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What are the regulations about maximum committee numbers and membership criteria.  My PC have just decided to set maximum numbers and I am somewhat suspicious of their motives.    The generally accepted practice seems to be that membership  decisions are made once a year for a year so it is entirely possible that any new Councillor would be prohibited from joining any committee during his first year ie if all committees were full. Such decisions should be flexible and based on getting the best qualified people on the right committees but I am unsure what accepted practice is . Interested in your views
by (4.7k points)
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2 Answers

0 votes
Firstly, terms of reference of committees are generally set by full council but clearly it's pointless having a committee if every councillor is on it - that's called a council meeting!  In my council, committee membership is indeed agreed each year at the annual council meeting but any new councillor during the year can be added to a committee by resolution of the council if he or she so wishes so its not a problem.  We generally set minimum rather than maximum numbers and struggle to get those as it's extra work but not every council finds this, I'm sure.  The only more "regulated" committee is the staffing committee where it is important to have non committee members who can act as a line of appeal in the event of a staffing disciplinary matter.  The appeals group wouldn't have been included in the original issue discussed so that they can be impartial if required.
by (18.4k points)
Perhaps I should also add that if an existing councillor wishes to join a particular committee during the year, he/she can be added by resolution during the year too.  Maybe we're just a bit relaxed about these things but other than the requirement for committee membership being agreed in full council, I don't think there's a strict rule but happy to be corrected.
0 votes
I don't think that it is a matter of numbers more a practical application of the resources the council has at its disposal. Having 5 councillors is quite different from having 15 councillors on the council.

Committees are formed to give the best attention to a particular matter and if you have only five members then essentially all the decisions can be made by such a small number in the normal business process and by increasing the number of meetings per year a council has. "Many hands make light work" as the saying goes so keeping the council up to its required councillor quota should be a top priority because not having the manpower leads to very many of the problems listed and experienced on this site.
by (26.4k points)
What is your interpretation of this LGA 1972 s102 extract . Subject to the provisions of this section, the number of members of a committee appointed under subsection above, their term of office, and the area (if restricted) within which the committee are to exercise their authority shall be fixed by the appointing authority .  To me it doesn't say a minimum or a maximum   , it just says the Council can fix it to whatever number they see fit .  As such I would argue with imposition of the following "you cannot and should not have a minimum amount of Councillors on a committee"
In setting the terms of reference of a committee the " authority" must take into account the workability of that committee to achieve its required goals. The numbers of members of that committee would need to take into account the overall numbers and workload of councillors available. Flexibility is of course the watch word to enable aims to be achieved and the tying up of groups or committees etc. in self imposed box ticking red tape is always counter productive in my experience
I agree absolutely .   The problem is that there is no one method that suits all Councils,   Councils should be made aware of all the considerations before deciding. I happen to believe that Councillor choice should be towards the top of those considerations

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