Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall, Watford
Contact: Pat Thornton
Apologies for absence
Councillor Bell replaced Councillor Turmaine for this meeting.
Apologies were received from Councillor Sharpe
Disclosure of Interest (if any)
There were no disclosures of interest.
Minutes of previous meeting
To sign the minutes if the meeting held on 13 March 2013 (all minutes are published on the Council’s website)
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2013 were submitted and signed.
Report of the Head of Democracy & Governance
A number of suggestions had been put forward by councillors and officers.
Amendments to the Petitions Scheme
a) Councillor Sharpe had suggested that, where a petition was received in respect of an issue (e.g. a parking scheme) which was either currently or was going to be the subject of consultation or where the request being made in the petition was being recommended at the meeting anyway, the petition was not submitted to Cabinet or Council but noted or included in the consultation responses as appropriate.
b) The Scheme also needed to make it clear that the 30 signatures should be from residents of the Borough.
c) It also needed to make clear that, for a petition to be considered at a particular meeting, it must be received in time to be included in the agenda for that meeting.
Councillor Bell said that he did not support suggestion a) and considered that if people had gone to the trouble of putting a petition together they should be given the chance to present it. The details of the petition were also included in the minutes. The Council did not receive many petitions and lead petitioners were only allowed 5 minutes speaking time so they did not take up a lot of time.
The other members of the Working Party concurred with Councillor Bell’s views.
The Working Party therefore OPPOSED suggestion a) and AGREED to suggestions b) and c).
Mayor’s Report at Budget Council
The Working Party had considered this issue at its previous meeting and was asked to consider again whether it was appropriate to have a Mayor’s Report at Budget Council.
Councillor Johnson commented that there had been very few questions on the Mayor’s Report at the last Budget Council and considered that the arrangement should not be changed. He considered it important that the Mayor was seen to be accountable.
Councillor Bell agreed and added that there were only five Council meetings in a year and there may be issues relating to matters other than the budget which councillors may wish to raise at the Budget meeting. The Chair concurred with these views.
The Working Party AGREED that the Mayor’s Report at the Budget Council meeting should be retained.
Recording of votes at Budget Council
New Regulations requiring the recording of votes at budget council meetings came into effect last month. The Working Party was asked to note that the Constitution had been amended to take account of the new legal requirements.
Budget & Policy Procedure Rules.
The Head of Democracy & Governance proposed an amendment to Budget & Procedure Rule 2 (h) to clarify voting procedures where the Mayor objected to the decision of Council.
The Working Party AGREED the amendment.
Budget Panel, Outsourced Services Scrutiny Panel and Community Safety Partnership Task Group
The Working Party was asked to consider whether a more consistent approach to these scrutiny groups was required. The Head of Democracy & Governance also reported a further suggestion from Councillor Iain Sharpe that the Chair of the Outsourced Services ... view the full minutes text for item 4.