Agenda and minutes

First Meeting - Subject to the West Suffolk (Local Government Changes) Order being made by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government by 30 May 2018, Shadow Council
Wednesday 30 May 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Conference Chamber, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3YU

Contact: Claire Skoyles / Helen Hardinge (Democratic Services Officers)  Email: claire.skoyles@westsuffolk.gov.uk / Email: helen.hardinge@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman of the Shadow Council for 2018/2019

The Service Manager (Democratic Services) will open the meeting and announce that the next item of business is the election of the Chairman for the ensuing year and will call for nominations.

 

The Chairman will sign their Declaration of Acceptance of Office following appointment and will take the Chairman’s seat. 

Minutes:

This being the first meeting of the Shadow Council the Service Manager (Democratic Services) opened the meeting and asked for nominations for the Chairman for 2018/2019.

 

Councillor John Griffiths nominated Councillor Sarah Stamp as Chairman and this was seconded by Councillor Robin Millar.

 

Councillor Paul Hopfensperger made reference to 2018 marking 100 years since women in the UK were given the right to vote, in light of this he queried the use of the title “Chairman”.  In response, the Service Manager drew attention to agenda item 9 at which the Shadow Council Constitution was due to be considered.

 

There being no other nominations, the motion was put to the vote and with the vote being unanimous, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Sarah Stamp be elected Chairman of the Shadow Council for 2018/2019.

 

Councillor Stamp signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.

2.

Chairman's Announcements

The Chairman will make their remarks.

Minutes:

The Chairman addressed the meeting and gave thanks to Councillor John Griffiths for his nomination and to all present for electing her to be the Chairman of the Shadow Council.

 

Members were advised that it was exactly one year ago that both Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury Cabinets jointly resolved to consider and shape the future of local government in West Suffolk.  One year later, to the day, and history was being made with the first Shadow Council meeting, as part of the transitional journey towards delivering the commitment made to create a single council for West Suffolk.

 

Prior to continuing with the items on the agenda, the Chairman also drew attention to the procedure rules that would be operated for the meeting.

3.

Election of Vice Chairman of the Shadow Council for 2018/2019

The Chairman will call for nominations for the Vice Chairman.

 

The Vice Chairman will sign their Declaration of Acceptance of Office following appointment and will take the Vice Chairman’s seat. 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman asked for nominations for Vice Chairman of the Shadow Council for 2018/2019.

 

Councillor Robin Millar nominated Councillor Brian Harvey as Vice Chairman and this was seconded by Councillor John Griffiths.

 

With there being no other nominations and with the vote being unanimous, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Brian Harvey be elected as Vice Chairman of the Shadow Council for 2018/2019.

 

Councillor Harvey then moved to sit alongside the Chairman and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

4.

Apologies for Absence

The Service Manager (Democratic Services) will announce any apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ruth Allen, Michael Anderson, Simon Brown, Louis Busuttil, Simon Cole, Paula Fox, Wayne Hailstone, Margaret Marks, Louise Marston, Elaine McManus, Jane Midwood, David Roach, Nigel Roman, Richard Rout, Reg Silvester, Peter Thompson, Julia Wakelam, James Waters and Anthony Williams.

 

Councillors Andrew Appleby and Robin Pilley were also unable to attend the meeting. 

5.

Appointment of Shadow Executive Members

The Shadow Executive will include the two persons who are the Leaders of Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

 

The Chairman will, therefore, ask the Leaders of the District and Borough Councils for nominations of up to 13 further Members to form the Shadow Executive.  A vote will then be taken collectively on the nominations. 

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the first item of business was the appointment of the Shadow Executive Members.

 

The Shadow Executive would include the two persons who were the Leaders of Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, accordingly Councillor John Griffiths as Leader of the Borough Council was invited to make his nominations.

 

In response, Councillor Griffiths nominated St Edmundsbury Borough Councillors Carol Bull, Robert Everitt, Ian Houlder, Sara Mildmay-White, Alaric Pugh, Jo Rayner and Peter Stevens.

 

The Chairman then called upon Councillor Robin Millar as Deputy Leader of the District Council to make his nominations on behalf of the Leader, Councillor James Waters.

 

And, in response, Councillor Millar nominated Forest Heath District Councillors David Bowman, Ruth Bowman, Andy Drummond, Stephen Edwards, Robin Millar and Lance Stanbury.

 

Councillor Sara Mildmay-White seconded all nominations made on behalf of both Authorities.

 

With there being no other nominations and with 50 voting for the motion and with 1 abstention, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That together with the Leaders of Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the following persons will form the Shadow Executive for 2018/2019:

Councillors Carol Bull, David Bowman, Ruth Bowman, Andy Drummond, Stephen Edwards, Robert Everitt, Ian Houlder, Sara Mildmay-White, Robin Millar, Alaric Pugh, Jo Rayner, Lance Stanbury and Peter Stevens.

6.

Election of the Leader of the Shadow Council

The Chairman will call for nominations for the election of Leader of the Shadow Council, and this item of business will be determined by the normal voting process.

Minutes:

The next item of business was to elect the Leader of the Shadow Council, the Chairman called upon Councillor Robin Millar to make a nomination on Councillor Waters’ behalf.

 

Councillor Millar proposed that Councillor John Griffiths be elected Leader and this was duly seconded by Councillor Sara Mildmay-White.

 

With there being no other nominations and with 50 voting for the motion and with 1 abstention, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor John Griffiths be elected Leader of the West Suffolk Shadow Council. 

7.

Election of the Deputy Leader of the Shadow Council

The Chairman will call for nominations for the election of Deputy Leader of the Shadow Council, and this item of business will be determined by the normal voting process.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the Shadow Council next needed to elect the Deputy Leader and called upon Councillor John Griffiths to make a nomination.

 

Councillor Griffiths proposed that Councillor James Waters be elected Deputy Leader and this was duly seconded by Councillor Robin Millar.

 

With there being no other nominations and with 50 voting for the motion and with 1 abstention, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor James Waters be elected Deputy Leader of the West Suffolk Shadow Council. 

8.

Appointment of Statutory Officers (Report No: COU/SA/18/001) pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Report No: COU/SA/18/001

Minutes:

(Prior to the consideration of this item the following West Suffolk Officers withdrew from the meeting; Ian Gallin, Rachael Mann and Leah Mickleborough.)

 

Councillor John Griffiths was invited to present this item.  Councillor Griffiths explained that all Councils were required to appoint three specific statutory Officers namely; the Head of Paid Service, the Chief Finance Officer and the Monitoring Officer.

 

Accordingly, the Shadow Council was required to appoint Officers to these three posts on an interim basis until the new West Suffolk Council came into effect.

 

Councillor Griffiths therefore recommended that the current postholders (Ian Gallin – Chief Executive, Rachael Mann – Assistant Director (Resources and Performance) and Leah Mickleborough – Service Manager (Democratic Services)) be appointed to act as the statutory Officers for the Shadow Council and for West Suffolk Council.

 

Councillor Robin Millar seconded the nominations and took the opportunity to give thanks to the Officers concerned for all their work they had undertaken in order to have reached this point on the journey towards the single West Suffolk Council.

 

With there being no other nominations and with 50 voting for the motion and with 1 abstention, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That:-

 

1.   Ian Gallin be appointed as the Interim Head of Paid Service for the Shadow West Suffolk Council and, from 1 April 2019, as the Head of Paid Service for West Suffolk Council;

 

2.   Rachael Mann be appointed as the Interim Chief Finance Officer for the Shadow West Suffolk Council and, from 1 April 2019, as the Chief Finance Officer for West Suffolk Council; and

 

3.   Leah Mickleborough be appointed as the Interim Monitoring Officer for the Shadow West Suffolk Council and, from 1 April 2019, as the Monitoring Officer for West Suffolk Council.

 

(On conclusion of this item the Officers concerned rejoined the meeting.)

9.

Shadow Council Constitution (Report No: COU/SA/18/002) pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Report No: COU/SA/18/002

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Carol Bull, in her capacity as Chairman of the Future Governance Working Group, presented this item which sought adoption of the Shadow West Suffolk Council constitution. 

 

Councillor Bull also gave thanks to the Joint Constitution Working Group for their valued work and input, under the chairmanship of Councillor David Nettleton, and moved the recommendation to adopt the constitution.

 

Councillor Ruth Bowman also spoke as Vice Chairman of the Future Governance Working Group and similarly gave thanks and seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Lance Stanbury addressed the meeting and spoke at length in support of the report.  He highlighted what an historic decision the Shadow Council was making at its first meeting; the formalisation of the relationship between the two West Suffolk Councils after years of successful joint working.

 

Councillor Paul Hopfensperger also spoke and reiterated his point he raised earlier in the meeting with regard to the use of the title “Chairman” within the constitution.  He proposed an amendment to the document in that all references to Chairman / Vice Chairman were replaced with Chair / Vice Chair.  This amendment was duly seconded by Councillor Alaric Pugh.

 

Councillor David Nettleton explained that the Joint Constitution Working Group had already tasked Officers to remove any gender bias within constitution documents and this was currently being undertaken. 

 

Councillor Ruth Bowman also stressed that a proper route was being taken in this respect and that the amendment that was proposed was too simplistic to capture the ongoing work.

 

Accordingly, in light of this information, Councillors Hopfensperger and Pugh withdrew their amendment.

 

Upon putting the original motion for approval to the vote and with the vote being unanimous, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Shadow West Suffolk Council constitution, attached as Appendix A to Report No COU/SA/18/002, be adopted. 

 

10.

Appointment of Independent Persons

It is a requirement of the Localism Act that every council appoint at least one Independent Person whose role is to advise the council with regard to complaints that Councillors have breached the Code of Conduct.

 

It is therefore considered sensible to nominate Mr Arnold Barrow and Mrs Zoe Finn, who are the current joint Independent Persons for Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, to provide this function for the Shadow Council. 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

That Mr Arnold Barrow and Mrs Zoe Finn be appointed as the Shadow Council’s Independent Persons in accordance with s28(7) of the Localism Act 2011 for a term of one year commencing 30 May 2018.

Minutes:

Councillor David Bowman presented this item in his capacity as Chairman of the West Suffolk Joint Standards Committee.

 

Councillor Bowman explained that it was a requirement of the Localism Act for every council to appoint at least one Independent Person whose role it was to advise the council with regard to complaints that Councillors had breached the Code of Conduct.

 

It was therefore considered sensible to appoint Mr Arnold Barrow and Mrs Zoe Finn, who were the current joint Independent Persons for Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, to provide this function for the Shadow Council.

 

Councillor Bowman moved the motion and this was duly seconded by Councillor John Burns, as Vice Chairman of the West Suffolk Joint Standards Committee.

 

Upon being put to the vote and with the vote being unanimous, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Mr Arnold Barrow and Mrs Zoe Finn be appointed as the Shadow Council’s Independent Persons in accordance with s28(7) of the Localism Act 2011 for a term of one year commencing 30 May 2018.  

11.

Conclusion

Minutes:

On conclusion of the meeting the Chairman reminded all Members present that the separate meetings of Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury Councils scheduled for 12 and 13 June 2018 had been cancelled.  However, the next Shadow Council meeting would be taking place on Tuesday 12 June 2018 at 6.30pm at West Suffolk House.