LONDON BOROUGH OF TOWER HAMLETS

 

CONSTITUTION


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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INDEX TO CONSTITUTION

 

 

PAGE(S)

Version Control

(v)

A – PARTS 1 TO 5

1 - 414

Part 1 - Summary and Explanation

1 - 5

1.1

The Council’s Constitution

1

1.2

What’s in the Constitution?

1 - 2

1.3

How the Council Operates

2

1.4

How Decisions are Made

2 - 3

1.5

Dispute Resolution

3

1.6

Overview and Scrutiny

3 - 4

1.7

The Council’s Staff

4

1.8

Citizens’ Rights

4 - 5

Part 2 - Articles of the Constitution

6 - 48

Article 1

The Constitution

6 - 7

Article 2

Members of the Council

8 - 10

Article 3

Citizens and the Council

11 - 12

Article 4

Council

13 - 15 

Article 5

The Speaker of the Council

16 - 17

Article 6

Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Scrutiny Sub-Committees/ Panels

18 - 21 

Article 7

The Mayor and the Executive

22 - 24

Article 8

Regulatory and other Committees

25


 

Article 9

The Standards Advisory Committee and the Code of Conduct for Members

26 - 30

Article 10

Local Strategic Partnership

31

Article 11

Joint Arrangements

32 - 34 

Article 12

Officers

45 - 40

Article 13

Decision-Making

41 - 43 

Article 14

Finance, Contracts and Legal Matters

44

Article 15

Review and Revision of the Constitution

45 - 46

Article 16

Suspension, Interpretation and Publication of the Constitution

47

Schedule 1

Description of Executive Arrangements

48

Part 3 - Responsibility for Functions

49 - 215 

3.1

Council Functions

49 - 96

3.2

Executive Functions

97 - 99

3.3

Council and Committees/ Other Bodies

100 - 196

3.4

The Executive

197 - 199

3.5

The Chief Executive and Chief Officers

200

3.6

Scheme of Management

201

3.7

Limitations

202

3.8

Delegated Decision-Making - General Principles

203 - 205

3.9

Arrangement for Scheme of Management

206

3.10

Proper Officers and Statutory Appointments

207 - 213

3.11

Advisory Bodies and Working Parties

214

3.12

Specific Delegations

215


Part 4 – Rules of Procedure

216 - 298

4.1

Council Procedure Rules

216 - 242

4.2

Access to Information Procedure Rules

243 - 260

4.3

Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules

261 - 269

4.4

Executive Procedure Rules

270 - 284   

4.5

Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules

285 - 298

Part 5 – Codes and Protocols

299 - 414

 

5.1

Code of Conduct for Members

299 - 310

5.2

Member Officer Protocol

311 - 334

5.3

Employee Code of Conduct

335 - 347

5.4

Licensing Code of Conduct

348 - 379

5.5

Planning Code of Conduct

380 - 414

B – PARTS 6 TO 9

415 - 752 

Part 6 – Officer Procedure Rules

415 - 583 

6.1

Financial Procedure Rules

415 - 537

6.2

Contracts Procedure Rules

538 - 573

6.3

Officer Employment Procedure Rules

574 - 583

Part 7 – Members’ Allowance Scheme

584 - 590

Part 8 – Management Structure

591

Part 9 – Appendices to the Constitution

592 - 752

Appendix 1

Scheme of Management – Corporate Delegations

592 - 600

Appendix 2

Departmental Delegations

601 -  730

 

Adults Health and Wellbeing

601 - 620

 

Chief Executives

621 - 638

 

Children’s Services

639 – 662

 

Communities Localities and Culture

663 – 700

 

Development and Renewal

701 – 722

 

Resources

723 – 730

Appendix 3

Functions allocated between  London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Tower Hamlets Homes

731 – 738

Appendix 4

Tower Hamlets Homes Scheme of Delegation

739 - 752

 


Version Control

Date Last Reviewed:

19th July 2017

Reviewed by:

Monitoring Officer

Approved By:

Council

Date Approved:

19th July 2017

Version No.

2

Document Owner:

Paul Greeno

Post Holder:

Senior Corporate and Governance Legal Officer

Date of Next Scheduled Review:

12th October 2017

 

 

Version

Date

Amended By

Amendments to

1

21/09/2016

Council

Part 2

1

05/12/2016

Council

Part 5.1

Part 5.3

1

22/03/2017

Council

Parts 1 to 3;

Part 6

1

03/04/2017

Interim Monitoring Officer

Part 1

Part 6

1

17/05/2017

The Mayor

Part 4.4 Rule 3 (The Mayor’s Executive Scheme of Delegation)

1

03/07/2017

Monitoring Officer

3.3.3

2

19/07/2017

Council

Parts 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7 and 5.1

 

 

 


 

 


Part 1 - Summary and Explanation

 

1.1 The Council’s Constitution

 

This Constitution sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.  Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for the Council to determine. 

 

The Constitution contains 16 Articles in Part 2, which set out the basic rules governing the Council’s business.  More detailed procedures and codes of practice are provided in separate rules and protocols at the end of this document.

 

 

1.2 What’s in the Constitution?

 

Part 2, Article 1 commits the Council to ensuring that:

 

·         Clear leadership is provided to the community in partnership with citizens, businesses and other organisations;

·         Citizens are actively involved in decision making;

·         Citizens are effectively represented by their Mayor and Councillors;

·         The delivery of services to the community is improved;

·         Decisions are taken efficiently and effectively;

·         Decision-makers are clearly identifiable, that they explain the reasons for their decisions and can be held to public account.

 

Articles 2-16 explain the rights of citizens and how the key parts of the Council operate. These are:

 

     Members of the Council (Article 2)

     Citizens and the Council (Article 3)

     Council (Article 4)

     The Speaker of the Council (Article 5)

     The Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Scrutiny Panels (Article 6)

     The Mayor and the Executive (Article 7)

     Regulatory and other Committees (Article 8)

     The Standards Advisory Committee and the Code of Conduct for Members (Article 9)

     Local Strategic Partnership (Article 10)

     Joint Arrangements (Article 11)

     Officers (Article 12)

     Decision-Making (Article 13)

     Finance, Contracts and Legal Matters (Article 14)

     Review and Revision of the Constitution (Article 15)

     Suspension, Interpretation and Publication of the Constitution (Article 16)

 

1.3 How the Council Operates

 

In October 2010 Tower Hamlets Council adopted a directly elected Mayoral form of Executive.  The Council is composed of a Mayor and forty-five Councillors.  The Mayor is directly elected by the electors of the Borough, normally for a four year term of office.  The Mayoral election will be held on the same day as the ordinary Council elections, at which Councillors are elected to represent each of the Wards within the Borough every four years.  Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their Ward.  The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.

 

The Mayor and Councillors are together known as ‘Members’ of the Council.  Members have to agree to follow a Code of Conduct to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties.  The Council’s Standards Advisory Committee is responsible for advising Members on the Code of Conduct and ensuring that they receive training on the requirements of the Code, which they are required to observe in carrying out their duties and responsibilities as Members.

 

The Mayor and all Councillors meet together at Council.  Meetings of Council are normally open to the public. Here Councillors decide the Council’s overall policies and set the budget each year.  Council appoints annually an Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Regulatory Committees, a Standards Advisory Committee, and other statutory, advisory and consultative bodies.  The Mayor in turn appoints a Deputy Mayor and other Cabinet Members.

 

 

1.4 How Decisions are Made

 

The Executive is the part of the Council’s structure which is responsible for most day to day decisions.  The Executive is made up of the Mayor and between two and nine Councillors appointed by the Mayor.  The Mayor and other Executive Members meet together as the ‘Cabinet’.  The Mayor is responsible for the Council’s main executive decision-making powers and the overall delivery of Council services.

 

The other executive decision-making bodies are:

 

·      the King George’s Field Charity Board to the administer the affairs of the King George's Field, Mile End charity of which the Council is the sole trustee; and

·      the Grants Determination Sub-Committee.

 

 

When Key decisions are to be discussed or made, these must be published in advance, in so far as they can be anticipated.  If these Key decisions are to be discussed with Council officers at a meeting of the Cabinet, the King George’s Field Charity Board, or the Grants Determination Sub-Committee this will generally be open for the public to attend, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed.

 

The Health and Wellbeing Board is a statutory committee under the provisions of Health and Social Care Act 2012 but does have certain executive functions and if this Board is making a Key decision then this will published in advance and the meeting generally is open for the public to attend, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed.

 

The Executive including both the King George’s Field Charity Board and the Grants Determination Sub-Committee have to make decisions that are in line with the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework.  If it wishes to make a decision that is outside the Budget and Policy framework, this must be referred to Council to decide.

 

 

1.5 Dispute Resolution

 

Only Council can agree the Authority’s budget for the year and the specified plans and strategies that are included in the Budget and Policy Framework.  The Mayor and Executive will make proposals to Council in relation to the budget and those plans and strategies, for adoption by Council.  If Council does not agree with those proposals of the Mayor/ Executive, a dispute resolution process applies as follows:-

 

Where Council wishes to amend the Executive’s proposals it may, by a majority vote, send the budget, plan or strategy back to the Executive, who must consider whether or not to make any amendments before re-submitting the item to Council. 

 

When the item is re-submitted, if Council still wishes to amend the proposals, it can do so providing there are at least two-thirds of the Councillors present and voting at the meeting in favour of the amendment(s).  Where a two-thirds majority in favour of Council’s amendment(s) is not achieved, then the Executive’s proposals stand agreed and shall be deemed to be adopted by the Authority.

 

 

1.6 Overview and Scrutiny

 

There is an Overview and Scrutiny Committee which is established to review or scrutinize decisions of the Executive and conduct reviews into functions which are the responsibility of the Executive.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee may appoint Scrutiny Panels from time to time to carry out individual reviews.  This Committee and Panels support the work of the Executive and the Council as a whole. They allow citizens to have a greater say in Council matters by holding investigations in public into matters of local concern.  These lead to reports and recommendations which advise the Executive and the Council as a whole on its policies, budget and service delivery.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a strategic and co-ordinating role over the scrutiny function and also monitors the decisions of the Mayor and Executive. The Committee may advise the Executive of key issues/questions that should be considered in relation to reports due to be considered by the Executive.  In most cases it can also ‘call-in’ a decision that has been made by the Mayor or Executive but not yet implemented.  This enables the Committee to consider whether the decision is appropriate.  It may recommend that the decision be reconsidered.

 

 

1.7 The Council’s Staff

 

The Council has people working for it (called ‘officers’) to give advice, implement decisions and manage the day-to-day delivery of its services.  Some officers have a specific duty to ensure that the Council acts within the law and uses its resources wisely.  All employees are subject to a Code of Conduct and a Protocol governs the relationships between Members and officers of the Council.

 

 

1.8 Citizens’ Rights

 

Citizens have a number of rights in their dealings with the Council.  These are explained further in Article 3.  Some of these are legal rights, whilst others depend on the Council’s own processes.

 

Where members of the public use specific Council services, for example as a parent of a school pupil or as an occupier of Council land or premises, they have additional rights.  These are not covered in this Constitution.

 

Citizens have various general rights, such as to:

 

·         vote at Mayoral and Council elections if they are eligible and registered;

·         contact the Mayor or their local Councillor about any matters of concern to them;

·         obtain a copy of the Constitution;

·         attend formal meetings of Council, the Cabinet and Committees/ Sub-Committees/ Panels except where, for example, personal or confidential matters are being discussed;

·         present petitions which may be permitted to address Council, the Cabinet, Scrutiny or Regulatory Committees, participate in Council meetings and contribute to investigations by the Scrutiny Panels;

·         speak in favour or against applications for planning consent or the granting of licenses by the Development or Licensing Committees;

·         find out what Key Decisions are to be decided by the Mayor, Cabinet, Executive Committees/ Sub-Committees, Executive Members or officers, and when;

·         see unrestricted reports and associated background papers and any published record of decisions made by Council, other non-executive Committees/ Sub-Committees, the Mayor/Cabinet, Executive Committees/ Sub-Committees, or Executive Member;

·         participate in the Tower Hamlets Partnership and consultative mechanisms or service user groups, if selected or appointed to do so;

·         complain to the Council about Council services, action or inaction which concern them, for the matter to be investigated under the Council’s complaints processes;

·         complain to the Local Government Ombudsman if they think the Council has not followed its procedures properly.  However, they should only do this after using the Council’s own complaints processes.

·         complain to the Council’s Monitoring Officer if they have evidence which they think shows that the Mayor or a Councillor has not followed the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members;

·         raise a public interest concern with the Council’s Monitoring Officer if they have evidence which they think shows malpractice, wrongdoing, illegality or risk in the Council and which is not appropriate for consideration under another Council procedure; and

·         examine the Council’s accounts when open for inspection and make their views known to the external auditor.

 

The Council welcomes participation by its citizens in its work.  Details of the rights of citizens to inspect agendas and reports and attend meetings are available at the Town Hall, together with copies of any documents available for inspection or on the Councils website www.towerhamlets.gov.uk


Part 2 - Articles of the Constitution

 

Article 1 - The Constitution

 

1.01 Powers of the Council

 

The Council will exercise all its powers and duties in accordance with the law and this Constitution.

 

 

1.02 The Constitution

 

This Constitution, and any appendices, is the Constitution of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

 

 

1.03 Purpose of the Constitution

 

The purpose of the Constitution is to:

 

1.    enable the Mayor and the Council to provide clear and accountable leadership to the community in partnership with citizens, businesses and other organisations;

2.    ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the executive, non-executive, scrutiny and officer functions are clearly defined and documented, with clear delegation arrangements;

3.    provide a means of improving the delivery of services to the community;

4.    support the active involvement of citizens, businesses and other organisations in the process of local authority decision-making;

5.    help the Mayor and Councillors represent their constituents more effectively;

6.    enable effective and transparent decisions to be taken;

7     create a powerful and effective means of holding decision-makers to public account;

8.    ensure that no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved;

9.    ensure that those responsible for decision-making are clearly identifiable to local people and that they explain the reasons for decisions;

10.     maintain the highest standards of conduct of Members and officers of the authority; and

11.  provide a comprehensive document explaining how the Council operates, who is responsible for taking decisions and how they will be taken.

           

1.04 Interpretation and Review of the Constitution

 

The Council will monitor and evaluate the operation of the Constitution as set out in Article 15.

Article 2 - Members of the Council

 

2.01 Composition and Eligibility

 

Composition. The Council will comprise a directly elected Mayor and 45 Councillors.  The Mayor will be elected by the voters of the whole borough; and the Councillors will be elected by the voters of each ward, in accordance with a scheme drawn up by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. 

 

The term ‘Member of the Council’ (or simply ‘Member’) as used throughout this Constitution includes both the Mayor and the Councillors.

 

Eligibility. Only registered voters of the borough or those living or working here in accordance with the relevant legislation will be eligible to stand for election for the office of Mayor or Councillor.

 

 

2.02 Election and Terms of the Mayor and Councillors

 

The regular elections of Mayor and Councillors will be held every four years, normally on the first Thursday in May.  The term of office of the Mayor and Councillors will be four years and will start on the fourth day after being elected and will finish on the fourth day after the date of the next regular election.

 

 

2.03 Roles and Functions of all Councillors

 

All Councillors will:-

 

1.        Collectively be the ultimate policy-makers and carry out a number of strategic and corporate management functions;

2.        Represent their communities and bring their views into the Council’s decision-making process, i.e. become the advocate of and for their communities;

3.        Effectively represent the interests of their ward and of individual constituents;

4.        Respond to constituents’ enquiries and representations, fairly and impartially;

5.        Participate in the governance and management of the Council;

6.        Be available to represent the Council on other bodies; and

7.        Maintain the highest standards of conduct and ethics.


2.04 Rights and Duties

 

Councillors will have such rights of access to such documents, information, land and buildings of the Council as are necessary for the proper discharge of their functions and in accordance with the law.

 

Councillors will not make public information which is confidential or exempt without the consent of the Council or divulge information given in confidence to anyone other than a Councillor or officer entitled to know it.

 

For these purposes “confidential” and “exempt” are defined in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of the Constitution.

 

 

2.05 Cessation of Membership

 

A Councillor will cease to be a Member if they resign by giving notice in writing, or if they fail to observe the requirement to attend Council meetings as prescribed by section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 or if they are disqualified from holding office by virtue of section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 or any other statutory provision.

 

With regard to the requirement to attend meetings, a Councillor must attend at least one relevant meeting during a period of six (6) months to remain qualified to hold office.  A relevant meeting includes Council, the Cabinet, any Committee, Sub Committee, joint Committee or external body to which the Councillor has been formally appointed.

 

If a Councillor believes that there is an exceptional and unavoidable reason why s/he is unable to attend a relevant meeting during a period of six (6) months or to otherwise perform their proper duties as a Councillor for part or all of the same period, the Councillor concerned may seek a dispensation from the Council by writing to the Chief Executive explaining the reason for their unavoidable absence and the period to which the absence will relate.  This will be reported to the Council at its next ordinary meeting.  The Council will decide whether or not to grant such an exemption to the attendance requirement and will only do so in exceptional circumstances and with evidence that the absence is unavoidable.  An exemption cannot be granted if a particular Councillor’s absence has already exceeded six months.

 


 

2.06  Conduct

 

The Mayor and Councillors will at all times observe the Code of Conduct for Members, Member/Officer Protocol, the Licensing and Planning Codes of Conduct and all other Codes and Protocols set out in Part 5 of this Constitution or otherwise agreed by the Council from time to time.

 

 

2.07  Allowances

 

The Mayor and Councillors will be entitled to receive allowances in accordance with the Members’ Allowances Scheme as set out in Part 7 of this Constitution.

 

 


Article 3 - Citizens and the Council

 

3.01 Citizens’ Rights

 

Citizens have various rights as set out below. Their rights to information and to participate are explained in more detail in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.

 

Voting and Petitions. Citizens on the electoral register have the right to vote at elections.  All citizens (that is people living, working or studying in the borough) have the right to present personally or to request a Councillor to present a petition on their behalf to Council, the Cabinet, Scrutiny, Regulatory or other Committees/ Sub Committees or Panels, subject to the detailed provisions laid down in procedures adopted by those bodies.

 

Information. All citizens have the right to:

 

(i)    attend formal meetings of Council and its Committees except where confidential or exempt information is likely to be disclosed, and the meeting is therefore held in private;

(ii)   attend meetings of the Cabinet where key decisions are being considered except where confidential or exempt information is likely to be disclosed, and the meeting is therefore held in private;

(iii)  attend meetings of the King George’s Field Charity Board and the Grants Determination Sub-Committee except where confidential or exempt information is likely to be disclosed, and the meeting is therefore held in private;

(iv)  find out what key decisions will be taken by the Mayor, Executive, the Health and Wellbeing Board, the King George’s Field Charity Board, the Grants Determination Sub-Committee, appropriate Member, or officer and when;

(v)   see reports and background papers and any records of decisions made by the Council and the Mayor, the Executive or appropriate Member;

(vi)  speak at Development or Licensing Committees/ Sub-Committees in favour or against planning or licensing applications, subject to the detailed provisions laid down in procedures adopted by those bodies; and

(vii) inspect the Council’s accounts when available for examination and make their views known to the external auditor.

 

 


Participation. All citizens have the right to participate in Council meetings and contribute to investigations by Scrutiny Panels.  The process for public participation is set out in the Council Procedure Rules and the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules contained in Part 4 of the Constitution at Parts 4.1 and 4.5.

 

Complaints. All citizens have the right to complain to:

 

(i)    the authority itself under its complaints scheme or any other applicable statutory complaints scheme;

(ii)   the Local Government Ombudsman and Housing Ombudsman after using the Council’s own complaints scheme; and

(iii)  the Council’s Monitoring Officer about a breach of the Code of Conduct for Members, or to raise a public interest concern if they have evidence which they think shows malpractice, wrongdoing, illegality or risk in the Council and which is not appropriate for consideration under another Council procedure.

           

 

3.02 Citizens’ Responsibilities

 

Citizens must not be violent, abusive or threatening to Councillors or officers and must not wilfully damage things owned by the Council, Councillors or officers.

 

When attending meetings of Council, Committees/ Sub-Committees/ Panels or the Cabinet, citizens must not behave improperly, offensively or interrupt the business of the meeting as such action will result in their being removed and excluded from the meeting.


Article 4 - Council

 

4.01 Meanings

 

(a)        Policy Framework. The policy framework means the following plans and strategies required to be approved by Council.  The table below shows those plans and strategies that are required by statute to be included in the policy framework:

 

Annual Library Plan

Section 1(2) Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964

 

Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy

Sections 5 & 6 Crime & Disorder Act 1998

 

Development Plan Documents

Section 20 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 as amended by the Localism Act 2011

 

Licensing Authority Policy Statement

Section 349 Gambling Act 2005

 

Local Transport Plan

Section 108(3) Transport Act 2000

 

Plans and Alterations which together comprise the Development Plan

Section 27 Town and Country Planning Act 1990

 

Youth Justice Plan

Section 40 Crime & Disorder Act 1998

 

 

 

(b)        Budget. The budget includes the allocation of financial resources to different services and projects, proposed contingency funds, (including the recommended Council tax base), setting the council tax and decisions relating to the control of the Council’s borrowing requirement, the control of its capital expenditure and the setting of virement limits.

 

(c)                 Housing Land Transfer. Housing Land Transfer means the approval or adoption of applications or a programme of applications (whether in draft form or not) for approval of a programme of disposal of 500 or more properties to a person for which a levy would be payable to the Secretary of State under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 or to dispose of land used for residential purposes where approval is required under sections 32 or 43 of the Housing Act 1985.

 

 

4.02 Functions of Council

 

Only Council will exercise the following functions:

 

(a)   adopting and changing the Constitution (except where the power to make any change is delegated to either the General Purposes Committee or the Monitoring Officer as set out in this Constitution);

(b)   approving or adopting the policy framework and the budget;

(c)   subject to the urgency procedure contained in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution, making decisions about any matter in the discharge of an executive function which is covered by the policy framework or the budget where the decision-maker is minded to make it in a manner which would be contrary to the policy framework or contrary to or not wholly in accordance with the budget;

(d)   agreeing and/or amending the terms of reference for Committees/ Sub-Committees/ Panels, deciding on their composition and making appointments to them, subject to any delegations to the General Purposes Committee and/or officers as set out in this Constitution;

(e)   appointing representatives to those external bodies that do not fall to the Mayor to appoint to, unless the function has been delegated by the Council or this Constitution;

(f)   adopting an allowances scheme for the Mayor and Councillors;

(g)   the determination of matters relating to Community Governance Reviews as set out in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, unless the matter has been delegated by the Council or this Constitution.

(h)   changing the name of the area, conferring the title of honorary alderman or conferring the freedom of the borough;

(i)    confirming the appointment of the Head of the Paid Service;

(j)       making, amending, revoking, re-enacting or adopting bylaws and promoting or opposing the making of local legislation or personal Bills;

(k)      adoption and amendment of the authority's Code of Conduct for Members and other Codes and Protocols comprising the ethical framework;

(l)       adopting the Council’s Pay Policy Statement each year as required by the Localism Act 2011; and agreeing any in-year changes to the Pay Policy Statement.

(m)   arranging for the discharge of any other functions of the authority which are not executive functions;


(n)   subject to any matters delegated to Committees/ Sub-Committees/ Panels or officers, determining all local choice functions set out in Part 3 of this Constitution which the Council decides should be undertaken by itself rather than the Executive;

(o)   accepting the delegation of a power or function from another local authority; and

(p)   all other matters which, by law, must be reserved to Council.

 

 

4.03 Council Meetings

 

There are four types of Council meeting:

 

(a)     the annual meeting;

(b)     the budget meeting(s),

(c)      ordinary meetings, and

(d)     extra-ordinary meetings,

 

and they will be conducted in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.

 

The Mayor and all Councillors may attend meetings of Council and may participate as set out in the Council Procedure Rules.

 

 

4.04 Responsibility for Functions

 

Council will maintain the tables in Part 3.1 of this Constitution setting out the responsibilities for the Council’s functions which are not the responsibility of the Executive.

 


Article 5 – The Speaker of the Council

 

5.01 The Role and Function of the Speaker of the Council

 

Following the introduction of the directly elected Mayoral system in Tower Hamlets on 21 October 2010, the position of Speaker of the Council has been established to perform the duties previously carried out by the post of ‘civic mayor’.    

 

The Council has decided, in agreeing its Executive Arrangements, that the Speaker of the Council will be the first citizen of the Borough and will perform the majority of civic and ceremonial duties for the Borough. The Mayor will perform those functions as the Council’s representative where they relate to the promotion of, or business of, the Council.  Any future change to these arrangements will be a matter for the Council to determine. 

 

The Speaker of the Council may not be a member of the Executive.

 

The Speaker of the Council and the Deputy Speaker will be elected by Council annually and the Speaker will have the following roles and functions:

 

1.    to uphold and promote the purposes of the Constitution and having sought appropriate advice from the Monitoring Officer, to interpret the Constitution when necessary;

2.    to preside over meetings of Council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of Councillors and the interests of the community;

3.        to ensure that Council is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to the local community and the place at which Councillors who are not on the Cabinet can hold the Mayor and Cabinet Members to account in public;

4.        to promote public involvement in the Council’s activities;

5.        to be the conscience of the Council; and

6.        to attend such civic and ceremonial functions as the Council and s/he determines appropriate.

 

The Deputy Speaker of the Council will deputise for the Speaker of the Council whenever the Speaker of the Council is unavailable or unable to act.

 

The order of precedence for civic events shall be as follows, with the Borough's First Citizen representing the Council at Civic Ceremonial functions in the Borough including:

            


·           Visits of the Royal Family and dignitaries;

·           Civic receptions, luncheons and dinners;

·           Funeral or memorial services;

·           Religious services; and

·           Prize givings.

 

And events outside the Borough including:

 

·           Those of the Lord Mayor of London;

·           Invitations from other First Citizens to their Borough; and

·           Those of the London Mayors’ Association.

 

This does not preclude the attendance and involvement of the Mayor and/or other Councillors.


Article 6 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Scrutiny Sub-Committees/ Panels

 

6.01 Terms of Reference

 

Council will appoint an Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discharge the functions conferred by sections 9F to 9FI of the Local Government Act 2000; section 19 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 (local authority scrutiny of crime and disorder matters); or any functions which may be conferred on it by virtue of regulations under section 244(2ZE) of the National Health Service Act 2006 (local authority scrutiny of health matters).

 

Council will appoint a Member to serve as the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Committee will appoint a standing Sub-Committee to discharge the Council’s functions under the National Health Service Act 2006 to be known as the Health Scrutiny Panel; it will also appoint such other Sub-Committees or Scrutiny Panels as the Committee considers appropriate from time to time to carry out individual reviews under the Overview and Scrutiny work programme.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will appoint a Member as Chair of the Health Scrutiny Panel, who shall also be the Lead Scrutiny Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing.

 

Each Committee, Sub-Committee or Panel may appoint a Vice-Chair from amongst its Members.

 

6.02 General Role

 

Within its terms of reference, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee shall:

 

(i)            Review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken in connection with the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the Executive.

(ii)          Advise the Mayor or the Executive of key issues/questions arising in relation to reports due to be considered by the Mayor or the Executive.

(iii)        Make reports or recommendations to Council and/or the Mayor or the Executive in connection with the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the Executive.

(iv)         Review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of any functions which are not the responsibility of the Executive.

(v)           Make reports or recommendations to Council and/or the Mayor or the Executive with respect to the discharge of any functions which are not the responsibility of the Executive.

(vi)         Make reports or recommendations to Council and/or the Mayor or the Executive on matters affecting the Council’s area or its inhabitants.

(vii)       Exercise the right to call in for reconsideration decisions made but not yet implemented.

(viii)     Refer any report it receives with implications for ethical standards to the Standards Advisory Committee for its consideration.

 

6.03 Specific Functions

 

(a)      Policy Development and Review. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will:

 

(i)        Assist the Council and the Executive in the development of its budget and policy framework by in depth analysis of policy issues.

(ii)      Conduct research, consultation with the community and other consultation in the analysis of policy issues and possible options.

(iii)    Consider and implement mechanisms to encourage and enhance community participation in the development of policy options.

(iv)     Question members of the Executive and/or Committees and chief officers about their views on issues and proposals affecting the area.

(v)       Liaise with other external organisations operating in the area, whether national, regional or local, to ensure that the interests of local people are enhanced by collaborative working.

 

(b)      Scrutiny. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Scrutiny Panels may:

 

(i)        Review and scrutinise decisions made by the Executive and the performance of the Executive and/or Committees and Council officers both in relation to individual decisions and over time.

(ii)      Review and scrutinise the performance of the Council in relation to its policy objectives and performance targets and/or particular service areas.

(iii)    Question the Mayor, members of the Executive and/or Committees and chief officers about their decisions and performance whether generally in comparison with service plans and targets over a period of time, or in relation to particular decisions, initiatives or projects.

(iv)     Make recommendations to the Mayor/Executive as well as appropriate Committees and/or Council arising from the outcome of the scrutiny process.

(v)       Review and scrutinise the performance of other public bodies in the area and invite reports from them by requesting them to address the relevant scrutiny body and local people about their activities and performance.

(vi)     Question and gather evidence from any person.

 

(c)      Pre-Scrutiny. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee may consider a matter prior to its consideration and make comments in connection with the issue so that such comments can to be taken into account by the decision maker when making the decision on the matter.

(d)      Finance. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee may exercise overall responsibility for the finances made available to it.

(e)      Petitions. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider requests for reviews on petitions as set out in paragraph 19 of the Council’s Procedure Rules as set out in Part 4.1 of the Constitution.

(e)   Annual Report. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee must report annually to Council on its work.

 

6.04 Allocation of Responsibilities

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will have a strategic and co-ordinating role over the Council's scrutiny function and also consider executive decisions 'called-in' as detailed in Part 4 of this constitution.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will select from among its Councillor Members Lead Scrutiny Members, one for each of the following portfolios:

 

Children’s

Governance

Health, Adults and Community

Place

Resources

 

The Health Scrutiny Panel shall have responsibility for scrutiny of the local health service, in accordance with the provisions of the National Health Service Act 2006. This will be a standing Sub-Committee and will meet at least four times a year.

 

It shall:

 

a)        review and scrutinise matters relating to the health service within the Council’s area and make reports and recommendations in accordance with any regulations made thereunder;

b)        respond to consultation exercises undertaken by an NHS body; and

c)        question appropriate officers of local NHS bodies in relation to the policies adopted and the provision of services.

 

The Scrutiny Lead Member for Health, Adults and Community shall be appointed as a Member and Chair of the Health Scrutiny Panel.

 

Other Scrutiny Panels may be established by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in line with its work programme and will consider specific reviews, their terms of reference to be set by the Committee.

 

 

6.05 Reports

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will report to Council, Cabinet or the Mayor or appropriate Cabinet member and make recommendations, as appropriate. All reports and/or recommendations of Scrutiny Sub-Committees/ Panels shall first be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee before being reported to Council, Cabinet, the Mayor or the appropriate Cabinet member, as appropriate.

 

 

6.06  Proceedings of Scrutiny Panels

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its Scrutiny Sub-Committees/ Panels will generally meet in public and will conduct their proceedings in accordance with the Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.


Article 7 - The Mayor and the Executive

 

7.01 The Role of the Executive

 

The Executive will carry out all the local authority’s functions which are not the responsibility of any other part of the Council, whether by law or under this Constitution.

 

 

7.02 Form and Composition

 

The Executive will consist of the Mayor and between two and nine Councillors appointed by the Mayor, called