Agenda item

Balanced Appointment Objective - Report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services of Derbyshire County Council


The Director of Legal and Democratic Services presented a report to enable the Panel to review its composition following the commencement of the new municipal year and to co-opt additional Councillor Members to ensure the Panel met the statutory balance requirements.


The Panel’s 2 co-opted Independent Members were not covered by this report. They have recently been co-opted for a further 4 year term.


Paragraph 31 of Schedule 6 puts the duty to produce a “balanced panel” on councils and panels. Relevant local authorities and panels must secure that (as far as is reasonably practicable) the balanced appointment objective is met. A “balanced panel” is one where the councillors on the panel (when taken together with any co-optees as necessary):


·        Represent all parts of the relevant police area (geographical balance)

·        Represent the political make-up on the relevant authorities (when taken together (political balance), and

·        Have the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for the police and crime panel, to discharge its functions effectively.


Each of the 10 constituent authorities in Derbyshire had nominated a panel member for the new municipal year from its majority group and this had resulted in a Panel of 6 Conservative members and 4 Labour members. As outlined at appendix 2 to the report, this did not achieve political balance and so did not meet the balanced appointment objective.


The political balance of the Panel can be adjusted by co-opting additional Councillor Members to better meet the balanced appointment objective and paragraph 4 (4) of Schedule 6 enables the Panel to pass a resolution to have additional co-opted members. In considering political balance, appendix 2 to the report detailed the current political makeup of the 10 constituent local authorities and the relevant percentages. Appendix 3 to this report detailed the number of co-optees required to achieve political balance. As the maximum number of members permitted on the panel is 20, including 2 independent co-optees, the Derbyshire Police and Crime Panel can only co-opt a maximum of 8 Councillor Members. Based on the percentages outlined in appendix 3  to the report, to achieve, or support, the balanced appointment objective, the Panel was asked to consider one of the following options:


a.    Co-option of 3 Councillor members:

1 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat and 1 Independent Councillor


b.    Co-option of 7 Councillor members:

2 Conservative, 2 Labour, 2 Liberal Democrat and 1 Independent Councillor.


Following discussion amongst those present, the Panel unanimously agreed to co-opt 7 additional members.  


The Panel then further considered which authorities to approach to seek further nominations for co-optees and in doing so, considered the geographical balance in ensuring the balanced appointment objective could be met. It was suggested that the following authorities should be approached to provide co-opted members:  Derby City (1 Con & 1Lab); DCC (1Con); Erewash (1 Lab); Chesterfield (1 Lib Dem) Bolsover (1 Ind) and High Peak (1 LD)





1)   To approve to co-opt 7 additional councillor members subject to the agreement of the Secretary of State, to enable the Panel to better fulfil its duty to meet the balanced appointment objective;


2)   To agree to delegate authority to the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, to make the necessary arrangements to determine which authority or authorities should be approached to provide the additional members, and in doing so, they should consider the geographical balance and the skills and knowledge of potential co-optees in ensuring the balanced appointment objective can be met, subject to the agreement of the Secretary of State; and


3)   To agree that the Director of Legal and Democratic Services makes the necessary application to the Secretary of State to appoint the nominated co-optees upon receipt of the nominations from the identified authority or authorities.




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