Agenda and minutes

Audit and Governance Committee - Wednesday, 1st December, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.


Councillor Brooke had submitted his apologies for absence on the basis that  he was unable to attend the meeting in person although, the Chairman, in exercise of his discretion, allowed Councillor Brooke to address the meeting remotely.


Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.


Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications.



There were no substitute members.


Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:- 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is 24 November 2021.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon on 30 November 2021.

The deadline for the submission of a petition was 12.00 noon 16 November 2021.


There were no public issues.


Report of the Constitution Review Working Group - Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 271 KB

The report summarises the issues considered by the Constitution Review Working Group and sets out a series of recommendations arising from the Working Group for consideration by the Committee.

Any recommendations arising from the Committee shall be referred to full Council for adoption.

This report is to be considered by a special virtual non-decision making meeting on 1 December 2021 which shall be live-streamed for the public viewing, and subsequently at the ordinary meeting of the committee on 2 December 2021. The outcome of the virtual meeting shall form the basis of the recommendations on 2 December.

Additional documents:


Members were reminded of the Terms of Reference of the Committee requiring the maintenance of an overview of the Council’s Constitution and, that, in discharge of this responsibility, a Working Group had been established. Over a period of time the Working Group had considered suggestions received from a wide variety and range of sources including input from Councillors and from Officers. Prior to commencement of its work, the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee had also written to all members of Council asking them to submit items for discussion and consideration. It was explained that the current report now pulled together into a single document all of the changes proposed including those already approved by the Council and those which had formed the subject of discussion over recent months.

To assist the Committee the agenda also included for discussion and debate a copy of the proposed new document clearly displaying, in track changes format, all of the proposed alterations.

The Committee received and considered in turn the proposed revisions to each Part of the Constitution with all the changes, alterations and clarifications proposed by the Working Group clearly identified within the ‘tracked changes’ version of the new document. This enabled clear identification of those section and textual passages submitted for removal and addition and also highlighted the improvements in terms of formatting, presentation, cross-referencing and ease of access.

It was noted that although being live-streamed for public viewing, the meeting was, because of its ‘virtual’ format, not a decision making meeting and that the outcome of the virtual meeting would therefore form the basis of a recommendation to the subsequent ordinary meeting of the Committee on 2 December 2021. Any recommendations arising from the Committee on 2 December 2021 would be referred on to full Council.

The Committee also considered and carefully discussed, by reference to the consecutive numbered parts of the Constitution, a range of issue recently considered by the Working Group and as set out in the covering report.

As the Committee considered the provisions within the draft documents, additional typographical errors were identified all of which would be reflected within the final adopted version.

Part 1 – Constitution – Summary and explanation

There was discussion about the role of ‘Cabinet Lead Members’ and particularly the way in which they could contribute to the process of overview and scrutiny. There was clarity that Lead Members who were currently also members of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee should not contribute to discussion of a subject in which they were involved as a Lead Member. The view of the Committee was that the Working Group should be asked to review this as part of its new programme of work going forward. The issue identified particularly for further discussion was whether the rules relating to a Lead Member should be revised and there was some support for excluding Lead Members from membership of Overview and Scrutiny Committees. This was an area which was outside the current review but one which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.