Agenda and minutes

Council Business Committee
Thursday, 5th November 2015 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Debbie Chambers, Democratic Services - 01524 582057 or email  dchambers@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

8.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 25th June, 2015 (previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of 25 June 2015 (previously circulated) were approved by the Chairman as a correct record.

9.

Items of Urgent Business Authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

10.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

11.

Use of Council Email Addresses for Council Business pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Joint report of the Chief Officer (Governance) and Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Officer (Resources) and Chief Officer (Governance). The Chief Officer (Resources) presented the report, and responded to a number of questions from Councillors. The ICT Manager also responded to Members’ questions.

 

A range of issues were discussed, including

 

·        Information security and data protection

·        Freedom of information requests

·        ‘Bring your own device’

·        How to manage public expectations regarding response times

·        The possibility of providing phones for Councillors in addition to a laptop or tablet

·        Officers’ access to Councillors’ emails

·        Councillors’ differing approaches to contact with their constituents

 

During the discussions, the issue of what constituted ‘council business’ was raised and it was felt that a definition of that term would be helpful.

 

Wording for a proposition which expressed that it was ‘preferable’ for Councillors to use their Council email address was proposed but not seconded.

 

Councillor Whitaker, seconded by Councillor Brown, proposed the two recommendations set out in the report. Councillor Mace proposed a third point. This was accepted as a friendly addendum.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)     That the continuation of the existing policy based on best practice be endorsed, whereby members’ council email addresses must be used for any council business conducted via email, rather than personal email addresses being used.

 

(2)     That it be noted that officers will be instructed, when corresponding with members by email, to use a member’s council email address only.

 

(3)     That Members be reminded of the definition of the types of data to be protected as “council business” under resolution (1), with examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Committee Timetable 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Report of the Chief Officer (Governance) 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A draft Committee Timetable for 2016/17 was presented to Members for consideration.

 

The Democratic Services Manager outlined some changes for 2016, which had been suggested by Councillor Mace prior to the meeting. These were to move the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings scheduled for 6 July and 14 December to 20 July and 21 December respectively. The Council meeting, scheduled for 21 December, to be moved to 14 December.

 

The Committee agreed with these suggestions.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)     That, subject to the following amendments, the draft Committee timetable for 2016/17 be agreed:

 

(a)     That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings scheduled for 6 July and 14 December 2016 be moved to 20 July and 21 December 2016 respectively.

 

(b)     That the Council meeting, scheduled for 21 December 2016, be moved to 14 December 2016.

 

(The agreed timetable is appended.)

 

 

 

 

 

13.

Recording of Attendance, Apologies and Absences at meetings pdf icon PDF 372 KB

Report of the Chief Officer (Governance).

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report, requested by a Councillor, to look at how absences and apologies were recorded and how they were shown on the Council’s website.

 

The Democratic Services Manager explained that the website currently pulled figures direct from the Committee Management software (Modern.gov) for the number of meetings each Councillor was expected to attend and the number attended, as well as a percentage of attendance and absence.

 

The Committee agreed that it was not helpful to show the percentages. The Democratic Services Manager agreed to investigate with Modern.gov whether the percentage figures could be removed from the website. Councillor Metcalfe, seconded by Councillor Joan Jackson, proposed that this be undertaken.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Democratic Services Manager remove the percentage attendance figures for each Councillor from the Council’s website, if possible.

 

 

 

14.

Urgent Business: Substitute Members for Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Report of the Chief Officer (Governance).

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Officer (Governance) setting out an item of urgent business between meetings that had been dealt with in accordance with the Council’s urgent business procedures set out in the Constitution. The decision taken was to appoint substitute members to the Budget and Performance Panel and Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted.

 

 

15.

Appointments to Committees and Changes to Membership

Minutes:

There were no appointments to committees or changes to membership.