Wirral Council’s Standards Committee agrees recommendation on changes to notices of motion procedural rules

Wirral Council’s Standards Committee agrees recommendation on changes to notices of motion procedural rules

                                                            

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee meeting held on the 23rd November 2015

Surjit Tour explains to councillors the effect of proposed changes to procedural rules at a meeting of Wirral Council's Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee 23rd November 2015
Surjit Tour explains to councillors the effect of proposed changes to procedural rules at a meeting of Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee 23rd November 2015

One of the changes agreed by councillors at last night’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee was a change to the protocol for dealing with referred notices of motion. Referred notices of motion are notices of motion that have been sent by Wirral Council’s Mayor to one of Wirral Council’s committees to debate instead of being debated at a Council meeting.

The changes to time limits on speeches for the proposer (5 minutes) and right of reply (3 minutes) were to bring the time limits in line with new time limits proposed for Council meetings.

However an extra category of speaker has been added. This is described in the new rules as "any other person" and they will have three minutes to speak. "Any other person" is described as "at the discretion of the Chairperson, other persons with expertise on the subject of the Motion may be invited to attend the meeting at which it is to be considered"

These new rules won’t apply to next week’s high-profile Notice of Motion Proposal for a fire station on green belt land in Saughall Massie to be discussed by councillors on Wirral Council’s Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee at a public meeting starting at 6.00pm on the 2nd December 2015 in Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall. This is because the recommendation by the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee (if agreed by Council on the 14th December) won’t come into effect until the 15th December 2015. At a previous meeting of the Regeneration and Environment Committee councillors wanted to ask questions of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service officers about why they wanted to build a new fire station in Saughall Massie.

Instead the rules agreed earlier in the year by the Coordinating Committee will apply (the part on referred notices of motion starts at the top of page 6).

Hopefully this won’t cause a decision on the issue to be deferred yet again!

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.

Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr Darren Dodd “this is what the people of Wirral have been asking for for a very long time”

Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr Darren Dodd “this is what the people of Wirral have been asking for for a very long time”

Continued from Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr John Hale “these proposals should be consigned to the dustbin where they belong”.

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Council (Extraordinary) (Wirral Council) 30th April 2013 | Revisions to the Constitution | Cllr Darren Dodd “this is what the people of Wirral have been asking for for a very long time”

Cllr Darren Dodd was next to speak and told people he had been along to many meetings was surprised that some councillors hadn’t gone to one. He said he had been elected almost three years ago and ever since then councillors had been talking about change, he referred to several difficult reports received all calling for change. Cllr Dodd said they had voted unanimously for change on several occasions and that “this is what change looks like” [referring to the constitutional changes]. He said, “Let us not forget this is what normal Councils do, this is what normal looks like”.

Cllr Dodd said that the Tories had raised concerns about power being taken away from councillors, but he felt the new arrangements gave “more opportunity to raise issues of concern, not less”. He said, “It’s always been my view that of all the meetings I attend, full Council meetings are often pointless.” Cllr Dodd said it’s not because full Council doesn’t make important decisions, but that they nod through business as quickly as possible to get to the Notices of Motion.

He said the Notices of Motion are always on important things, but often carry little weight, at the end of the meeting “usually a lot of hot air has been expelled”, but very little action agreed. Cllr Dodd pointed out that out of fifteen to twenty motions, often only one or two are properly discussed and that the new arrangements would be “clearly a better system” and “this is what the people of Wirral have been asking for for a very long time”.