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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Morden, SM4 5DX

Contact: Amy Dumitrescu, Democratic Services, Tel: 0208 545 3357, Email:  democratic.services@merton.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Nick Draper. Councillor Sally Kenny attended as substitute.

 

2.

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Arrangements for returning to in-person Council and Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Monitoring Officer presented the report detailing the proposals for arrangements to return to in-person Council and Committee Meetings following Council’s agreement to resume in-person meetings from 21 June 2021. 

 

The report outlined the proposals  that meetings continue to be livestreamed and would be held in the Council Chamber

however meetings that were consultative or formal in nature would continue to be held virtually.

 

A number of measures would be put in place to safeguard attendees including the request that attendees take a LFT test prior to attending the meeting and that social distancing rules (2 metres apart) be adhered to at all times. It was recommended that officer and public attendance continue to be remote. Members would be able to attend remotely provided a physical quorum were present in the room. Members attending remotely would not be entitled to vote on decisions but could otherwise speak and participate at the meeting.

 

In response to member questions, the Monitoring Officer advised that the measures would be reviewed in six months time (at the November meeting of the Standards and General Purposes Committee).

RESOLVED:

 

A. That the Standards and General Purposes Committee discussed and agreed the proposed arrangements for the return to in-person Council and Committee meetings

 

4.

Member Complaints Process pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer reminded members that they had agreed a new code of conduct in March based on the Local Government’s Association’s model of conduct. She explained that the Committee was now being asked to agree a revised complaints process to support the new Code; the proposed changes had been agreed by the member working group.

 

RESOLVED:

A. That the Committee recommended to Full Council the amended process for dealing with complaints against councillors set out in Appendix A (and shown in tracked change form in Appendix B);

B. Subject to the agreement of Full Council to the amended process, the committee agreed to appoint a Hearings Subcommittee at the next meeting of the committee.

 

5.

Constitutional Changes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer introduced the report setting out a number of proposed changes to the constitution. Most of these had been agreed by the member working group however there were three matters upon which the Committee was being asked to make decisions as to what should be recommended to full Council.

 

a)    Timing of motions on the strategic theme currently have to be submitted at 9am on the day before the meeting. The proposal is that suggested that motions should be submitted three clear working days before. (2.5.3, Page 44). In order to support this, there was a suggestion that the strategic theme report should circulated in advance of the agenda.
 

b)    Should strategic theme choices be made on a turn by turn basis or should the choice of theme be proportionate to the size of the group making the choice ?

c)    If councillor questions not on the strategic theme are , as is proposed, to be submitted seven clear working days before the meeting, should the answers also be circulated earlier than is currently the case?

The Chair thanked the members for their participation in the process. 

 

RESOLVED:

A. That the Committee recommended to Full Council that it adopt the following amended parts of the Constitution attached as appendices A-H to this report*:

(i) Part 1 – Summary and explanation

(ii) Part 2 – Articles

(iii) Part 3A – Responsibility for Local Choice Functions

(iv) Part 3B – Responsibility for Non-Executive Council Functions

(v) Part 4A- Council Procedure Rules

(vi) Part 4B -Access to Information Procedure Rules

(vii) Part 4C – Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules

(viii) Part 4E – Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules

*Tracked changes versions of the appendices are available from Democracy

Services on request. A table setting out the substantive proposed changes is

attached as appendix I

B. That the Committee recommended to Full Council that it adopts the Scheme of Delegation to Officers attached as appendix J to this report insofar as it relates to non-executive functions and to agree it will form Part 3E and replace existing parts 3E, 3F and 7B of the constitution;

C. That the Committee noted that the Cabinet has been recommended to adopt amended versions of

Part 3c (Responsibility for Executive Functions), Part 4D (Cabinet Procedure

Rules) and the Scheme of Delegation to Officers insofar as it relates to executive functions which if agreed, will also be submitted to Full Council for the sake of completeness; and

D. That the Committee authorised the Monitoring Officer to make such consequential and minor drafting amendments as she considers reasonably necessary including, without limitation,

to renumber the parts of the constitution as appropriate.

 

6.

Revisions to the Contracts Standing Orders pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Commercial Services presented the proposed revisions to be made to the Councils Contracts Standing Orders. Changes made were in response to the UK leaving the EU and the effect this would have on the Public Contracts Regulations and as part of the regular reviews undertaken to the CSOs.

 

Whilst there were no fundamental changes, the key changes were clearer signposting, removing references to the European Union, strengthening the reference to social value, adding due consideration to be required to the climate emergency, amending how many officers were needed to evaluate bids to ensure greater fairness and transparency and making it clearer how contracts could be extended. 

 

In response to member questions, the Head of Commercial Services advised that regular benchmarking took place against other London Boroughs and the national procurement strategy.

 

RESOLVED:

A. That Members noted, approved and recommended to full Council, the proposed revisions made to the Councils Contract Standing Orders. Changes made are in response to the implementation of the impact the UK leaving the EU will have on the Public Contracts Regulations [The Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020] (PPR 2020), greater reinforcement with regards to the Social Value Act 2012, reference

to the Council’s commitment to the Climate Emergency; and to try to provide clarity in order to drive greater compliance overall with procurement governance and best practice.

B. That Members approved and recommended to full Council that the appendices to the CSOs may be updated by the Head of Commercial Services, with approval by Procurement

Board, without the need to seek approval from SGPC and full Council. These are supplementary documents, templates and guidance notes that compliment but do not impact on the content of the main CSOs.