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Agenda Item No. 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council: 28th June 2017

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Review of the Council's Constitution / Officer Delegations

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update the Constitution in relation to consultation with Cabinet Members by officers when using their delegated powers.

Recommendations

  1. That the changes to Cabinet Member portfolio terminology as set out in paragraph 4 below be noted and the Constitution be amended accordingly.
  2. That the existing delegation No. 32 to the Head of Regeneration and Planning and Operational Manager (Regeneration) be amended to read "To approve, in consultation with the Section 151 Officer and the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, requests for waiving conditions outside of existing policies relating to the repayment of money up to the value of £10,000 in relation to Disabled Facilities Grants (house renovation) grants and group repair schemes in accordance with Council policy."
  3. That ad hoc delegations to Officers to consult a Cabinet portfolio holder be construed as consulting the current Cabinet portfolio holder in line with paragraph 5 of this report.
  4. That the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Legal Services, be granted delegated authority to determine the Cabinet portfolio holder to be consulted by an Officer regarding previously granted Officer delegations, when there is doubt about the applicability of recommendation 2 above.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To update the Officer Delegation Scheme to reflect current Cabinet portfolio terminology.
  2. To reflect current procedures.
  3. To align existing Officer delegations with the current Cabinet portfolios.
  4. To provide authority for the Monitoring Officer to determine relevant Cabinet portfolio holders to be consulted.

Background

  1. Since the formal introduction of the Council's new Executive arrangements in May 2002, the Constitution has remained under review and will continue to be so on an ongoing basis. Under Section 2.4 of the Constitution, the Monitoring Officer has a duty to monitor and review the operation of the Constitution to ensure that the aims and principles contained therein are given full effect.
  2. Section 2.6.2 of the Constitution provides for changes considered by the Monitoring Officer to be "required to be made to remove any inconsistency, ambiguity or typographical correction" to be made and then reported to the next Full Council meeting for information.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Scheme of Officer Delegations (Section 25 of the Constitution), in the case of certain delegations requires the officer to consult a Cabinet Member. In the vast majority of such cases, the wording used is "…. the relevant Cabinet Member". As such, the recent changes to Cabinet portfolios have no impact on the carrying out of most delegations. However, there are a very limited number of references to specific Cabinet portfolios, the terminology of which has changed. These are as follows:
  • Page 260 - Delegation No. 1 - "Cabinet Member for Human Resources" - to now read "Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources"
  • Page 265 - Delegation No. 35 - " Leader as Cabinet Member for Finance" - to now read "Leader as Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources"
  • Page 282 - Delegation (unnumbered) - "Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services" - to now read "Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport"
  • Page 292 - Delegation No. 16 - "Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education" - to now read "Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning"
  • " Page 294 - Delegation No. 32 - "Cabinet Member for Housing and Social Care and Health" - to now read "Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources. As far as this particular delegation is concerned, it has been pointed out that the Council's Housing Renewal Policy already includes arrangements for Disabled Facilities Grant waivers and it is proposed, therefore, that the delegation be amended to read "To approve, in consultation with the Section 151 Officer and the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, requests for waiving conditions outside of existing policies relating to the repayment of money up to the value of £10,000 in relation to Disabled Facilities Grants (house renovation) grants and group repair schemes in accordance with Council policy."
  1. In addition to the above, a number of ad hoc delegations have previously been granted to Officers to consult with Member(s) in their capacity as Cabinet portfolio holders. Given the changes to the Cabinet portfolios as notified by the Leader at the Annual General Meeting on 24 May 2017, consultation in such circumstances is to be construed as aligning with the current Cabinet portfolios with the nature of the business/function informing which is the relevant Cabinet portfolio. If there is any doubt, it is suggested that the Monitoring Officer is given delegated authority to determine the relevant Cabinet portfolio.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council is required to comply with the Local Government Act 2000 and subordinate legislation in the drawing up and subsequent operation of the Constitution.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Constitution is part of the framework supporting the Council's commitment to provide political leadership and active relationship and engagement.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The adoption and subsequent changing of the Constitution is a matter for the Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The monitoring and amendment of the Constitution is an internal matter and therefore no external consultation is necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Council Constitution

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, Tel: 01446 709408

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Head of Regeneration and Planning

Operational Manager (Democratic Services)

Responsible Officer:

Debbie Marles, Monitoring Officer

 

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