Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 5.00 pm, NEW

Venue: Remote meeting (Zoom) https://zoom.us/j/99909076692

Contact: Governance  Email: governance@rutland.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

614.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Webb.

615.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that his engagements had been circulated in advance of the meeting.

616.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE LEADER, MEMBERS OF THE CABINET OR THE HEAD OF PAID SERVICE

Minutes:

Councillor Hemsley, as Leader of the Council reported that Covid -19 had presented everyone with a unique set of circumstances and welcomed the transition to virtual meetings. He thanked the continued work of officers of the Council during the pandemic and urged Council to support officers in achieving the best for Rutland.

617.

VIRTUAL MEETING STANDING ORDERS pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Report No.74/2020

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hemsley elaborated on his report which sought Councils approval to amend the Constitution following the introduction of The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 392) (The Virtual Meeting Regulations).

 

Councillor G Brown seconded the report.

 

In response to a question asked, it was confirmed that the regulations would be in place until May 2021 but kept under review should there be changes in circumstances.

 

It was noted that the proposal to amend the Procedure Rules required that recorded votes be taken for all votes taken at virtual meetings.

 

There voted in favour:

 

Councillors Ainsley, Baines, Begy, Blanksby, Bool, A Brown, G Brown, Burrows, Coleman, Cross, Dale, Fox, Harvey, Hemsley, Jones, Lowe, MacCartney, Oxley, Payne, Powell, Razzell, Stephenson, Waller, Walters, Wilby and Woodley.

 

The vote being unanimous, the motion was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the amendments to the Constitution set out in Appendix A of the report be approved.

 

2.     That the corresponding amendments had been made by the Leader to the Procedure Rules for Cabinet be noted.

 

3.     That the Virtual Meetings Protocol at Appendix B be noted.

618.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any disclosable interests under the Code of Conduct and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

There were none.

619.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

To confirm the Minutes of the Two Hundred and Eighty Ninth meeting of the Rutland County Council held on 9th March 2020.

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed that the minutes of the Two Hundred and Eighty Ninth meeting of the Rutland County Council held on 9th March 2020, be confirmed with the abstention of Councillor Jones, Dale, Coleman and Woodley from voting having submitted their apologies for the previous meeting.

 

Councillor Razzell seconded the proposal.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on the 9th March 2020 be confirmed.

 

620.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

To receive any petitions, deputations or questions received from members of the public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 28. The total time allowed for this is 30 minutes.  Petitions, deputations and questions will be dealt with in the order in which they are received and any which are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting.

Minutes:

There were none.

621.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

To receive any questions submitted from Members of the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 30 and 30A.

Minutes:

Councillor Powell submitted the following question:

 

I would like to congratulate officers on putting in place the technology so that this Council meeting and Cabinet can now take place virtually. As this way of meeting becomes the new normal for the foreseeable future I would like reassurance from the Leader of the Council that the schedule for all committees especially Planning and Licensing and Audit and Risk will now resume from June. And that the vital function of Scrutiny in developing policy, holding Cabinet to account and driving improvement in public services, will be reinstated imminently. Now seems to be an opportunity to make better use of Scrutiny ‘to support policy and decision making through focused commissions and deep dives into strategic challenges’ as recommended in the recent Peer Review and I ask the Leader to advise members what specific plans he has to enable this to happen.

 

Councillor Hemsley responded as follows:

 

Thank you for the question, I am sure that the Strategic Director of Resources will pass on the thanks to both the IT team and the Governance Team.

I share (as I am sure that we all do) the desire to get to the “new normal” as quickly as is practicable that living with the corona virus will demand.  I recognise that setting out what this looks like and how we get there is an important piece of work to ensure that we emerge from the crisis as a better organisation than when we went into it.

I also agree whole-heartedly that this crisis does present an opportunity to look at roles and the way we operate right across the Council and this includes our role as elected representatives.  We should review our arrangements, see what works, how we work and what we might change. I would very much value input and thoughts from all members to this process. I did send out an invitation to informal scrutiny to all members last week. As you suggest we should be looking to “drive improvement in public services” and this includes the way in which we as councillors operate.

However, this process will have to take place in a context where we are still dealing with a serious health crisis, together with the associated effects on our community  and our management of this horrible disease.  We are finding the demands on services and the leadership continues to increase and our first priority must always be directing all available capacity to supporting our communities through these unprecedented times.

I do acknowledge that we need to set out a clear ‘road map’, for restoration of an effective democratic framework, that will set out how we will:

·       deliver against our priorities,

·       develop new ideas and ways of workings

·       manage the current crisis not just in the next few months but probably over the next couple of years; and

·       deal with essential business

 

We have our first Scrutiny meeting being held on the 11th June at the request of the Scrutiny Committee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 621.

622.

REFERRAL OF COMMITTEE DECISIONS TO THE COUNCIL

To determine matters where a decision taken by a Committee has been referred to the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 110.

Minutes:

There were none.

623.

CALL-IN OF DECISIONS FROM CABINET MEETINGS DURING THE PERIOD FROM 18th FEBRUARY to 12th MAY 2020 (INCLUSIVE)

To determine matters where a decision taken by the Cabinet has been referred to Council by the call-in procedure of Scrutiny Panels, as a result of the decision being deemed to be outside the Council’s policy framework by the Monitoring Officer or not wholly in accordance with the budget by the Section 151 Officer, in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 206 and 207.

Minutes:

There were none.

624.

REPORTS FROM THE CABINET

To receive Report Nos.66/2020 and 67/2020 from the Cabinet on recommendations referred to the Council for determination.

Minutes:

Council received Report Nos.66/2020 and 67/2020 from the Cabinet on recommendations referred to the Council for determination.

625.

CONTRACTS EXTENSION pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Report No: 77/2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor G Brown elaborated on the report that sought Councils approval to delegate authority to Officers in conjunction with Portfolio Holders to extend existing contracts which would ordinarily be approved by Council (relevant contracts and Officer/Portfolio Holders). It was noted that at the Cabinet meeting held on the 21st April 2020, Cabinet agreed to the report seeking Council’s approval.

 

Members were informed that the Council had found itself in a position where a number of significant contracts were due to end in the near future and contract activity was either underway or due to commence but has been put on hold. The Council was therefore now seeking to extend a number of contracts through delegation.

 

Councillor Hemsley seconded the report.

 

In response to comments made, Councillor G Brown explained that due to the long lead-in and the complexity of some contracts, it had been a necessity to seek the extension.

 

A recorded vote was held:

 

There voted in favour:

 

Councillors Ainsley, Baines, Begy, Blanksby, Bool, A Brown, G Brown, Burrows, Coleman, Cross, Dale, Fox, Harvey, Hemsley, Jones, Lowe, MacCartney, Oxley, Payne, Powell, Razzell, Stephenson, Waller, Walters, Wilby and Woodley.

 

The vote being unanimous, the motion was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That authority be delegated to Officers in conjunction with Portfolio Holders to extend existing contracts which would ordinarily be approved by Council (relevant contracts and Officer/Portfolio Holders)

 

626.

COVID 19 UPDATE & CONTINUED USE OF EMERGENCY POWERS pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Report No: 76/2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hemsley elaborated on a report which sought Council to note the contents of the Cabinet report at Appendix 1 of the report and the approval of the recommendations at the meeting held on the 21st April 2020.

 

It was established on March 16th 2020 that the opinion of the Chief Executive, Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer was that COVID-19 crisis activated the Constitutional provision that the Chief Executive would take any urgent action necessary in the event of a civil emergency and deal with matters relating to civil protection/emergency planning arising from the Council’s powers and duties under the appropriate legislation. It was noted that a decision log was being maintained which was shared with Group Leaders.

 

Councillor G Brown seconded the report.

 

In response to questions asked, it was reported that should Group Leaders be asked about specific decisions taken, they must seek confirmation from the Monitoring officer prior to the information being disclosed to their Group Members. Officers were working collaboratively with Members as much as possible by sharing information with Group Leaders and through the Councillor briefings.

 

In response to a question asked about the financial implications and whether the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) was adjusted in terms of the impact on finances and trajectory, Councillor G Brown explained that estimates of income streams and expenditures were being examined. Whilst it was predicted that there would be a shortage of reserves at the end of year, MHCLG were being updated regularly and it was anticipated that the impact of Covid 19 on the financial costs to the Council would be more apparent next year. It was reported that information on financial implications were currently a little vague, but that a report would be brought to Council in the near future to update members and it was hoped that all Councillors would engage in discussions with the Chief Finance Officer budget options in Autumn 2020.

 

A recorded vote was held:

 

There voted in favour:

 

Councillors Ainsley, Baines, Begy, Blanksby, Bool, A Brown, G Brown, Burrows, Coleman, Cross, Dale, Fox, Harvey, Hemsley, Jones, Lowe, MacCartney, Oxley, Payne, Powell, Razzell, Stephenson, Waller, Walters, Wilby and Woodley.

 

The vote being unanimous, the motion was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Cabinet report at Appendix 1 of the report and the approval of the recommendations at the meeting held on the 21st April 2020 be noted.

 

627.

REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL

a.            To receive reports from Committees on matters which require Council approval because the Committee does not have the delegated authority to act on the Council’s behalf.

b.            To receive reports from Council Committees on any other matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.

Minutes:

There were none

628.

REPORTS FROM SCRUTINY COMMISSION / SCRUTINY PANELS

To receive the reports from the Scrutiny Commission / Scrutiny Panels on any matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.

Minutes:

There were none.

629.

JOINT ARRANGEMENTS AND EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS

To receive reports about and receive questions and answers on the business of any joint arrangements or external organisations.

Minutes:

The Chairman informed members that one written updates on Joint Arrangements had been received and would be appended to the minutes.   

 

630.

NOTICES OF MOTION

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted by Members of the Council in accordance with Procedure Rule 34 in the order in which they are recorded as having been received.

Minutes:

There were none.

631.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

To receive items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.

Minutes:

There were none.