Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Neighbourhood Working Arrangements

To provide the Committee with the opportunity to consider the way in which it wishes to utilise some of the new powers and flexibilities available to it in its working arrangements.

Decision:

Resolved  that

 

1.            a Planning Sub-Committee should be established to consider planning and related issues within its remit and

 

(a)  the membership of the Sub-Committee be decided on the basis of at least one Member from each Ward on a rotational basis and

 

(b) the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year to be appointed at the Neighbourhood Committee meeting on 4 June

 

2.            a ‘guillotine’ should not be applied to meetings of the Committee but generally the aim will be to complete meetings by 10.30pm

Minutes:

Within the Constitutional arrangements set by the Council, each Neighbourhood Committee has the power to determine its own working arrangements.  The South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee had previously received a report and agreed its working arrangements for 2018/19 at its meeting on 7 June 2018.  Over the course of the summer and autumn of 2018, a review of the Neighbourhood Committee arrangements was undertaken with a view to ensuring that the Neighbourhood Committees have the powers and resources to help achieve the Council’s aspirations.  The Council is committed to improving engagement with local communities and ensuring that decision making better reflects local priorities, issues, challenges and need. 

The outcome of this review had been reported to full Council on 11 December 2018, at which point a number of changes to the roles and functions of the Neighbourhood Committees were agreed as part of a wider package of governance improvements.

The Committee considered a report (which had been submitted to all the Neighbourhood Committees) which invited Members to consider ways in which to utilise some of the new powers and flexibilities available to it in its working arrangements.  The new arrangements could be put in place for the first meeting of the new municipal year – namely, in the case of South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee, from its meeting on 4 June 2019.

In particular, the Committee was asked to consider whether it wished to:

·         establish a separate Sub-Committee specifically to determine Planning applications and planning enforcement matters;

·         set a cut off point (a ‘guillotine’) by which time formal meetings of the Committee should be concluded.

In considering the report, the Committee agreed that a Planning Sub-Committee could be established for 2019/20 to consider planning and related issues within its remit, with a rota for 5 members at each meeting (and a quorum of 3 members) to include at least one Member from each Ward.  Dates scheduled for Planning Sub-Committee meetings had been provided for within the Council’s municipal calendar as follows:

·         Thursday 18 July 2019

·         Wednesday 25 September 2019

·         Thursday 5 December 2019

·         Tuesday 25 February 2020

·         Tuesday 28 April 2020.

Recognising that the Committee had not tended to receive an excessive number of planning applications in the past at each meeting, the Committee were of the view that it would only be necessary to hold a Planning Sub-Committee meeting on each of the five dates which had been scheduled if there was known to be a specific planning application to consider at that meeting which could not  wait until the Neighbourhood Committee meeting or which would cause there to be too much business on the Neighbourhood Committee agenda.  If not, the Planning Sub-Committee meeting would not be convened on the scheduled date - Members would be notified 4 weeks beforehand and the venue cancelled.  The headteacher at Chessington School had offered to make a venue available on this flexible basis.

Resolved  that -

1.            a Planning Sub-Committee should be established to consider planning and related issues within its remit and

(a)  the membership of the Sub-Committee be decided on the basis of at least one Member from each Ward on a rotational basis and

(b) the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year to be appointed at the Neighbourhood Committee meeting on 4 June.

2.            a ‘guillotine’ should not be applied to meetings of the Committee but generally the aim will be to complete meetings by 10.30pm

 

Voting – unanimous

 

 

Supporting documents: