Venue: Observatory House
Contact: Nicholas Pontone 01753 875120
Declarations of Interest
The Leader of the Council considered a report that recommended the extension of the provision of a shared legal service by Harrow Council under an Inter-Authority agreement.
The extension was proposed to be until 31 March 2028 with provision for giving six-months notice on the contract, not to be exercised in the first 12 months. The current agreement would expire on 1 June 2023.
An urgent decision needed to be taken before the next scheduled Cabinet and it was not necessary or practical to call a special Cabinet meeting. The reason for urgency was that the charging rate of the existing Inter-Authority Agreement would be increased on 1 April 2023 unless consent was given for an extension of the agreement.
The proposed decision was being considered under paragraph 2.11 (urgency procedure – Leader’s Action) of Part 4.4 of the Executive Procedure Rules as set in the Constitution.
Prior to taking the decision, it was confirmed that:
· The Leader of the Council’s portfolio included responsibility for legal services.
· The Leader had considered whether a special meeting of the Cabinet be convened to consider this matter, but had decided that this was not practical given the reason for urgency and the need to consent to extend the agreement before the increase in the charging rate from 1April 2023.
· It was noted that the relevant notice of a key decision had been published.
· The decision was subject to call-in.
The Leader considered the report that had been published. It was noted that Best Value Commissioner supported the recommendation.
After due consideration, the Leader agreed the recommendations to extend the contract, noting the provision for the notice period, to enable the continuity of legal services whilst allowing the opportunity for market testing and/or consideration of in-sourcing the service to take place.
Resolved – That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to extend the Inter-Authority agreement between Slough BC and Harrow Council for the provision of a shared legal service by HB Public Law until 31 March 2028 and on such terms and conditions as may be agreed in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Executive Director of Finance and Commercial.