Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, Northants NN12 6AD

Contact: Natasha Clark, Democratic and Elections  Email: democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

35.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed and thanked Members and officers for attending the Special Council meeting.

 

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Mark Allen, newly elected to the council following the recent by-election in the Middleton Cheney ward to the council advising however that unfortunately, Councillor Allen was unable to attend the Special Council meeting.

 

The Chairman welcomed Martin Henry back to the council and to his first Council meeting as Executive Director: Finance & Section 151 Officer. 

 

36.

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 no declarations of interest.

37.

Minutes of Council pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 24 July 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 24 Jul 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

38.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman of the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman made the following announcements:

 

General Housekeeping

The Chairman reminded the meeting that members of the public were permitted to film, broadcast and report on the meeting, subject to the efficient running of the meeting not being affected.

 

There were no planned fire drills so if the alarm did sound, evacuation instructions given by officers should be followed. 

 

Meeting attendees were asked to switch mobile phones to silent.

 

Council, 23 October 2019

The Chairman advised Members that as this was a Special meeting of Council, there was no public participation, member motions or questions. These items would be on the agenda for the scheduled meeting of Council on Wednesday 23 October.

 

Post

The Chairman reminded Members to collect any post from pigeon holes.

 

39.

Announcements by the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive

To receive communications from the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Leader, Councillor McCord, made the following announcements:

 

Executive Director: Finance

The Leader welcomed Martin Henry, Executive Director: Finance and Section 151 Officer, back to South Northamptonshire Council in his new role.

 

Statement of Accounts 2018/19

The Leader referred to the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 which had not yet been signed off by the council’s external auditor, Ernst Young. South Northamptonshire Council had fulfilled its requirements with the accounts having been certified by the Chief Finance Officer by 31 May 2019. The draft accounts had been due to be agreed by the Audit Committee by the statutory 31 July 2019 but Ernst Young, had however not been able to complete the external audit work for the account sign off deadline due to staff shortages.

 

Ernst Young had commenced its audit in August, however this was only 90% complete when the draft accounts were submitted to the Audit Committee meeting of 19 September. As Ernst & Young could not provide an opinion on the accounts until their work was complete, accounts could not be approved by the Audit Committee. 

 

The Leader advised that the delay was also affected by the Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) 2017-18 accounts not having been finalised yet. As a result Ernst & Young could place any reliance on the figures in SNC’s 2018-19 accounts relating to the pension fund disclosures until the NCC accounts had been signed off. It was anticipated that the NCC accounts would be signed off imminently.

 

 

The Chief Executive had no announcements.

40.

Questions to the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive

The Chairman to invite questions to the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive relevant to their announcements

Minutes:

In response to the announcements by the Leader, Councillor Harries, Chairman of the Audit Committee, commented that the situation had been frustrating for Audit Committee members and requested that the Leader email all members a copy of the announcement he had made.

 

Councillor Lofts advised Council that he had queried with the external auditor, Ernst & Young, if South Northamptonshire Council would face sanctions for the late submission of the accounts. Ernst & Young had advised that over 200 councils were in a similar position with late account sign off for various reason, and it was highly unlikely there would be sanctions due to the extent of the problem across the country.     

41.

Local Government Reform in Northamptonshire - Additional Terms of Reference for the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of Executive Director: Resources

 

Purpose of report

 

To amend the Terms of Reference for the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee.

 

Recommendations

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1     To agree the revised and augmented Terms of Reference set out in Appendix 2 of this report and delegate the necessary powers and authority to the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee.

 

1.2     Subject to approving the resolution as per above, to delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to amend the ‘West Northamptonshire Joint Committee Agreement’ to incorporate the changes agreed by Council.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the revised and augmented Terms of Reference (Annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be agreed and the necessary powers and authority be delegated to the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee.

 

(2)            That authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to amend the ‘West Northamptonshire Joint Committee Agreement’ to incorporate the changes agreed by Council.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director: Resources submitted a report to amend the Terms of Reference for the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the revised and augmented Terms of Reference (Annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be agreed and the necessary powers and authority be delegated to the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee.

 

(2)            That authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to amend the ‘West Northamptonshire Joint Committee Agreement’ to incorporate the changes agreed by Council.

 

42.

Amendment to the Appointments and Personnel Committee pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report of Executive Director: Resources

 

Purpose of report

 

To consider amendments to the membership, terms of reference and title of the Council’s Appointments and Personnel Committee.

 

Recommendations

 

The meeting is recommended to agree that:

 

1.1     The Appointments and Personnel Committee be retitled as the Organisational Development and Personnel Committee.

 

1.2     The committee’s terms of reference are added to so that it is able to consider organisational or staffing matters arising in the period leading up to the unitary government vesting day; and so that it is able to consider the impact of any local government reorganisation proposals, or shared service proposals, on the Council’s current organisational and staffing arrangements.

 

1.3     The Organisational Development and Personnel Committee is not subject to the political balance requirements and comprises eight elected members (six Conservative, one Liberal Democrat and one Independent) of which at least two elected members are not Cabinet Members.

 

1.4     Authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution accordingly.

 

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the Appointments and Personnel Committee be retitled as the Organisational Development and Personnel Committee.

 

(2)            That the committee’s terms of reference be added to so that it is able to consider organisational or staffing matters arising in the period leading up to the unitary government vesting day; and so that it is able to consider the impact of any local government reorganisation proposals, or shared service proposals, on the Council’s current organisational and staffing arrangements.

 

(3)            That it be agreed that the Organisational Development and Personnel Committee not be subject to the political balance requirements and comprises eight elected members (six Conservative, one Liberal Democrat and one Independent) of which at least two elected members are not Cabinet Members.

 

(4)            That authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution accordingly.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director: Resources submitted a report to consider amendments to the membership, terms of reference and title of the Council’s Appointments and Personnel Committee.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the Appointments and Personnel Committee be retitled as the Organisational Development and Personnel Committee.

 

(2)            That the committee’s terms of reference be added to so that it is able to consider organisational or staffing matters arising in the period leading up to the unitary government vesting day; and so that it is able to consider the impact of any local government reorganisation proposals, or shared service proposals, on the Council’s current organisational and staffing arrangements.

 

(3)            That it be agreed that the Organisational Development and Personnel Committee not be subject to the political balance requirements and comprises eight elected members (six Conservative, one Liberal Democrat and one Independent) of which at least two elected members are not Cabinet Members.

 

(4)            That authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution accordingly.

 

43.

Results of Middleton Cheney By-Election, Allocation of Seats and Membership of Committees pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Report of Chief Executive

 

Purpose of report

 

To advise Council of the results of the by-election for the Middleton Cheney ward held on 12 September 2019, and to note the constitution of the council, political balance calculations and allocation of seats on committees that are subject to the political balance requirements following the by-election.

 

For the purposes of the allocation of seats subject to the political balance requirements, this report assumes that the recommendations at the previous agenda item, “Amendments to the Appointments and Personnel Committee” have been agreed. If this is not the case, alternative calculations will be tabled at the meeting.  

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1          To note the results of the by-election for the Middleton Cheney ward held on 12 September 2019.

 

1.2           To note the constitution of the Council, the political balance calculations and the allocation of seats on committees that are subject to the political balance requirements following the by-election.

 

1.3     To note the appointments and amendments to Committees in light of the revised allocation of seats on committees that are subject to the political balance requirements (to be advised at the meeting).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the results of the by-election for the Middleton Cheney ward held on 12 September 2019 be noted.

 

(2)            That the constitution of the Council (Conservative: 33 (79%), Independent: 3 (7%), Liberal Democrat: 6 (15%)), the political balance calculations and the allocation of seats on committees that are subject to the political balance requirements following the by-election (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be noted.

 

(3)            That the following appointments and amendments to Committees in light of the revised allocation of seats on committees that are subject to the political balance requirements be noted:

 

Appeals Committee

Remove: Councillor Caryl Billingham (Independent Group)

          Add: Councillor Chris Lofts (Liberal Democrat Group)

 

Budget and Financial Strategy Committee

          Remove: Councillor Hywel Davies (Conservative Group)

          Add: Councillor Mark Allen (Liberal Democrat Group)

 

          Licensing Committee

          Add: Councillor Dennis Loveland (Conservative Group) to vacant Conservative seat

 

Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee

          Remove: Councillor Dennis Loveland (Conservative Group)

          Add: Councillor Martin Johns (Liberal Democrat Group)

 

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive submitted a report to advise Council of the results of the by-election for the Middleton Cheney ward held on 12 September 2019, and to note the constitution of the council, political balance calculations and allocation of seats on committees that were subject to the political balance requirements following the by-election.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the results of the by-election for the Middleton Cheney ward held on 12 September 2019 be noted.

 

(2)            That the constitution of the Council (Conservative: 33 (79%), Independent: 3 (7%), Liberal Democrat: 6 (15%)), the political balance calculations and the allocation of seats on committees that were subject to the political balance requirements following the by-election (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be noted.

 

(3)            That the following appointments and amendments to Committees in light of the revised allocation of seats on committees that are subject to the political balance requirements be noted:

 

Appeals Committee

Remove: Councillor Caryl Billingham (Independent Group)

          Add: Councillor Chris Lofts (Liberal Democrat Group)

 

Budget and Financial Strategy Committee

          Remove: Councillor Hywel Davies (Conservative Group)

          Add: Councillor Mark Allen (Liberal Democrat Group)

 

          Licensing Committee

          Add: Councillor Dennis Loveland (Conservative Group) to vacant Conservative seat

 

Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee

          Remove: Councillor Dennis Loveland (Conservative Group)

          Add: Councillor Martin Johns (Liberal Democrat Group)

 

 

44.

Urgent Business (previously agreed with the Chairman)

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

45.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The following report contains exempt information as defined in the following paragraph of Part 1, Schedule 12A of Local Government Act 1972.

 

3– Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Members are reminded that whilst the following item has been marked as exempt, it is for the meeting to decide whether or not to consider it in private or in public. In making the decision, members should balance the interests of individuals or the Council itself in having access to the information. In considering their discretion members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers.

 

Should Members decide not to make a decision in public, they are recommended to resolve as follows:

 

“That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part I, Paragraph 3 would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”

 

 

 

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part I, Paragraph 3  would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

46.

Former Co-op Site, Sponne Arcade, Richmond Road, Towcester

Exempt report of Executive Director: Resources

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            As set out in the exempt decisions.

 

(2)            As set out in the exempt decisions.

 

(3)            As set out in the exempt decisions.

Minutes:

The Executive Director: Resources submitted an exempt report regarding the former Co-op site, Sponne Arcade, Richmond Road, Towcester.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

(2)            As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

(3)            As set out in the exempt minutes.