Issue - decisions

Appointment of Membership of Committees of the Council

09/12/2020 - Appointment of Membership of Committees of the Council

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Councillor R G Boyce raised a Point of Order and advised that in relation to Area Planning Committees he wished to raise an issue and refer to a statute.

 

The Chairman handed over to the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance who proceeded to report that taking into consideration the table set out in paragraph 3.6 of the report there was also a need to consider Principle C regarding political balance of Committees.  Principle C required the Council to review not only political balance within each Committee but across all seats available for allocation.  The report detailed four seats to be allocated by the Council, however taking into consideration Principle C, two of these four seats had to be allocated to the Democratic Alliance Group (DAG). 

 

Councillor M F L Durham raised a Point of Order that the Leader of the DAG should have the opportunity to select which Committees the additional two seats for his party would be on.  In response, the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer advised that this was a Council decision because the split in relation to which two Committees the DAG should sit on was equally tied.

 

Councillor E L Bamford proposed that the DAG be allocated a seat on the Performance Governance & Audit Committee (PGA) and Overview & Scrutiny Committee (O&S).  This was duly seconded.

 

The Leader of the DAG advised that he had chosen the Performance Governance & Audit Committee and Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Leader of the Council proposed that the DAG be allocated a seat on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Investigating & Disciplinary Panel (I&D).

 

Councillor Mrs P A Channer raised a point of order that this wasn’t a matter for the Council and felt that the issue was not covered by the constitution.  She outlined how the Leader of the DAG was being given the opportunity to allocate onto the additional seats identified.

 

The Leader referred to the legal advice provided and urged the Council to make a decision on this.  At this point and in accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) the Leader requested a recorded vote.  This was duly seconded.

 

The Chairman advised that he would take the proposal in the name of Councillor Bamford first.  Councillor Bamford clarified she was proposing that the seat on PGA and O&S be allocated to the DAG as per the Leader of that Group’s request. 

 

There was further discussion and the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer provided additional advice. 

 

The Chairman then put the proposal of Councillor Bamford and the voting was as follows:

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors E L Bamford, Miss A M Beale, R G Boyce, Mrs P A Channer, M F L Durham, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, M W Helm, A L Hull, J V Keyes, C P Morley, Mrs M E Thompson and Miss S White.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillors M G Bassenger, B S Beale, V Bell, M R Edwards, M S Heard, K W Jarvis, K M H Lagan, C Mayes, C Morris, S P Nunn, N G F Shaughnessy, R H Siddall, N J Skeens, W Stamp, Mrs J C Stilts and C Swain.

 

Abstention:

There were none.

 

The Chairman declared that the motion was therefore lost.

 

In response to a request for clarification the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised that in accordance with the advice from the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer the Committees where a space was available were:

·                 PGA;

 

·                 Licensing Committee;

 

·                 O&S;

 

·                 I&D.

 

The Leader of the Council withdrew her earlier proposition and proposed that the DAG be allocated a seat on the O&S and Licensing Committee.  Two points of order were raised, the first because the Leader had already made a proposition and the second seeking clarification that the I&D did not sit in its entirety but was a pool of ten Members from which a Panel of five was drawn.  In response the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer provided some further clarification for the Council.

 

The Leader of the Council repeated her proposal that the DAG be allocated a seat on the O&S and Licensing Committees.  This proposal was duly seconded.  The Chairman then put this proposal of the Leader of the Council and the voting was as follows:

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors M G Bassenger, B S Beale, V Bell, R G Boyce, M R Edwards, K W Jarvis, K M H Lagan, C Mayes, C Morris, S P Nunn, N G F Shaughnessy, R H Siddall, N J Skeens, W Stamp, Mrs J C Stilts and C Swain.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillors E L Bamford, Miss A M Beale, Mrs P A Channer, M F L Durham, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, M W Helm, A L Hull, J V Keyes, C P Morley, Mrs M E Thompson and Miss S White.

 

Abstention:

Councillor M S Heard.

 

The motion was therefore agreed.

 

Councillor Helm advised that he wished to nominate himself to the O&S and Councillor R G Boyce to the Licensing Committee.  The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised that in accordance with the Council’s Constitution Councillor Helm was unable to sit on O&S as he was already on the PGA.  There followed a discussion regarding the allocation of DAG Members to the two Committees agreed.  A number of points of order were raised and responded to during the discussion.

 

Councillor Mrs P A Channer reminded Members that the matter of Principle C had only been identified during the afternoon prior to this meeting.  In response to a comment made regarding the process of allocating seats to the DAG she noted that the Leader of the DAG had submitted his allocations on time and the current discussions related to the late identification of seats to be allocated to the DAG in respect of Principle C.  Councillor Mrs Channer asked that this be minuted.

 

In response to discussions and following agreement by the Leader of the DAG, the Chairman advised that Councillor Helm would be allocated a seat on S&R and PGA, Councillor Dewick a seat on O&S and Councillor Boyce a seat on O&S and Licensing.

 

The Leader of the Council then proposed that the remaining seat on PGA and I&D be allocated to Councillor K W Jarvis.  This proposal was duly seconded.  In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) the Leader requested a recorded vote.  This was duly seconded.

 

Councillor Bamford proposed that the remaining seat on PGA be allocated to Councillor Miss S White and the seat on I&D to Councillor C P Morley.  This was duly seconded.

 

The Chairman advised that the allocation of the remaining seat on PGA and I&D would be voted on individually.

 

He first put the proposal in the name of the Leader for Councillor Jarvis to be allocated a seat on PGA.  In accordance with the recorded vote requested, the voting was as follows:

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors M G Bassenger, B S Beale, V Bell, M R Edwards, M S Heard, K W Jarvis, K M H Lagan, C Mayes, C Morris, S P Nunn, N G F Shaughnessy, R H Siddall, N J Skeens, W Stamp, Mrs J C Stilts and C Swain.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillors E L Bamford, Miss A M Beale, R G Boyce, Mrs P A Channer, M F L Durham, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, M W Helm, A L Hull, J V Keyes, C P Morley, Mrs M E Thompson and Miss S White.

 

Abstention:

There were none.

 

The Chairman declared that Councillor Jarvis was therefore allocated a seat on the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee.

 

The Council then voted on the proposal in the name of the Leader of the Council, for Councillor Jarvis to be appointed a seat on I&D.  In accordance with the recorded vote requested, the voting was as follows:

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors M G Bassenger, B S Beale, V Bell, M R Edwards, M S Heard, K W Jarvis, K M H Lagan, C Mayes, C Morris, S P Nunn, N G F Shaughnessy, R H Siddall, N J Skeens, W Stamp, Mrs J C Stilts and C Swain.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillors E L Bamford, Miss A M Beale, R G Boyce, Mrs P A Channer, M F L Durham, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, M W Helm, A L Hull, J V Keyes, C P Morley, Mrs M E Thompson and Miss S White.

 

Abstention:

There were none.

 

The Chairman declared that Councillor Jarvis was therefore allocated a seat on the Investigating and Disciplinary Panel.

 

At this point, Councillor Boyce reminded the Council of his earlier Point of Order and wish to raise a statute and referred to Regulation 16A of the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 paragraph 4 and how this related to political balance of the Area Planning Committees.  He explained that his understanding of this paragraph meant that the Council could have an Area Planning Committee (APC) which was not politically balanced provided that it was not greater than two fifths of the area of the district of the authority or more than two fifths of the population.  Councillor Boyce sought clarification from the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer as he felt the Council failed on both parts and he suggested that Section 17 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 applied.  Following discussion and in response to Councillor Boyce, the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer explained that if one of the APCs was beyond the two fifths geographically, section 17 would apply and political balance provisions could be disapplied, if no member objected to the disapplication.  The Officer explained that he did not know the geography of the District sufficiently to say whether the APCs were over the threshold.  The Chairman advised that as it wasn’t thought the geography had changed he would move on.  Councillor Boyce advised that he would be voting against giving up political balance in APCs and asked that his vote against it be recorded.