THE financial implications analysis for urgent “notices of motion” to Powys County Council might not be needed for future meetings.
At a meeting of the council’s Democratic Service committee on Monday, April 24, councillors were asked for views on several proposals to tidy up council meeting procedures.
The need for notices of motion and any amendments made to them to have their costs worked out beforehand was agreed by councillors back in 2021.
One of the constitutional tweaks recommended to the committee would allow “urgent” motions to be debated without a financial cost analysis.
Mr Pinney said: “If urgent motions are required, we give a dispensation that a cost analysis can be avoided.”
Urgent motions need to be presented to Mr Pinney in his role as the monitoring officer by 5pm, the day before a council meeting.
Cllr Danny Bebb said: “It’s down to what is a perception of an emergency, it could be abused.”
Cllr Graham Breeze said: “I’m happy provided the decision is made by the (council) chair and that’s the important aspect.”
A further change proposed to the committee would be to take away a loophole that could potentially allow amendments to motions to be presented to the council without the financial analysis.
Mr Pinney explained that rule 4.49 in the constitution allows councillors to put forward alternative motions without the need for a cost analysis.
Mr Pinney said: “The objective is that: if you simply disagree with a motion you vote it down rather than try an amend it.”
In the report councillors had been given three options to choose.
To remove the rule altogether, allow amendments without a cost analysis, or that amendment must be accompanied by a costs analysis.
Mr Pinney told the committee that he favoured “withdrawing” the rule.
Cllr Sarah Williams: “This is where it gets really confusing in council when people change words and slightly alter the motion.
“It’s not clear and really throws you.”
Councillors agreed unanimously to remove the rule altogether.
The committee also agreed that councillors can only second two motions per meeting.
This brings the rule in line with those that allow a councillor to propose two motions per meeting.
The committee rejected a recommendation to curtail a “preamble” for motions, and set a word limit for them.
The recommendations from the committee will go in front of all councillors for a decision soon.