Issue - meetings

Review of Executive Advisory Boards and Overview & Scrutiny

Meeting: 16/04/2024 - Council (Item 127)

127 Review of Executive Advisory Boards and Overview & Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 114 KB

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The Council noted that the Executive Advisory Boards (EABs) and the single Overview & Scrutiny (O&S) Committee had been established in 2016, following a review of the Council’s internal governance arrangements in 2015.  The EABs had been based on a model adopted at that time by two district councils in Kent.  In essence, their purpose was to increase backbench member involvement in significant Executive decisions, by advising the Executive at an early stage on the formulation and development of policies and major projects that will help to deliver the Council’s strategic priorities within its Corporate Plan. 

When the new arrangements were introduced, much of the work of the then existing two O&S Committees (including policy development) transferred to the EABs and the new O&S Committee was responsible primarily for post-decision review of Executive decisions and wider external scrutiny, including task and finish group investigations.

The remits of the EABs were originally aligned to the themes of the Corporate Plan in place at the time of their establishment.  Latterly, they had been linked to the corporate management structure of the Council (Resources EAB and Community EAB). 

The EABs also met jointly to consider matters of significant mutual interest, including consideration of draft budget papers each year.  They had no substantive decision-making powers.  The EABs and O&S Committee met in public, and all meetings were webcasted, and their proceedings were subject to Part C of the Council Procedure Rules (relating to committees), Public Speaking Procedure Rules, Access to Information Procedure Rules, and (for O&S) the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules as set out in Part 4 of Guildford’s Constitution.

The Council acknowledged that, since May 2023, the EABs had met on just three occasions (two of which were joint meetings of the two EABs) with most scheduled meetings having been cancelled due to lack of business, or due to the business that had been scheduled on their work programme being postponed for a number of reasons. 

At its informal briefing on 14 February 2024, the Executive considered a briefing note on the future of the EABs and their role within the Council’s democratic governance processes, particularly in the context of the O&S function.  The chairs and vice-chairs of the EABs and the O&S Committee had been invited to the briefing meeting to participate in the discussion and to offer their views.  The chair and vice-chair of the O&S Committee and one of the EAB vice-chairs attended and were generally supportive of the proposals to disband the EABs and the existing O&S Committee and replace them with two new O&S Committees.

This matter had also been discussed at the meeting of the Joint Constitutions Review Group (JCRG) held on 28 March 2024.  The JCRG supported the proposals and commended them for consideration by the Corporate Governance & Standards Committee at its special meeting held on 11 April 2024.  The Committee had also endorsed the proposals and recommended their adoption by the Council.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 127

Meeting: 11/04/2024 - Corporate Governance and Standards Committee (Item 7.)

7. Review of Executive Advisory Boards and Overview & Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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