Agenda and draft minutes

Statutory Annual Council - Thursday 16th May 2024 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon. View directions

Contact: Committee Services  Email: committee.clerk@maldon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairperson's notices

Minutes:

The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council and went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting.

2.

Election of Chairperson

To elect the Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the ensuing municipal year.

Minutes:

The Chairperson called for nominations for Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the ensuing Municipal Year to May 2025.

 

It was proposed by Councillor W Stamp and seconded by Councillor R H Siddall that Councillor K M H Lagan be elected as Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the ensuing Municipal Year.

 

There being no other nominations it was:

 

RESOLVED that Councillor K M H Lagan be elected as Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the ensuing Municipal Year to May 2025.

 

IN THE CHAIR: COUNCILLOR K M H LAGAN

3.

Chairperson's Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office

Chairperson to make the Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Minutes:

Councillor K M H Lagan made the Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of the Office of the Chairperson of the Council.

4.

Appointment of Vice-Chairperson

To appoint the Vice-Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the ensuing municipal year.

Minutes:

The Chairperson called for nominations for the position of Vice-Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the Municipal Year.

 

It was proposed by Councillor W Stamp and seconded by Councillor S J N Morgan that Councillor R Pratt be elected as Vice-Chairperson of the Council.

 

There being no other nominations it was:

 

RESOLVED that Councillor R Pratt be elected as Vice-Chairperson of the Maldon District Council for the Municipal Year to May 2025.

5.

Vice-Chairperson's Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office

Vice-Chairperson to make the Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Minutes:

Councillor R Pratt made the Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of the Office of Vice-Chairman of the Council.

6.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

Minutes - 21 March 2024 pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 March 2024 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 March 2024 be received and adopted.

8.

Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registrable interests and Non-Registrable Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraph 9 and Appendix B of the Code of Conduct for Members.

 

(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).

Minutes:

There were none.

9.

Public Questions

To receive questions from members of the public, of which prior notification in writing has been received (no later than noon on the Tuesday prior to the date of the meeting).

Minutes:

There were none.

10.

Chairperson's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairperson advised that under Procedure Rule 4(8)3 the requirement to stand in the chamber would be optional.

 

Members were informed of some Dementia Awareness information that was available in the Members’ Room.

 

The Chairperson advised how this year marked a significant milestone for Local Government as it celebrated 50 years since the reorganisation of Local Government in 1974. Since its inception the Council had been committed to serving residents and working closely with Town and Parish Councils. The Chairperson paid tribute to the many elected Councillors who had dedicated their time to represent the views of the community over the last 50 years and hoped the Council would continue to enable the community to flourish, for many years to come. Members were advised that arrangements were in hand to mark this 50th anniversary by planting 50 trees in the District later in the year.

11.

Minutes of Meetings of the Council

To note that since the last meeting of the Council, up until Wednesday 8 May 2024 (Council agenda dispatch) the following Committees have met, and to receive any questions in accordance with Council and Committee Procedure Rule 6 (2).

 

North Western Area Planning Committee

3 April 2024

South Eastern Area Planning Committee

10 April

District Planning Committee (special meeting)

24 April

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

25 April

 

Minutes:

The Council noted the list of Committees that had met before and since the last meeting of the Council, up until Wednesday 8 May 2024 for which Minutes had been published.

12.

Notice of Motions

To consider the following Motions which have been received:

Minutes:

In accordance with Procedure Rule 4, the Chairperson advised the Council that two Motions, duly proposed and seconded, had been received and were set out on the agenda. As they related to specific items of business on the Agenda the Chairman advised each would be dealt with under the specific Agenda Items as follows:

·                Motion 03/2024 from Councillor J C Stilts– Agenda Item 20 Appointment of Members to serve on Working Groups of the Council

·                Motion 04/2024 from Councillor R C Siddall – Agenda Item 15 Appointment to Membership of Committees of the Council

13.

Questions in accordance with Procedure Rule 6 (2) of which notice has been given

Minutes:

There were none.

14.

Leaders and Composition of Political Groups

(i)             To consider the report of the Head of Paid Service on the Leaders and composition of each political group (copy to follow).

 

(ii)            That the Council considers the ratification of the Leader-Designate as Leader of the Council.

 

(iii)           To elect the Deputy Leader of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources, circulated prior to the meeting. As required by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, the Director of Strategy and Resources had been notified that the composition of the political Groups on the Council were as follows:

 

Conservative Group

Leader

Councillor S J N Morgan??

Members

Councillors:   D O Bown

M F L Durham CC

W J Laybourn

N R Miller

C P Morley

R G Pratt

M E Thompson

L L Wiffen

District Support Group

Leader

Councillor J C Stilts??

Members

Councillors:   A S Fluker?

L J Haywood

K M H Lagan?

M G Neall

W Stamp CC

Liberal Democrat Group

Leader

Councillor J Driver??

Members

Councillors:   S J Burwood

K Jennings

N D Spenceley

P L Spenceley

N J Swindle?

The Maldon District Independent Group

Leader

Councillor R H Siddall

Members

Councillors:   M GBassenger

A Fittock

J CHughes

N G F Shaughnessy

E LStephens

 

It was highlighted that the table in the report had listed Councillor S J N Morgan twice under the Conservative Group in error.

 

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Councillor S J N Morgan was therefore recognised as Leader-designate. At this point, Councillor Morgan advised that he wished to resign as Leader-designate and not put himself forward for the position as Leader of the Council.

 

The Chairperson then called for nominations for the position of Leader of the Council. Councillor M G Bassenger nominated Councillor R H Siddall and this was duly seconded by Councillor V J Bell.

 

There being no other nominations, the Chairperson declared that Councillor R H Siddall was duly elected as Leader of the Council.

 

The Chairperson then moved to recommendation (ii) as set out in the report and sought nominations for Deputy Leader of the Council. Councillor R H Siddall proposed Councillor M G Bassenger and this was duly seconded by Councillor V J Bell.

 

There being no other nominations, the Chairperson declared that Councillor M G Bassenger was duly elected as Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

The Chairperson advised that the Council that it now had three Opposition Groups and sought agreement, as decided by the Council last year, that there would be three Opposition Leaders. This was duly agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)             that the Councillor R H Siddall be ratified as Leader of the Council for the ensuing Municipal Year;

 

(ii)            that Councillor M G Bassenger be elected as Deputy Leader of the Council for the ensuing Municipal Year.

 

(iii)           That the Leaders of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Maldon District Independent Groups be known collectively as the Opposition Leaders.

15.

Appointment of Membership of Committees of the Council

To appoint Members to serve on Committees, as required by Procedure Rule 15. (Report of the Director of Strategy and Resources on the nominations of the Leaders of all Groups to the places allocated to their respective Groups, copy to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources, circulated prior to the meeting, to appoint serving Members to Committees for the Municipal year to May 2025.

 

At this point the Chairperson advised that Membership of the Appointments Board would be considered following the appointment of Committee Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons.

 

The Chairperson referred to the Motion submitted by Councillor R H Siddall and duly seconded by Councillor P L Spenceley, deferred from an earlier point on the agenda, and asked Councillor Siddall to present his Motion.

 

Councillor Siddall provided background information to his Motion, highlighting the excellent work of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and how, if agreed, his Motion would make things logistically easier and enable the Committee to run smoothly with good representation. He then moved:

 

That the Constitution be amended with immediate effect, to permit members put forward by political groups that sit on the Strategy and Resources Committee (S&R) and the Performance Government and Audit Committee (PG&A) are also able to be put forward to sit on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (O&S). This is subject to the requirement of maintaining political balance. This dispensation does not extend to the Chairs or Vice Chairs of S&R and PG&A, who will continue to be ineligible to sit on O&S.

 

In response to the Motion, the Director of Strategy and Resources advised that the Council’s previous decision to change to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (O&S) Terms of Reference had been made to give truer oversight and separation from decisions that may be scrutinised. The 2022 Corporate Governance Audit had also given good assurance on the Council’s governance and as part of that noted the O&S arrangement as good practice. It was the view of Officers that changing the Terms of Reference would impact on the independence of the O&S and go against good governance best practice that had been put in place.

 

During the debate that followed a number of Members spoke both in favour and against the proposed Motion.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor A S Fluker requested a recorded vote which was duly seconded. The Chairperson then put the Motion in the name of Councillor Siddall to the Council and the voting was as follows: 

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors M G Bassenger, D O Bown, S J Burwood, J Driver, A Fittock, J C Hughes, K Jennings, M R Miller, S J N Morgan, C P Morley, R G Pratt, N G F Shaughnessy, R H Siddall, N D Spenceley, P L Spenceley, E L Stephens, N J Swindle and L L Wiffen.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillors V J Bell, A S Fluker, L J Haywood, A M Lay, M G Neall, W Stamp, J C Stilts and S White.

 

Abstentions:

Councillors M F L Durham, K M H Lagan, W J Laybourn, U G C Siddall-Norman and M E Thompson.

 

The Chairman declared that the Motion was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Adjournment of meeting

To adjourn the meeting to allow Committees of the Council and the Area Planning Committees to proceed to elect Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

 

Special Meeting of the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the Licensing Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(c)        To appoint Members to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Working Group for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the Joint Standards Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the Investigating and Disciplinary Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the District Planning Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the Central Area Planning Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the North Western Area Planning Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

 

To be followed by:-

 

Special Meeting of the South Eastern Area Planning Committee

(a)        To elect a Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

(b)        To appoint a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the meeting be adjourned at 8:15pm to allow special meetings of Committees to be held as follows:

 

Performance, Governance and Audit Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee, Licensing Committee, Overview and Scrutiny Committee (including Overview and Scrutiny Committee acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee), Investigating and Disciplinary Committee, District Planning Committee, Central Area Planning Committee, North Western Area Planning Committee and South Eastern Area Planning Committee.

17.

Resumption of Business

To continue with the business of the Statutory Annual Meeting of the Council.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the business of the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council be resumed at 8:36pm.

18.

Appointment to Membership of Committees of the Council - continued

To appoint Members to serve on the Appointments Board, as required by Procedure Rule 15. (Please see Agenda Item 15 for report of the Director of Strategy and Resources on the nominations from the Leaders of all Groups to the places allocated to their respective Groups.)

Minutes:

Referring back to Agenda Item 15 - Appointment of Membership of Committees of the Council the Chairperson advised that the Council needed to confirm the membership of the Appointments Board (the Board), now that Committee Chairpersons had been appointed.

 

The Director of Strategy and Resources advised of the proposed Membership of the Board as set out in Appendix 1 to Agenda Item 15.

 

The Leader of the Council referred to the need for a non-aligned person to be appointed to the Appointments Board and nominated Councillor V J Bell. This was duly seconded.

 

In response to a query the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer provided some clarity regarding the named substitutes for the Leader of the Council and Committee Chairpersons explaining that these were predetermined substitutes as set out in the Constitution.

 

Following a further query regarding the Council’s earlier appointment of three Opposition Leaders and whether the Membership of this Board should be amended to reflect this, the Director of Strategy and Resources advised that because the Council had agreed there would be three Opposition Leaders the Board membership should be amended accordingly. The Director advised that following this amendment, taking into consideration those named positions already highlighted as proposed members of the Board and according to political balance requirements, the Maldon District Support Group would need to confirm whether Councillor W Stamp (as Chairperson of the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee) or Councillor J C Stilts (as an Opposition Leader) would take the seat allocated to their Group. Under political balance only one seat was available to the Maldon District Support Group.

 

Councillor Stilts advised that she would give way to Councillor Stamp and not sit on the Appointments Board.

 

The Leader of the Council then clarified the proposed nominations from each of the Political Groups.

 

Councillor A S Fluker commented that the membership of the Board needed to be amended to state Opposition Leaders and he proposed that this change be made. In response the Chairperson clarified that as advised by the Director of Strategy and Resources this had been agreed by the Council earlier.

 

In response to a question regarding substitutes for Committee Chairpersons and maintaining political balance, the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring explained that normal substitution arrangements did not apply as the Constitution already set out who would substitute. In respect of the political balance requirements, Legislation required the Council to apply these to the best of its ability, if however, this was not possible Legislation said that this would not annul any decision made.

 

The Chairperson then put to the Council that the membership of the Appointments Board be confirmed, and this was duly agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the membership of the Appointments Board for the ensuing Municipal Year be as follows:

 

Leader of the Council (Councillor R H Siddall)*

Leaders of the Opposition (Councillors J Driver and S J N Morgan)*

* or their deputies

Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of the Strategy & Resources and Performance, Governance & Audit Committees

Councillor V J Bell

19.

Appointment of Representatives to Local Government and Outside Bodies

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources (copy to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources, circulated prior to the meeting, seeking Members’ consideration of the appointment of representatives to serve on Local Government and Outside Bodies for the ensuing municipal year to May 2025.

 

The Chairperson moved recommendation (i) as set out in the report and this was duly agreed.

 

Councillor A S Fluker advised of an amendment to Appendix 1 of the report, that under the Maldon Harbour Improvement Commissioners reference should be to Blackwater Estuary Siltation Steering Group, not Blackwater Estuary . This was noted.

 

The Chairperson advised that recommendation (ii) did not apply and moved recommendation (iii) and this was duly.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)             that subject to the amendment raised, the appointment of representatives on Local Government and outside bodies as detailed in Appendix 1 to these Minutes, be approved;

 

(ii)            that Members appointed as representatives to Local Government and Outside Bodies are responsible for sharing minutes of meetings attended, to be stored centrally on the Modern.Gov library as per the details in section 3.4 of the report.

20.

Appointment of Members to serve on Working Groups of the Council

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources (copy to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources, circulated prior to the meeting, seeking Members’ agreement to appoint Members to serve on Working Groups of the Council for the municipal year, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report. The report highlighted that two Working Groups had been added to the list and three deleted.

 

The Chairperson referred to the Motion submitted by Councillor J C Stilts and duly seconded by Councillor P L Spenceley, deferred from an earlier point on the agenda, and asked Councillor Stilts to present her Motion.

 

Councillor Stilts moved the following:

 

That Council resolves to agree that the Finance Member Group is constituted of ten Members of the Council and that it will be politically balanced. That substitution can be made from any member of their group.

The working group will consist of

·                Leader of the council or Deputy

·                Leaders of political groups or Deputies

·                Chair of Strategy and Resources Committee

·                Vice Chair of Strategy and Resources Committee

·                Chair of Performance, Governance and Audit Committee

·                Vice Chair of Performance, Governance and Audit Committee

·                Up to 4 members of the council (dependent on the number of group leaders) to ensure political balance. 

 

This was duly agreed by assent.

 

The Chairperson then moved each of the recommendation as set out in report in turn and these were duly agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)             That Finance Member Group is constituted of ten Members of the Council (se set out below), politically balanced and that substitution can be made from any Member of their group.

·                The Leader of the Council or their Deputy

·                Leaders of the Political Groups or the Deputies

·                Chairperson of Strategy and Resources Committee

·                Vice-Chairperson of Strategy and Resources Committee

·                Chairperson of Performance, Governance and Audit Committee

·                Vice-Chairperson of Performance, Governance and Audit Committee

·                Up to four members of the Council (dependent on the number of Political Group leaders) to ensure political balance.

 

(i)             That Members approve the nominations for the Working Groups provided by the respective Political Groups as set out in APPENDIX 2 to these Minutes;

 

(ii)            That the Working Group Protocol Document as set out in Appendix 2 to the report be adopted as a guidance document for the Council.

21.

Annual Report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy and Resources presenting an annual update on the activities of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The annual report for 2023 / 24 had been agreed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its last meeting and was set out in Appendix 1 to the report. It was noted that the annual reporting arrangements ensured a degree of accountability to the Council.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor S J N Morgan, as Chairperson of the Committee to present the report to the Council. Councillor Morgan proposed that the recommendation as set out in the report be approved. This was duly seconded and agreed.

 

In response to a question regarding the Corporate Project – Land acquisition at Heybridge, Councillor Morgan advised that the lessons learnt document should be available at the next meeting of the Committee to which Members could attend.

 

RESOLVED that the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2023 / 24 be accepted.

22.

Procurement Strategy pdf icon PDF 498 KB

To consider the decision of the Strategy and Resources Committee (1 February 2024) Minutes No. 458 refers:

 

(i)             That the Council approves the adoption of the Maldon District Council Procurement Strategy attached at APPENDIX 1;

 

(ii)            That delegated authority be granted to the Director of Strategy and Resources in consultation with the Chairperson of the Strategy and Resources Committee, to approve amendments to the Procurement Strategy where required.

Minutes:

The Chairperson referred to the agenda and a recommendation coming forward from the Strategy and Resources Committee (1 February 2024) seeking adoption of the Procurement Strategy (the Strategy) attached as Appendix 1 to the agenda. He moved recommendation (i) as set out in the report and this was duly agreed.

 

In response to a question regarding reference in the Strategy to being climate neutral by 2030, the Director of Strategy and Resources explained that this referenced the existing Climate Action Strategy and Officers would be bringing a report to the Council in July 2024 regarding the challenges of delivering this. It was noted that all Strategies were subject to changes and if updated any document (such as this Strategy) would be updated accordingly.

 

A member raised a comment regarding the difficulty for local businesses to get onto the Council’s procurement list and requested that Officers to review this. In response, the Director of Strategy and Resources advised that the Council recognised working with local businesses and he would respond to the Member outside of the meeting.

 

The Chairperson then moved recommendation (ii) as set out on the agenda. This was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)         That the Maldon District Council Procurement Strategy attached at Appendix 1 to the Council agenda be adopted;

 

(ii)        That delegated authority be granted to the Director of Strategy and Resources in consultation with the Chairperson of the Strategy and Resources Committee, to approve amendments to the Procurement Strategy where required.

23.

2024 / 25 Schedule of Meetings

To consider the following amendment to the 2024 / 25 Schedule of Meetings:

·                Performance, Governance and Audit Committee – The D-Day 80th Anniversary event in the Promenade Park is due to take place on Thursday 6 June 2024. It is therefore requested that the meeting of the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee scheduled for 6 June 2024 is moved to Thursday 20 June 2024.

Minutes:

The Chairperson moved the proposed change to the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee due to take place on 6 June 2024, as set out on the Council agenda. This proposal was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee meeting scheduled for 6 June 2024 be moved to Thursday 20 June 2024.

Minutes Appendices pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents: