MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
6 DECEMBER 2017
REPORT OF THE HEAD OF POLICY, COMMUNICATIONS AND GOVERNANCE – REVIEW OF ALLOCATION OF SEATS ON COMMITTEES (IF NECESARRY)/MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES
Issue for Decision
The Council has a statutory requirement under the Local Government & Housing Act (1989) to ensure political proportionality in the membership of Committees. As a by election is scheduled for 30 November, it may be necessary to conduct a review of allocation of seats, depending on whether the result of the by election alters the political balance of the Council since the last review was undertaken.
There is also an item on the agenda (Planning Referral Process Review) at the Council meeting of 6 December that could change the overall number of seats available on Committees at the council. Depending on which option the Council resolves to adopt, a review of seats may be necessary to ensure overall proportionality. If Council chooses to retain the current arrangements in terms of Planning Referrals Committee then a review will not be necessary. Any other option agreed will have the effect of either increasing or decreasing the overall number of seats available on Committees across the Council and a review of seats will be required.
As the result of the by election will not be known until 30 November, and the vote on the outcome of the Planning Referral Process Review will not be known until the item has been considered at the meeting, the consequences for the review of allocation of seats and Membership of Committees will be circulated at the meeting.
Any resulting changes to the membership of Committees following the review of seats will also need to be agreed by Council, and the proposed membership of Committees will also be circulated at the meeting.
If a review of allocation of seats and membership of Committees is necessary:
Reasons for Recommendation
The Council has a statutory obligation to ensure political proportionality of its Committees. Therefore a review must take place if there is either a change in the political balance of the council or if the overall number of seats available on committees changes.
Alternatives Considered and Why Not Recommended
The Council could choose not to review the allocation of seats after changes to the political proportionality or the overall number of seats available on Committees. However this would mean the Council is
Appendix 1 – Review of Allocation of Seats (circulated separately)
Appendix 2 – Membership of Committees (circulated separately)
Note: Both appendices to be circulated at the Council meeting of 6 December, if they are required