Supplementary memorandum by Liverpool
City Council (LGA 28(a))
Cllr Brant has kindly forwarded to me the comments
that he has made to your Select Committee.
In most cases the suggestions agree with the
submissions that I made:
1. That we should be able to allow all items
to be called in as with our previous system of call in. This is
precluded by legislation.
2. That scrutiny is the weakest area. Cllr
Brant will not know that we took decisions jointly with his Labour
colleagues on 31 April to try and strengthen the scrutiny role.
You should be aware however that last year the controlling group
offered the opposition parties chairs and deputies of scrutiny
in proportion to their numbers. This was not proceeded with. A
meeting has been arranged between the two Party Leaders to try
and resolve this issue for this year.
3. Full Council. The Council does not have
a few items reserved to it. The legislation insists on seven main
strategies being subject to Council approval. In our case we have
lengthened this to 28 strategies all of which must be approved
by full Council. This goes further than any other Council. Because
we believe strongly that there should be the maximum powers reserved
to Council we send everything to it that we can. In both the cases
suggested by Cllr Brant we were advised by the Monitoring Officer
that this was how the items must be dealt with and could not be
reserved to Council.
4. With effect from the last meeting of
the Council all delegated decisions made by officers are subject
to the same key decision rules as those made by Executive Members
and can be called in on the same terms.
5. There are no proposals to do away with
the right of five members to call a Council meeting. We are however,
increasing the rights of opposition members to raise items in
Council by introducing from the Annual Meeting of the Council
a system analogous to the adjournment debates in the Commons.
6. There will be staff dedicated to the
scrutiny role. We are currently advertising for a third tier officer
to fulfil the leadership of this function.