The Forward Plan is a list of key decisions scheduled to be made by the Cabinet and full Council for a four month period.
Period of Forward Plan
Forward plans are prepared by the Leader to cover a period of four months, beginning with the first day of any month. They are prepared on a monthly basis.
Contents of Forward Plan
The forward plan contain matters which the Leader has reason to believe will be the subject of a key decision to be taken by the Cabinet, individual Cabinet members, delegated officers, or under joint arrangements in the course of the discharge of an executive function during the period covered by the plan. The forward plan outlines the following (in so far as the information is available or might reasonably be obtained) :
- the matter in respect of which a decision is to be made;
- where the decision taker is an individual, his/her name and title, if any where the decision maker is a body, its name and details of membership;
- the date on which, or the period within which, the decision will be taken;
- the identity of the principal groups whom the decision taker proposes to consult before taking the decision;
- the means by which any such consultation is proposed to be undertaken;
- the steps any person might take who wishes to make representations to the Cabinet or decision taker about the matter in respect of which the decision is to be made, and the date by which those steps must be taken; and
- a list of the documents submitted to the decision taker for consideration in relation to the matter.
The forward plan must be published at least 14 days before the start of the period covered.
Exempt information need not be included in a forward plan and confidential information cannot be included.
What happens if an urgent key decision needs to be taken?
Urgent decisions, not listed on the Forward Plan, can be taken if the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee is notified in writing, with the reasons outlined why the decision cannot reasonably be deferred. If the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee is unable to act, then the agreement (confirmed in writing) by the Chairman of the Council or in his /her absence the Vice-Chairman will suffice.