Budget.

13.3.     Financial Procedure Rule 13.2 will not restrict the action of the appropriate person to issue a variation for additional costs exceeding the original contract sum if this would result in a stoppage of the contractual works or a breach of the contractual conditions or such other circumstances, which in the opinion of the Director or duly authorised Officer concerned, would prejudice the Council's financial interests. The Chief Finance Officer will be notified immediately wherever variations are issued in such circumstances.

13.4.     The circumstances for issuing such a variation will be reported to the Executive or the appropriate Committee by the Director or duly authorised Officer concerned, with comment, concerning the financial implications, from the Chief Finance Officer.

14.              COLLECTION & RECEIPT OF BANKING

14.1.     The collection of all monies due to the Council, including the arrangements for dealing with postal remittances and monies collected by the Council on behalf of other parties will be under the overall control of the Chief Finance Officer.

14.2.     All monies received by the Council, or its Officers, must be accounted for and receipted in a form and manner agreed by the Chief Finance Officer.

14.3.     All receipts, tickets or other similar documents or stationery dealing with the receipt of monies will be subject to the approval of the Chief Finance Officer.

14.4.     All monies received on behalf of the Council will be passed without delay (or in accordance with a frequency approved by the Chief Finance Officer) to the Chief Finance Officer or banked direct in the Council's name.

14.5.     All monies received by the Council on behalf of a third party, will be accounted for and paid to the third party without delay, or in accordance with any agreement or instruction by the Chief Finance Officer, after deduction of any amounts due in respect of commission or other allowance due to the Council. Such commission or other allowance will be accounted for and paid in accordance with Financial Procedure Rule 14.4.

14.6.     Each Director or duly authorised Officer will furnish such particulars, as the Chief Finance Officer may require, of charges to be raised on sundry debtor accounts for work done, goods supplied, services rendered by the Council or other monies due to the Council.

15.              WRITING OFF DEBTS

15.1.     Amounts due to the Council, including the council tax, business rates and rents, may be written off by the Chief Finance Officer or an Officer authorised by him/her after submission for such purposes by the Director or duly authorised Officer concerned, provided both Officers are satisfied recovery is impracticable, and the amount for any one debtor does not exceed the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix.

15.2.     Amounts due to the Council, including the council tax, business rates, or other sums which exceed the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix for any one debtor require the approval of the relevant Member on the Executive, prior to being written off.

15.3.     Submissions for write-off will be signed by the Director, or duly authorised Officer, whose names will be notified in writing to the Chief Finance Officer.

16.              BANKING ARRANGEMENTS & CONTROL OF CHEQUES

16.1.     All financial arrangements with the Council's bankers and other financial institutions concerning the Council's bank accounts will be made under the direction of the Chief Finance Officer. Financial arrangements include: bank accounts, debit and credit card merchant accounts, electronic payment schemes and other transaction processing schemes.

16.2.     The Chief Finance Officer will be authorised to operate such subsidiary bank accounts as he thinks necessary.

16.3.     Stocks of cheques ordered from the Council's bankers or authorised printers will only be on the authority of the Chief Finance Officer who shall make proper arrangements for the security of cheques.

16.4.     All cheques drawn on behalf of the Council:

16.4.1.    For amounts below the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix, may contain a printed facsimile signature of the Chief Finance Officer or may be signed by Officers specifically authorised by the Council; and

16.4.2.    For amounts exceeding the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix, shall be signed by the Chief Finance Officer or Officers specifically authorised by the Council.

16.5.     Each payment in a BACS direct credit file, that exceeds the sum shown in the financial limits Appendix, will require approval of the Chief Finance Officer or Officers specifically authorised by the Council prior to being processed to the BACS system.

16.6.     The Chief Finance Officer will be responsible for the maintenance of proper records to account for all cheques received from the Council's bankers or authorised printers and all cheques issued, spoilt or cancelled.

16.7.     The Chief Finance Officer will ensure that a reconciliation of cash books and bank accounts is made not less frequently than monthly, by a person other than those authorised to sign cheques in 16.4.

17.              PETTY CASH IMPREST & CASH FLOATS

17.1.     The issue and use of petty cash imprest and cash floats will be under the overall control of the Chief Finance Officer. Petty cash expenditure must be limited to minor items.

17.2.     Vouchers must be obtained to support all items expended and must be presented, together with the standard summary of expenditure form, duly coded for reimbursement. Vouchers are to be supported by receipts in required VAT format and the total reimbursement certified by a duly authorised Officer.

17.3.     Each Director or duly authorised Officer will, at the end of each financial year complete and provide to the Chief Finance Officer a certified statement confirming all imprest and cash floats and the names of the Officers directly responsible for/in possession of the amounts involved.

18.              CREDIT & PURCHASING CARDS

18.1.     The issue and use of credit cards and purchasing cards will be under the overall control of the Chief Finance Officer.

18.2.     Card backed purchases should be limited to minor items where purchase by card affords reduced cost or increased value for money for the Council over and above that available by use of standard purchase order procedures as outlined in section 9 above.

18.3.     In all cases receipts must be obtained and where relevant these must be VAT receipts. Card statements must be reconciled to receipts, coded and authorised by a Director or duly authorised Officer. All documentation must then be passed without delay to the Chief Finance Officer.

18.4.     When cards are used to purchase goods and services on the internet or by other electronic means, transactions must occur through a Council Laptop or PC connected to the internet through the Council’s network.

19.              ESTABLISHMENT, SALARIES & WAGES

19.1.     The Head of Human Resources Shared Service will maintain an Establishment Record of the agreed employment levels for Officers within each section. The record will show the grade applicable, post holder and current pay point on the pay scale and any allowances and additional emolument attached to the post.

19.2.     Each Director will maintain an Establishment Record of the employment levels for workers within their Directorate. The record will show the post title or number, pay rate applicable, post holder and any allowances and additional emolument attached to the post.

19.3.     The payment of all salaries, wages, bonuses, pension, compensation or other emoluments to employees or former employees will be made under the control of the Head of Human Resources Shared Service, subject to any specific directions of the Chief Finance Officer.

19.4.     The Head of Human Resources Shared Service will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of salaries and wages.

19.5.     Directors or designated duly authorised Officers will notify the Head of Human Resources Shared Service as early as possible of all appointments, dismissals, resignations, absences from duty (other than for usual or special leave), transfers and changes which may affect the remuneration of employees.

19.6.     The Head of Human Resources Shared Service will be provided with, for all new appointments, all information necessary to maintain records of service, superannuation, income tax and national insurance liability.

19.7.     The Head of Human Resources Shared Service will report proposals relating to pay and conditions of service to the Chief Executive (except where there are specific delegations as set out in Part B of the Constitution) and will prepare the Pay Policy Statement for submission to Council before 31 March each year for the forthcoming year.

19.8.     Timesheets (and other time-related records, controls and procedures) will be in a form approved by the Chief Finance Officer.

19.9.     Starters and Leavers Forms, Overtime Claims and Subsistence/Allowance Claims will be signed by the Director or duly authorised Officer and notified in writing to the Head of Human Resources Shared Service. Timesheets and other time related records shall be certified by a responsible person authorised by the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer.

19.10.  The Head of Human Resources Shared Service will maintain a Staff Handbook which will contain items relating to conditions of service.

20.              TRAVELLING & SUBSISTENCE

20.1.     All certified claims for payment of car allowances, subsistence allowances, travelling and incidental expenses will be in a form approved by the Chief Finance Officer.

20.2.     The certification by or on behalf of the Director will mean that the certifying Officer is satisfied that the journeys were authorised, the expenses properly and necessarily incurred, and the allowances are properly payable by the Council.

21.              INSURANCES

21.1.     The Chief Finance Officer shall effect all insurance cover and maintain necessary records.

21.2.     Before taking any action which might represent an insurable risk to the Council, a Director or duly authorised Officer will consult the Chief Finance Officer.

21.3.     Each Director or duly authorised Officer will give prompt notification to the Chief Finance Officer of the extent and nature of all new risks in respect of assets purchased by, loaned to or bequeathed to the Council where the Council has an insurable interest and provide such details of identification as the Chief Finance Officer deems necessary to record the item.

21.4.     Each Director or duly authorised Officer will notify the Chief Finance Officer immediately in writing of any loss, claim, liability or damage covered by insurance in connection with the Directorate, or of any irregularity or other occurrence which might give rise to a claim against the Council. The Chief Finance Officer will process all claims to the Council’s insurers.

21.5.     When undertaking work for third parties, Directors must ensure that adequate indemnities are obtained from the third parties' insurers or from the Council's insurers to cover potential liabilities, as appropriate, and that evidence of any indemnity is provided to the Chief Finance Officer.

22.              STOCK

22.1.     Each Director and duly authorised Officer will be responsible for the care, custody and accountability of any stock under his/her area of control.

22.2.     Stock will not be held in excess of reasonable requirements and will be reviewed periodically by each Director or duly authorised Officer concerned.

22.3.     Stock records will be kept in a form approved by the Chief Finance Officer.

22.4.     Stocktaking will be carried out at least once in each financial year by the Section concerned. The Director or duly authorised Officer involved will ensure that the stocktaking is undertaken by sufficient senior and impartial Officers to secure an independent and reliable result.

22.5.     The Chief Finance Officer is entitled to check stock and will be supplied with such relevant information required for the accounting, costing and financial records of the Council.

22.6.     Write-offs and adjustments to deficiencies to stock balances will be subject to the approval of the Chief Finance Officer or an Officer authorised by him/her, provided the value of each item involved does not exceed the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix and the Chief Finance Officer or his/her authorised Officer is satisfied the reason(s) for the write-offs and adjustments are reasonable.

22.7.     When the value of write-off or adjustment exceeds the sum shown in the Financial Limits Appendix for any one item, the item(s) will require the approval of the Chief Finance Officer or the relevant Member on the Executive.

23.              PROPERTY

23.1.     The Head of Finance will maintain a register of all land and property owned or leased to or by the Council in a form approved by the Chief Finance Officer.

23.2.     The Head of Legal Partnership will have custody of all title deeds and keep them under secure arrangements as agreed with the Chief Finance Officer.

23.3.     Assets purchased by the Council will, as far as practical, be marked effectively as Council property.

23.4.     Directors and duly authorised Officers will have responsibility for introducing and maintaining adequate security for personnel, buildings, cash and confidential information. Full instructions on security matters will be given to appropriate staff.

23.5.     The Chief Finance Officer will be consulted on the adequacy of security arrangements relating to cash and valuable items.

23.6.     Inventories of the Council's property (other than stock) will be kept by each duly authorised Officer concerned and in a manner and form approved by the Chief Finance Officer.

23.7.     Duly authorised Officers will be responsible for making sufficient arrangements for the safekeeping of any lost property.

23.8.     Scrap, surplus or obsolete items which may have a value, will be disposed of at auction, normally via the appropriate purchasing Officer. Where the auction of items is not considered to be the appropriate method of disposal, the manner of disposal will be determined by the appropriate Director or duly authorised Officer following consultation with the Chief Finance Officer.

23.9.     Wherever possible, an independent valuation of the item will be obtained, which will form the basis of any disposal value.

24.              INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

24.1.     All Directors and duly authorised Officers must conform to the Council's IT Strategy and consult with the Head of Finance when appropriate.

24.2.     Any development of new systems that involve a financial operation or produce output that may influence the allocation of resources must be subject to the approval of the Chief Finance Officer regarding mutually acceptable minimum standards of control.

24.3.     Standalone systems which contain financial information which details, supports or affects the accounts of the Council, must be reconciled to the Financial Management System on a monthly basis by the relevant Systems Administrator.

24.4.     Directors and duly authorised Officers are responsible for the control of their own computer systems and the security and privacy of any data contained within them, which must accord with the Data Protection legislation.

24.5.     Directors and duly authorised Officers will make sound arrangements to ensure the continuation of service in the event of a disaster affecting their IT systems.

24.6.     All Directors and duly authorised Officers must ensure that they and their staff conform to the Council's Computer Security Policy. This includes the need to adhere to the specified arrangements relating to the use of passwords.

24.7.     Directors and duly authorised Officers must ensure that they and their staff conform to the Council’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

24.8.     Directors and duly authorised Officers must ensure that their systems of data handling and security are in accordance with the Council’s IT Strategy.

25.              PARTNERSHIPS

25.1.     All partnerships must be developed as set out in the Council’s Partnership Strategy.

25.2.     Any partnership that involves a financial operation or includes consequences that may influence the Council’s resources will be subject to the approval of the Chief Finance Officer.

25.3.     Before entering into a partnership arrangement Directors or duly authorised Officers will ensure that there is a documented and sound business case for such a partnership. The business case must include:

25.3.1.    Details of the need for the partnership;

25.3.2.    An analysis of the options available and the reason for rejection of alternatives;

25.3.3.    Details of any market testing of the service provision;

25.3.4.    Details of the financial and performance benefits to the Council and its partners;

25.3.5.    An exit strategy for all members of the partnership;

25.3.6.    Insurance and indemnity arrangements that have been accepted by the Chief Finance Officer;

25.3.7.    A risk assessment of the partnership, its activities, and the exit strategy; and

25.3.8.    Details of monitoring processes, financial controls, and performance criteria that are at least similar in structure to those expected of the Council by the Council’s Constitution.

25.4.     All partnership arrangements must offer demonstrable financial and/or performance improvements to Council services.

26.              FINANCIAL LIMITS RELATING TO CONTRACT & FINANCIAL PROCEDURE RULES

Financial limits will be reviewed and agreed on an annual basis by the Chief Finance Officer after taking account of relevant inflation indices and following consultation with Directors. The current financial limits are attached as an Appendix to these Financial Procedure Rules.

 


 

Financial Limits Appendix

Para.

FINANCIAL LIMITS RELATING TO CONTRACTS & FINANCIAL PROCEDURE RULES

1.

In the case of contracts for the provision of goods, materials or services for a period exceeding one year, the financial limits specified in this Appendix shall be for the actual or estimated price or value for the provision of such goods, materials or services for the full period of the contract.

2.

CONTRACTS

 

Contract Procedure Rules

All contracts to the value of £25,000 or more must be included on the Council’s Contract Register.

Thresholds for Tenders are set out in Section 3 of the Contract Procedure Rules.

The Common Seal of the Council shall be affixed to contracts over £1 million and construction contracts over £75,000, unless in the opinion of the Monitoring Officer exceptional circumstances require the contract to be sealed.

 

Financial Procedure Rules

 

4.2

The overall limit for virement is £100,000.

 

4.4

The Chief Finance Officer is authorised to accept tenders or quotations on the recommendation of the Director or duly authorised Officer and subject to the conditions shown in Financial Procedure Rules in excess of £75,000. Directors are authorised to accept tenders not exceeding this sum.

 

4.7

All Committees, the Executive and Individual Members of the Executive are authorised to incur expenditure, including the acceptance of tenders, where the delegation to the Chief Finance Officer has not been exercised, in excess of £75,000.

 

4.8 (a)

The limit of the authority for the Chief Finance Officer to authorise virement is £50,000 per item.

 

4.8 (b) & (c)

The overall limit for deferred virement and Executive/Committee virement is £100,000.

 

4.8 (d)

The limit to the authority for the Chief Finance Officer to authorise supplementary estimates is £50,000 per item.

 

4.8 (e)

The limit to the authority of the Chief Finance Officer to authorise supplementary estimates in relation to a confirmed emergency or the activation of the Business Continuity Plan is £100,000 per emergency.

 

4.11(a)

The minimum carry forward is £6,000.

 

15.1 & 22.6

The limit to the authority of the Chief Finance Officer or an Officer authorised by him/her to write-off individual amounts due to the Council including the council tax, business rates and housing rents and to authorise adjustments to stores balances is £12,000 per item.

 

15.2 & 22.7

The approval of the relevant Member on the Executive is required before amounts can be written off or stores balances can be adjusted in excess of £12,000 per item.

 

16.4(a) & (b)

Any payment to a single supplier which exceeds £40,000 requires authorisation of a bank signatory.

3.

AGREED COUNCIL BUDGET HEADS

 

No

Description

 

Previous Committee – To be updated with new Executive Member details

1.

Alcohol Entertainment & Taxi Licensing

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

2.

Animal & Public Health

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

3.

Balances

7BL

Balances

4.

Building Control

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

5.

Capital Grants & Contributions

3CS

Policy & Resources

6.

Cemetery, Cremation & Mortuary Services

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

7.

Community Development

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

8.

Community Safety

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

9.

Corporate Management

1LD

Policy & Resources

10

Corporate Support Services

3CS

Policy & Resources

11

Culture and Heritage

4EC

Economic Regeneration and Leisure

12

Democratic Representation & Management

3CS

Policy & Resources

13

Development Control

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

14

Economic Development

4EC

Policy & Resources

15

Elections

3CS

Policy & Resources

16

Emergency Planning

3CS

Policy & Resources

17

Environment Safety & Routine Maintenance

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

18

Environmental Health and Protection

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

19

Environmental Services

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

20

External Interest Payable

3CS

Policy & Resources

21

Flood Defence & Land Drainage

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

22

General Grants, Bequests & Donations

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

23

Health & Safety

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

24

Housing Benefit

3CS

Policy & Resources

25

Housing General fund

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

26

Interest & Investment Income

3CS

Policy & Resources

27

Local Land Charges

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

28

Local Tax Collection

3CS

Policy & Resources

29

Noise and Pest Control

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

30

Non-Distributed Costs

3CS

Policy & Resources

31

Open Spaces

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

32

Parking Services

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

33

Pensions Fund Management

3CS

Policy & Resources

34

Planning Policy

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

35

Precepts & Levies

3CS

Policy & Resources

36

Public Conveniences

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

37

Public Health

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

38

Public Transport

6PT

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

39

Recreation & Sport

2CL

Economic Regeneration and Leisure

40

Street Cleansing

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

41

Tourism

4EC

Economic Regeneration and Leisure

42

Travellers sites

2CL

Communities, Housing and Environment

43

Waste and Recycling Collection

5EN

Communities, Housing and Environment

 

Appropriation Account

 

Policy & Resources

 

Pensions Fund Appropriation

 

Policy & Resources

 

Council Tax Requirement

 

Policy & Resources

 

Business Rates

 

Policy & Resources


 

C7.           Contract Procedure Rules: General

1.                  INTRODUCTION

It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive and the Service Directors to ensure that all purchases of goods, services and works comply with:

1.1.         Legal requirements

1.2.         EU Directives [XX EUWA]

1.3.         The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (all amendments and Procurement Policy Notes that have been applied later)

1.4.         The Council’s Constitution including these Contract Procedure Rules, the Finance Procedure Rules and the Scheme of Delegation

1.5.         Compliance with the Council’s decision-making process

1.6.         An appropriately signed Procurement Plan is in place prior to the commencement of any procurement over £75,000 contract sum.

2.                  GENERAL PRINCIPLES APPLYING TO ALL PROCUREMENTS

2.1.         These Contract Procedure Rules apply to the purchase by or on behalf of the Council of works, supplies (goods) and services.

2.2.         These Contract Procedure Rules apply to all contracts including all purchase orders, concessions and contractual arrangements entered into by or on behalf of the Council, except for the specific types of contracts and purchasing methods which are listed in 2.3.

2.3.         These Contract Procedure Rules do not apply to:

2.3.1.       Employment contracts

2.3.2.       Contracts relating solely to the purchase or sale of interests in land

2.3.3.       Contracts for retention of legal representation and the appointment of expert witnesses in legal proceedings

2.3.4.       Service level agreements setting out the conditions which the Council applies to its funding of particular voluntary sector bodies

2.3.5.       Joint Arrangements to collaborate with other authorities that involve the delegation of functions.

2.4.         All purchases however small shall be in writing, this will be either in the form of an approved written contract or for smaller purchases an electronic order.

2.5.         Each Director shall be responsible for the purchasing undertaken by their Directorate and shall appoint a named Responsible Officer for each procurement. (Responsible Officer’s duties are laid out in appendix A).

2.6.         Shall comply with the Council’s decision-making processes including complying with the Scheme of Delegation.

3.                  THRESHOLDS

The financial values, procurements must comply with the following flow charts which form part of the Contracts Standing Orders: -

3.1.         £0 to £10,000 - At least one written quote in advance of ordering - see flowchart A

3.2.         £10,001 to £74,999 - At least three written quotes in advance - see flowchart B

3.3.         £75,000 and above - Formal tender process - see flowchart C

4.                  SUBMISSION AND OPENING OF TENDERS

4.1.         In accordance with flowchart C for all contracts over £75,000 and also where appropriate for those below £75,000, a formal tender process will be followed.

4.2.         All tenders shall be submitted electronically using the e-sourcing tool in use by the Council.

4.3.         Late tenders shall not be accepted unless the Director of Finance and Business Improvement is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that exceptional circumstances apply.

5.                  PLACING CONTRACTS

5.1.         As required under section 9 of the Financial Procedure Rules all external expenditure except those specifically exempted shall be supported by a contract and/or official order, for those contracts over £75,000 the type of contract will be defined in the Procurement Plan.

5.2.         Details to be included in a contract/order are dependent on the risk and value associated with that order (refer to section 9.5 in Financial Regulations).

6.                  EXTENSIONS AND VARIATIONS

6.1.         Where extensions to existing contracts are made the extensions must be determined in accordance with the contract terms, for a specified period and made in accordance with the principles set out in the Council’s Purchasing Guide.

6.2.         Any extension must be:

6.2.1.       Fully documented.

6.2.2.       Subject to a written report in an approved format to be submitted to a Director which shall include reasons for the extension which demonstrate that the need for the extension is genuinely beneficial.

6.2.3.       Subject to approval by the Director who shall record that they have considered the reasons for the extension and that they are satisfied that the circumstances justifying the extension are genuinely beneficial.

6.3.         Any extension must take into account:

6.3.1.       Probity

6.3.2.       Best value/value for money principles.

6.4.         For contracts subject to the Public Contracts Regulations, any extension must meet the conditions set out in the Public Contracts Regulations in addition to the more general requirements set out above.

6.5.         Where an extension or variation are required to a contract, which does not allow for these then a waiver procedure must be followed.

7.                  WAIVERS

7.1.         The requirement for the Council to conduct a competitive purchasing process for contracts in excess of £10,000 may be waived in the following circumstances.

7.1.1.       For contracts which are not subject to the EU Rules, the work, supply or service is required as a matter of urgency and a delay would be likely to lead to financial loss, personal injury or damage to property; or

7.1.2.       the circumstances set out in Regulation 6 apply (whether or not the contract is of a type which is subject to the application of the Public Contracts Regulations); or

7.1.3.       the contract is awarded under a Purchasing Scheme of a type where a competition has already been undertaken on behalf of the Council; or

7.1.4.       at the discretion of the Head of Finance who may proceed in a manner most expedient to the efficient management of the service/Council with reasons recorded in writing.

7.2.         A Responsible Officer who seeks a waiver of Contract Procedure Rules other than Procedure Rules 7.1.3 shall do so only in advance and only in exceptional circumstances. Further guidance on what may constitute exceptional circumstances permitting waiver of these Contract Procedure rules is set out in the Council’s Purchasing Guide.

7.3.         All waivers from these Contract Procedure Rules must be:

7.3.1.       Fully documented

7.3.2.       Subject to a written report in an approved format to be submitted in advance to the appropriate Director which shall include reasons for the waiver which demonstrate that the waiver is genuinely required

7.3.3.       Subject to approval in advance by the appropriate Director who shall consult the relevant Committee Chairman or relevant Member on the Executive, and record that they have considered the reasons for the waiver and that they are satisfied that the circumstances justifying the waiver are genuinely exceptional.

7.4.         All decisions on waivers must take into account:

7.4.1.       Probity

7.4.2.       Best value/value for money principles.

7.5.         For contracts subject to the EU Rules, any waiver from the requirement for competition must meet the conditions set out in the EU Rules in addition to the general requirements above.

7.6.         A waiver shall not be applied for reasons of poor contract planning.

8.                  APPROVAL AND EXECUTION OF CONTRACTS

8.1.         Contract award approval is to be in accordance with Delegated Authorities, all contracts must be executed and issued prior to commencement of contract.

8.2.         Contracts will be executed by hand unless over £1m, a construction contract over £75,000 or considered to be essential by the Monitoring Officer.

9.                  ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

9.1         Electronic signatures may be used by both the Council and the Supplier in accordance with the Electronic Signature Regulations 2002 provided the sufficiency of security arrangements has been approved by the Director of Finance and Business Improvement.

9.2         Electronic signatures will, in line with the Electronic Communication Act 2000, be accepted as a fair representation of a willingness to enter into a contract by and with the Council, insofar as the e-signature is a true representation of the authorised person’s written signature and (a) and (b) below apply (to the Supplier), in which case an e-signature and a signature will be referred to as the same.

(a)         the Contract will be entered into in relation to being either under seal or under hand; and

(b)         is supported with a contemporaneous document of authenticity and authorisation from the Supplier.

10.              REVIEW AND CHANGES TO THESE CONTRACT PROCEDURE RULES

These Contract Procedure Rules shall be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Save in the case of revisions to the appropriate Public Contract Regulations Thresholds, amended Contract Procedure Rules shall be agreed and adopted by the Council. Revisions to the EU Thresholds shall be updated by the Chief Finance Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix A: Responsible Officer’s required actions for a procurement

 

The Responsible Officer will be the Officer named in the Procurement Plan or by the Director responsible for the budget or in the absence of the above the Officer responsible for the budget expenditure is being made against subject to delegated authority being adequate.

 

 

Action

£0 - £10,000

£10,001 - £74,999

£75,000 +

Procurement Plan

Not required

Optional

Procurement Plan must be completed seek advice from Procurement Team, signed by Head of Commissioning & Business Improvement

Tender Documentation

Ensuring tender documentation contains a clear specification, contract terms and evaluation criteria

Ensuring tender documentation contains a clear specification, contract terms and evaluation criteria

Ensuring tender documentation contains a clear specification, contract terms and evaluation criteria, seek advice from the Procurement Team and Legal if required.

Advertising

Optional but recommended to advertise on Kent Business Portal (Advert will be raised by Procurement Team)

Optional but recommended to advertise on Kent Business Portal (Advert will be raised by Procurement Team)

Required for all tenders over

£75,000 on Kent Business Portal additionally for all tenders over

£181,000 services or £4,511,00

works a notice is required in the Find a Tender Service, seek advice at the earliest possible stage from the Procurement Team (Advert will be raised by Procurement Team)

Audit Trail

Ensure written record of all information is stored in a shared area and kept for timescale in accordance with the Council’s Records Retention Schedule.