Isle of Wight council will vote on make several Constitutional changes tonight

At the May full council meeting, members will be asked to vote on several changes to the Constitution, including how petitions can be dealt with, the length of written questions and how many motions a member can submit per meeting.

County Hall Chamber - Annual Meeting May 2018

It’s that time of the year when the Isle of Wight council make amendments to their Constitution.

At tonight’s full council meeting there are a number of items on the Constitution being recommend for amendment.

What is the Council's Constitution?
The constitution is a written legal document that guides the council on its decision making processes.

The legal framework for the constitution is agreed by central government.

Some of these procedures are required by law while others are a matter for the council to choose.

These are set out below, but include changes to the what happens when petitions are lodged, how many motions a member can submit each meeting, written public questions being limited to 150 words and the length of meetings.

Anyone wishing to read the Constitution as it stands, a copy is embedded at the bottom of the this article for your convenience.

The recommendations for changes are as follows:

Appointment of committees
Option 1: To agree that the existing arrangements (as set out in the Constitution) remain but that the following amendments be made: – D – 10

(a) Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils (IWALC) Within the Terms of Reference for the Scrutiny Committee, the reference to IWALC appointing a member to the Scrutiny Committee be removed and it to be a matter for the town and parish councils to identify a representative to be a member of the Scrutiny Committee.

(b) Name of Scrutiny committees The name of the Scrutiny Committees be changed to :-

  • Corporate Scrutiny
  • Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Children’s Services, Education and Skills
  • Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Health and Social Care
  • Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration

Appointment of chairman and vice chairman of committees
Option 1: To appoint the chairmen, and where required, vice chairmen to the positions contained in appendix A.

Scheme of delegation
Option 1: To agree the scheme of delegation as set out at pages 73 to 86 of the constitution.

Petition Scheme
Option 1: The Petition Scheme in relation to petitions of more than 2,500 signatures be amended to provide that upon receipt of a petition, the proper officer will agree with the petition proposer, in consultation with the chairman, the wording of the motion to be put to Full Council for members to debate and vote on.

That motion will then be included in the agenda for Full Council. That the scheme is amended to give the petitioner three minutes to speak, the leader three minutes in reply. There will then be a debate for 15 minutes as is currently provided for after which the leader will have the right to sum up for two minutes. The motion will then be voted on.

There will be no provision for the motion to be amended. That petitions will only be considered if they relate to a subject matter which is within the direct control of the council (not lobbying of central government for example).

That any petition which is on the same subject matter as a current Isle of Wight Council consultation is not to be referred to council for debate. The petition will instead be referred to the relevant Cabinet member to be considered as part of the consultation. That a petition will not be referred to the next meeting of Full Council if there is not time on the agenda, or there is a related report on a later agenda.

That no more than three petitions will be considered per meeting.

Motions on notice to Full Council (Procedure Rule 9 – para 3.1)
Option 1: The time allowed at each meeting for motions shall be one hour. Each member will be limited to one motion per meeting. Para 3.1 shall be amended to provide that motions shall only be on issues directly controlled by or that directly affect the council, not matters outside the council’s control.

Each notice of motion must be clear, succinct, with no lengthy preamble, and must clearly identify the matter to be debated and have a clear question to be put. Para 2.1 under Procedure Rule 9 will be deleted (this provided for motions directly related to the operation of the council be considered before those that do not so directly relate) as this will no longer be relevant.

Public questions
Option 1: That a written public question to Full Council be limited to 150 words per question.

Length of a Full Council meeting
Option 1: A Full Council meeting may continue for up to four hours. There will be no provision for an extension of time.

Any remaining items of business, at the chairman’s discretion, will either be referred to an extraordinary meeting, or the next ordinary meeting or will simply fall for not being considered.

Budget Council
Option 1: That Procedural Rule 1.9 be amended to clarify that all group leaders will be afforded an opportunity to speak, regardless of whether they have submitted an alternative budget/amendment.

Separation of Procedure Rules
Option 1: That the Procedure Rules for the regulation of proceedings – Full Council, Cabinet, committees and sub-committees be separated out into Full Council and, Cabinet, committees and sub-committees for ease of reference.

Members written questions to Cabinet
Option 1: The deadline for members written questions to Cabinet be changed to 48 hours from 24 hours

Gifts and hospitality guidance – update
Option 1: To approve the updated gifts and hospitality guidance which is attached at Appendix B.

Appointment of section 151 officer/chief financial officer
Option 1: To accept the recommendation of the Appointments Panel on 30 April 2019 to enter into a further strategic partnership agreement with Portsmouth City Council for the provision of a chief financial officer/section151 officer, namely Mr Chris Ward.

That the final detail of the Strategic Partnership Agreement be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources.

THAT the monitoring officer be authorised to amend the constitution to reflect any agreed changes.

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 5:32pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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2 Comments on "Isle of Wight council will vote on make several Constitutional changes tonight"

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Phil Jordan
As I understand it…. an amendment was made and accepted which altered the falling of a motion because of the four hour time limit and having no time left to debate it. No mention, however, of the disgraceful *temporary* arrangement for Hampshire to provide a Director of Public Health to the Island. This is a statutory post (as is the S151 officer) which should be exposed to… Read more »

Cuts to services everywhere, yet there is money to be spent on a 240 page document to re-arrange the deckchairs on the Titanio.