Thanks to the eagle-eyed reader who spotted a clause in Carmarthenshire County Council's constitution which deals with the hallowed practice of receiving reports at meetings of the full council. It reads as follows:
4.2 Functions of the full
(r) to receive reports from Committees on matters which have been
delegated to them and providing an opportunity for Members to ask
(s) to receive and confirm or otherwise
the recommendations of
Committees on non-executive functions not within their delegation or
which a Committee has referred to the Council for decision, to enable
Members to ask questions, propose amendments, or to pass such
resolution or resolutions thereon as may be deemed appropriate;
That seems clear enough, doesn't it?
One of the regular highlights of meetings of full council over the last couple of years has been watching the chief executive throw his toys out of the pram every time the subject of receiving reports comes up.
They can't be amended, they can't be changed, and they cannot be debated, he regularly snarls, presumably quoting from a different constitution to the one everyone else has seen.
Council watchers will recall that Mr James last year dug his heels in, refusing to accept that councillors who table questions have the right to ask supplementaries.
As a compromise, supplementaries are now allowed at meetings provided councillors have gone through the ritual of suspending the relevant standing orders (which don't say that supplementary questions are banned, by the way).
This game will have to continue until such time as the council is invited to amend its constitution, probably later this year.
It seems that Mr James has decided he cannot wait that long to force through one of his pet projects to shut down discussion and questions relating to committee reports. Incredibly this latest fatwa includes reports from scrutiny committees.
Leighton will not be impressed when he hears about this.