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Agenda item

Committee System Structure

To approve, with or without amendment, the recommendations made by the Governance Committee at its meeting held on 9th March 2022 in relation to a new committee system of governance for Sheffield City Council, as set out in the report of the Director of Legal and Governance, published with this agenda.

 

 

Minutes:

5.1

RESOLVED: On the Motion of Councillor Dianne Hurst, seconded by Councillor Sue Alston, that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 4 (Suspension and Amendment of Council Procedure Rules) and 11 (Motions which may be moved without notice):-

 

(a) Council Procedure Rule 17.5 be suspended to remove the time limit on the speeches of the mover and seconder of the motion and all other speakers shall have 2 minutes; and

 

(b) Council Procedure Rule 17.6 be suspended to remove the 25-minute time limit for the item of business.

 

 

5.2

It was moved by Councillor Julie Grocutt, and seconded by Councillor Penny Baker, that, as recommended in the report of the Director of Legal and Governance published with the agenda, and in accordance with the recommendations made by the Governance Committee at its meeting held on 9 March 2022, as relates to a new committee system of governance for Sheffield City Council, it be:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That:-

 

 

 

(1)       the various elements of a committee system of governance set out in this report and its appendices, be agreed for implementation from the May 2022 AGM in line with the legally binding referendum of 6 May 2021 and subsequent resolution of Full Council on 19 May 2021;

 

 

 

(2)       the Governance Committee be instructed to conduct a review of the new governance system, commencing six months after implementation (November 2022) with a view to recommending improvements to Full Council for May 2023.  This review will:-

a.               Use the previously agreed ‘strategic aims’ and ‘design principles’ found at Appendix 2 as its success criteria;

b.               Actively seek and use feedback from residents, stakeholders, partners, councillors and officers to inform its assessment against those criteria, in line with the new ways of working expected of all decision-makers within the new system; and

c.                Take account of any changes to the local and national context;

 

 

 

(3)       all existing delegations to officers made by the Executive continue in force and effect save that a requirement to act in consultation with an Individual Executive Member will be read as a requirement to act in consultation with the appropriate Policy Committee Chair (as per section 6.12, recommendation 89 of the attached report);

 

 

 

(4)       the elements of a revised constitution which accompany this report (Appendix 5) be approved with effect from the 18 May 2022 Annual Meeting of the Council; and

 

 

 

(5)       the Director of Legal and Governance be requested to submit the full Constitution for approval to the 18 May 2022 Annual Meeting of Council.

 

 

5.3

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Cate McDonald, and seconded by Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, as an amendment, that the motion now submitted be amended by the addition of a new paragraph (6) as follows:-

 

“(6) an additional recommendation relating to the role of the Policy Committees be inserted in the report, after paragraph 48, as follows:-

 

49. It is the responsibility of each Committee to work within the budget framework agreed by Council. This includes taking timely action to address any overspend within the services for which the Committee is responsible.”

 

 

5.4

It was then moved by Councillor Sue Alston, and seconded by Councillor Mike Levery, as an amendment, that the motion now submitted be amended by the addition of new paragraphs (6) to (16) as follows:-

 

 

 

(6)      thanks be recorded to officers who have worked on this process in a very short timeframe, for getting this Council into a position where it is ready to change its system of governance;

 

 

 

(7)      thanks be recorded to all the members of the public and expert witnesses who contributed ideas, knowledge and thoughts into the process;

 

 

 

(8)      thanks be recorded to all Members on the Governance Committee for their leadership and patient work on these issues, which were an excellent example of cross-party working;

 

 

 

(9)      Council affirms its commitment to the new committee system improving democratic accountability of the Council and engagement with the public;

 

 

 

(10)    as part of the six-month review of the new system (as per recommendation 2) the Governance Committee should specifically consider the merits of devolving more decision-making powers to Local Area Committees (LACs), to enable services to be more responsive to local need and engage more directly with the people they are used by, specifically greater responsibility at the LAC level for:

a.             parks & open spaces,

b.             the discharge of functions of the Council as a Charity Trustee,

c.             local libraries,

d.             small highway projects,

e.             parking regulation and

f.              street scene;

 

 

 

(11)    as part of any future delegation to LACs, consideration should be given to reducing the remit of some policy committees accordingly;

 

 

 

(12)    at the point of any future delegation to LACs and reduction in remit of some policy committees, consideration should be given to combining two or more committees in order to free up officer resource to support the LACs further;

 

 

 

(13)    were policy committees to be combined as a result of the six month review, the new merged policy committees could cover the work of more than one Executive Director;

 

 

 

(14)    it be noted that, were policy committees to be combined as a result of the six month review, this may provide an opportunity for co-chairing as each chair could liaise with one team of officers;

 

 

 

(15)    the Governance Committee be requested to bring forward proposals relating to the above recommendations 10-14 in time for them to be considered alongside the budget proposals for the next financial year; and

 

 

 

(16)    Council reaffirms its commitment to continuing to be responsive to the people of Sheffield and providing good governance to this City.

 

 

5.5

After contributions from ten other Members, and in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17.13 (Motions which may be moved during debate), it was RESOLVED: On the motion of Councillor Dianne Hurst, seconded by Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, that in accordance withCouncil Procedure Rule 17.14 (Closure Motions), the question be now put.

 

 

5.6

Following the decline of the right of reply by Councillor Julie Grocutt, the amendment moved by Councillor Cate McDonald was put to the vote and was carried.

 

 

5.7

The amendment moved by Councillor Sue Alston was then put to the vote and was negatived.

 

 

5.8

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That:-

 

 

 

(1)       the various elements of a committee system of governance set out in this report and its appendices, be agreed for implementation from the May 2022 AGM in line with the legally binding referendum of 6 May 2021 and subsequent resolution of Full Council on 19 May 2021;

 

 

 

(2)      the Governance Committee be instructed to conduct a review of the new governance system, commencing six months after implementation (November 2022) with a view to recommending improvements to Full Council for May 2023.  This review will:-

a.    Use the previously agreed ‘strategic aims’ and ‘design principles’ found at Appendix 2 as its success criteria;

b.    Actively seek and use feedback from residents, stakeholders, partners, councillors and officers to inform its assessment against those criteria, in line with the new ways of working expected of all decision-makers within the new system; and

c.     Take account of any changes to the local and national context;

 

 

 

(3)       all existing delegations to officers made by the Executive continue in force and effect save that a requirement to act in consultation with an Individual Executive Member will be read as a requirement to act in consultation with the appropriate Policy Committee Chair (as per section 6.12, recommendation 89 of the attached report);

 

 

 

(4)       the elements of a revised constitution which accompany this report (Appendix 5) be approved with effect from the 18 May 2022 Annual Meeting of the Council;

 

 

 

(5)       the Director of Legal and Governance be requested to submit the full Constitution for approval to the 18 May 2022 Annual Meeting of Council; and

 

 

 

(6)      an additional recommendation relating to the role of the Policy Committees be inserted in the report, after paragraph 48, as follows:-

 

49. It is the responsibility of each Committee to work within the budget framework agreed by Council. This includes taking timely action to address any overspend within the services for which the Committee is responsible.”.

 

 

 

Supporting documents: