The Council noted that, at its first meeting on 9 December 2022, the Guildford and Waverley Joint Governance Committee considered reports on:
(a) the formal review of the Inter-Authority Agreement (IAA), to ensure that it continued to be fit for purpose, with any changes required being recommended to both Full Councils; and
(b) the six-monthly review of the collaboration risk register.
In relation to the review of the IAA, the Committee noted that the Terms of Reference of the Joint Appointments Committee, which were included within the IAA, currently provided that its membership shall comprise the leaders of both councils plus two members appointed by Guildford Borough Council and two members appointed by Waverley Borough Council, with no substitutes permitted.
The Committee, noting that substitutes were permitted in respect of the Joint Governance Committee, felt that substitutes should be allowed on the Joint Appointments Committee and agreed to recommend to both councils that the terms of reference of the Joint Appointments Committee should be amended to reflect the membership as specified by each council.
In their discussion on the review of the risk register, the Committee raised a number of queries in respect of specific risks. With regard to Risk No. 6 (that either or both councils will decide to terminate the partnership), councillors queried the relation of this risk to clauses 21 and 22 of the IAA, and whether:
(i) there was still a need for those clauses, and
(ii) the notice periods were correct.
It was noted that legal advice had been to include dispute resolution arrangements in the IAA, and that further legal advice would be needed before changing these clauses. The Committee therefore asked officers to obtain legal advice on this issue so that the risks could be reflected correctly in the risk register. The risk register needed to reflect that the closer the collaboration became, the more impactful an ending of the partnership would be to the councils.
The Council considered a report which set out details of the further legal advice sought and suggested an amendment to the wording of the IAA, which would also require the formal approval by the full Councils of both authorities.
Councillors noted that the Committee, at its meeting on 17 March 2023, had considered and commended the adoption of the proposed amendment to the wording of the IAA to both councils.
Upon the motion of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Julia McShane, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Joss Bigmore, the Council
(1) That the terms of reference of the Joint Appointments Committee be amended as follows:
(a) Delete the following:
“SUBSTITUTES: Substitutes shall not be appointed”
(b) Insert the following:
“SUBSTITUTES: Substitutes may be appointed. Guildford Borough Council may appoint two substitute members. Waverley Borough Council may appoint two substitute members, with one being nominated by the Leader of the council, and one nominated by the Leader of Waverley’s Principal Opposition Group.”
(2) That clause 21.1 of the Inter-Authority Agreement be amended to read:
“21 Termination FOr Cause
Without affecting any other right or remedy available to it, any
Party may terminate this Agreement
immediate effect by giving written notice to a
minimum of three months’ notice in writing to the
To ensure that any recommended change to the inter-authority agreement following a review is reported to the full Council meetings of both authorities.