Decision details

Review of the Council's Governance Arrangements

Decision Maker: Executive, Council

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Report on the review of the Council Governance Arrangements.




RECOMMENDED that Council approve the following changes to Exeter City

Council's constitution with effect from the 18 October 2021:-


(1)  That Standing Order 44 be amended to state:-


(i)            A member of the Council shall have the right to attend the meeting of any Committee, Sub-Committee or Executive of which he/she is not a member and may remain during consideration of both the public and private parts of the agenda. He/she may not vote at that meeting and may only speak or ask a question if he/she has given notice in writing (by electronic mail wherever possible) by 10.00 am on the day of the meeting to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support and has specified in the notice the particular agenda item or items on which he/she wishes to speak or ask a question.


(ii)           Opposition group leaders shall not be required to give notice under Standing Order No. 44 to speak or ask a question on any items on the Executive agenda.


(2)  That the Petition Scheme be amended to:-


(i)            request that petition signatories must identify through the tick box facility on the petition form, which of the eligibility criteria for living, working or studying in Exeter, they are relying upon in signing the petition. Any signatories which do not so indicate, will not be included in those signatures which are accepted; and


(ii)           state that all petition organisers will be given the opportunity to speak for up to five minutes on their petition, when it is considered at any appropriate Council body to which it has been referred. For clarity, this includes the provision for organisers of petitions of over 2,000 signatures, to do so at the appropriate Council body to which it has been referred, as well as the ability to address the full Council when initially submitting the petition.


(3)  That Article 7.05 of the Constitution (The Executive) be amended to include the following paragraph:-


3. Executive Members will, on allocation by the Leader of the Council, assume roles as Portfolio Holder with specific responsibilities. These responsibilities will be listed in Part 3 (b) the Council’s Constitution. For clarity, not all Executive members may be allocated a Portfolio holder responsibility by the Leader of the Council.




(4)  the focus of Scrutiny be reinforced to manage the available resources to develop scrutiny training for all Members;


(5)  the maximum use of available resources for Member training and development be continued, including joint training with other authorities as appropriate;


(6)  Deputy Chairs of Scrutiny Committee will provide a leadership role to any Task and Finish Groups or Spotlight Reviews, as and when established;


(7)  Council’s representation on outside bodies be reviewed and an Annual Feedback Form to Members for the Outside Bodies on which they sit be issued, and such information to be presented to the Governance Review Board for consideration; and


(8)  an annual meeting of the Governance Review Board be established to consider any necessary amendments to the Council’s governance arrangements, and their findings to be presented to the relevant Council body for consideration and approval.


Reason for Decision: As set out in the report.




Report author: John Street

Publication date: 07/10/2021

Date of decision: 05/10/2021

Decided at meeting: 05/10/2021 - Executive

Accompanying Documents: