Agenda

Council - Thursday 18th July 2024 6.00 pm

Venue: The Great Hall at The Guildhall, Northampton, NN1 1DE

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democraticservices@westnorthants.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

 

3.

Minutes of Council pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 16 May 2024.

Additional documents:

4.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman of the Council.

 

5.

Public Participation

(1)  Receipt of Petitions (if any) from Local Government Electors for the District

 

(2)  Statements (if any) from the Public

 

6.

Opposition Priority Business

Proposed by: Cllr Bob Purser

Seconded by: Cllr Koulla Jolley 

 

“In March, West Northamptonshire Council took part in a Corporate Peer Challenge undertaken by the Local Government Association. This review looked into the council’s ability to deliver upon its plans and vision for West Northamptonshire and its residents.

 

Among the review’s findings were concerns about WNC’s vision for the area, engagement with partners, and vision for Northampton Town Centre. The report describes a ‘persistent focus on the past’ rather than our future and outcomes; ‘stand offs’ with partners who are unclear of council’s strategic ambitions, which is stunting progress; and ‘no clear vision’ for Northampton to succeed for the benefit the whole area, with officers ‘almost apologetic for its run-down appearance’. 

 

This council accepts the eight key recommendations given by the review, in particular the importance of working together with partners to shape a long-term vision for West Northamptonshire and Northampton’s central role within it. Council further pledges to begin this work as soon as possible in a united and cross-party approach. 

 

Council therefore calls on Cabinet to act on these findings and recommendations by:

·       Developing a long-term vision for West Northamptonshire, its towns, and council services

·       Developing a long-term strategic place vision for Northampton Town Centre and Northampton’s role within West Northamptonshire and incorporate this into the Local Plan

·       Developing stakeholder management principles to grow and improve relations with our partners

·       Enabling all council members and the public to contribute to the above”

Items of Business

7.

WNC Annual Report pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

8.

Cabinet Reports and Records of Decisions Taken by the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:

9.

Revenue Monitoring Provisional Outturn 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

10.

Appointment of Director of Children's Services pdf icon PDF 105 KB

11.

Highways Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 96 KB

12.

Royal & Derngate Theatre RAAC Remediation Works pdf icon PDF 114 KB

13.

Updates to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

14.

Audit and Governance Committee - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:

15.

Audit and Governance Committee - Appointment of Independent Members pdf icon PDF 109 KB

16.

Annual Report of the Democracy & Standards Committee 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:

17.

Motions

To debate any motions which have been submitted with advance notice, in accordance with the Council’s Procedure Rules.

 

Motion 1

 

Proposed by: Cllr Wendy Randall

Seconded by: Cllr Rufia Ashraf

 

“West Northamptonshire is continuing on its transformational journey. It is vital that the council’s partners, members and especially the public feel included and incorporated in this as a shared community. Comprehensive consultation and engagement are key to achieving this.

 

The recent LGA Peer Review of WNC found partners feel ‘a lack of clarity’ from the council, Town and Parish councils ‘feel largely disconnected…and unable to bring influence’, and that opposition and back-bench members feel ‘disenfranchised’. It also called for a ‘comprehensive refresh’ of the council’s website, which it described as ‘difficult to navigate.’

 

Council pledges to improve its relationship with partners and residents based on shared understanding and meaningful dialogue, where all feel included and has a voice.

 

This council therefore agrees to place engagement at the heart of its operations and ongoing journey and requests Cabinet:

·       Accept the recommendation of the LGA Peer Review and overhaul and refresh the council website to make it more accessible

·       Ensure all consultation and consequent decision-making adheres to The Consultation Institute Charter (TCI) and Gunning Principles, especially concerning accessibility and consideration

·       Consider membership of the TCI and endeavour to gain their Quality Assurance for consultation process

·       Pilot consultation methods which invite greater participation from partners, members and hard-to-reach groups of the public”

 

Motion 2

 

Proposed by:  Cllr Jonathan Harris

Seconded by: Cllr Carl Squires

 

In September 2021, the Liberal Democrats proposed a motion to council, resolving that all councillors make the White Ribbon promise, namely: “to never use, excuse, or remain silent about men’s violence against women”

 

It was rejected by the Conservative Group, as being un-inclusive because it didn’t mention men, despite evidence showing then, and continuing to show now, that most domestic violence cases are perpetrated by men against women and girls.

 

Furthermore, most of the Conservative group have stayed silent as regards the domestic abuse issues surrounding their now ex-leader. 

 

As a result, the work of the council and trust with individuals and organisations, for those who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse and the local charities supporting them, has been undermined.?

 

Enough is enough.  It is imperative that this council rebuilds this trust within our communities.?

 

This council therefore resolves to:

·       Seek White Ribbon Organisational status and ask Cabinet to develop and implement, over a three-year period, an Action Plan, developed by a Steering Group and supported by leadership, to affect tangible change within our own organisation.

·       Once again ask that ALL councillors publicly make the White Ribbon Promise, in person, prior to council’s ordinary proceedings at its September meeting.

18.

Urgent Business (previously agreed with the Chairman)

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any items of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.

19.

Exclusion of Press and Public

In respect of the following items the Chairman may move the resolution set out below, on the grounds that if the public were present it would be likely that exempt information (information regarded as private for the purposes of the Local Government Act 1972) would be disclosed to them: The Committee is requested to resolve: “That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that if the public were present it would be likely that exempt information under Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act of the descriptions against each item would be disclosed to them”

20.

Capital Budget for Provision of Relocatable Temporary Accommodation