Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: This meeting will be held remotely only
Contact: Claire Mayhew (01277 312741)
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Poppy.
Declaration of Interest from Members and Officers
No declarations of interest were made.
The CEO, Jonathan Stephenson, introduced the report and reminded Members of the purpose of the meeting which related to preparatory work needing to be undertaken to ensure that Council business and decision making could continue in the unprecedented current situation brought about by the COVID19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 [the Act] had received Royal Assent on the 25 March 2020, and s78 gave the Secretary of State the power to make regulations to govern the way local authorities held meetings. The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 [the Regulations] came into force on the 4 April 2020. These Regulations enabled local authorities to hold remote meetings and for attendance at these meetings to be attendance for the purposes of the Constitution.
Suggested changes to the Council’s Rules of Procedure were attached to the report at Appendix D.
The report recommended the convening of an Emergency Committee and the powers that this would take on and how this would work in these unprecedented times. This committee would consider emergency and business continuity items and would operate until the council had the dedicated resources available to support the reintroduction of a full committee structure.
Proposed Terms of Reference were attached to the report at Appendix A. Members were also asked to consider the suspension of the six-month rule in relation to Members attending meetings and the approval of the proposed calendar of meetings for 2020/21 at Appendix B.
Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Aspinell SECONDED the recommendations in the report.
Cllr Hirst MOVED and Cllr McCheyne SECONDED an AMENDMENT
to Recommendation 1 as follows:
To delete from Paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Terms of Reference (Appendix A) for the EmergencyCommittee "Planning and Licencing", and to delete Paragraph 9.
Cllr Hirst MOVED and Cllr McCheyne SECONDED a second AMENDMENT
to Recommendation 1 as follows:
To add to the Terms of Reference (Appendix A) for the Emergency Committee an additional paragraph - Paragraph 14 to read: "For clarity, the Emergency Committee may not change the decisions made at the meeting of Extraordinary Council on 29 April 2020."
Cllr Hossack DID NOT ACCEPT the AMENDMENT and following a discussion Members voted and the AMENDMENT was CARRIED, becoming part of the SUBSTANTIVE MOTION.
Cllr Hirst MOVED and Cllr McCheyne SECONDED a third AMENDMENT to remove Recommendation 3, as follows: To agree to suspend the six-month rule in relation to Members attending meetings of the Council and the Committees on which they serve, pursuant to Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972. This will be reviewed by the Monitoring Officer on a monthly basis, and will follow the Government guidance and legislation when determining if it no longer apply.
Cllr Hossack DID NOT ACCEPT the AMENDMENT and following a debate Members voted and ... view the full minutes text for item 441.
To consider any matter which, by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes of the meeting, the Mayor considers should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
There was one matter of urgent business before Members which the Deputy Mayor had accepted under Part 4 of the Constitution paragraph 2.5(e), that this matter be considered by reason of special circumstance, this being that the country was currently experiencing a pandemic, the Government had passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) which enabled the Council not to hold an Annual Council meeting.
As no Annual Council Meeting would be held this year, the appointments from the 2019 Annual Council meeting would continue unless a Member retired or stepped down from being a Chair, Vice Chair, Leader or Deputy Leader.
The Leader had continued in position but due to stepping down of the Deputy Leader, the Conservative Group had put forward Cllr Keith Parker for the role.
Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Nolan SECONDED that Cllr Parker should be appointed as Deputy Leader of the Council with immediate effect and it was RESOLVED accordingly.
The meeting ended at 22.14 hours.