Agenda and draft minutes

Annual Meeting, Dorset Council - Tuesday, 4th May, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: A link to the meeting can be found on the front page of the agenda.. View directions

Contact: Susan Dallison  Email: Susan.dallison@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

Councillor M Parkes in the Chair

1.

Election of Chairman

To elect the Chairman of Council for 2021/22.

Minutes:

It was proposed by P Batstone seconded by T Coombs that V Pothecary be elected Chairman of Dorset Council until the Annual Meeting of Council in May 2022.

 

It was proposed by P Kimber seconded by L O’Leary that P Kimber be elected Chairman of Dorset Council until the Annual Meeting of Council in May 2022.

 

Decision

 

That V Pothecary be elected Chairman of Dorset Council until the Annual Meeting of Council in May 2022.

 

The Chairman signed the declaration of acceptance of office and thanked the Council for supporting her.

2.

Election of Vice-Chairman

To elect the Vice-chairman of Council for 2021/22.

Minutes:

It was proposed by V Pothecary seconded by R Bryan that M Parkes be elected Vice-chairman of Dorset Council until the Annual Meeting of Council in May 2022.

 

It was proposed by N Ireland seconded by G Taylor that H Legg be elected Vice-chairman of Dorset Council until the Annual Meeting of Council in May 2022.

 

Decision

 

That M Parkes be elected Vice-chairman of Dorset Council until the Annual Meeting of Council in May 2022.

 

The Vice-chairman signed the declaration of acceptance of office and thanked Council for their support.

3.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from D Taylor.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 April 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 April 2021 were confirmed and agreed as a correct record.

5.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

6.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of Council.

Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Chairman of Council.

7.

Election of Leader of Council

To elect the Leader for 2021/22.

Minutes:

It was proposed by P Wharf seconded by A Parry that S Flower be elected Leader of the Council for 2021/22.

 

There were no other nominations.

 

Decision

 

That S Flower be elected Leader of the Council for 2021/22.

 

The Leader thanked councillors for their support, made reference to progress made by the Council and further work to be undertaken and acknowledged the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

8.

Appointment of Deputy Leader of Council, Cabinet/Portfolio Holders and Lead Members

To note the Deputy Leader, Cabinet membership/Portfolio Holders and Lead members as appointed by the Leader of Council.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported the appointment of the Deputy Leader, Portfolio Holders and Lead Members as follows:-

 

Spencer Flower       Leader / Governance, Performance and Communications

Peter Wharf             Deputy Leader / Corporate Development and Change

Gary Suttle              Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy

Ray Bryan               Highways, Travel and Environment

Tony Ferrari            Economic Growth, Assets and Property

David Walsh            Planning

Jill Haynes              Customer and Community Services

Andrew Parry          Children, Education, Skills and Early Help

Laura Miller             Adult Social Care and Health

Graham Carr-Jones Housing and Community Safety

Byron Quayle          Lead Member for Education

Jane Somper           Lead Member for Safeguarding

Piers Brown             Lead Member for Health

Simon Gibson         Lead Member for Care

Noc Lacey-Clarke    Lead Member for Environment, Travel and Harbours

Cherry Brooks         Lead member for Highways

9.

Announcements and Reports from the Leader of Council and Cabinet Members

To receive any announcements and reports from the Leader of Council and members of the Cabinet.

 

 

  

Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Leader of Council or portfolio holders.

10.

Public Participation - Questions and Statements pdf icon PDF 46 KB

A period of 30 minutes is allocated to receive and respond to questions and statements on the business of the Council in the following order:

(a) Questions and statements from Town and Parish Councils;

(b) Questions and statements from those living or working in the Dorset Council area;

A person or organisation can ask either 2 questions, or 2 statements or 1 question and 1 statement at each meeting. 

 

The full text of the question or statement must be received by 8.30am on Wednesday 28 April.

 

Details of the Council’s procedure rules can be found at: Temporary Council and Committee Procedure Rules

Minutes:

One question had been received from a member of the public but had been subsequently withdrawn.

11.

Public participation - petitions and deputations

A period of 15 minutes is allocated to receive and respond to petitions in accordance with the council’s petitions scheme.

 

A period of 15 minutes is allocated to receive and respond to deputations in accordance with the council’s constitution.

 

The petitions scheme and procedures relating to deputations can be viewed at :

Temporary Council and Committee Procedure Rules

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

12.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Wednesday 28 April 2021.

Minutes:

Questions put by councillors to the Leader and relevant Portfolio Holders are attached to these minutes at Appendix 1, together with the responses.

13.

Appointments to Committees, Joint Committees and Appointment of Committee Chairmen and Vice-chairmen pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider a report by the Corporate Director, Legal & Democratic & Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the appointment to Committees, Joint Committees, Panels and the election of Chairmen and Vice-chairmen for 2021/22.

 

The nominations to committees from the Political Group Leaders had been circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting. It was proposed by S Flower and seconded by N Ireland that all the recommendations be approved.

 

Decision

 

(a)      That the allocation of committee seats and the appointments to committees and joint committees, as nominated by the Political Group Leaders, be approved for 2021/22.

(b)      That delegated authority be given to Political Group Leaders to make in-year changes to committee appointments.

(c)      That the nominations for committee Chairmen and Vice-chairmen for 2021/22 be approved.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To comply with Dorset Council’s Procedural Rules (as set out in the Constitution).

14.

Democratic Decision Making pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider a report by the Service Manager Democratic and Electoral Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report of the Service Manager, Democratic and Electoral Services, to confirm the arrangements for the effective and safe continuation of democratic decision making whilst social distancing requirements were still in place post 7 May 2021.

 

In proposing the recommendations, the Leader noted that he hoped that the government would bring forward legislation to enable local government to be able to hold virtual meetings moving forward.  The proposal was seconded by L Fry.

 

The Corporate Director, Legal and Democratic confirmed that recommendation v) was now not required as the court case referred to in the report had been lost.  The proposer and seconder confirmed that they were moving recommendations i) to iv) as set out in the report.

 

R Knox proposed an additional recommendation v) as an amendment as follows; ‘That the Leader, with support from all political parties represented on the Council, continues to lobby for the means to ensure that the Council, as well as town and parish councils, can continue to meet in hybrid arrangements in the future.’  The amendment was seconded by T Cook.

 

The Leader confirmed he was content with the proposed amendment and would reinforce the points made, in a letter to the Minister, setting out the benefits of virtual meetings.

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was CARRIED.

 

Decision (as a substantive motion)

 

(i)             That subject to the exceptions described in paragraph 2.9 of the report all council meetings that are not executive in nature should continue to be held virtually from 7 May until such time as social distancing requirements are removed (currently scheduled to be lifted on 21 June 2021), with committee members expressing a ‘minded to’ decision in respect of recommendations set out in officer reports

 

(ii)            That as a temporary change to the scheme of delegation the Chief Executive, appropriate Executive Director, Corporate Director, Head of Service or Service Manager be authorised to exercise delegated powers to make non-executive decisions in the light of ‘minded to’ decisions expressed by members in the virtual meetings

 

(iii)          That the Leader should be asked to agree that the Cabinet continue to meet virtually (until such time as social distancing requirements are removed) with decisions to be made by the relevant portfolio holder in the light of views expressed by the wider Cabinet

(iv)          That all members should be given a dispensation under section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 until such time as social distancing requirements are removed

(v)           That the Leader, with support from all political parties represented on the Council, continues to lobby for the means to ensure that the Council, as well as town and parish councils, can continue to meet in hybrid arrangements in the future.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To ensure that democratic decision making is able to continue effectively and safely whilst social distancing requirements are still in place post 7 May 2021, and ensuring that decision making is transparent, that local residents are appropriately represented, and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

16.

Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.

 

There is no exempt business.

 

Minutes:

There was no exempt business.

Appendix 1 - Questions from Councillors

Agenda item 12 - Questions from Councillors

 

 

 

Question submitted by Cllr Brian Heatley

 

Adoption of a baseline budgeting procedure for setting the Dorset Council budget for 2021-22

 

At the Budget Scrutiny meeting of the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 11 December 2020, I suggested that the Portfolio Holder should select one substantial budget that should for the 2021-22 budget process be subject experimentally to a baseline budget procedure.  This would be instead of the process hitherto used which places the emphasis on examining changes to the baseline rather than examining the baseline itself.  There was some support for this, represented in the minutes by the entry:

 

-  A request is made to include scrutiny of the Base Budget in next year’s budget scrutiny process.

 

Since if we are to do this the selection of the budget concerned needs to be done in good time, has the Portfolio holder made such a selection, or if he has not done so, if and when he proposes to do so?

 

Response by Cllr Gary Suttle

 

Thank you Cllr Heatley for your question.

 

I stated in my speech setting the budget that the process would be enhanced for the coming year and that I had every intention of extending it.

Following the matters raised at scrutiny the Cabinet agreed that officers would bring forward plans to review base budgets for services which members may want to focus specific attention on.  This will need to be done in advance of the budget scrutiny settings/scrutiny process so that resource allocation next year can take place against a good knowledge of the current budget.

 

As promised at the time of the budget setting, it is our intention to schedule an additional scrutiny cafe-style event into the process.  However, I would like this to look at the base budgets for all directorates and not single one out.  The budget process is about assessing and ensuring continuity in funding for the whole Council and in singling out one specific area we cannot achieve the overall objectives.