Decision Maker: Governance Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive regarding the Appointment of a Co-opted Independent Member (circulated previously).
The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised the Committee:
· The appointment of an independent member was following a guidance recommendation by CIPFA, but was not a statutory requirement.
· CIPFA recommended that anyone appointed to a Governance Committee in this role would be deemed to be in an advisory role and not allowed voting rights.
· Neighbouring Authority, Torridge, had previously appointed an independent member although other Devon authorities had not.
· There was a challenge in recruitment. The Devon Audit Partnership (DAP) had been actively trying to recruit for these roles since December 2023.
The Internal Auditor advised that the DAP did now have six candidates to screen and that despite there being a nominal payment involved, it was more likely to be considered to be a voluntary role as those interested appeared to be less motivated by financial reasons.
The Chief Executive confirmed that any recruitment would be dealt with by the DAP but that any final decision would be made by Full Council.
In response to questions from the Committee, the Chief Executive confirmed that:
· Although the report explained the reasoning behind such an appointment, the success would be largely dependent on the individual appointed.
· If appointed as a non-voting member, the member could attend remotely.
· If the process was found to be of little benefit to the Council it could be removed via a change to the Constitution.
(a) The appointment of a Co-opted Independent Member to the Governance Committee be recommended to Full Council,
(b) A separate report setting out the required changes to Part 3 Annexe 1 paragraph 5 of the Constitution be considered at the next full Council, and
(c) Full Council be recommended to amend the scheme of Members Allowances for 2023/24, 2024/25 and 2025/26 to include a special responsibility allowance of £200 per annum for the Co-opted Independent Member of the Governance Committee.
Report author: Jon Triggs
Publication date: 12/02/2024
Date of decision: 09/01/2024
Decided at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee