Decision details

Decision details

To revert back to the Council's normal constitutional arrangements following the adoption of a business continuity version of the Constitution on 31 March 2020

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To revert back to the Council’s normal constitutional arrangements undoing the constitutional changes adopted using emergency powers on 31 March 2020.

The business continuity version of the Constitution is no longer in force and the Council is again operating under the Constitution as agreed by Council on 27 January 2020.

For clarity the business continuity provisions adopted on 31 March 2020 that are no longer in force as a result of this decision are:

a. Authorise the Chief Executive to cancel and to call meetings of Council without consultation (Parts 11.5 and 11.6).

b. Authorise the Head of Law and Governance to cancel and to call meetings of non-executive committees and sub- committees without consultation, including cancelling meetings where there would be sufficient business for a meeting to take place (Parts 13.4 & 14.6).

c. Clarify the arrangements for single Cabinet Member decision making, should the Leader choose to delegate any executive decisions currently reserved to Cabinet to individual Cabinet Members.

d. Authorise the Head of Planning Services to determine planning applications normally reserved to area planning committees (Part 5.3) in accordance with a protocol (Appendix 2), until such a time as meetings can be convened.

f. Authorise the Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety to determine all licensing applications (Parts 5.6 and 5.7) with the exception of any applications that require a hearing and cannot be delegated in law, until such a time as meetings can be convened.

Note: the decision was taken to lift the suspension of call in procedures (change “e” in the original decision) on 1 May 2020.

Reasons for the decision:

On 31 March 2020 a business continuity version of the Council’s Constitution was adopted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The temporary provisions were intended to enable decisions normally reserved to committees and sub-committees to continue to be taken and to provide for flexibility in the scheduling and cancellation of meetings.

Since that decision was taken new Regulations have been made that enable local authorities to hold meetings remotely without some or all Members being together in a room. On 18 May 2020 and 19 May 2020 the Council successfully held its first remote meetings. It is now timely to remove the business continuity provisions and revert back to the previous constitutional arrangements

Alternative options considered:

To leave the current temporary arrangements in place. As the Council is now operating remote meetings those temporary arrangements are no longer considered necessary.

Signed off by senior officers:

Signed off by Chief Executive.

Publication date: 20/05/2020

Date of decision: 20/05/2020