Agenda item

Constitutional Changes

To consider a report of Cabinet seeking an endorsement of a reorganisation of the County Council’s Select Committees and Advisory Panels.



The Council considered the report of Cabinet seeking an endorsement of a reorganisation of the County Council’s Select Committees and Advisory Panels.  In presenting the report, the Leader confirmed it was recommended to cease the Buildings, Land and Procurement Panel and to streamline the two Universal Services Committees, one dealing with transport and environment matters and the other dealing with countryside and regulatory matters into one committee, and to adopt a consistent approach to the size of all of the Select Committees at 17 members on each.


During the course of the debate Members expressed both support and concerns regarding the proposals to have one Universal Services Select Committee instead of two and the timing of this change.  Those in support felt it would provide focus to ensure matters that required pre-scrutiny were prioritised whilst remaining flexible enough to look at other matters within the remit of these Committees.  Those who had concerns felt that Universal Services covers many of the County Council’s services that have high visibility for local residents and by moving from two to one committee would erode the power of the scrutiny function.


In responding to the debate, the Leader confirmed that the timing of the proposal to move to one Universal Services Select Committee was linked to the new organisational model introduced on 1 January and giving that time to settle down.  He had received suggestions from some Members that a one-Committee model for Universal Services might work better.  Those suggestions had been considered, advice taken and discussions held with Select Committee Chairmen in putting forward this proposal.  The Leader re-iterated the point raised that Select Committees should focus on matters that needed their attention rather than focussing on items for noting.  This model would still allow flexibility for additional meetings if there was a good business reason to do so.  The Leader was of the view that this change would enhance scrutiny and make it more efficient; the number of members on each Select Committee had been increased, as had the number of substitute members enabling all Members the opportunity to engage.  The Leader also confirmed that the Member Development Group had re-formed and would be working in a different way which provided an opportunity for that Group to consider the best forum for information items.




That the County Council agrees:


(a)     That the Universal Services – Transport and Environment Select Committee, the Universal Services – Countryside and Regulatory Services Select Committee and BLAPP are ceased.

(b)     That a new single Universal Services Select Committee be created, to comprise 17 Members, with Terms of References as set out at Annex 1 of this report.

(c)     That Membership of the Hampshire 2050, Corporate Services and Resources, Children and Young People and Heath and Adult Social Care Select Committees be increased so as to comprise 17 Members.

(d)     That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to amend the Constitution to allow for the appointment of 4 Substitute Members per group for Select Committees.

(e)     That the County Council’s proportionality table to reviewed to take account of the recommendations set out at Paragraphs (a) to (d) above.


Supporting documents: