Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP. View directions

Contact: Parvati Diyar  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

9.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

10.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2016.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

 

Matters Arising

 

City Council Website

 

The Chair enquired whether ModernGov had been contacted to look at alternative ways to display the election results on the City Council’s website.

 

The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager confirmed that she had contacted ModernGov. The Developer advised that the problem had been recorded and that they would look into this if other local authorities were experiencing the same problems.

 

11.

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

 

12.

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

 

13.

Elections 2016 pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To consider the report of the Returning Officer regarding the Police and Crime Commissioner and Local Elections process in May 2016 and the EU Referendum process in June 2016.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Returning Officer relating to the Police and Crime Commissioner and Local Elections process in May 2016 and the EU Referendum process in June 2016.

 

The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager commented that it was normal practice to provide feedback following an election. The review had been delayed in order that it could also include a review of the EU referendum.

 

The Committee were advised that comments had been sought from the Election and Referendum Agents and staff working on both the elections and referendum. The feedback received had been largely positive.

 

Both elections had run smoothly and resulted in accurate results. The addition of an extra ballot box for each poll had improved the accuracy and speed of the counts.  It was noted that for all polls the difference between the number of ballot papers issued and the verification figure had been much lower when compared to the neighbouring districts.

 

Elections staff became aware that there had been an issue with the delivery of poll cards in Abbeymead Ward due to the high number of reports that electors had not received their poll cards; however the member of staff concerned maintained that the poll cards had been delivered. The member of staff would not be employed for future election delivery duties. It was noted that reports of non-delivery of poll cards were common and that it was usually impossible to determine whether poll cards had been inadvertently disposed of by elections.

 

The Committee noted that hand delivery of poll cards provided a significant saving compared with using the services of Royal Mail.

 

Councillor Wilson expressed this thanks to the Elections team for their hard work.

 

The Chair referred to paragraph 3.10 of the report relating to the 95% of poll cards had been successfully delivered for the May elections. He believed this was a vague description and questioned whether the precise figure could be reported. 

 

The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager advised that the 5% missing represented the assumed non-delivery of poll cards in Abbeymead Ward.  This figure would normally be 100%.

 

RESOLVED that the review of the election and referendum processes be noted.

 

 

14.

Update to the Audit and Governance Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Audit Risk Assurance outlining the proposed revised Audit and Governance Committee’s Terms of Reference, providing further clarity around the Committee’s Governance role.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Head of Audit Risk Assurance which outlined the proposed revised Audit and Governance Committee’s Terms of Reference, which reflected the requirements of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Audit Committees Practical Guidance for Local Authorities and Police 2013, the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) 2016 and provided further clarity around the Committee’s Governance role.

 

The Group Manager – Audit, Risk & Assurance Shared Service advised that there were no major changes to the actual roles and responsibilities of the Committee. The purpose of the review was to consolidate and amalgamate existing statements more succinctly. However further discussions had taken place in relation to dispensations (Section 5, Appendix 1) which would need amending.

 

The Group Manager – Audit, Risk & Assurance advised that the report had been reviewed at Audit and Governance Committee and at Constitution Working Group.  She added that Appendix 1 had been changed to reflect the changes discussed at Constitution Working Group.

 

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCILthat the Terms of Reference as set out in Appendix 1 be approved.

 

 

15.

Changes to Constitution to cater for Local Development Orders and Scheme of Delegation relating to planning applications pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Partnerships which proposes changes to the Council’s Constitution to cater for Local Development Orders and the scheme of delegation relating to planning applications.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Corporate Director which detailed the proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution to cater for Local Development Orders and the scheme of delegation relating to planning applications. The suggested changes related to two principal areas:  firstly to provide the ability for the Council to make Local Development Orders (LDOs) and secondly, to make minor alterations to the proposals that would have to be determined by Committee rather than being delegated to Officers for determination. 

 

The Committee were advised that amendments had been made to paragraph 3.21 to reflect the changes discussed at Constitution Working Group.

 

The Head of Planning circulated a flow chart which detailed the decision making process and the plan for wider consultation for an LDO, as requested by the Constitution Working Group.

 

He suggested that a proposal for an LDO could originate from the Portfolio holder / Cabinet / Planning Committee. The process would then be to refer this to Planning Committee who would review the proposal and prepare a statutory consultation.  Members would be given an opportunity to comment.  Final report would be approved by Planning Committee.

 

The Chair queried page 33 of the report relating to applications for a change of use to Class A2(c). Councillor Taylor advised that the report had been reviewed thoroughly at both Planning Committee and Constitution Working Group and they both supported the suggested changes and indicated a preference for Option A with regard to applications for a change of use to a pay-day loan shop or betting office to be brought to Committee where the Officer recommendation was for approval.

 

General Purposes Committee agreed that Option A be recommended to Council.

 

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the suggested changes to the Constitution set out in Paragraph 3.17 and 3.21 of the report be approved.

 

16.

Member Questions at Cabinet meetings pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive the report of the Democratic and Electoral Services Manager concerning a proposal from the Constitution Working Group to enable Members to ask questions at Cabinet meetings by introducing a standing agenda item similar to Question Time at full Council meetings.

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Democratic and Electoral Services Manager which related to a proposal from the Constitution Working Group to enable Members to ask questions at Cabinet meetings by introducing a standing agenda item similar to Question Time at full Council meetings. 

 

The Constitution Working Group had agreed to recommend to General Purposes Committee that the Constitution be amended to permit Member Questions at Cabinet meetings.

 

The Committee had no concerns relating to this matter.

 

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the Council Procedure Rules be amended, as set out in Appendix 1, to permit Members to ask questions at Cabinet meetings.

 

 

17.

Date and time of next meeting

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 at 6.00pm

Minutes:

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 at 6.00pm

 

 

 
 
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