Agenda and draft minutes

Annual meeting, Council - Thursday 19th May 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Great Hall, The Guildhall, St Giles Street, Northampton, NN1 1DE

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

Note: Please use the folowing link to view the meeting from 6pm: https://www.youtube.com/c/WestNorthamptonshireCouncil 

Items
No. Item

24.

Election of Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed members to the meeting and gave her thanks to members, the Cabinet, and officers, specifically the Executive Director for Finance and the Finance team for delivering a balanced budget. She felt honoured to be first Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council and expressed her gratitude for the support she received in respect of this role.

 

The Chairman then presented Nina Gandy with a cheque for £9,428.60 for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, the Chairman’s chosen charity.

 

Councillor Nunn proposed that Councillor Gonzalez De Savage be elected Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council for the year 2022-23.

 

Councillor D Smith seconded the proposal.

 

Upon a vote, the proposal was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor André Gonzalez De Savage be elected the Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council for the year 202/23.

25.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council

Minutes:

Councillor Longley proposed that Councillor John Shephard be appointed Vice-Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council for the year 2022-23.

 

Councillor D Smith seconded the proposal.

 

Upon a vote, the proposal was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor John Shephard be appointed the Vice-Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council for the year 2022-23.

26.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Z Smith, Irving-Swift, King, Lunn, Manners, and Sargeant.

27.

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.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

28.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman of the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman made the following announcements:

·       His chosen charities for the year were Northamptonshire Search & Rescue and Northamptonshire & Warwickshire Air Ambulance.

·       Badges and certificates for the Anti-Violence campaign, part of which saw the Knife Angel visit the town for a number of weeks, had been placed on desks – the Chairman encouraged all Members to sign the certificates, publicise the campaign and wear the badges with pride.

·       Many events were due to take place over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, Members were encouraged to take part, and in turn encourage residents to take part in the festivities.

·       Upcoming was the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay which would be passing through Northampton on 10th July. The full route had been announced and details circulated. The Chairman asked Members to please join in if they could.

29.

Minutes of Council pdf icon PDF 289 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21st April 2022.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Stone commented that under item 22, “issues falling under the gaps” should be recorded specifically, which she noted were cuckooing and homeless deaths on the streets. She asked that these be recorded in the minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That subject to the addition of the words “cuckooing and homeless deaths on the streets” to item 21, the minutes of Council held on 21st April 2022 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

30.

Committee Proportionality and Appointment of Members to Committees and other bodies pdf icon PDF 667 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Nunn presented the report to Council which sought Members’ approval regarding allocation of places on committees between the political groups in accordance with the political balance requirements of the Local

Government and Housing Act 1989 and to confirm the appointment of Committee Chairs, Deputy Chairs and members. The report also invited Council to note the names of the Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the political groups and to note the members of the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Patel seconded the report.

 

Members debated the report, and the following comments were made:

·       It was felt by some Members that Chairs of Scrutiny should be opposition members since it could be difficult for the administration to scrutinise its own members/group.

·       The way that the Chairman was currently elected was not fair; the position belonged to the entire district, not just the group in power. This should be done through the Democracy and Standards Committee, or through a formal motion.

·       The Constitution made a point of using ungendered language and the Chairman should follow this example.

·       Members felt sad that Councillor Bowen was leaving her Cabinet Member post. She had been a hard-working and responsive Member.

·       Changes to committee membership should be advertised by the Monitoring Officer. Also, the scrutiny work programme had not been sent out to Members.

·       Women made up 52% of the population and were disproportionately affected by Brexit, the pandemic, domestic violence and sexual violence, and there were now only 2 women sitting on the Cabinet.

·       Responding to an earlier comment, it was stated that Scrutiny Chairs would have no issue challenging colleagues in their own party. This had in fact been the case in some of the predecessor authorities.

·       It was noted that at the last Place OSC only 5 members attended the meeting and they were all Conservative.

·       It was further noted that the Conservative Party was the only political party in the country to elect 2 female Prime Ministers.

 

Following the debate, the recommendations were put to a vote.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

Council:

 

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

b)    Noted the members of the Cabinet set out at Appendix A of the report.

c)     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 in section 5 of the report.

d)    Confirmed the appointment of Committee Chairs, Deputy Chairs and members to the various Committees and Joint Committees as set out at Appendix A of the report.

e)    Noted that the appointments to the Local Area Planning Committees are not politically balanced as they fall within the political balance exemption for area committees; but should reflect the political makeup of the relevant area.

f)      Delegated to the Monitoring Officer the power to appoint councillors and substitute  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Calendar of Meetings 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 538 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Patel presented the report which sought Council’s approval of the Calendar of Meetings for the year 2022-2023.

 

Councillor Hibbert seconded the report.

 

Council debated the report and made the following comments:

·       Members of the public, as well as a number of Members, found it difficult to attend the Strategic Planning Committee at 2pm. None of the meetings had been fully attended.

·       Day time meetings were not in accordance with the Council’s aim to be open and transparent.

·       It was noted that the start time of the Strategic Planning Committee had been the subject of extensive consultation, and that Members and officers agreed a 2pm start time would allow both to utilise their time most appropriately.

 

Following the debate, the recommendations were put to a vote.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.     Council approved the Calendar of Meetings for the year 2022-2023 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

32.

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.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business on this occasion.