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Constitution

Section 4: Responsibility for Functions

Last updated 2 August 2021, version 8a

1. This section of the constitution sets out responsibility for functions.

2. Table 1 sets out responsibility for functions that are not executive functions.

3. Table 2 sets out responsibility for functions that are “local choice functions” as listed in Schedule 2 to the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 No 2853 (as amended).

4. Table 3 sets out the scheme of delegations to officers of functions that are not executive functions.

5. Table 4 sets out the scheme of delegations of executive functions to individual members of the Cabinet, committees of the Cabinet or officers.

6. Ad-hoc decisions made during the year can be found on the Council’s website

Delegation to officers – general provisions and authorisations

7. Pursuant to Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 and Section 15(2) of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council or the Cabinet, as the case may be, delegate to each Officer full powers to act in all matters within their area of responsibility. This delegation includes responsibility for all day to day management and operational decisions, and taking action under statutory provisions relevant to their areas of responsibility including powers of enforcement; but is subject to any specified exclusions or limitations.

8. For the purposes of the schemes of delegation reference to delegation to an Officer shall mean one of the following officers unless specifically indicated otherwise:

9. In cases of doubt as to which Officer has responsibility for a matter or the scope of the Officer’s responsibility by reference to appropriate statutory provisions, the Head of Paid Service shall decide.

10. The delegation to Officers shall include the power:

  1. to authorise the exercise of the delegated powers by such other officers as may be deemed appropriate for the proper and efficient performance of the work;
  2. to designate particular officers as "appropriate" or "proper" officers for the purposes of any statutory provisions including, where necessary or convenient having regard to any professional or technical requirements, an officer who is not an employee of the Council;
  3. following consultation with the Head of Paid Service, to authorise particular officers to attend in court including under Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1972 and Section 60(2) of the County Courts Act 1984 (conduct of court proceedings by officers who are not solicitors), and to authorise officers to prosecute, defend or appear on behalf of the Council;
  4. to demand, collect, adjust, remit or recover any payments, fees or penalties due to the Council under statutory provisions;
  5. to make any determination, publish or transmit documents, serve any notice or make any Order or authorise the making of any Order under statutory provisions.

11. Every Officer may take any emergency action for the safety of the public or the protection of the property of the Council, in accordance with relevant statutory provisions including the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This delegation includes power to take any decision, although it is normally the responsibility of the Cabinet, a Cabinet committee or individual Cabinet Member, where the decision has to be taken immediately in response to an emergency as defined in the Emergency Contingency Plan.

12. Other Officers as designated by the Head of Paid Service may act in place of the Officer concerned in exercise of any power conferred on an Officer by this Scheme of Delegation whenever a post is vacant or the Officer is for any reason unable to act.

Delegation to Particular Officers - Corporate Matters

13. Chief Executive as the Head of the Paid Service shall be authorised:

  1. To operate the procedures detailed in the personnel handbook, or any document or handbook that supersedes this.
  2. Terms and Conditions of Staff – subject to any overriding policies or exceptions specified by the Council, The Head of Paid Service is authorised:
    1. to determine the changes to general conditions of employment;
    2. to offer fixed-term contracts to new and existing employees;
    3. to decide on creation, deletion and grading of posts (except JNC or similar posts);
    4. to deal with any industrial relations matters.

14. The areas of responsibility mentioned in paragraph 1.7 include but are not limited to:

Chief Executive

  • Wyre Forest Forward programme management
  • Community safety
  • Leisure services
  • Operations; including waste/civil enforcement/fleet/garage
  • Parks and open spaces
  • Communications
  • Partnerships
  • Emergency Planning (delivered by shared services)
  • Commercialism and Localism

Solicitor to the Council

  • Elections
  • Committee administration
  • Legal services
  • Human resources
  • Policy and performance

The Officer shall be authorised:-

  1. To exercise the required discretion whether or not to initiate, prosecute or defend legal proceedings on behalf of the Council under any statute, order, regulation or byelaw (including Section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972); in respect of property issues; or in any legal proceedings against the Council brought by any person or body. This authorisation is subject to the Officer being satisfied as to the evidence;
  2. To certify resolutions and documents as being true copies.
  3. To obtain Counsel's Opinion or instruct Counsel to appear on behalf of the Council whenever he/she considers such action advisable.
  4. To sign on behalf of the Council any deed or other document authorised by the Council or which it is necessary or desirable to give effect to any decision of the Council, unless any enactment otherwise requires or authorises or the Council has authorised some other person for some specific purpose.
  5. To apply for any necessary consent or licence.
  6. To make any minor changes necessary to the Council's Constitution including changes arising from decisions of the Council, changes to legislation and including ad hoc appointments to outside bodies.

Corporate Director: Resources

  • Customer services
  • Revenues, benefits and welfare
  • ICT services
  • Accountancy
  • Internal audit
  • Procurement (delivered by shared services)
  • Payroll (delivered by shared services)

The Officer shall be authorised:

  1. to write off debts up to £10,000 for any individual account, subject to consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member for amounts between £5,000 and £10,000 (note that any debts classed as non recoverable in accordance with relevant legislation do not require write-off approval);
  2. to amend the Council’s Financial Regulations in order to meet legislative and operational requirements, in consultation with Cabinet Lead Member;
  3. to determine the most financially prudent funding method for capital projects (including borrowing, capital receipts or direct revenue funding);
  4. to have responsibility, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, for the maintenance of a sound system of internal control which facilitates the effective exercise of the Council’s functions and which includes arrangements for the management of risk, as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011;
  5. to exercise functions in respect of the Council’s Collection Fund.

Corporate Director: Economic Prosperity and Place

  • Planning Policy
  • Economic development and regeneration (delivered by shared services)
  • Development Management
  • Land charges
  • Building Control (delivered by shared services)
  • Strategic housing
  • Environmental Health (delivered by shared services)
  • Licensing (delivered by shared services)
  • Asset management

 

Table 1: Responsibility for functions – functions that are not executive functions

This table is subject to:

  1. functions carried out by the District Council itself as set out in Article 4 or other provisions of the constitution;
  2. the general provisions relating to delegations to officers set out in paragraphs 7 to 14 above and the delegations to officers set out in table 3 below.

Function

Responsibility for relevant functions in Schedule 1 to the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 No 2853 (as amended)

Delegation of functions (subject to the delegations to officers set out in table 3)

Functions relating to town and country planning and development control.

Exception: adoption of the Plans and alterations which together comprise the Development Plan.

 

Planning Committee

Council (to approve final document); Overview and Scrutiny Committee (to amend and update, prior to final approval by Council)

Licensing and registration functions (in so far as not covered by any other paragraph of Schedule 1 to SI 2000/2853)

Exception: adoption of Licensing Authority Policy Statement

Licensing and Environmental Committee

Council

Functions relating to health and safety at work

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services)

Functions relating to elections

Council

Functions relating to name and status of areas and individuals

Council

Functions relating to community governance

Council

Power to make, amend, revoke, re-enact or enforce byelaws

Council

 

Functions relating to smoke-free premises etc.

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services)

Power to promote or oppose local or personal Bills

Council

Functions relating to pensions etc.

Council

Miscellaneous functions
Note: only those relevant to district councils are listed in this table

Power to make standing orders.

 


Council

Power to appoint staff, and to determine the terms and conditions on which they hold office (including procedures for their dismissal).

 

Council

Except: functions delegated to Appeals and Appointments committee, as set out in its terms of reference in respect of dismissals;

Except: functions conferred on Officers by the Employment Procedure Rules as detailed in the Personnel handbook, including those required by legislation.

Power to make standing orders as to contracts.

Council

Duty to make arrangements for proper administration of financial affairs etc.

Duty to secure that an officer has these responsibilities: Council

Duty to make arrangements for proper administration etc: Officer appointed by the Council under this provision

Power to appoint officers for particular purposes (appointment of “proper officers”)

Officers

Power to make limestone pavement order.

Planning Committee

Power to make closing order with respect to take-away food shops

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services)

Duty to designate officer as the head of the authority’s paid service, and to provide staff etc.

Council

Duty to designate officer as the monitoring officer, and to provide staff etc.

Council

Duty to provide staff etc to person nominated by monitoring officer

Council

Powers relating to overview and scrutiny committees (voting rights of co-opted members)

Making or amending scheme: Council

Publicity etc for scheme: Officers

Duty to approve authority’s statement of accounts

Audit Committee

This includes ensuring that the statement of accounts is signed and dated by the person presiding at the committee at which approval was given.

Powers relating to the protection of important hedgerows.

Planning Committee

Powers relating to the preservation of trees.

Planning Committee

Powers relating to complaints about high hedges.

Planning Committee

Power to make payments or provide other benefits in cases of maladministration etc.

Officers

Except payments over £500: Council

Power to apply for an enforcement order against unlawful works on common land

Planning Committee

Power to protect unclaimed registered common land and unclaimed town or village greens against unlawful interference

Planning Committee

Power to institute proceedings for offences in respect of unclaimed registered common land and unclaimed town or village greens

Planning Committee

Table 2: Responsibility for local choice functions

This table is subject to the general provisions relating to delegations to officers set out in paragraphs 1.6 to 1.13 above and the delegations to officers set out in table 3.

Responsibility for relevant functions in Schedule 2 to the 2000 Regulations is as follows:

Function

Responsible body (subject to the delegations to officers set out in table 3)

Functions under local Acts

Cabinet

Determination of appeals

  1. Appeals in respect of the council’s role as employer: Appointments and Appeals Committee as set out in its terms of reference, Head of Paid Service for other appeals
  2. All other appeals: Cabinet

Appointment of review boards

Cabinet

Arrangements for questions on police matters at council meetings

Council

Contaminated land

Officers

Control of pollution or management of air quality

Officers

Except declaration of air quality management area: Cabinet

Service of abatement notice

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services), so far as it relates to environmental health and licensing

All other cases – Officers

Resolution to apply Schedule 2 to the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act to the authority’s area

Cabinet

Inspection of the authority’s area to detect a statutory nuisance

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services), so far as it relates to environmental health and licensing

All other cases - Officers

Investigation of any complaint as to existence of statutory nuisance

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services), so far as it relates to environmental health and licensing

All other cases - Officers

Obtaining information as to interests in land

Bromsgrove District Council (Worcestershire Regulatory Services), so far as it relates to environmental health and licensing

All other cases - Officers

Appointment of any individual to any office, body or committee of such a body

Council at annual general meeting

Cabinet in respect of any vacancy that arises during the municipal year.

Making of agreements to place staff at disposal of other authorities

Officers

Functions relating to local area agreements

Cabinet

Table 3: delegation to officers of functions that are not executive functions

Function

Detail

Planning and related matters

To exercise authority in respect of all applications, notifications, service of notices and orders or other matters requiring a decision by the Council under the Council’s published policy and practice notes and the following legislation, regulations and guidance (and to any re-enactment or replacement of the statutes, or regulations or guidance or any modifications thereof):

  • Acquisition of Land Act 1981
  • Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
  • Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • Brownfield Land Register Regulations 2017
  • Building Act 1984
  • Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960
  • Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
  • Commons Act 2006
  • Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
  • Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (England) Order 2010
  • Electricity Act 1989
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995
  • Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995
  • Hedgerow Regulations 1997
  • Highways Act 1980
  • Hazardous Substance Regulations 2015
  • Land Drainage Act 1991
  • Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980
  • National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949
  • Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990
  • Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (as amended)
  • Planning and Compensation Act 1991
  • Planning Act 2008
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
  • Procedural Guide Planning Appeals – England
  • Self Build and Custom Housing Act 2015
  • Self Build and Custom Housing (Register) Regulations 2016
  • Telecommunications Act 1984
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)
  • Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007
  • Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015
  • Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017
  • Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015
  • Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004
  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

 

Subject to;

  1. All delegated decisions being in accordance with the, National Planning Policy Framework, the Development Plan or emerging Development Plan policies.
  2. The following being first agreed with the Chairman or in his/her absence, the Vice Chairman of the Planning Committee as appropriate:
    • Service of Building Preservation Notices
    • Service of Listed Building Enforcement Notices
    • Service of Temporary Stop Notices
  3. The following consultation and/or notification (in addition to statutory or published requirements) having first been carried out:
    • The relevant Parish Council and Ward Members in respect of the removal of hedgerows under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997.
    • The relevant Ward Members in respect of notifications made under Parts 13 and Part 16 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order 2015.
    • The relevant Ward Members and Parish Councils in respect of applications for works to trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders.

The delegation shall not apply;

  1. If a Wyre Forest District Councillor makes a written request for a Planning Application to be considered by the Planning Committee within 21 days of the date of validation of the planning application;
  2. If a Parish Council makes a request to speak on a Planning Application to be considered by the Planning Committee within their written response to the District Council and no later than 21 days of the date they were consulted on the planning application;
  3. If the Development Manager or another officer nominated by him/her considers it is a matter that should be considered by the Planning Committee;
  4. If the applicant of the Planning Application is Wyre Forest District Council or is made on land owned by Wyre Forest District Council;
  5. If the applicant of the Planning Application is a serving Wyre Forest District Council Councillor or is a serving Councillor representing Wyre Forest District on Worcestershire County Council;
  6. If the applicant of the Planning Application is a serving Wyre Forest District Council Officer or is made on land owned by a serving Wyre Forest District Council Officer;
  7. To any Planning Application which will result in a net increase of ten or more residential units or, in the case of non-residential application, a net increase 1000 square metres of floorspace;
  8. To any Planning Application, other than a Householder Application, where a statutory or non statutory Consultee (including Parish Councils) has responded to the application in writing with a clearly made planning objection and the application is recommended for approval;
  9. To any Planning Application where a request by a third party has been made to speak at the Planning Committee, within 21 days of the date of the neighbour notification letter or the site/press notice, and the request accords with the Council’s published policy and procedure for speaking at Planning Committee; or
  10. To the service of Enforcement and Stop Notices (but not including Temporary Stop Notices or Enforcement Notices relating to retrospective developments where planning permission has been refused).

For the purposes of interpretation the following definitions will apply;

  • ‘emerging plan’ is any plan for the District that has been submitted to the Secretary of State
  • Planning Application’ excludes;
    • any notification under the above mentioned Acts or Orders;
    • applications under S.73 of the Planning Act where the nature of the original development permitted remains substantially unaltered;
    • Certificate of Lawfulness under S.191 or S.192 of the Planning Act;
    • applications for non material amendments;
    • applications for approval of conditions;
    • consultations from neighbouring authorities or the County Council; or
    • notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area.

Subsequent to the resolution of the Planning Committee, delegated authority is given to update the wording of, or include additional conditions to planning permissions before the issuing of the Decision Notice, as long as the intentions of the Planning committee are not undermined in so doing and the principle of the development remains unaffected.

Licensing and registration functions

To exercise authority, including approval and refusal, suspension and revocation, service of notices and orders or other matters requiring a decision by the Council under the Council’s published policy and practice notes and the following legislation, regulations and guidance (and any re-enactment or replacement or consolidation of the statutes or regulations or guidance, or any modifications or extensions thereof):

  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 2006
  • Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991
  • Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960
  • Caravan Sites Act 1968
  • Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
  • Gambling Act 2005
  • Game Act 1831
  • Licensing Act 2003
  • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Police, Factories (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970
  • Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013
  • Town Police Clauses Act 1847
  • Video Recordings Acts 1984 and 1993
  • Hackney Carriage Licensing
  • Private Hire (including driver, vehicle and operator) Licensing
  • Control of Sex Establishments (including lap dancing and sexual entertainment venues)
  • Street Trading
  • Street Amenity Licences
  • Zoo Licensing Act 1981
  • Motor Salvage Operator Regulations 2002

 

Except in the following cases:

  1. The Officer considers that an application should be considered by the Licensing committee/Sub Committee.
  2. The application is for a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driving licence or a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licence or a premises licence or a personal licence under the Licensing Act 2003 and the application is recommended for refusal (except where the refusal is under the Council’s age criteria policy for hackney carriages/private hire vehicles).
    The delegation to officers to take decisions under the age criteria policy includes the power to approve applications where there are material grounds to depart from the policy, because the vehicle is presented in exemplary condition.
  3. Any application where a statutory or non-statutory consultee, responsible authority or interested person has responded to the application objecting to its approval and the objection has not been deemed vexatious (except taxi drivers where the objection relates to the issue of being a fit and proper person).
  4. The applicant is Wyre Forest District Council or is made on land owned by Wyre Forest District Council.
  5. The applicant is serving as a Wyre Forest District Councillor or as a Worcestershire County Councillor representing an electoral division in Wyre Forest, or is an immediate family member of such a Councillor.
  6. The applicant is a serving officer of Wyre Forest District Council or of Worcestershire Regulatory Services or is an immediate family member of such an Officer.
  7. The application or review is such that primary or secondary legislation dictates it must be a committee decision.
  8. The proposal involves the determination of Fees and Charges.
  9. Where there are grounds to refuse an application under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Terms and conditions of staff

Subject to any overriding policies or exceptions specified by the Council, the Head of Paid Service is authorised:

  1. to determine changes to general conditions of employment;
  2. to offer fixed-term contracts to new and existing employees;
  3. to decide on creation, deletion, and grading of posts (except JNC or similar posts);
  4. to deal with any industrial relations matters.

Public rights of way

Responding to proposals for diversions and other alterations to public rights of way, subject to prior consultation with the Ward Member(s).

Making orders relating to a public right of way, subject to prior consultation with the Ward Member(s). In the event of any such Ward Member(s) objecting, to consult the Cabinet before deciding whether to make the order.

Table 4: delegation of executive functions to individual cabinet members, to committees of the cabinet or to officers

In the event of changes to any Cabinet Members portfolio of responsibilities, delegated authority will automatically transfer to the relevant new Cabinet Member

Executive function(s)

Description

Delegation to

Estates management, land and property issues

Acquisition or disposal of land or the granting or taking of any lesser interest where the consideration to be paid or received by the Council is greater than £10,000 but less than £100,000 in amount or value.

Cabinet lead member

These delegations do not apply in the case of disposals where the consent of the Secretary of State would be required (unless a general consent applies) or where there is a requirement to advertise the disposal of open space land under Section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Estates management, land and property issues

Acquisition or disposal of land or the granting or taking of any lesser interest where the consideration to be paid or received by the Council is not greater than £10,000 in amount or value.

Officers

These delegations do not apply in the case of disposals where the consent of the Secretary of State would be required (unless a general consent applies) or where there is a requirement to advertise the disposal of open space land under Section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Estates management, land and property issues

To accept surrenders and agree assignments of leases of Council-owned properties. Officers
Fees and charges

 

To set fees and charges in accordance with the Council’s policy on fees and charges in respect of the following issues:

  • provision of copies of documents, plans etc.
  • short term licences for use of car parks otherwise than in accordance with car parking charges order;
  • licence fee for casual fishing permits where the Council retains fishing rights;
  • charges set on a negotiated or discount basis for block bookings, school use, programmed use and special promotions;
  • varying the standard fee scales, as laid out in the Council’s Scheme for the recovery of Building Regulation costs under the Building (Local Authority) Regulations 1998, by plus or minus 10% to ensure that the Council remains competitive so long as the income fully covers the expenditure in the fee carrying account;
  • the scale of fees for pre planning application advice, including conservation/heritage and arboricultural advice

Officers

Road closure orders

 

To make orders under Section 21 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 to ensure the temporary closure of roads for festivals, events and other appropriate purposes.

Officers

Conservation

To amend the List of Buildings of Local Architectural and/or Historic Interest (The Local List) from time to time to add new properties meeting the criteria or remove those which no longer meet the criteria.

Corporate Director: Economic Prosperity and Place, with the agreement of the Cabinet Lead Member

Conservation

Approving the award of grants under the Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas in accordance with the Capital Programme, following consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in accordance with the protocol approved by the Cabinet.

Cabinet Lead Member

Housing

Determination of applications for the award of financial support for affordable housing through the Council’s Capital Strategy, following consideration and recommendation by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Cabinet Lead Member

 

Policy framework – definition

In this constitution, “policy framework” means:

  • Plans or strategies that are required under statute
  • Crime and disorder reduction strategy
  • Development plan documents
  • Licensing authority policy statement
  • Plans and alterations which together comprise the Development Plan

Other plans or strategies

  • Corporate plan
  • Financial strategy, including any plan or strategy for the control of the authority’s borrowing, investments or capital expenditure or for determining the authority’s minimum revenue provision
  • Shared services strategy
  • Fees and charges strategy
  • Property rationalisation strategy
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