Agenda item

Questions to the Leader of the Council in accordance with Procedure Rule 1(3)(m)


Councillor P L Spenceley asked the Leader of the Council for clarify on the way forward for Heybridge Flood Alleviation Reference Group as this was not detailed in the papers discussed earlier by the Council.  The Leader of the Council agreed that this was an important matter for Heybridge and should be brought back to the Council.  He suggested that a Working Group may be considered which could liaise with partners (particularly those that implement such schemes) and lobby parliament.  The Leader commented that this issue was wider than just Heybridge as it also affected the Dengie and it would therefore be beneficial for the Council to have focus on this matter.


Having provided some detail regarding budget shortfalls relating to the 2023 / 24 budget, Councillor A S Fluker asked the Leader of the Council why he had voted to support the 2023 / 24 budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy.  He also asked why the Leader had not supported the Motion to the Council in 2022 for an Autumn budget which he felt would have improved the financial position of the Council.  In response to the Leader of the Council agreed that future of the Council was important and how the Council still had £5m of reserves.  However, if the Council did not look at how it allocated monies it would drop below reserves in the next few years.  The Council needed ensure its Strategy reflected how expenditure and services were agreed.  The Leader referred to the awaited Local Government Association (LGA) finance review and how the Council would look at how it shared services with other Local Authorities.  He hoped in the future the Finance Working Group would change to a Finance Board with representatives from across all Groups.


Councillor W Stamp advised that a resident had requested that she ask the Leader of the Council if he had any intention of joining the Conservative Party and leaving the Maldon District Independent Group.  The Leader of the Council responded that he was elected as a Conservative Member and then became Independent.  He had no intention of joining the Conservatives.  The key was to ensure that all Members worked together at this Council with a focus on the District and its residents.  The Leader advised he was looking forward to working with all Political Groups and non-aligned Members to ensure the Council delivered for this District.


Councillor J C Stilts referred to the Leaders’ statement (scheduled to be given at the July meeting of the Council) and asked if the Leader of the Council would share his statement with the Leaders of the other parties beforehand.  In response the Leader confirmed that his statement would be shared, and he referred to not[1] being in a coalition but working informally with other political Groups to ensure the Council was administered in the right way.  The Leader advised he would not be making any statement without the approval of the other Groups that they were working with.

[1] Council – 13 July 2023