Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Rachel Graves Tel: 01270 686473 Email: email@example.com
Note: This meeting was recoreded over two videos - please follow the links below to view the recordings.
Link to meeting recordings
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors A Critchley, T Fox and M Hunter.
Declarations of Interest
To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were made.
Public Speaking Time/Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 1.32 of the Council Procedure Rules and Appendix 7 to the rules, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at the Council meeting on the item of business on the agenda only. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 2 minutes, but the Chairman will have discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to ask a question or make a statement at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given.
Sue Helliwell asked if under the committee system would the Chairs of each committee be appointed by Council and not by the members of the Committee themselves. She stated that the Chairs of each committee and sub-committee would have to work with the Leader of the Council and asked if this favoured patronage of the ruling party. The Leader of the Council would be the Chair of the Corporate Committee and be eligible to be on other committee and have voting right and stated that this still sounded like a Cabinet system.
Councillor James Nicholas, Chairman of the Constitution Committee responded that currently the chairs of committees were allocated by Council at its Annual Meeting, but this was to be looked at by the Governance Working Group. Chairs were appointed based on their skills and experience. The two systems of governance were different in law and deliver. It would be for the Leader to determine whether they wished to undertake the role of Chair of the Corporate Policy Committee and the membership of the committees would be politically proportionate.
To consider making a formal resolution to move to a Committee System form of governance.
Consideration was given to the proposed changes to the Council’s governance arrangements.
The Constitution Committee had resolved to recommend to Council to cease operating the existing Leader and Cabinet model of governance and implement a committee system model of governance, to take effect from the Annual Council meeting in May 2021. The Committee had made a number of recommendations to Council, including that the design principles; structure of committees; role of Leader and Deputy Leader; urgency provisions and roles and powers of committee and sub-committee chairs be approved.
The recommendations, set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.8 in the report, were moved and seconded by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Constitution Committee.
The Mayor proposed that Council consider the recommendations in two parts, with all recommendations except recommendation 2.2 being considered first, before moving to consider making any formal resolution in line with recommendation 2.2.
During the debate on recommendations 2.1 and 2.3 to 2.8, two amendments were proposed as follows:
“That Appendix N - Role and Powers of Committee and Sub Committee Chairs be amended to include:
(d) the appointment of Chairs and Vice Chairs shall be politically proportionate, based on the democratic mandate afforded to each individual political group.”
“That Appendix K – Role and Powers of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, be amended:
Under Deputy Leader - delete “the Deputy Leader may be appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Corporate Policy Committee of the Council”
In the Guidance Note – delete “In the case of a joint administration, the Council will expect the Leader and Deputy Leader to share responsibilities between them and determine how the matters listed in paragraph XX are divided between them.”
The amendment was moved, seconded and debated and put to the vote. The amendment was declared lost with 32 for, 42 against and 4 not voting.
The substantive recommendations were put to the vote and declared carried with 43 for, 32 against and 3 not voting.
Council then considered recommendation 2.2 – “That the Council resolves to cease operating the existing Leader and Cabinet model of governance and implement a committee system model of governance, to take effect from the Annual Council meeting on 12 May 2021.”
Following debate, the recommendation was put to the vote and declared carried with 44 for, 32 against and 2 not voting.
1 that Council agrees and adopts the following:
a) Design Principles (Appendix G)
b) Structure of the committees (Appendix H, I and J);
c) Roles of Leader and Deputy Leader (Appendix K);
d) Decision Review Process (Appendix L);
e) Urgency Provisions (Appendix M);
f) Role and powers of Committee and Sub-Committee Chairs (Appendix N)
2 that the Council ceases operating the existing Leader and Cabinet model of governance and implement a committee system model of governance, to ... view the full minutes text for item 23.