Agenda and decisions

Governance and Audit Committee
Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Remote

Contact: Fatima Butt - 01274 432227 

Items
No. Item

1.

ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 

 

2.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

3.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Fatima Butt - 01274 432227)

 

4.

COUNCIL MEETINGS CORONAVIRUS GOVERNANCE REVIEW - ORDINARY MEETINGS OF FULL COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Reports have been presented to this Committee on 20 August and 17 September 2020 presenting an overview of delivering meetings in the democratic decision making structure since the beginning of the Coronavirus period. Government regulations and guidance meant that meetings could not be held physically in a meeting room and the introduction of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 permitted meetings to take place remotely. The first meeting of full Council, an Extraordinary meeting, was held on 8 September 2020.

 

The  report of the City Solicitor (Document “L”) considers whether it is feasible to deliver an Ordinary meeting of Council.

 

Recommended –

 

                That the Committee is asked to advise whether it is considered feasible to hold ordinary meetings of Council during this pandemic period and, if so, whether those meetings should be held on the basis of the current arrangements set out in Standing Orders in the Council’s Constitution or the City Solicitor be recommended to deliver revised arrangements and introduce further interim amendments to Standing Orders as set out in the report after consulting with the Lord Mayor and Leader of the Council after consultation on the proposals with the political group leaders and group whips of the three largest groups.

 

                                                            (Adrian Tumber – 07970 412150)

 

 

Decision:

Resolved-

 

(1)  That the Committee recommends that the City Solicitor introduces further interim amendments to the Council Constitution and Standing Orders for meetings as set out in Section 4 of the report (Document “L”) and subject to the amendments made at this meeting which included;

·         Leader’s report published immediately after 10 am deadline on Friday preceding

·         No vote on receiving petitions

·         Member supplementary questions allowed but notified in writing by 10 am the day before Council.

·         City Solicitor requested to consult minority councillors as well on the interim amendments to Standing Orders for the December Council.

 

(2)  That an ordinary meeting of Council (in accordance with the amended interim standing orders) be arranged for Tuesday 8 December 2020.

 

(3)  That a further report on Council meetings during the Coronavirus period be presented to the January meeting of this Committee.

 

(4)  That a Working Group of members of this Committee (supported and advised by the City Solicitor) be set up to consider what lessons have been learnt from how meetings have been conducted during the period of Coronavirus; to also consider whether some of these different ways of conducting meetings should be taken forward to be included in the Council’s Constitution and Standing Orders; and to also consider any other ideas for Council meetings.

 

Action: City Solicitor

 

                                                            (Adrian Tumber – 07970412150)