Agenda and draft minutes

Annual Council, Annual Council - Tuesday, 25th May, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: The Conference Room, Westpoint Centre, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, EX5 1DJ

Contact: Susan Howl, Democratic Services Manager  01395 517541; email  showl@eastdevon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair of the Council for the ensuing year

The Chair will ask for nominations for the Office of Chair of the Council for the ensuing Civic Year.

(The Chair, if nominated, may not vote on his/her own election).

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Cathy Gardner, welcomed Councillors, Honorary Aldermen and members of the public to the meeting.

 

She began by reminding those present that they were meeting at Westpoint Centre following the Government’s recent decision that Councils revert to the legal position for Local Authority meetings prior to the recent emergency legislation introduced to deal with the COVID pandemic. This requires that Councils meet physically between March and May each year to hold the Annual Council meeting, to appoint the Chair and Vice Chair, Leader and determine their Governance arrangements and appointments for the coming Civic Year. The meeting was being held at Westpoint Centre so that those attending could meet safely and to comply with continuing Government restrictions.

 

She went on to remind everyone that they had already received information prior to the meeting and available on the day about how to act safely while they were at the meeting and asked everyone to respect the advice they had been given.

Then as outgoing Chair, she invited nominations for the office of Chair of the Council for the ensuing year. Councillor Geoff Pook proposed and Councillor Susie Bond seconded Councillor Ian Thomas being elected Chair of the Council for the coming civic year.

In proposing, Councillor Pook spoke of Councillor Thomas’s extensive experience as a councillor, and how he would continue to show his commitment to East Devon during his term as Chair. He also referred to the role of the Chair which was often taken for granted, but in a Council which was currently very diverse and divided, Cllr Thomas would be the representative which local people rightly deserved.

In seconding, Councillor Bond said that the position was much deserved given that Councillor Thomas had earned the trust of those across the political spectrum having been in both Conservative and Independent ranks, and that this provided an ideal opportunity for all political groups to commence a new era of collaborative working.

 

The Chair asked for other nominations.

 

Councillor Ben Ingham proposed and Councillor Alan Dent seconded Councillor Andrew Moulding being elected Chair of the Council for the coming civic year.

In proposing Cllr Ingham referred to the fact that Cllr Moulding had 34 years’ experience as an EDDC Councillor and has also undertaken the role of Chair previously.

In seconding, Cllr Dent referred to Cllr Moulding as having shown personal integrity and support for his colleagues; significant experience as a District and County Councillor; deep local knowledge and was not driven by personal ambition.

 

Following a vote by show of hands, Cllr Thomas was duly elected by a majority of those present.

 

 

RESOLVED

that Councillor Ian Thomas be elected Chair of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

Following the election, Councillor Thomas read, and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

He then spoke in response to his election. He thanked his proposer and seconder and other Members for their endorsement, and for attending the meeting at Westpoint.  He also thanked Councillor Gardner as the outgoing Chair  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair of the Council for the ensuing year

The Chair will ask for nominations for the appointment of the Vice-Chair of the Council for the ensuing year.

Minutes:

The Chair invited nominations for the appointment of Vice-Chair of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

Councillor Tom Wright proposed and Councillor David Key seconded Councillor Mike Howe being appointed Vice-Chair of the Council for the coming civic year.

 

In proposing, Councillor Wright outlined how Councillor Howe had considerable experience as Chair of the Planning Committee, which he had presided over with integrity and impartiality.

In seconding, Councillor Key confirmed that Councillor Howe had always been a dedicated and loyal person to work with on the Planning Committee.

 

The Chair invited further nominations.

 

Councillor Cathy Gardner proposed and Councillor Geoff Jung seconded Councillor Val Ranger being appointed to continue as Vice-Chair of the Council for the coming civic year.

 

In proposing, Councillor Gardner stated that Cllr Ranger’s knowledge of the Council and its constitution and procedures was very comprehensive, and would make her the right person to continue in this role which she had already undertaken excellently this year.

In seconding, Councillor Jung stated that he had proposed Councillor Ranger for the role a year ago when he had made very positive comments which he would now like to re-iterate, in terms of her determination to do a good job and let her professional attitude shine through.

 

There were no other nominations.

 

Following a vote by show of hands, Councillor Ranger was duly elected by a majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED

that Councillor Val Ranger be appointed Vice-Chair of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

Following the appointment, Councillor Ranger read and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office. She then spoke in response to her appointment, thanking her proposer and seconder. She said that she was looking forward to her second year as Vice Chair and thanked members for the trust they had placed in her. It would be an honour to continue to undertake the role and she would do her utmost to support the new Chair and Council during the year ahead.

3.

Public speaking

This is a period of 15 minutes during which members of the public are permitted to address Council. In order to register to speak, you will need to provide:

  • your name;
  • contact email (if you have one);
  • contact phone number;
  • brief information about your question or statement.

If you wish to ask a question, or make a statement, on any issue, at a meeting please register by emailing publicspeaking@eastdevon.gov.uk or by telephoning 01395 519970, providing the detail set out above, at least 24 hours before the start time of the meeting. If successful in registering, you will be contacted by a member of the Democratic Services Team who will provide more detail about how the meeting will be run.

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed members of the public and invited questions or comments.

 

There were no members of the public wishing to speak.

 

4.

Minutes of the previous Council meeting pdf icon PDF 658 KB

Minutes of the Council meeting held on 28th April 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 28 April 2021 were voted on and agreed as a true record.

5.

Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

 

Minutes:

No declarations were announced.

6.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded. Thereare no itemswhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

8.

Announcements from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Councillor Richard Lawrence as a newly elected Councillor.

9.

Election of Leader of the Council for the ensuing year

Minutes:

The Chair invited nominations for the role of Leader of the Council.

 

Councillor Eileen Wragg proposed Councillor Paul Arnott as Leader of the Council for the ensuing year. This proposal was seconded by Councillor Olly Davey.

 

In proposing, Councillor Wragg spoke of the difficulties faced over the last year with the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite this, under the leadership of Councillor Arnott, big issues had been addressed, including the future of Exmouth Queens Drive, climate change, and the withdrawal from the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) requiring big decisions to be made.  She said that he had been willing to listen and engage, steering the Council through choppy waters. As a result of this effort, officers were to be appointed to deal with Mental Health and Climate Change issues.

 

In seconding, Councillor Davey stated that as a Green Party Councillor, he welcomed the commitment to climate change, and that Cllr Arnott had provided a calm and steady presence, and had assembled a great team around him.

 

The Chair asked if there were other nominations for the role of Leader.

 

Councillor Bruce De Saram proposed, and Councillor Philip Skinner seconded Councillor Colin Brown as Leader of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

In proposing, Councillor De Saram stated that Councillor Brown had been Chair of the Scrutiny Committee which was an important role for the Council, and would make an outstanding Leader.

In seconding, Councillor Skinner stated that Councillor Brown would bring a marked difference to the Council with support from other Councillors.

 

Following a vote by show of hands, Councillor Arnott was duly elected by a majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED

that Councillor Paul Arnott be elected as Leader of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

In response to his election, Councillor Arnott thanked his proposer and seconder, and all those supporting his nomination.

 

10.

Leader's appointment of the Deputy Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader confirmed his appointment of Councillor Paul Hayward as Deputy Leader of the Council going forward.

 

In response to his appointment Councillor Hayward said that he was delighted to accept the role for a second year.

 

11.

Leader's appointment to Cabinet

The Leader will appoint the Portfolio Holders.

Minutes:

The Leader thanked the outgoing Chair for the impeccable approach that she had adopted in her role over the past year, dealing with some of the worst challenges facing Local Government, and extreme provocation from some Councillors at times.

 

He went on to advise the Members of Cabinet, namely;

 

Councillor Paul Hayward to be the Economy & Assets Portfolio Holder.

 

Councillor Marianne Rixson to be the Climate Action & Emergencies Portfolio Holder.

 

Councillor Geoff Jung to be the Coast, Country & Environment Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor John Loudoun to be the Council & Corporate Coordination Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor Nick Hookway to be the Culture, Tourism, Leisure & Sport Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor Sarah Jackson to be the Democracy & Transparency Portfolio Holder.

 

Councillor Jack Rowland to be the Finance Portfolio Holder.

 

Councillor Dan Ledger to be the Strategic Planning Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor Megan Armstrong to be the Sustainable Homes and Communities Portfolio Holder.

 

He also confirmed four Assistant Portfolio Holder roles, namely;

 

Councillor Denise Bickley - Asst Portfolio Holder, Climate Action & Emergencies

 

Councillor Geoff Pratt - Asst Portfolio Holder, Economy & Assets

 

Councillor Eleanor Rylance - Asst Portfolio Holder, Coast, Country & Environment

 

Councillor Eileen Wragg - Asst Portfolio Holder, Council & Corporate Coordination

 

He also wanted to thank Councillors Jess Bailey, Paul Millar and Fabian King who had undertaken roles as Portfolio Holders and Assistant Portfolio Holder last year.

 

He thanked the Chair and Officers who had set up the Annual Council meeting in difficult circumstances, in 2021.

 

 

12.

Governance arrangements for the ensuing year - A report by the Chief Executive and the Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair invited Members to consider a report by the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer to enable the Council to formalise its governance arrangements for the remainder of the civic year, following the expiry of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, and the reversion to the pre-existing legal position that requires the Annual Meeting to be held between March – May each year and EDDC’s Constitutional requirements as to the matters to be dealt with at the Annual Meeting.

The report recommended changes to the Constitution, sought confirmation of the Committees and their size and terms of reference and agreement to the scheme of delegations. There is a specific requirement to agree the composition of the Standards Committee and Housing Review Board and to confirm the appointment of two new Independent Persons and a new Independent Representative on the Standards Committee.

It also dealt with the allocation of seats on overview,regulatoryand other committees to differentpolitical groupsof seats in accordancewith thepolitical balanceof the Council. It also sought to agree the makeup of the advisory panels and forums and joint bodies.

 

There were ten recommendations contained within the report and the Chair stated that he would move the recommendations one by one from the Chair, inviting comments and agreement.

 

The Chair moved to PART A Recommendation 1, and invited comments.

There were no comments and following a vote, the recommendation was carried by the majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED;

That Council approved the amended Constitution to determine the committee structure, their size and terms of reference and the scheme of delegations.

 

The Chair then moved to PART B RECOMMENDATION 2.

There were no comments and following a vote, the recommendation was carried by the majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED;

That Council confirmed the Conservative Group as the formal opposition.

 

 

The Chair now moved to PART C RECOMMENDATION 3,

 

Following a vote, the recommendation was carried by the majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED;

That Council approves the allocation to different political groups of seats on the overview, regulatory and other committees as follows;

 

Democratic Alliance Group

 

 

24 members

 

40.68%

 

45 Seats

Conservative Group

 

 

21 members

 

35.60%

 

40 Seats

The Independents

 

 

  6 members

 

10.17%

 

12 Seats

Independent Progressive Group

 

 

  4 members

 

  6.78%

 

  8 Seats

Cranbrook Voice

 

 

  3 members

 

  5.08%

 

  6 Seats

Independent

 

 

  1 members

 

  1.69%

 

  0 Seats

              TOTALS

 59

100%

111

               Vacancy

   1

 

 

 

 

The Chair moved to PART C RECOMMENDATION 4,

 

Following a vote, the recommendation was carried by the majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED;

That Council approves theallocationo  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Programme of ordinary meetings of the Council, Cabinet and Committees for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair moved the recommendation and asked Councillors to agree the programme of meetings for the civic year.

 

Following a vote, the recommendation was carried by a majority of those present.

 

RESOLVED

that the programme of ordinary meetings of the Council, Cabinet and Committee meetings for 2021/22 be approved as set out on pages 46-47 of the agenda.

 

 

The Chair then declared the meeting closed and thanked everyone for their attendance.

 

The meeting ended at 6.49pm.