Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Full Council
Wednesday 12th May 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting using Zoom

Contact: Jane Fulton (Ext 37611) 

Note: Extraordinary Meeting - Virtual Using Zoom 

Media

Items
No. Item

546.

Welcome

Minutes:

            The Chair welcomed Councillors, representatives of the public, press and officers to this Extraordinary Meeting of the Council.  She particularly extended a warm welcome to the Council’s two newly elected Councillors, following the two By-Elections held on 6 May 2021, to Councillor David Chace [Brookfield Ward] and Joan English [Pevensey Ward].

 

            Finally, the Chair welcomed the Council’s Honorary Aldermen, Patricia Stinchcombe and Norman Dingemans.

 

547.

Tributes to His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Honorarry Alderman Catherine Morrish

Minutes:

            The Chair then asked the Council to pay tribute to His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who had passed away on 9 April 2021 and to Catherine Morrish, Honorary Alderman, who had passed away on 15 March 2021, as this was the first Council meeting held following these announcements.

 

            The Council then undertook a minute’s silence to their memory.

 

548.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

            Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Batley and Andy Cooper and from Honorary Aldermen, Mrs Goad, MBE.

 

549.

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declarations of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the item or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:

 

a)  the item they have the interest in

b)  whether it is a pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interest

c)  the nature of the interest

d) if it is a pecuniary or prejudicial interest, whether they will be exercising their right to speak under Question Time

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 David Chace

Littlehampton

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 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

 

550.

Questions from Members with Pecuniary/Prejudicial Interests

To receive questions from Members with pecuniary/prejudicial interests (for a period of up to 15 minutes)

Minutes:

No questions were asked.

551.

Council Meetings - Proposals for Contingency Arrangements During the Covid-19 Pandemic Restrictions pdf icon PDF 456 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive presented this item explaining that on 7 May 2020, Government Regulations had come into force to enable Councils to hold virtual meetings for one year, providing certain conditions were met in relation to ensuring openness and public access.  This had been an exception to the long-accepted interpretation of Local Government Law in relation to meetings needing to take place by attendance in a physical space by Councillors.  The situation that the Council now found itself in was that there were no plans being made by the Government for the renewal of these Regulations from 7 May 2021, presenting difficulties as alternative venues to hold Council meetings in a Covid secure environment were very limited.  In view of this dilemma and the need for the Council to continue to adhere to the Government’s request for staff to continue to work from home up to and until 21 June 2021, the Chairman had asked the Chief Executive to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council so that it could consider options and a contingency plan for the running of meetings for the period up to 21 June 2021, or such later date when the Government confirmed social distancing requirements would be completely relaxed.

 

            The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 placed duties on employers, and those in control of business premises, to ensure that reasonably practicable measures would be taken to ensure that premises would be safe and without risk to health. The Act also required employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees with the Chief Executive having final and overall responsibility for health and safety matters within the organisation. This meant that the Council now had to resolve the conflict between the requirements of the Local Government Act 1972, for physical meetings, and the requirements of Health and Safety Legislation and organisational policy in relation to attendance at places of work when that work could be carried out remotely.

 

            The Chief Executive asked the Council to consider the options set out in the report for Full Council meetings and any Committee meetings which must transact business and which could not be arranged as Covid-safe physical meetings in compliance with the Local Government Act 1972 and the social distancing regulations. The preferred option was Option 1, which was to continue with remote/virtual meetings until at least 21 June 2021, and he asked Councillors to consider the recommendations set out in the report to include an amendment which he explained and shared to the meeting.  The two recommendations being put forward have been set out below showing the amendment in bold:

 

(1)                In accordance with his Health and Safety responsibilities the Chief Executive recommends that the Council, in exercise of its powers, under Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, and the general power of competence under Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011, continueswith virtual meetings for advisory decisions as appropriate(for all of the Council’s meetings) (Option  ...  view the full minutes text for item 551.

552.

Decision Notice pdf icon PDF 192 KB