Constitutional Review Working Party


Minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2019 at 3.00 pm in Council Chamber, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent.





Dr Jonathan Sexton (Chairman); Councillors Hopkinson, Cllr Rev. S Piper, Stevens and Tomlinson


In Attendance:

Councillor Bailey




118.       Apologies for Absence


There no apologies of absence made at the meeting.




119.       Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest made by Members of the working party.


Mr Tim Howes, Director of Corporate Governance and Monitoring Officer declared an interest as the subject under discussion in agenda item 3 as the matter was about employment conditions for council employees.


One Member requested that Mr Howes recused himself from the meeting due to the declared interest. Mr Howes further advised Members that his role in the meeting was to advise Members as the Monitoring Officer about legal and constitutional matters before Members could make any recommendations regarding the adoption of standing orders for council employees.




120.       Minutes of Previous Meeting


Councillor Piper proposed, Councillor Stevens seconded and Members agreed the minutes to be a correct record of the meeting that was held on 24 September 2019.






Dr Sexton, Chairman of the working party opened the discussion by stating that the report before Members reflected the state of the situation as at the 24 September working party meeting. He then invited Mr Tim Howes, Director of Corporate Governance & Monitoring Officer to introduce the report. Mr Howes advised Members that the council had received advice from JNC, which was included in the updated report and made the following comments:



Members made comments and asked questions seeking clarifications on a number of issues in the officer report. These are detailed below:



Responding to Member comments and questions Mr Howes made the following points:



Mr Howes further advised that consequential changes would have to be made to subsequent documents to the officer report, in order to reflect the new recommendations to be forwarded to the Standards Committee and Council.


Councillor Stevens proposed, Councillor Piper seconded and Members of the Constitutional Review Working Party recommended to the Standards Committee the following:


a.     To create an Investigation and Disciplinary Sub-Committee and Disciplinary Appeals Sub-Committee as sub-committees of the General Purposes Committee , with the terms of reference as set out in Annex 1 of the report; each Sub-Committee to be formed from half of the Members of the General Purposes Committee and each Sub-Committee to include a Cabinet Member;


  1. To appoint an Independent Persons Panel, agree its terms of reference, as set out in Annex 1 to the report, and agree that it should comprise three Independent Persons; 


  1. To agree to pay a fee to Independent Persons appointed to the Independent Persons Panel equal to the agreed rate paid in respect of their role in advising Council on Councillor Conduct issues; 


  1. To amend the Employment Rules, as set out in Annex 2 of the report; 


  1. To delegate to the Committee Services Manager authority to invite and appoint members to serve on the Independent Persons Panel as set out in paragraph 5 of the report.


Members further requested that an extraordinary meeting of the Standards Committee be arranged to expedite the consideration of the above recommendations.






Meeting concluded: 4.05 pm