Agenda item

Review of Appointments to and Representation on Outside Bodies

To consider the report of the Corporate Director and Monitoring Officer concerning appointments to Outside Bodies.


The Committee considered the report of the Corporate Director and Monitoring Officer concerning appointments to Outside Bodies.


The Corporate Director advised that the matter had arisen from the Audit & Governance Committee Work Programme. The Committee had requested a review to be undertaken to examine the Council’s operation and effectiveness of appointments to Outside Bodies and if further improvements could be made to the process.


Councillors Wilson, D. Norman and Hampson had met with a number of representatives of Outside Bodies to gather information. A number of Outside Bodies had also been invited to attend the Audit and Governance Committee as part of the review process.


The report covered 3 areas for recommendation. The first finding showed that the City Council did not provide enough guidance and advice to manage the expectations of Outside Bodies and help Members be effective in their role.  A draft guidance note had now been produced to help representatives on Outside Bodies. This would be included in the Constitution following the Council’s endorsement of the guidance.


The second issue looked into the mechanisms in place to allow Councillors to report back on their work as appointees to Outside Bodies. The findings showed there had been a form of disengagement in this area. Following appointments made at Annual Council and there had been no feedback given on the work undertaken. 


The three new mechanisms proposed consisted of the following:


1.    Produce an annual report – a template would be supplied to each representative on Outside Bodies to provide an update on the work they are undertaken


2.    Provide a 15 minute slot at Council meetings to allow representatives on Outside Bodies to give an update on their work


3.    Open invitation to all Outside Bodies to share their work which can be included in the Members’ Bulletin


The Corporate Director referred to paragraph 3.10 of the report relating to the membership on Outside Bodies and outlined the proposed changes to appointments in respect of specific Outside Body. 


Councillor Stephens raised concerns due to the substantial changes in the role of Councillors on Outside Bodies and commented this would be unfair to impose restrictions on the existing Members who had taken on the role. He suggested periodic reports should  be presented to Overview & Scrutiny rather than Council.


Councillor Hilton commented that allowing a representative from an Outside Body to provide an update at a Council meeting would be beneficial.  He referred to Llanthony Secunda Trust and the Gloucester United Schools Charity, which he believed were both important Trusts to retain and suggested these are included in Group B.


Councillor D Norman commented that as a member of the Audit and Governance Committee he had been involved in the process of interviewing a number of outside bodies and representatives.  He agreed with Councillor Stephens that the agendas for Council meetings would need to be carefully managed by the Democratic Services Team to ensure space for Outside Body updates unduly extending meetings.


He added that following interviews with the Outside Bodies some expressed views on the role and involvement of Members and how they assisted the organisations.  Councillor Norman added that Group Leaders need to ensure they nominate the correct Member who should be able to engage with the Outside Bodies.  He added that some Members appointed to the role did not attend one meeting of the organisation.


General Purposes Committee RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL the adoption of the draft Guidance and reporting mechanisms and endorse the rationalisation of the range of existing appointments and recommend to Council that the changes are approved and incorporated into the Constitution, subject to the following amendment:


1)    That Llanthony Secunda Trust and Gloucester United Schools Charity to be moved from Group C to Group B



The Chair thanked the Audit & Governance Committee and the officers involved for the work undertaken on the report.






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