[NOTE: Councillor A.D.T. Speake had earlier declared an interest in this item.]
Council was advised that the Size and Composition of Local Planning Authority Committees (Wales) Regulations 2017 came into force on the 5th May, 2017 which require Planning Committees in Wales to be structured and operated in accordance with the following requirements:-
- The Planning Committee must contain no few than 11 members and no more than 21 members, but no more than 50% of the Authority members (rounded up to the nearest whole number);
- Where wards have more than one elected member, only one member may sit on the Planning Committee, in order to allow other ward members to perform the representative role for local community interests.
In addition, the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 also came into force on the 5th May, 2017 which required the following:-
- Each meeting of the Planning Committee must have a quorum of 50% to make decisions; and
- The use of substitute members is prohibited.
Failure to adhere to the requirements of the aforementioned regulations would will affect the validity of decisions taken by the Planning Committee. It was therefore necessary for the Council’s constitution to be amended in order to ensure that Planning Committees are appointed in accordance with these requirements prior to making decisions.
Council was also advised that constitutionally, responsibility for adopting a Scheme of Members’ Allowances rests with the Council but the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) now prescribes the amounts to be paid with a view to providing a consistent national framework for councillor remuneration. Council considered changes for 2017/18 at its meeting held on 26th April, 2017 (minute 9.1 refers). A copy of the Allowances Scheme adopted by Council for 2016/17 amended for implementation for the 2017/18 municipal year was attached to the report for consideration.
The report also contained additional amendments to reflect the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Working Group at its meeting held on 16th December, 2016.
Reference was made to CPR 10.1 and whilst supporting this provision, it was felt that the CPR should be amended to prevent lengthy preambles at meetings and the following amendment was proposed in the form of an addition to CPR 10.1: “A reasonably concise background or preamble may be submitted with the question and published on the agenda of the meeting but only the question itself and a supplementary may be put verbally.”
The amendment was duly seconded and it was
16.1 To amend the Council’s Constitution (parts 3.1, 4.1 and 5.2) to include the changes to the size and composition of Planning Committees which came into force on the 5th May, 2017, and any additional amendments recommended by the Constitutional Review Working Group;
16.2 To amend Part 4.5 (Scrutiny Procedure Rules), 5.6 (Protocol for Communication with Elected Member) and Part 4.1 – CPR 22 (Filming of Meetings) to take into account and clarify recommendations made by the Constitutional Review Working Group;