Westfield Ward Committee
Purpose of committee
To continually improve how we engage and involve communities we have re-introduced Ward Committees. These replace Resident Forum meetings and can range in style from informal drop in events to formal meetings. The topic of the meeting also may vary and can be on one or more issues. However, as a minimum, each ward will have one formal meeting towards the start of each financial year, which will be formally recorded and detailed on the relevant ward pages. Informal meeting s will also be announced on the ward pages along with the topic(s) covered, however, these meeting will not be formally minuted. Actions from these meetings will be collated and taken to the Ward Team Meeting or forwarded to the relevant council department for response.
2. Terms of Reference for Ward Committee Meetings
There are 21 Ward Committees in the City of York, although some of the smaller wards may choose to meet together. These Ward Committees provide local citizens with an opportunity to influence local service delivery and to have a say more widely in helping to identify priorities within their ward to inform the allocation of budgets and the deployment of other resources. The Ward Committees will consider local matters and may advise ward councillors on spending the budgets which are devolved to wards. .
The Ward Committee is one element of an approach which enables ward councillors to actively engage with residents.
Ward Committees will work with communities to scrutinise the delivery of local services and, if necessary, hold joint meetings with other wards.
At the Ward Committee, ward councillors and residents will:
(a) Consider ward priorities or objectives, after taking account of resident ambitions, ward statistics and local intelligence.
(b) Reflect upon the previous year’s achievements
(c) Consider monitoring information in order to hold service providers to account with regard to their performance within the ward against the ward priorities.
(d) Identify specific improvements which the Council or partners could introduce within available resources and make recommendations.
(e) Consider opportunities for residents to inform and influence the work that will take place to address ward priorities and for communities to deliver services where practicable and appropriate that contribute to those priorities.
(f) Bring to the attention of the Council the views of local people on any matter of local concern and identify practical arrangements which might improve communications between the Council and the people it serves.
(g) For non-parished areas, decide whether to institute/continue with a Ward Planning Panel (for the ward covered by the Ward Committee) consisting of community representatives and if so, elect the panel membership for the forthcoming year. The Ward Planning Panel will comment on planning applications in the ward and report-back on any existing panel's work in the preceding year (working in accordance with the separate protocol for Ward Planning Panels).
(h) Consult upon the allocation of resources contained within the Ward Budget over the forthcoming year.
Following this consultation ward councillors may decide to allocate the budget according to their discretion and within the relevant council policies and financial regulations.
How the Ward Committee will be conducted
· The Ward Committee will be called by the ward councillors and will meet at least once per year as a formal meeting and up to three additional times in a format to be determined by ward councillors
· The Ward Councillors will elect a chair for the meeting.
· The agenda will be set by the Ward Councillors in consultation with relevant officers and community partners
· Copies of the draft minutes of the formal meeting will be circulated to ward councillors within 10 clear days of the meeting for the approval of the chair of the meeting and then placed on the Council website.
· All decisions will be advisory and will be reported as recommendations to the Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods and available to view on the council website www.york.gov.uk/decisions. These will be uploaded on a monthly basis.
· If required, voting at a meeting will be by a show of hands; in the event of any vote being equally divided the Chair will have a second or casting vote.
Access and Conduct
· Ward Committees will be subject to current access to information provisions. In addition the following will apply:-
(a) The Chair of the Ward Committee will introduce all agenda items then allow public debate.
(b) The Chair of the Ward Committee will sum up at the end of the debate and together with other Members take a decision.
(c) Meetings of the Ward Committee will be open to all residents of the ward to attend.
(d) The agenda will normally be publicised no less than five clear days before a meeting is held.
(e) Public notice boards within the wards will be used to publicise the meetings. (The Press, council website and social media will be recognised as a public notice board.)
(f) Council officers will be able to attend and speak at meetings where the subject area is relevant to the ward or where a citywide issue might impact on residents in a ward.
(g) Members may invite representatives of other agencies to attend and advise at meetings where relevant items are to be discussed.
(h) The Council will communicate the findings on any issue raised with them by a resident to that person within ten clear days, unless the inquiry raises issues of law or practice, which will require a provisional response to be sent, or where an issue requires further action and /or investigation, in which case the Council will provide a deadline for completion.
Support officer: Michal Czekajlo. Community Involvement Officer
Phone: 01904 551841