Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Monday, 30th September, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer

Items
No. Item

STD 8/19

Minutes

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting which took place on 1 July 2019 (to be laid on the table 30 minutes before the meeting commences).

Minutes:

8.1       The Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 July 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.

STD 9/19

Disclosures of Interests

To receive from Members, declarations of interests in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting in accordance with the Waverley Code of Local Government Conduct.

Minutes:

9.1       There were no interests disclosed in relation to the items on the agenda.

STD 10/19

Questions by Members of the public

The Chairman to respond to any written questions received from Members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Monday 23 September 2019.

Minutes:

10.1     There were no questions from members of the public.

STD 11/19

Questions from Members of the Council

The Chairman to respond to any written questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Monday 23 September 2019.

Minutes:

11.1     There were no questions from Members of the Council.

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

Background Papers

 

Unless specified under an individual item, there are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to the reports in Part I of these minutes.

STD 12/19

Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 59 KB

The Council Procedure Rules are set out in Part 4 of Waverley’s Constitution.

 

The Standards Committee are invited to consider the following proposals, that have been put forward by the Leader and Deputy Leader, as Portfolio Holders for Policy & Governance:

 

1.    Member Conduct - Removal of the requirement to stand to speak at Full Council (PR 21.1)

 

2.    Questions by the public – To amend PR 10 to re-introduce informal questions at meetings of Full Council.

 

3.    Voting – PR 17.7 states that any voting referred to in PR17 may be conducted using any electronic voting systems available in the Council Chamber. It is proposed that the electronic voting system be used at Full Council and Planning Committee meetings from 1 October 2019.

 

4.    Voting – Where the electronic voting system is used in Full Council or a Planning Committee meeting, the requirement of PR17.4 to formally request a recorded vote is waived and the names for and against the motion or amendment or abstaining from voting will be entered in the minutes. 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Standards Committee considers the proposals for changes to the Council’s Procedure Rules, and makes recommendations to Council, as appropriate.

Minutes:

12.1     The Chairman introduced this item, which invited the Committee to consider, and make recommendations on, proposals from the Deputy Leader to amend certain Council Procedure Rules.

 

12.2     Removal of the requirement to stand to speak at Full Council (PR 21.1)

 

12.2.1  Committee Members agreed that any Member who, due to illness or disability, was unable to stand to speak at Council should be given dispensation to remain seated, and the Mayor had discretion to agree this if circumstances required it. It was also noted that a few Councils, including Guildford, had removed the requirement to stand to speak at Full Council meetings following the installation of new microphones and web-casting equipment, to ensure that their Members could use the microphones without stooping.

 

12.2.2  However, the Committee felt strongly that standing to speak and address the Mayor at Full Council was a mark of respect for the Mayor and their status as Chairman of the Council and the Queen’s representative. There were also practical aspects, in that it was clear to everyone in the Council Chamber who was speaking if they stood up; and only one Member was allowed to stand and speak at any time.

 

12.2.3  The Committee RESOLVED unanimously that it did not wish to make a recommendation to amend Procedure Rule 21.1.

 

12.3     Questions by members of the Public (PR 10)

 

12.3.1  Following the re-instatement of Informal Questions before meetings of the Executive, it was proposed that a similar arrangement be re-instated before meetings of Full Council.

 

12.3.2  The Committee noted that informal questions, lasting 15 minutes, had been introduced originally in 2003 before all committee meetings. It was noted that asking questions without notice carried a risk of not getting a comprehensive response at the meeting. It was also noted that it had been some time since there had been an appreciable number of questions from the public on a regular basis at Council meetings.

 

12.3.3  The Committee was content to see the re-instatement of informal questions before Full Council, on the same basis as they had operated previously and on a trial basis to see how it works. It was important that the Council meeting still started on time at 7pm, so informal questions would need to start commence at 6.45pm.

 

12.3.4  The Committee RESOLVED to RECOMMEND to Council the re-instatement of informal questions before the start of Council meetings, on the same basis as the had operated previously and on a trial basis; and delegated approval of the revised wording to Procedure Rule 10 to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

 

At 5.50pm, the Committee agreed to adjourn proceedings in order to take part in a demonstration of the Council Chamber electronic voting system. At 6.05pm, the meeting resumed.


 

12.4     Electronic voting (PR 17)

 

12.4.1  The Committee noted that the Procedure Rules already allowed for any vote referred to in PR 17 to be conducted using any electronic voting system available in the Council Chamber, and that it had been proposed by the Council Leadership that  ...  view the full minutes text for item STD 12/19