Agenda and draft minutes

Annual meeting, Council - Thursday 20th May 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Franklin's Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG

Link: Please click here to view this meeting online

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chauhan, Strachan, Baker, Flavell and Stevenson.

2.

Declarations of Interest

West Northamptonshire Council takes seriously any breach of the Code of Conduct. Councillors need only declare an interest that had not been recorded in the Register of Interests. Any councillor who declares such an interest must remove themselves for the whole item. Councillors are asked to declare:

 

·       The item number in which they have an interest;

·       The nature of the interest, and;

·       Whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest or a non-statutory interest.

Minutes:

None.

3.

Election of Chair of West Northamptonshire Council

Minutes:

Councillor Larratt expressed his thanks to Chris Millar for his contribution as Chair of West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority. He proposed that Councillor Ann Addison be elected Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council.

 

Councillor Lane seconded the proposition.

 

Upon a vote, the proposition was Carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Ann Addison be elected Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council for the year 2021-22.

4.

Election of Vice-Chair of West Northamptonshire Council

Minutes:

Councillor Rumens proposed that Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage be elected as Vice-Chair of West Northamptonshire Council.

 

Councillor Kilbride seconded the proposition.

 

Upon a vote, the proposition was Carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Gonzalez De Savage be elected Vice-Chair of West Northamptonshire Council for the year 2021-22.

5.

Chair's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman announced the sad passing of Alderman Gina Ogden in March 2021. She was a member of Northamptonshire County Council from 1967 to 2013 and at the time of her retirement, was the longest serving councillor in the county and one of the longest serving in the country. Alderman Ogden is survived by her husband Michael, four children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

6.

Appointment of Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Councillor Brown proposed that Councillor Jonathan Nunn be appointed Leader of the Council.

 

Councillor King seconded the proposition.

 

Upon a vote, the proposition was Carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Jonathan Nunn be appointed Leader of the Council.

7.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

The Leader congratulated Councillor Addison on her election as Chairman and thanked Councillor McCord for his commitment over the last 12 months as the Leader of West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority. He stated that the new council’s success relied on respectful and supportive collaboration between elected members and also wider partners in the public and private sectors. The administration would hold in high regard scrutiny and committees and the Leader thanked members already giving their time and talent to committee work. He noted the creation of Assistant Cabinet Member roles which, whilst not an official part of the council’s governance structure and receiving no additional allowance, the positions were given as a result of specialist knowledge in exchange for a firm commitment to support the portfolio area with their time and experience. The Leader confirmed that a motion would be brough to the next full Council meeting to declare, at the earliest opportunity, a climate emergency in line with the predecessor councils.

8.

Political Group Leadership, Committee Proportionality and Appointment of Members to Committees and other bodies pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Purpose of Report

 

To seek the confirmation of Council of the Calendar of Meetings for 2021/2022.

 

Recommendations

 

1.1.       To approve the Calendar of Meetings for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Council that an up-to-date list of committee appointments had been placed on desks.

 

The Leader of the Council presented a report which sought to advise of the names of the Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the political groups and to confirm appointments to committee places and additional appointments contained within the report.

 

Councillor Brown seconded the report.

 

Councillor G Eales congratulated the Leader on his appointment and expressed his disappointment that there were no opposition members on the Children’s Trust and hoped that further discussions would take place in respect of this. He further expressed concern over the Leader managing 2 portfolios, stating that regeneration should be a focus. Accommodation should be a priority so that sums of money did not continually need to be spent hiring venues for council meetings.

 

Councillor Beardsworth commented that the council must not forget past mistakes to ensure that they would not be made again in the future. She noted the hard work of officers during the pandemic and their work in setting up the new authority and expressed her gratitude in respect of this. She hoped that all members could work together for the benefit of their communities.

 

Councillor Meredith congratulated the Leader on his appointment and also expressed disappointment that there were no opposition members on the Children’s Trust; he believed that backbench councillors should have been given the opportunity to be on the Trust. Councillor Meredith also stated his concern that there were no councillors on the Corporate Parenting Board.

 

Councillor Nunn commented that constitutional matters prevented opposition members from sitting on the Children’s Board but asked members to judge him on what he had done recently to try to make it happen and hoped that all councillors were comfortable with what the Children’s Trust was doing presently. Regular meetings with opposition members in respect of the Children’s Trust had been agreed. The Leader advised of more work around the Cabinet but gave his assurance that Economic Regeneration and Development would not be a “poor relation”.

 

In response to a question around opposition membership on the South Northamptonshire Local Area Planning Committee, the Monitoring Officer advised that this seat would rotate annually between the Liberal Democrat Group and Independent councillors, with the Liberal Democrats taking the seat for 2021-22.

 

Upon a vote, the recommendations contained within the report were agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Council:

 

i)       Received the names of the Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the political groups as set out at Appendix A of the report.

 

ii)     Agreed to constitute and decide on the allocation of places on committees between the political groups in accordance with the political balance requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, as set out at paragraph 3.11.1 of the report.

 

iii)    Agreed to appoint Members to the various Committees as set out at Appendix A of the report.

 

iv)   Agreed to appoint Members to the various joint Committees as set out at Appendix A of the report.

 

v)     Agreed that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Calendar of Meetings

Minutes:

Councillor Patel presented a report which sought Council’s approval of the calendar of meetings for the year 2021-2022

 

Councillor Chowdhury seconded the report.

 

Councillor Shephard commented that, despite the reference to 6pm in the report and in the calendar, there was no reference to timings within the Constitution and hoped that there would be no impediment for daytime meetings if it was required.

 

Councillor McCord advised that similar wording was included within the Constitution; alternative committee start times would be at the Chair’s discretion.

 

Councillor J Gilford noted that the Council was striving to be open and transparent; daytime meetings would be a barrier towards this since most members of the public would struggle to attend them.

 

Upon a vote, the recommendations within the report were agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the calendar of meetings for 2021/22 is approved.

10.

West Northamptonshire Council Constitution pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Purpose of Report

 

The purpose of this report is to make amendments to the constitution to enable decisions to be made which are necessary for the delivery of services; and to identify the need for a further Constitutional review by the Democracy and Standards Committee to consider wider improvements to the Constitution.

 

Recommendations

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1       The changes to the Constitution already made by the Monitoring Officer     under her delegated power be noted.

1.2       The proposed changes to the Constitution set out in Appendix 1 be agreed.

1.3       Delegated power be granted to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution to give effect to the agreements for joint arrangements with LGSS (Cambridgeshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes) Northampton                    Partnership Homes and North Northamptonshire Council.

1.4       The Member Officer Protocol be amended to refer to the Member Enquiry Service which has been put in place. 

1.5       A further review of the Constitution be carried out by the Democracy and    Standards Committee and referred to a future meeting of Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Brown presented a report which sought amendments to the constitution to enable decisions to be made which would be necessary for the delivery of services; and to identify the need for a further Constitutional review by the Democracy and Standards Committee to consider wider improvements to the Constitution.

 

Councillor Brown noted 2 alterations following publication of the report: the removal of paragraph 2.1.4 and to alter paragraph 2.1.5 to read “a further review of the Constitution and Member-Officer Protocol be carried out by the Democracy and Standards Committee and referred to a future meeting of the Council.”

 

Councillor Nunn seconded the report.

 

Councillor Beardsworth stated her agreement with regular constitutional reviews.

 

Councillor Chantler voiced his support with the proposed amendment and expressed disappointment with the Member Enquiry service; he had been waiting a week for a response to an enquiry.

 

Councillor McCord supported the recommendations and welcomed a future review of the Constitution; however, he took issue with the vagueness of some parts, specifically around the definition of a Key Decision and “timely” in relation to member enquiries.

 

Councillor Roberts noted that she had made 5 enquiries to the Member Enquiry service so far and had received prompt responses to all.

 

Councillor Brown commented that Councillor Beardsworth was a valued member of the Constitution Task & Finish group and encouraged all members of the Democracy and Standards Committee to raise any issues regarding the Constitution that they felt needed reviewing. Members’ experiences so far were useful in respect of the Member Enquiry service and highlighted the need for a review and noted, in relation to Councillor McCord’s comment, that the Democracy & Standards Committee would set the SLAs that members deemed appropriate.

 

Upon a vote, the recommendations as altered were agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Council agreed that:

 

1.2.1   The changes to the Constitution already made by the Monitoring Officer under her delegated power be noted;

2.1.2   The proposed changes to the Constitution set out in Appendix 1 of the report be agreed;

2.1.3   Delegated power be granted to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution to give effect to the agreements for joint arrangements with LGSS (Cambridgeshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes) Northampton Partnership Homes and North Northamptonshire Council.

2.1.4   A further review of the Constitution and Member Officer Protocol be carried out by the Democracy and Standards Committee and referred to a future meeting of Council.

11.

Ashton Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 514 KB

Report of the Assistant Director – Growth, Climate and Regeneration

 

** Please note, that this report will be to follow **

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Breese presented a report which sought Council’s consideration of the outcome of the Referendum on the Ashton Neighbourhood Plan and to formally ‘make’ the Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor Clarke seconded the report.

 

Upon a vote, the recommendations contained within the report were agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Council:

 

a)    Noted the Referendum result of the 06 May 2021, where 95.7% of those who voted, were in favour of the Ashton Neighbourhood Plan, which was above the required 50%;

 

b)    “Made' the Ashton Neighbourhood Plan, so that it has effect as part of the statutory Development Plan for the area;

 

 

c)     Approved the issuing and publication of a Decision Statement.

 

d)    Authorised the Assistant Director of Growth, Climate and Regeneration, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning, to finalise the necessary documents to support adoption including the Decision Statement (draft at Appendix C of the report) and to make such minor editorial corrections to the Neighbourhood Plan (Appendix A of the report) as deemed necessary ahead of publication.

 

12.

Urgent Business

Minutes:

None.