Issue - decisions

Future Committee Meetings Arrangements

15/09/2021 - Future Committee Meetings Arrangements

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ consideration of ongoing arrangements for Committee meetings in light of changes to government restrictions (as set out in Appendix A to the report).

 

The report provided background information and reminded Members of the Council’s decision in April 2021 to reinstate Committee meetings and the mitigations put in place.

 

The Leader of the Council presented the report and put the recommendations.  This was duly seconded. 

 

The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance drew Members’ attention to Appendix A to the report and in particular the current mitigations and options for Members’ consideration including the costs relating to each option.

 

Councillor Miss S White proposed that the Council accept option 3 (as set out in Appendix 1) with a two monthly review to take into consideration Covid cases etc.  She added that should her proposal not be agreed Members consider option 4 but with live streaming.  This proposal was duly seconded.

 

Councillor R H Siddall felt a more flexible approach should be agreed and proposed that meetings of the Council and District Planning Committee should remain to be held at the Stadium and all other meetings be held in the Council Chamber, removing screens and with individuals wearing masks if they could.  He also proposed that the live streaming should continue.  This proposal was duly seconded.

 

A debate ensued during which a number of views were expressed by Members and it was generally expressed that live streaming of meetings should continue.  During the discussion reference was made to FFP3 face masks, sitting side by side, protecting the vulnerable, the requirement to complete Lateral Flow Tests, removal of screens from meetings, financial implications and risks to Officers.

 

The Chairman put the proposal in the name of Councillor Miss White to the Committee.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor C Morris requested a recorded vote. 

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors M G Bassenger, Miss A M Beale, V J Bell, R G Boyce, Mrs P A Channer, M FL Durham, M R Edwards, A L Hull, J V Keyes, K M H Lagan, C P Morley, Mrs M E Thompson and Miss S White.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillors M S Heard, C Mayes, S P Nunn, R H Siddall, W Stamp, E L Stephens, Mrs J C Stilts and C Swain.

 

Abstention:

Councillor C Morris.

 

The Chairman declared that this proposal was duly agreed. 

 

In response to a question regarding providing a higher standard of masks (FFP3) to Members and staff, the Director of Service Delivery advised that Officers would review the request and action it if appropriate. 

 

Reference was made to recommendations (ii) and (iii) as set out in the report which the Council had not considered.  Following further discussion, in respect of recommendation (ii) and additional mitigating actions it was suggested that the following be applied:

 

·                 side by side working, where possible;

 

·                 provision of FFP3 masks;

 

·                 a Lateral Flow Test should be undertaken, where a person was comfortable to do so;

 

·                 hand sanitiser should be provided on each individual workstation.

 

This was duly agreed. 

 

The Chairman then put recommendation (iii) as set out in the report to the Council and this was agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That all meetings move back to the Council Chamber, removing social distancing, but with other current mitigations and protocols in place along with lice streaming, with a two-monthly review;

 

(ii)            That the following additional mitigating measure be agreed:

 

·                 side by side working, where possible;

 

·                 provision of FFP3 masks;

 

·                 a Lateral Flow Test should be undertaken, where a person was comfortable to do so;

 

·                 hand sanitiser should be provided on each individual workstation.

 

(iii)          That should the Government revise legislation to again allow for remote meetings, the Corporate Governance Working Group bring a further report back.