Apologies for Absence had been received from Councillors Huntley, Madeley, Northeast, Oliver-Redgate, Oppler, Roberts, Seex, Smith and Worne and from Honorary Aldermen, Mrs Stinchcombe and Mr Dingemans.
The Chair then stated that in response to the sudden passing of her Majesty the Late Queen Elizabeth II, as a mark of respect, she would be proposing a Motion without Notice, in accordance with Part 5 – Rules of Procedure (Meetings) – Section 1 – Council Procedure Rules – Rule 16 (i) to adjourn this meeting to outside of the official mourning period.
The unfortunate position was that the summons to attend this meeting and the agenda for it had already been published and so there was no provision for Council officers or Councillors to unilaterally cancel meetings in those circumstances. The Council was obliged to open the meeting with the option to either agree to adjourn it to a future date or to proceed with the business on the agenda this evening. The Chair acknowledged that this was a sensitive time and that much thought had been given to the matter. It was confirmed that this meeting was being held in line with protocols from Buckingham Palace.
The Chair then formally proposed a Motion without Notice to adjourn the meeting and she asked the Committee Manager to confirm a rearranged date as soon as possible.
Councillor Hamilton seconded this motion.
The Chair then invited debate. Councillor Stanley outlined that as there were members of the public present who had, prior to the meeting, confirmed that they wished to submit questions as part of Public Question Time, would it be permissible to adjourn the meeting following that item [Item 3]. The Chair was able to confirm that all members of the public who had registered to take part in Public Question Time and in attendance had been contacted in advance of the meeting by the Committee Manager and given warning that the motion to adjourn could take place and be approved. They had therefore attended this meeting accepting this possible course of action.
Debate continued. Councillor Bower, as Chair of the Constitution Working Party, highlighted a section in the Constitution covering procedure rules for adjournments that needed to be addressed, but that he totally supported suspending the meeting as the country was in the period of national mourning. Other Councillors who spoke in support of the adjournment also supported adjourning the meeting once Public Question Time had concluded.
Following further debate, Councillor Stanley proposed an amendment to the Motion to adjourn in that the adjournment be actioned once Public Question Time had taken place.
This amendment was seconded by Councillor English.
On the amendment being put to the vote it was declared LOST.
The Chair then returned to the voting on the original motion. A recorded vote had been requested. Those voting for it were Councillors Batley, Bennett, Blanchard-Cooper, Bower, Brooks, Buckland, Caffyn, Chapman, Clayden, Cooper, Coster, Daniells, Dendle, Dixon, Edwards, Elkins, Mrs English, English, Goodheart, Gregory, Gunner, Hamilton, Haywood, Kelly, Lury, Needs, Purchese, Rhodes, Staniforth, Stanley, Tilbrook, Wallsgrove, Walsh, Warr and Yeats (35). No Councillors voted against. Councillors Chace, Mrs Cooper, Pendleton and Thurston abstained from voting (4).
The Motion to adjourn the meeting was therefore CARRIED.
The Council therefore
That the Full Council meeting of 14 September 2022 be adjourned to a date to be confirmed as soon as possible by Committee Services to outside of the official mourning period.
Before adjourning the meeting, the Chair invited Councillors to make tributes to her Majesty the Late Queen Elizabeth II. Tributes were then made by Councillors Walsh, Edwards, Dixon, Needs, Lury and Thurston.