To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and
Governance that provided a revised Code of Corporate Governance for adoption, in line with best practice.
The Chairman introduced the report and called on the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager to present it to the Committee. The Manager reported that the Code of Corporate Governance document hadn’t been updated since 2009 and given that revised measures of good governance had since been introduced by CIPFA it was timely to update now. She advised the Committee that the document highlighted the Council’s working principles around governance and underpinned the annual governance review/provided a framework for the Annual Governance Statement in line with CIPFA guidance. The document also linked to policies and working practices that underpinned and demonstrated good governance at Maldon District Council (MDC).
In response to a query from Councillor Stamp regarding governance and the makeup of working groups the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager advised that the code did not cover that level of detail, it focused on mechanisms, working practices and management structures. A discussion ensued around the setup process, types of Working Groups (WGs) and membership of those WGs currently in operation. It was noted that there was imbalance in respect of membership, a lack of appropriate WGs and that given this was within the Terms of Reference of this Committee a more formal recommendation on WGs be brought back to a future Performance Governance and Audit (PGA) committee for consideration. It was acknowledged that quarterly reports on Governance was a welcome addition to the PGA agenda.
In response to questions raised the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager responded as follows:-
· That the code covered all governance procedures, including those within the remit of the Monitoring Officer.
· That the balanced score card monitored the Council’s internal performance document where service based delivery was recorded. The Corporate Governance Working Group had reviewed the results, including areas of non-delivery and discussed reporting mechanisms to PGA. Recommendations from the working group were due to be approved by Council.
The Chairman reassured Members that all performance was ultimately received by this Committee, therefore, Members would have the opportunity to comment/change as appropriate. She then moved the recommendations in the report, seconded by Councillor Jarvis.
A separate vote was called for on each of the three recommendations and Councillor Heard reported that he would abstain from voting on the first recommendation as he felt this was not being adhered to. It was noted that Councillors Channer and Fluker had left the meeting at this point and that Councillor Durham would not vote on this item due to connectivity issues. This was in accordance with Section 4, paragraph 4.7 of the Remote Meeting Protocol (May 2020).
The Chairman put the first recommendation to a vote and there being an equality of votes she exercised her casting vote and the recommendation was carried. Following a vote on the remaining two recommendations, they too, were carried.
(i) To adopt the draft code of corporate conduct provided as appendix A;
(ii) That the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee use this framework as a way to monitor progress of actions set out in the Annual Governance Statement;
(iii) That a quarterly report of Annual Governance Actions be provided for Performance, Governance and Audit committee review.