Venue: Committee Room A - County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys. View directions
Contact: Carol Johnson 01597 826206
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee as a correct record.
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November, 2017 as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive and consider declarations of interests from Members relating to items to be considered on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider the report from the Head of Democratic Services.
The Committee considered the report from the Head of Democratic Services [copy filed with the signed minutes].
County Councillors D.O. Evans and R Williams arrived.
1. Area Shire Committees
The Head of Democratic advised that the costs detailed in the report were understated as they did not include the cost of preparing reports, agendas, minutes and follow up actions.
The Working Group discussed the issues as follows:
Removing the Shire Committees
· The Council needs to focus on the important and big issues such as Children’s Services.
· Shires have no powers.
· The Shire Chairs roles can be incorporated into the Chair of Council’s role.
· Local issues can be dealt with via the Local Environment Initiatives, Locality Forums, which need to be developed further.
· Appointments made to outside organisations can be made at Council’s annual meeting.
· The current delegation of highways issues to Shires can be taken back by the Cabinet. Future issues would be delegated to the Portfolio Holder in consultation with the local member, which would ensure that local members still have a role, without the need for a Committee meeting.
· The Members Bulletin could be used to disseminate information to all Members, which would have previously been provided at Shire meetings.
· There is a lack of interest in Shires and they are just a talking shop. Attendance at Shire meetings does not count toward members’ attendance levels of 60%.
Retaining the Shires
· As the Shires are valued by some members the option of having less meetings and holding them in County Hall after Council meetings or Member Development sessions was suggested. The Head of Democratic Services advised that holding Shire meetings after such sessions was not feasible due to the agendas and length of meetings.
· Shire Chairs can save the Council Chairs from having to travel across the County for functions and events.
· Shires can focus on local issues, which are important and therefore Shires should meet on a quarterly basis.
· Shires give members an opportunity to meet the Cabinet and ask questions and also receive presentations from other organisations.
· Members should make the Shires work.
It was moved and duly seconded to recommend to Council to abolish the Shire Committees and incorporate the Area (Shire) civic roles within the remit of the Chair, Vice-Chair and Assistant Vice-Chair of the Council. The motion was put to the vote and lost.
The Committee then considered how the Shires should function.
It was proposed and duly seconded to recommend to Council that Shire meetings should be held on a quarterly basis and the Shire Chair could call further meetings if urgent issues arose.
2. Timing of meetings
The Committee received the draft questionnaire seeking Members views on the timing of Committees and working group meetings. This information would help the Council produce the 2019 meetings ... view the full minutes text for item 4.