WOLVERHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL THE CONSTITUTION

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1 WOLVERHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL THE CONSTITUTION

2 Key Bold and Italics - to be inserted/amended Red - to be moved to elsewhere in the Constitution or Appendices Red - to be deleted

3 Contents CONSTITUTION OF WOLVERHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL THE CONSTITUTION Contents Page No Part 1 Summary and Explanation Part 2 Articles of the Constitution Article 1 - The Constitution 6 10 Article 2 - Members of the Councillors Article 3 - Citizens and the Council 9 13 Article 4 - The Full Council Article 5 - Chairing the Council The Mayor and Deputy Mayor Article 76 - The Executive Cabinet Article 67 - Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements Article 8 - Regulatory and other ccommittees Article 9 - The Standards Committee of Conduct Article 10 - Area Structures Local Partnership and Local Neighbourhood Partnerships Article 11 - Joint Arrangements Article 12 - Officers Employees Article 13 - Decision Making Article 14 - Finance, Contracts and Legal Matters Article 15 - Review and Revision of the Constitution Article 16 - Suspension, Interpretation and Publication of the Constitution Schedule 1 - Description of Executive Arrangements Part 3 APPENDIX 1 - Delegations/Responsibility of Functions Page No Responsibility for Functions 1-84 Delegation to Officers Employees Part 4 APPENDIX 2 - Page No Rules of Procedure Supporting Policies, Procedures and Codes Council Procedure Rules Access to Information Procedure Rules The Forward Plan Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules Executive Cabinet Procedure Rules Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules Financial Procedure Rules

4 Contents Contracts Procedure Rules Officer Employee Employment Procedure Rules Codes and Protocols Contents 145 Local Code of Corporate Governance Methodology for Rotating the Office of Mayor and Deputy Mayor Protocol governing the use of the Mayor s casting vote Code of Conduct for Members Councillors Officers Code of Conduct for Employees Code of Practice for Employees Travel, Subsistence, Hospitality and Gifts Protocol for Member Councillor/Officer Employee Relationships Protocol for use of Council ICT facilities by Elected Members Councillors ICT Security Policy Code of Practice for Service on Outside bodies Liability of Employees Members Councillors Allowances Scheme Management Structure Protocol for Dealing with Petitions at Full Council Meetings Appointments to Outside Bodies Protocol for the Recording and Filming of Meetings Protocol for the Use of Social Media by Councillors 273- Members Allowances Scheme Management Structure

5 Summary and Explanations 1. The Council s Constitution Wolverhampton City Council has agreed a constitution which sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose. The Constitution is divided into 16 articles which set out the basic rules governing the Council s business. More detailed procedures and codes of practice are provided in separate rules and protocols at the end of the document. 2. What s in the Constitution? Article 1 of the Constitution commits the Council to take decisions openly, efficiently and effectively. The Council will encourage citizens and their representatives to play a part in the decision making process by contributing towards policy development and the scrutiny of decisions. Articles 2 16 explain the rights of citizens and how the key parts of the Council operate. These are: Members of the Council (Article 2). Citizens and the Council (Article 3). The Council meeting (Article 4). Chairing the Council (Article 5). Overview and scrutiny of decisions (Article 6). The Executive (Article 7). Regulatory and other committees (Article 8). The Standards Committee (Article 9). Area Structures (Article 10). Joint arrangements (Article 11). Officers (Article 12). Decision making (Article 13). Finance, contracts and legal matters (Article 14). 1

6 Summary and Explanations Review and revision of the Constitution (Article 15). Suspension, interpretation and publication of the Constitution (Article 16). 3. How the Council operates The Council is composed of 60 councillors with one-third elected three years in four. Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their ward. The overriding duty of councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them. Councillors have to agree to follow a code of conduct to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties. The Standards Committee trains and advises them on the code of conduct. All councillors meet together as the Council. Meetings of the Council are normally open to the public. Here councillors decide the Council s overall policies and set the budget each year. The Council appoints the Leader of the Council and Councillors to regulatory and other committees described in Articles 8, 9 and 10. The Leader of the Council appoints members to the Executive that is the Cabinet, and the Cabinet Panels, described in Article 7, from members of the Council. The Council also appoints Councillors to undertake overview and scrutiny of the Executive as described in Article How decisions are made The Executive is the part of the Council which is responsible for most day-to-day decisions. The Executive is made up of the Leader of the Council and nine other Councillors who together form the Cabinet. When major decisions are to be discussed or made, these are published in the Executive s forward plan in so far as they can be anticipated. If these major decisions are to be discussed with council officers at a meeting of the Executive, this will generally be open for the public to attend except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed. The Executive has to make decisions which are in line with the Council s overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision which is outside the budget or policy framework, this must be referred to the Council as a whole to decide. 5. Overview and Scrutiny The Scrutiny Board and six Scrutiny Panels support the work of the Executive and the Council as a whole. They allow citizens to have a greater say in Council matters by enquiring into matters of local concern. These lead to reports and recommendations which advise the Executive and the Council as a whole on its policies, budget and service delivery. The Board and Panels also monitor the decisions of the Executive. They can call-in a decision which has been made by the Executive but not yet implemented. This enables them to consider whether the decision is appropriate. They may recommend that the Executive reconsider the 2

7 Summary and Explanations decision. They may also be consulted by the Executive or the Council on forthcoming decisions and the development of policy. 6. Area Structures Local Neighbourhood Partnerships In order to give local citizens a greater say in council affairs the Council has created local neighbourhood partnerships. The areas covered and the membership, powers and responsibilities are described in Article The Council s staff The Council has people working for it (called officers ) to give advice, implement decisions and manage the day-to-day delivery of its services. Some officers have a specific duty to ensure that the Council acts within the law and uses its resources wisely. A protocol governs the relationships between officers and members of the council. 8. Citizens Rights Citizens have a number of rights in their dealings with the Council. These are set out in more detail in Article 3. Some of these are legal rights, whilst others depend on the Council s own processes. The local Citizens Advice Bureau can advise on individuals legal rights. Where members of the public use specific council services, for example as a parent of a school pupil or as a council tenant, they have additional rights. These are not covered in this Constitution. Citizens have the right to: vote at local elections if they are registered; contact their local councillor about any matters of concern to them; obtain a copy of the Constitution; attend meetings of the Council, the Executive, the Scrutiny Board and Panels and committees except where, for example, personal or confidential matters are being discussed; petition to request a referendum on a mayoral form of executive; find out, from the Executive s forward plan, what major decisions are to be discussed by the Executive or decided by the Executive or officers, and when; attend meetings of the Executive where key decisions are being discussed or decided; 3

8 Summary and Explanations see reports and background papers, and any record of decisions made by the Council and Executive; use the Complaints and Compliments Procedure if they have a complaint about Council Services; complain to the Ombudsman if they think the Council has not followed its procedures properly. However, they should only do this after using the Council s own complaints process; complain to the Standards Committee if they have evidence which they think shows that a councillor has not followed the Council s Code of Conduct; and inspect the Council s accounts and make their views known to the external auditor. The Council welcomes participation by its citizens in its work. For further information on your rights as a citizen, please contact the Assistant Director (Governance) at the Civic Centre, St Peter s Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1RG. PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION 1 The City Council is the democratically elected authority for Wolverhampton. 2 Its overarching role is to improve the quality of life of the people of Wolverhampton by: arranging delivery of services driven by the sole purpose of serving all Wolverhampton residents, Council Tax payers and businesses within the City providing clear and accountable community leadership and promoting equality of opportunity championing the City s interests, supporting the local economy and enhancing the environment consulting and involving the citizens of Wolverhampton in planning ahead and making decisions on their behalf influencing and working in partnership with other organisations. It has the broad power under the Local Government Act 2000 and Localism Act 2011 to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area and has statutory responsibility for the provision of a range of services. The City Council sees one of its most significant roles as championing the interests of the people of Wolverhampton. 3 The Council develops strategic plans for the City in consultation with the wider Wolverhampton community and implements those plans through its own services (delivered by its own staff employees or by contractors), in partnership with other organisations and by influencing other agencies including government departments and other councils. 4 The Council has approved this Constitution, which sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose. 4

9 Summary and Explanations The Council has a duty to promote and uphold high standards of conduct by its members Councillors. Councillors have agreed to follow a code of conduct referred to in Appendix 2 to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties referred to in Appendix 2. 5 The Constitution covers the following issues: a. the way meetings are regulated and conducted; b. the functions of the Council, the Executive Cabinet, Scrutiny, and Regulatory and other Committees; c. which meetings can make which decisions and when decisions will be made in public; d. how Members Councillors are appointed to and removed from the Executive Cabinet; e. how and when decisions may be made by individual Councillors Members and individual Officers Employees; f. how much Members Councillors receive in Allowances; g. Standards of conduct; h. Local Partnership and Local Neighbourhood Partnerships; i. joint working with other authorities; j. audit procedures, financial and contract rules 6 The Council exercises all of its powers and duties in accordance with the law and this Constitution. The powers and duties of the Council are set out in various Acts of Parliament and supporting legislation. 7 The purpose of the Constitution as set out in Article 1.3 is to: a. enable the Council to provide a clear framework for clear leadership to the community in partnership with citizens, businesses and other; b. support the active involvement of citizens in the process of local authority decision-making; c. help Councillors represent their constituents more effectively; d. enable decisions to be taken efficiently and effectively; e. create a powerful and effective means of holding decision-making to public account; f. ensure that no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved; 5

10 Summary and Explanations g. ensure that those responsible for decision making are clearly identifiable to local people and that they explain the reasons for decisions; and h. provide a means of improving the delivery of services to the community This is in the context of the Councils vision for Wolverhampton Vision Delivering the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families To ensure our children and young people are healthy and safe, enjoy and achieve in life, make a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing Making communities safer and stronger To promote safe, inclusive and vibrant communities where people are able to influence decisions and have access to high quality local services Improving the health and well-being of our communities To maximise the health, quality of life and independence of vulnerable people, prevent ill health and promote healthy lifestyles for children and families from all communities Developing Sustainable Communities To work in partnership with others to achieve a diverse and flourishing economy providing wellpaid employment, and offering quality and choice in housing within a sustainable environment Excellent Council 8 How the Council operates The Council is comprised of 60 Councillors with one-third elected three years in four. Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their ward. The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them. The balance of power within the Council depends upon the number of members Councillors elected for each political party. Other than through the Executive Cabinet structure, the composition of meetings reflects the political make up of the Council proportionately. All Councillors meet together as the Full Council. The Full Council is chaired by the Mayor. Meetings of the Full Council are normally open to the public. There are certain matters which the law states only the Full Council can decide. These are described in Article 4 of the Constitution. At Full Council meetings Councillors decide the Council s overall policies and set the budget each year. The Council appoints the Leader of the Council, as the political head of the Council. The Council can dismiss the Leader if there is a vote of no confidence in him/her. The Leader is appointed for a 4 year term (or until the expiry of the Leader s term of office as a Councillor) and Full Council also appoints Councillors to the Scrutiny, Regulatory Committees and other bodies described in Articles 6, 8, 9 and 10. 6

11 Summary and Explanations Meetings of the Full Council, the Executive Cabinet, Scrutiny, Regulatory Committees and other bodies usually take place at the Civic Centre, Wolverhampton. Notice of when these meetings are held and what decisions will be made is available from Democratic Services at the Civic Centre and are contained on the Council s website. The Leader of the Council appoints annually members Councillors to the Cabinet and the Cabinet Panels, described in Article How decisions are made The Council has adopted the Leader and Executive Cabinet model of political management. The Constitution identifies which decisions the Council will make and which decisions the Executive Cabinet will make. The Executive Cabinet is the part of the Council which is responsible for most day-to-day decisions. When key decisions are to be discussed or made, these are published in the Leader s Forward Plan referred to in Appendix 1. If these key decisions are to be discussed at a meeting of the Executive Cabinet, this will generally be open for the public to attend except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed. The Executive Cabinet has to make decisions which are in line with the Council s overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision which is outside the budget or policy framework, this must be referred to the Full Council to decide. The Executive Cabinet will also formulate policy within that Policy Framework for the Full Council to consider. The Executive Cabinet can decide on other policies that do not form part of the Policy Framework. 10 Regulatory Committees The law gives the Council powers to grant approvals, licences, consents, permissions and registration in matters such as planning, licensing, health and safety, rights of way etc. These are not allowed to be dealt with by the Executive Cabinet and these powers are exercised by Committees of the Council. A list of these Committees and their respective responsibilities are contained in Appendix Overview and Scrutiny The Scrutiny Board and six Scrutiny Panels support the work of the Executive Cabinet and the Council as a whole. They allow citizens to have a greater say in Council matters by enquiring into matters of local concern. These lead to reports and recommendations which advise the Executive Cabinet and the Council as a whole on its policies, budget and service delivery. The Board and Panels also monitor the decisions of the Executive Cabinet. They can call-in a decision which has been made by the Executive Cabinet but not yet implemented. This enables them to consider whether the decision is appropriate. They may recommend that the Executive Cabinet reconsider the decision. They may also be consulted by the Executive Cabinet or the Council on forthcoming decisions and the development of policy. 7

12 Summary and Explanations 12 Area Structures The Local Partnership and Local Neighbourhood Partnerships In order to give local citizens a greater say in Council affairs the Council has created Local Neighbourhood Partnerships. The areas covered and the membership, powers and responsibilities of these are described in Article The Council s staff Employees The Council have people employees working for it referred to as Officers. Officers who perform a number of different roles, ranging from delivering services to giving advice, implementing decisions and managing the work of the Council. Officers Employees operate in a politically neutral way, which members Councillors must respect. Some officers employees have a specific duty to ensure that the Council acts within the law and uses its resources wisely. These officers employees are the Monitoring Officer and the Section 151 Officer. There is a protocol that governs the relationships between Members Councillors and Officers employees which is set out in Appendix Citizens Rights Citizens have a number of rights in their dealings with the Council. These are set out in more detail in Article 3 of this Constitution Citizens have the right to: vote at local elections if they are included in the Electoral Register; attend meetings of the Council, the Executive Cabinet, the Scrutiny Board and Panels and Regulatory Committees and Standing Bodies except where, for example, personal or confidential matters are being discussed; petition to request a referendum on an elected mayor; petition the Council and receive a response establish, from the Leader s Forward Plan, what major decisions are to be discussed by the Executive Cabinet or decided by the Executive Cabinet or officers employees, and when; view reports and background papers, and any record of decisions made by the Council and Executive Cabinet; use the Complaints and Compliments Procedure if they have a complaint about Council Services; complain to the Ombudsman if they think the Council has not followed its procedures properly. complain to the Standards Committee if they have evidence which they think shows that a Councillor has not followed the Council s Code of Conduct; and. (Note: Regulations under the Localism Act 2011 are currently awaited that will impact on the role of the Standards Committee. Revisions to this section of the Constitution may be required once those Regulations have been published.) 8

13 Summary and Explanations inspect the Council s accounts and make their views known to the Council s External Auditor. The Council welcomes participation by its citizens in its work. For further information on your rights as a citizen, please contact the Assistant Director Governance Services at the Civic Centre, St Peter s Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH. 9

14 Article 1 The Constitution Article 1 - The Constitution 1.1 Powers of the Council The Council will exercise all of its powers and duties in accordance with the law and this Constitution. 1.2 The Constitution This Constitution, and all its appendices, is the Constitution of the Wolverhampton City Council. 1.3 Purpose of the Constitution The purpose of the Constitution is to: 1. a. enable the Council to provide clear leadership to the community in partnership with citizens, business and other organisations; 2. b. support the active involvement of citizens in the process of local authority decision-making; 3. c. help Councillors represent their constituents more effectively; 4. d. enable decisions to be taken efficiently and effectively; 5. e. create a powerful and effective means of holding decision-makers to public account; 6. f. ensure that no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved; 7. g. ensure that those responsible for decision making are clearly identifiable to local people and that they explain the reasons for decisions; and 8. h. provide a means of improving the delivery of services to the community. 1.4 Interpretation and Review of the Constitution Where the Constitution permits the Council to choose between different courses of action, the Council will always choose be guided by that option which it thinks is closest to the purposes stated above. The Council will monitor and evaluate the operation of the Constitution as set out in Article 15. Any amendments, including those made by the Monitoring Officer will form part of the Constitution. 10

15 Article 2 Members of the Council Councillors Article 2 Members of the Council Councillors 2.1 Composition and eligibility Membership of the Council (a) (b) Composition. The Council will comprise 60 members, otherwise called councillors. Three councillors will be elected by the voters of each ward in accordance with a scheme drawn up by the Electoral Commission and approved by the Secretary of State. Eligibility. Only registered voters of the area or those living or working there will be eligible to hold the office of councillor. The Membership of the Council comprises 60 members or Councillors, who are elected by the voters of the City of Wolverhampton. There are 20 wards within the City and 3 Councillors are elected by the voters of each ward. This is in line with a scheme which was drawn up by the Electoral Commission and approved by the Secretary of State. Only those eligible persons, defined by electoral law, will be permitted to hold the office of Councillor. 2.2 Elections and Term of councillors Office The ordinary election of a third of all councillors will be Local Elections are usually held on the first Thursday in May each year, the date may, on occasions, be changed by Parliament. except that in 2009 In 2013 and every fourth year after following, there will be no regular local elections, unless there are changes to election law. A third of all Councillors normally stand for election and the terms of office of Councillors will, normally, be four years starting on the fourth day after being elected. and finishing on the fourth day after the date of the regular election four years later. 2.3 Roles and functions of all councillors Key Roles (a) (i) a. Key roles All Councillors will: collectively be the ultimate policy-makers and carry out a number of strategic and corporate functions for the City Council; (ii) b. represent their communities and bring their views into the Council s decision-making process i.e. become the advocate of and for their communities; (iii) c. deal with individual casework, respond to Constituents enquiries and represent them fairly, promptly and impartially and act as an advocate for constituents in resolving particular concerns or grievances; (iv) d. balance different interests within the ward and represent the ward as a whole; (v) e. be involved in decision-making; (vi) f. be available to represent the Council on other bodies; and (vii) g. maintain the highest standards of conduct and ethics. 11

16 Article 2 Members of the Council Councillors 2.4 The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to residents of their ward. (b) Rights and duties 2.5 Rights and Duties (i) a. Councillors will have such rights of access to such documents, information, land and buildings of the Council as are necessary for the proper discharge of their functions and them to be able to carry out their role properly and in accordance with the law. (ii) b. Councillors will not make any information public information which if it is confidential or exempt, without the consent of the Council, or divulge information given in confidence to anyone other than a ccouncillor or officer employee entitled to know it. (iii) c. For these purposes, confidential and exempt information are defined in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution contained in Appendix 2 of this Constitution. 2.6 Conduct Councillors will at all times observe the Members abide by the Council s Code of Conduct and the Protocol on for Members Councillors, Member/Officer Councillor/Employee Relationships Protocol and other general guidance set out in Part 5 of this Constitution Appendix Members Councillors Allowances Councillors will be entitled to receive allowances in accordance with the Members Councillors Allowances Scheme set out in Part 6 Appendix 2 of this Constitution 12

17 Article 3 Citizens and The Council Article 3 - Citizens and The Council 3.1 Citizens rights Citizens have the following rights. Their rights to information and to participate in Council business are explained in more detail in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 Appendix 2 of this Constitution: (a) (b) Voting and petitions. Citizens on the electoral roll for the area have the right to vote and sign a petition to request a referendum for an elected mayor form of Constitution and other matters under Localism Act. Information. Citizens have the right to: (i) a. attend meetings of the Council and its Executive the Cabinet, the Scrutiny Board, Scrutiny Panels, and Regulatory and other Committees and Standing Bodies except where confidential or exempt information is likely to be disclosed. and the meeting is therefore held in private; (ii) b. attend meetings of the Executive Cabinet when key decisions are being considered; (iii) c. find out from the fforward pplan what key decisions will be taken by the Executive Cabinet and when; (iv) d. see reports and background papers, and any records of decisions made by the Council and the Executive Cabinet; and (v) e. inspect the Council s accounts and make their views known to the external auditor. f. contact their local councillor about any matters of concern to them; g. obtain a copy of the Constitution. (c) Complaints. Citizens have the right to complain to: (i) a. the Council itself under its complaints scheme; (ii) b. the Ombudsman after using the Council s own complaints scheme; (iii) c. the Standards Committee for England about a breach of the Members Councillors Code of Conduct. 3.2 Citizens responsibilities In pursuing these rights Citizens must not be violent, abusing or threatening to Councillors or officers employees and must not wilfully harm things owned by the Council, Councillors or officers employees. 13

18 Article 4 The Full Council Article 4 - The Full Council Meanings (a) Policy Framework. The policy framework means the following plans and strategies:- (i) those required by the Local Government Act 2000 and Regulations: Best Value Performance Plan; Children and Young People s Plan; Sustainable Community Strategy; Crime Community Safety and Drug Reduction Strategy; Licensing Authority Policy Statement Statement of Gambling Policy Local Transport Plan; Plans and alterations which together comprise the Local Development Framework; Youth Justice Plan. (ii) those recommended by the Government The plan and strategy which comprise the Housing Investment Programme including housing finance and rents; Adult Learning and Skills Strategy; Environment Strategy; (iii) those which the Council has decided as a matter of local choice: (b) (c) Budget. The budget includes the allocation of financial resources to different services and projects, proposed contingency funds, setting the council tax and decisions relating to the control of the Council s borrowing requirement, investments, the control of its capital expenditure and the setting of virement limits. Housing Land Transfer. Housing Land Transfer means the approval or adoption of applications (whether in draft form or not ) to the Secretary of State for approval of a programme of disposal of 500 or more properties to a person under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 or to dispose of land used for residential purposes where approval is required under sections 32 or 43 of the Housing Act

19 Article 4 The Full Council (d) Wolverhampton Homes Delivery Plan 4.1 The Full Council comprises all 60 elected member Councillors of Wolverhampton City Council. By law, there are some things that only the Full Council has the power to do. The person who chairs the Full Council meeting is the Mayor (further details are set out in Article 5). 4.2 Functions of the Full Council Only the Full Council will exercise the following functions: a. Adopting and changing the Constitution b. Approving or and adopting the Budget and the Policy Framework, the budget and any application to the Secretary of State in respect of any Housing Land Transfer. c. Subject to the urgency procedure, contained in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 Appendix 2 of this Constitution, making decisions about any matter in the discharge of an executive Cabinet function which is covered by the policy framework or the budget where the decision maker is minded to make it in a manner which would be contrary to the policy framework or contrary to/or not wholly in accordance with the budget; d. Electing the Leader of the Council and removing him/her from office at any time by passing a resolution to that effect. at the Annual Council Meeting in accordance with Article e. Receiving the Leader s nominations to serve on the Cabinet and Cabinet Panels f. Approving and/or amending the terms of reference for the Cabinet, Cabinet Panels, Cabinet Members responsibilities, Standing Bodies, area committees and forums, the Scrutiny Board and Scrutiny Panels all Committees, Panels and Boards (not being Committees Panels or Boards of the Executive Cabinet), and deciding on their composition and making appointments to them g. Appointing representatives to outside bodies unless the appointment is an executive Cabinet function or has been delegated by the Council. h. Approving and adopting, annually, a Members Councillors Allowances Scheme under Article 2.5. i. Changing the name of the area, conferring the honour of Honorary Alderman or Freedom of the City j. Making arrangements to approve Confirming the appointment and dismissal of the Head of Paid Service, and Strategic Directors (as defined by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989) and the Director of Pensions, West Midlands Pension Fund k. Making, amending, revoking, re-enacting or adopting byelaws and promoting or opposing the making of local legislation or personal Bills Acts l. All local choice functions set out in Part 3 of this Constitution which the Council decides should be undertaken by itself rather than the Executive Cabinet; and 15

20 Article 4 The Full Council m. Delegation to and from other local authorities under Article 11. Approval of the Annual Pay Policy n. Dealing with any petition containing over 2,500 signatures received by the Council in accordance with the Protocol for dealing with Petitions at Council Meetings set out in Appendix 2. o. A Resolution not to issue a casino premises licence under section 166 of the Gambling Act p. All other matters which by law must be reserved to the Council and Strategic Directors Full Council Meetings There are three types of Full Council meeting and their purpose is set out in the Council Procedure Rules in Appendix 2 to this Constitution: a. The Annual Meeting - This is held in May each year and its main purpose is to elect the Mayor; b. Ordinary Meetings These take place approximately every six weeks and include the meeting in March each year at which the Council sets the Budget including the level of Council Tax for the following financial year; c. Extraordinary Meetings held wherever whenever the Council believes an additional meeting is required to discuss a specific issue ie such as the conferment of the honour of Freeman or Freedom of the City or Honorary Alderman. and they will be conducted in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution Appendix (a) Policy Framework. The Policy Framework means comprises the following plans and strategies: (i) a. those required by the Local Government Act 2000 and Regulations: Children and Young People s Plan; Sustainable Community Strategy; Crime, Community Safety and Drug Reduction Strategy; Licensing Authority Policy Statement Statement of Gambling Policy Local Transport Plan; Plans and alterations which together comprise the Local Development Framework; Youth Justice Plan. (ii) b. those recommended by the Government The pplan and sstrategy which comprise the Housing Investment Programme including housing finance and rents; Adult Learning and Skills Strategy; Environment Strategy; 16

21 Article 4 The Full Council (iii) c. those which the Council may decide as a matter of local choice from time to time. These are:- The Children and Young People s Plan The Corporate Plan 4.65 (b) Budget The bbudget includes the allocation of financial resources to different services and projects, including contingency funds, setting the ccouncil ttax and decisions relating to the Council s borrowing requirements, its investments and the control of its capital expenditure and the setting of virement limits. It includes the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Capital Management Strategy. The Council sets its budget in March each year. (c) The activities delegated to the Superannuation Committee are not part of the Council s budget, but subject to comparable arrangements controlled and managed by the Superannuation Committee. 17

22 Article 5 Chairing The Council The Mayor and Deputy Mayor Article 5 - Chairing The Council The Mayor and Deputy Mayor 5.1 Role and function of the Mayor a. The Mayor will be elected and the Deputy Mayor will be appointed at the Annual Council meeting. The methodology for the rotation of the office of Mayor and Deputy Mayor is contained in Appendix 2 to this Constitution. b. The Council s Code of Conduct for Members Councillors applies to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. c. Neither the Mayor nor the Deputy Mayor may be a member Councillor of the Executive Cabinet Member during their respective term of office. The Mayor, during their his/her respective term of office, will not serve on any Regulatory Body Committee of the Council including the Planning and Licensing Committees d. The Mayor and in his/her absence, the Deputy Mayor, have the following roles and functions: 5.2 Ceremonial Role The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor will represent the City at local, regional, national and international civic and ceremonial events. 5.3 Chairing the Full Council Meeting The Mayor will be elected and the Deputy Mayor will be appointed by the at the Annual Council annually meeting. The methodology for the rotation of the office of Mayor and Deputy Mayor is contained in Part 5 Appendix 2 of to this Constitution. a. The protocol governing the use of the Mayor s casting vote at meetings of the Full Council is set out in Appendix 2. The Mayor will have has the following responsibilities: (a) a. to uphold and promote Wolverhampton and the purposes of the Constitution, and to interpret and give rulings on the Constitution where necessary and following appropriate advice from the Monitoring Officer; (b) b. to preside over meetings of the Full Council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of ccouncillors and the interests of the community; (c) c. to ensure that the Full Council meeting is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to the local community and the place at which members Councillors who are not on the Executive Cabinet are able to hold the Executive Cabinet to account; (d) d. to promote public involvement in the Council s activities; (e) e. to be the conscience of the Council. 18

23 Article 5 Chairing The Council The Mayor and Deputy Mayor f. The protocol governing the use of the Mayor s casting vote at meetings of the Full Council is set out in Appendix Membership of Regulatory Bodies The Mayor, during their respective term of office, will not serve on any Regulatory Body of the Council including Planning and Licensing Committees 5.5 Protocol Governing the Use of the Mayor s Casting Vote The protocol governing the use of the Mayor s casting vote is contained in Part 5 of this Constitution. 19

24 Article 6 Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements The Executive Cabinet Article The Executive Cabinet 76.1 Role The Executive Cabinet will carry out all the local authority s Council s functions which are not the responsibility of any other part of the local authority Council, whether by law or under this Constitution. The Executive Cabinet will also formulate policy listed in the Policy Framework and the Budget for to consideration by Full Council Form and Composition The Executive Cabinet will consist of comprise the Leader of the Council together with at least 2, but not more than and up to a maximum of 9, Councillors appointed to the Cabinet by the Leader Leader of the Council In accordance with the decision of the Council on 16 December 2009 and the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 the Leader will must be a councillor elected to the position of Leader by the Council at its annual meeting following the Local Government Elections for a period of 4 years or for up to the end of his/her term of office as a Member Councillor whichever is shorter. The Leader will hold office for a period of four years or until:- (a) his/her term of office as a councillor expires; or a. he/she resigns from the office; or b. he/she is suspended from being a councillor under Part III 3 of the Local Government Act 2000 (although he/she may resume office at the end of the period of suspension) (NB. Will change post Localism Act); or c. he/she is no longer a councillor; or d. he/she is removed from office by resolution of the Council, in which case a new Leader will be elected either at the meeting approving the resolution or at a subsequent meeting. (Note(1) Where the Leader is removed form office by resolution of the Council, at that same meeting, the council will elect a new leader) (Note(2) There is an accepted understanding amongst political groups that Upon any change in the political control of the ccouncil, the lleader will resign from office without the need for (e) 6.3(d) above to be invoked.) 76.4 Other Executive Cabinet Members Other Executive Cabinet Members shall be appointed annually by the Leader and will hold office until: a. they resign from office; or b. they are suspended from being a Councillors under Part III 3 of the Local Government Act 2000 (although they may resume office at the end of the period of suspension) (NB. Will change post-localism Act); or c. they are no longer a Councillors; or d. they are removed from office, either individually or collectively, by the Leader who must give notice in writing of any removal to the Proper Officer. The removal 20

25 Article 6 Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements The Executive Cabinet will take effect two working days after the receipt of the notice by the Proper Officer. 7.5 Proceedings of the Executive Proceedings of the Executive shall take place in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution. 7.6 Responsibility for functions The Council will set out in Part 3 of this Constitution which members of the Executive, Cabinet Panels, officers or joint arrangements are responsible for the exercise of particular executive functions Responsibility for Functions The Leader notifies the Executive Cabinet and Full Council which of the individual members of the Executive Cabinet Members, Committees of the Executive Cabinet and officers employees or joint arrangements are responsible for the exercise of particular Executive Cabinet functions Portfolio Responsibilities of Cabinet Members The current portfolio responsibilities of Cabinet Members are shown in Appendix The roles and functions of the Executive Cabinet are as follows: a. Responsibility for proposing, consulting on, developing, monitoring, reviewing and advising the Council on the budget and the policy framework b. To be responsible for all decisions relating to the implementation of Council policy. c. Making decisions on expenditure provided they are within the budget set by the Council and in accordance with the Financial Regulations and may vire budgets within limits as decided from time to time. The Executive Cabinet is responsible for: d. Monitoring the lawful, proper and efficient conduct of the Council s financial affairs, including the extent to which budgets and financial policies are being and will be met, requiring or approving any remedial action to be taken where it considers it to be necessary and appropriate e. Approving, monitoring and reviewing the Council s human resources policies f. Approving, monitoring and reviewing the provision of services to the Council delivered by external or internal suppliers g. Advising the Council on strategic matters in relation to corporate governance, community governance and community strategy h. Monitoring and reviewing issues relating to area working 21

26 Article 6 Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements The Executive Cabinet i. Carrying out all functions in respect of the organisation of schools under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 or any subsequent amending legislation j. Exercising the Council s emergency functions in the event of a major emergency incident in the area, or in a neighbouring area, if it affects or might affect the residents, business or economy of the area, subject to the urgent action provisions being used as necessary k. The Executive Cabinet shall make recommendations to the Council on any topic when directed by the Council l. The Executive Cabinet shall except so far as specifically allocated to Full Council or any other Committee or Sub-Committee, discharge all operational functions of the Council The Council delegates its powers and duties to the Executive Cabinet so far as it is necessary to discharge these responsibilities. These are set out in Appendix The Executive Cabinet will conduct its meetings in accordance with the Executive Cabinet Procedure Rules set out in Appendix The Executive Cabinet may carry out the functions set out in Article 76.7: a. Itself; b. Through a Committee of the Executive Cabinet, which may co-opt other Members Councillors or persons who if so co-opted will not be voting members of the committee c. By delegating its power to an individual Cabinet Member of the Executive (subject to rules to be approved by Council from time to time currently see Rule 24 Appendix 2) d. By delegating its power to an officer employee, who shall exercise that power in accordance with the scheme of delegation to officers employees set out in Appendix 1. e. For the purposes of this Constitution decisions made by the Executive Cabinet itself or by a Committee of the Executive Cabinet are called Amber Decisions f. For the purposes of this Constitution, decisions made by an Individual Cabinet Member of the Executive are called Green Decisions The Executive Cabinet may appoint any advisory bodies such as task groups or policy development boards it deems necessary, comprising any Cabinet Members of the executive, other members Councillors or persons. These bodies cannot exercise executive Cabinet functions. NB: Certain functions listed in the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 and any subsequent amendments of these Regulations cannot be exercised by the Executive Cabinet. 22

27 76.12 Urgent Decisions outside the Budget or Policy Framework Article 6 Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements The Executive Cabinet An urgent decision which is contrary to the Policy Framework or budget adopted by the Council may be taken by the Executive Cabinet if the Chairman of the Scrutiny Board agrees that the decision is urgent. If no such Chairman is available (or willing) then the Mayor or in his/her absence the Deputy Mayor may agree that it is urgent before a decision may be implemented is taken Urgent Business Where an urgent decision on a matter delegated to the Cabinet is required but it is not feasible to arrange a meeting of the Cabinet, the appropriate Strategic Director in conjunction with the Chief Executive is authorised to take the appropriate urgent action provided that the action shall have first been discussed with and approved in writing by the Leader (or in the Leader s absence, the Deputy Leader) and two other Cabinet Members and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Scrutiny Board or their nominees.. The written authorisation must include details of the proposal and justification of using the Urgent Business Procedure. Expenditure must be within existing budgets. Any action taken under this rule must be reported to the next available meeting of the Cabinet for information. Such decisions will not be subject to the usual Call In procedures set out in Appendix 2, although they may be examined after implementation to determine whether the justification for the course of action was appropriate. 23

28 Article 6 7 The Executive Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements Article 6 7 Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements 67.1 Terms of reference The Council will appoint a Scrutiny Board and Scrutiny Panels as set out in the left hand column of the table below to discharge the functions conferred by section 21 of the Local Government Act 2000 or regulations under section 32 of the Local Government Act 2000 in relation to the matters set out in the right hand column of the same table indicated. Scrutiny Board and Scrutiny Panels Scope Scrutiny Board Children and Young People The co-ordination of the work of the Scrutiny Panels, Policy Scrutiny Review Groups, Member Champions and Scrutiny Commissions Inquiries. Scrutiny of the work of the Cabinet. The scrutiny of the provision of all local authority services for children and young people including education and learning, social care, special needs, play provision. Adults and Community Safer Communities Sustainable Communities Performance, Governance and Support Services Health The scrutiny of the provision of social care and support services; supported housing services; health and welfare services; community and cultural services and leisure provision. The development of scrutiny of crime and disorder and community safety issues in accordance with the Police and Justice Act Working with communities to promote sustainable development. The delivery of sustainable planning and economic regeneration, strategic housing, coordinated planning, highways, transportation and environmental policies. The oversight of organisation and performance and human, financial, technical and material resources to support the delivery of Council services. Health Scrutiny in accordance with the Health and Social Care Act

29 Article 6 7 The Executive Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements 67.2 General role of the Scrutiny Board and Scrutiny Panels Within the terms of reference set out in the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules in Part 4 Appendix 2 of this Constitution the Scrutiny Board will: (i) a. Co-ordinate the work of the Scrutiny Panels and Scrutiny Review Groups. (ii) b. Receive reports from the Member Champion every six months and give consideration to the work done undertaken and issues that the Member Champion wishes scrutiny to consider investigating further. (iii) c. Maintain regular dialogue with the Executive Cabinet on service improvement, performance management of cross-cutting issues, policy development and budgetary provision. (iv) d. Oversee and ensure access to appropriate learning and development for scrutiny members. Councillors (v) e. Discharge the call-in procedures. The Scrutiny Panels will: (i) f. Maintain regular dialogue with the Executive, Cabinet Scrutiny Board and Member Champion. (ii) g. Ensure that members of the public and stakeholders are informed of and involved in issues within the remit of each Panel. (iii) Discharge the call-in procedure Proceedings of the Scrutiny Board and Scrutiny Panels The Scrutiny Board and Scrutiny Panels will conduct their proceedings in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 Appendix 2 of this Constitution. 25

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