Minutes

Full Council
Wednesday 18th November 2020 6.00 pm

Proposed venue: Council Chamber, at the Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF

Contact: Jane Fulton (Ext 37611) 

Media

Items
No. Item

302.

Welcome

Minutes:

            The Chairman welcomed Councillors, representatives of the public, press and officers to the Council Meeting.  A special welcome was extended to Honorary Alderman Mr Norman Dingemans.

 

            The Chairman confirmed that as the meeting on 11 November 2020 had been adjourned at Item 9 – Motion 2 – Part A, this meeting, once the standing items covering Apologies and Interests had been covered, would commence at Item 9 [Motions] at Part B.

 

303.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest made.

 

The Declaration of Interest Sheet set out below confirms those Members who had made a declaration of their personal interest as a Member of a Town or Parish Councillor or a West Sussex County Councillor, as confirmed in their Register of Interest as these declarations could apply to any of the issues to be discussed at the meeting. 

 

 

Name

Town or Parish Council or West Sussex County Council [WSCC]

Councillor Tracy Baker

Littlehampton

Councillor Kenton Batley

Bognor Regis

Councillor Jamie Bennett

Rustington

Councillor Paul Bicknell

Angmering

Councillor Billy Blanchard-Cooper

Littlehampton

Councillor Jim Brooks

Bognor Regis

Councillor Ian Buckland

Littlehampton and WSCC

Councillor Mike Clayden

Rustington

Councillor Andy Cooper

Rustington

Councillor Alison Cooper

Rustington

Councillor Sandra Daniells

Bognor Regis

Councillor David Edwards

WSCC

Councillor Roger Elkins

Ferring and WSCC

Councillor Paul English

Felpham

Councillor Inna Erskine

Bognor Regis

Councillor Steve Goodheart

Bognor Regis

Councillor Pauline Gregory

Rustington

Councillor June Hamilton

Pagham

Councillor Shirley Haywood

Middleton-on-Sea

Councillor David Huntley

Pagham

Councillor Henry Jones

Bognor Regis

Councillor Martin Lury

Bersted

Councillor Claire Needs

Bognor Regis

Councillor Mike Northeast

Littlehampton

Councillor Francis Oppler

WSCC

Councillor Jacky Pendleton

Middleton-on-Sea and WSCC

Councillor Vicky Rhodes

Littlehampton

Councillor Emily Seex

Littlehampton

Councillor Martin Smith

Aldwick

Councillor Samantha Staniforth

Bognor Regis

Councillor Matt Stanley

Bognor Regis

Councillor Isabel Thurston

Barnham & Eastergate

Councillor James Walsh

Littlehampton and WSCC

Councillor Jeanette Warr

Bognor Regis

Councillor Amanda Worne

Yapton

Councillor Gillian Yeates

Bersted

 

 

304.

Questions from Members with Pecuniary/Prejudicial Interests

Minutes:

            There were no questions asked.

305.

Motions

Minutes:

Prior to re-introducing this item, the Chairman confirmed that she had taken advice from the Interim Monitoring Officer and would not be chairing it.   The Vice-Chairman, Councillor Brooks, would assume the role of Chairman for the remaining debate on Parts B and C, if needed, for Motion 2.

 

Councillor Brooks then invited Councillor Gunner to present his motion.  The wording of Part B is as set out below:

 

Part B

 

“That this Council has no confidence in the current administration and calls for their immediate resignation”.

 

It was confirmed that Councillor Dendle would second this part of the Motion.

 

The Interim Monitoring confirmed that before the meeting could proceed further, he had to confirm that he had had a Point Of order made known to him prior to this meeting, which he needed to explain to Councillors and then would require the Chairman to make a determination on.   He explained that Councillor Oppler had brought to his attention that another authority, Lewis District Council, had gone through an identical situation to what this Council was facing through this Motion. This had occurred in June 2019 and the Interim Monitoring Officer confirmed that he had spoken with the lawyer who had supported that meeting and that decision process, earlier in the day, to obtain the background to this situation. 

 

The Interim Monitoring Officer confirmed that he had now revisited the decision made by Full Council on 11 November 2020 which was to vote on Part B via a secret ballot and that he had circulated to all Councillors detailed legal advice regarding the decision made and based on facts as had been presented to him by the Monitoring Officer at Lewis District Council.  It was explained that there was no specific caselaw that he could locate and that he had had several issues raised by Councillor Coster and other Councillors on this in terms of the right for a Councillor to request a recorded vote.  The facts were explained.  Firstly, there was the decision made on 11 November 2020 agreed by a majority of Councillors to conduct a secret ballot. The Interim Monitoring Officer had advised at that time his uncertainty around the legal position on the decision made.  Secondly, requests had been made by some Councillors for their individual vote to be recorded.  Having taken legal advice, Lewis District Council had come to a decision which was that the individual right established in the Constitution should supersede the group decision of the whole Council.  The core legal issue here was that there were two positions which were competing, termed as a ‘persuasive’ matters not a ‘binding’ matter.  Based on the facts before him, the Interim Monitoring Officer confirmed that he had come to a view in that case in that the Member’s individual right in the Constitution should supersede the right of the majority to choose a process, in essence the Point of Order raised by Councillor Oppler.  The question asked was whether the decision reached on 11 November 2020  ...  view the full minutes text for item 305.

306.

Disciplinary Procedure pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Dr Walsh, presented a report which sought the Council’s approval to adopt a written disciplinary procedure for employees which communicated the organisation’s rules and the process to be followed, when dealing with employee misconduct. 

 

It was outlined that this disciplinary procedure had been written in line with the ACAS Code of Practice and if approved, would be made available to all employees.

 

As with all of the Council’s employment policies, this procedure would be subject to regular review and had recently been updated to provide greater clarification for employees and to ensure ease of use.  UNISON had been consulted on the contents and it was agreed at the Joint Consultative Meeting held on 23 September 2020, that the Disciplinary Procedure should be brought to Full Council for formal adoption.

 

Councillor Dr Walsh therefore formally proposed the adoption of this procedure and this was then seconded by Councillor Oppler.

 

The Council

 

            RESOLVED

 

(1)  The Disciplinary Procedure for Employees be formally approved and adopted; and

(2)  The Group Head of Corporate Support be authorised to make any further consequential changes to the Policy.

 

 

307.

Calendar of Meetings for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report from the Chief Executive which proposed arrangements for the Calendar of Meetings for 2021/22.  The calendar set out meetings under the new Committee Structure which would take effect from May 2021 and was proposed by Councillor Dr Walsh and seconded by Councillor Oppler.

 

Various concerns were raised in debating the calendar. Firstly, questions were asked as to why no meetings of the two Regeneration Sub-Committees had been scheduled.  Although it was understood that these no longer existed under the new Committee structure, it had been implied that they would be re-established as part of the new Committee system and so reassurance was sought that meetings of these two Sub-Committees would be placed into the calendar. 

 

Further comments were made about the need to avoid holding meetings in all school holidays including half term dates and the need to avoid the Party Conference Weeks in late summer/early autumn.

 

            Following further discussion,

 

The Council

           

RESOLVED

 

That the Calendar of Meetings for 2021/22 be approved.

 

308.

Constitution Working Party - 12 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman, Councillor Mrs Yeates, presented the Minutes from the meeting of the Constitution Working Party held on 12 October 2020. 

 

            Councillor Mrs Yeates alerted Members to the first of a series of recommendations at Minute 19 [Proposed Constitutional Changes – Update of Standing Orders Relating to Financial Procedures] which she formally proposed.  The recommendations were then seconded by Councillor Bennett.

 

            In debating these recommendations, Councillor Roberts raised concerns in relation to Recommendation (2) which was seeking authority for the Monitoring Officer to make any further consequential amendments.  It was his view that all amendments to the Constitution needed to be approved by Full Council and so he proposed an amendment to Recommendation (2) that such consequential amendments be considered by Full Council.  This amendment was seconded by Councillor Dendle. 

 

            Debate on this amendment then took place and the Interim Monitoring Officer was asked to provide advice.  He confirmed that Recommendation (2) was a standard mechanism used to make very trivial or dominimes changes to the Constitution, these were often changes to Officer names; changing paragraph numbers or page numbers.

 

            This advice was not accepted by Councillor Roberts who stated that he could still not accept such changes being made by an Officer without Full Council approval. 

 

            Following further debate, Councillor Oppler proposed that “the question now be put” and this was seconded by Councillor Dixon.

 

            Following further long debate, the Chairman proposed a short adjournment.

 

            Following further Points of Order raised and Points of Clarification, and having received advice from the Interim Monitoring Officer, the Chairman requested that the vote on the amendment to Recommendation (2) take place.

 

            On this amendment being put to the vote, it was declared LOST.

 

            The Chairman then confirmed that she was adjourning the meeting until Thursday, 26 November 2020 at 6.00 pm.  That meeting would consider the remaining items on the agenda published for 11 November 2020. 

 

 

 

(The meeting concluded at 11.07 pm).