Councillor W Stamp asked the Leader of the Council if the constant exclusions of democratically elected independent Councillors from the majority working groups contravened the first Nolan principle of the Council’s code of conduct? Councillor Stamp then quoted from the Code of Conduct and a Standards Public Life report by Lord Paul Bew pages 12 section 3.3 regarding upholding the public interest. She referred to Members representing residents and how the conservative party elected Councillors were being given precedence over independent Councillors.
Councillor Stamp asked a supplementary question relating to a question she had raised to the Chairman of the Planning and Licensing Committee at a recent meeting asking if she could be part of a Working Group regarding the adoption of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and to which the Leader of the Council (sitting as a Member of the Committee) had responded no. She questioned why she shouldn’t be allowed to be on a working group?
The Chairman advised the Leader that he could respond orally or due to the technical nature of the question chose to respond in writing.
In response, the Leader advised that the Conservatives had formed an administration and for the length of the time of that administration it would administer the Council in the way it thought fit. He reminded the Council that the Independents had been invited onto Working Groups, making particular mention of the Alderman and Freeman Working Group on which Councillor S P Nunn sat.
Further to the supplementary question, the Leader advised that Councillor Stamp had asked a question and he had answered it. The Leader continued advising that this administration would deliver 106 agreements, it would monitor them and ensure the CIL requirement would be right, fit and proper for the adopted Local Development Plan.
Councillor C Morris raised a query regarding a question he wished to ask as it related to a matter which had previously been considered in private session. In response the Chairman of the Council advised that if a question was of a private and confidential nature a member could request that the Council went into private session to hear it and allow a response to that question. Councillor Morris then asked the Council to consider going into private session so that he could ask a question of the Leader of the Council relating to a previously considered private and confidential item of business. In response, the Chairman advised that the Council would be moving into private session for another matter and Councillor Morris could raise his question to the Leader at that time.
Councillor K W Jarvis asked the Leader of the Council if he could advise when the Statement of Accounts would be produced and tabled before the Council and if he was aware of any consequences of them being late.
In response the Leader of the Council advised there were no financial consequences as a result of the accounts being lodged late. The Council had one piece of work relating to evaluation outstanding before the accounts could be signed off. He advised that this did not materially impact on the accounts and confirmed that the accounts would be coming forward. The Leader reported that he had met with the Section 151 Officer who was confident that the Council could demonstrate Value For Money which was very important for the Council accounts and the Council was expecting to receive an unqualified audit statement which was very good news for the Council.
 Minute 441 (03/10/19)