Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath

Contact: Jo Morrison  01225 394358

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chairman will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 5.

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Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.

2.

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN 2022/23

It is a legal requirement that the first formal business at the Annual General meeting shall be the election of a Councillor to be the Chair(man) of the Council. The term of office of the Chair(man) expires on the election of her/his successor at the Annual meeting of the Council in 2023. The present Chair of the Council is Councillor Lisa O’Brien who will preside over the election of her successor. Once the new Chair(man) is elected, he will make the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Kevin Guy, seconded by Councillor Vic Pritchard, and supported by Councillors Karen Walker and Robin Moss and then

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Shaun Stephenson Mc-Gall be elected Chairman of the Council for the Council year 2022/23.

 

Councillor Shaun Stephenson Mc-Gall made and signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office, received the Chain of Office from Councillor Lisa O’Brien and then addressed the Council.  During his speech, Councillor Stephenson Mc-Gall indicated that his preferred form of address was Chair.  He thanked Members for their support and confidence in him, thanked Councillor O’Brien for chairing Council for the previous year and thanked the residents of Oldfield and Oldfield Park for continuing to support him.  He looked forward to the varied role upholding the Constitution, representing residents and conducting citizenship ceremonies.  He would be supporting the Armed Forces community covenant and Armed Forces week, championing the work of Parish and Town Councils and helping the community celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.  As the first LGBT Chair of Council, he looked forward to celebrating Pride and LGBT History month, as an expression of the diversity of the community.  He pledged to visit as many wards as possible, accompanied by the local councillor, to gain a better understanding of local issues.  Climate Emergency issues would be at the centre of all his work.  He concluded by celebrating democracy, all the more important with current global events, and in this spirit of mutual respect and tolerance, he presented a gift of a book to Councillors Guy, Pritchard, Walker, Moss and Wright which suggests ways of reducing polarisation and bringing people together.

 

FROM THIS STAGE OF THE PROCEEDINGS, COUNCILLOR SHAUN STEPHENSON MC-GALL PRESIDED AT THE MEETING.

 

3.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN 2022-23

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Karen Walker, seconded by Councillor Kevin Guy, and unanimously

 

RESOLVED that Councillor June Player be elected Vice-Chairman of the Council for the Council year 2022-23.

 

Councillor June Player made and signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office, received the Chain of Office from Councillor Shaun Stephenson Mc-Gall and thanked the Council for her appointment.

4.

MINUTES - 25TH MARCH 2022 pdf icon PDF 401 KB

To be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair(man)

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Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Kevin Guy, seconded by Councillor Eleanor Jackson, it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of March 25th 2022 are approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

5.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to complete the green interest forms circulated to groups in their pre-meetings (which will be announced at the Council Meeting) to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

6.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OR FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

These are matters of information for Members of the Council. No decisions will be required arising from the announcements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shaun Stephenson Mc-Gall presented Councillor Lisa O’Brien with her past Chairman’s badge.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Vic Pritchard, seconded by Councillor Kevin Guy and supported by Councillors Karen Walker and Robin Moss and

 

RESOLVED that this Council places on record its appreciation of the services performed by Councillor Lisa O’Brien in the office of Chairman of the Council for 2021-22.

 

Councillor Lisa O’Brien then addressed the Council.  She acknowledged it had been a challenging year chairing Council on zoom, thanked officers and her Vice-Chair for their support.  She mentioned a few of the grants she had been pleased to award during her year, such as to a music organisation combatting loneliness and isolation, the Scouts for new equipment, funding for a children’s catch-up maths group and a new Mums group.  She highlighted a number of important ceremonies she had been privileged to attend, including a tree planting ceremony for the Holocaust and welcoming Covid heroes to the Guildhall.  One of the most enjoyable and important tasks was to preside over Citizenship ceremonies. 

 

On conclusion, Councillor O’Brien then took a seat in the body of the Chamber.

 

The Chair then;

 

1.  Asked everyone to turn off their mobile phone or switch to silent to avoid disrupting the meeting;

 

2.  Reminded Members that the traffic light system would be used for timing speeches; and

 

3.  Announced that the meeting was being webcast and invited anyone who did not wish to be filmed to make themselves known to the camera operators.

 

7.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

If there is any urgent business arising since the formal agenda was published, the Chair will announce this and give reasons why it has been agreed for consideration at this meeting. In making this decision, the Chair will, where practicable, have consulted with the Leaders of the Political Groups. Any documentation on urgent business will be circulated at the meeting, if not made available previously.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was none.

8.

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES AND PANELS & OTHER ASSOCIATED BUSINESS pdf icon PDF 254 KB

This report invites the Council to consider its non-executive and regulatory Committee arrangements for the Council Year May 2022 to May 2023 and associated annual business, whilst recognising that a revised Constitution will be brought to Council in July 2022.

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Minutes:

The Council considered the Annual business report, which invites Members to establish their non-executive and regulatory Committee arrangements for the Council Year May 2022 to May 2023.

 

On a motion from Councillor Kevin Guy, seconded by Councillor Vic Pritchard, it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED to

 

1.  Approve the structure for non-executive and regulatory decision making and Policy Development & Scrutiny working (set out in current form in Appendix 1 of the report);

2.  Accordingly, appoint those bodies with membership, terms of reference and delegated powers as set out in the Constitution (and with any necessary amendments arising from this meeting);

3.  Approve the allocation of seats on those Committees and Panels (such seats to be filled in accordance with the nominations made by the political groups);

4.  Appoint to chair each committee and panel those Councillors as may from time to time be nominated by the political group to whom the chairmanship of the body is allocated;

5.  Authorise the Monitoring Officer to fill any casual vacancies in membership of all the bodies constituted and vacancy in the office of Chair of such bodies in accordance with the wishes of the political groups;

6.  Determine the bodies on which co-optedand independent members are to have seats, as either voting or non-voting members and appoint such members accordingly (current arrangements are set out in Appendix 1 of the report);

7.  Note the arrangements for the conduct of Cabinet business, as set out in section 5 of the report;

8.  Note the activity of the Member Advocates, as set out in Appendix 2 to the report, and agree the advocate title change from ‘Biodiversity’ to ‘Green Infrastructure & Nature Recovery’;

9.  Instruct the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with Group Leaders, to make appointments on non-executive outside bodies and note that the Leader or Cabinet Members will do so for executive outside bodies, where such vacancies arise;

10.Note the calendar of meeting dates that has been prepared up to May 2023 which is available on the Council’s website;

11.Authorise the Monitoring Officer to make and publicise any amendment to the Council’s Constitution required, or take any other necessary action, as a result of decisions taken at this meeting on this and other reports within the agenda, or otherwise as required by law.

9.

CONSTITUTION REVIEW - DISPUTED ISSUES pdf icon PDF 249 KB

As agreed at Council, the Monitoring Officer was tasked with refreshing the Constitution.  Assisted by officers from Legal & Democratic Services and a Member working group, this exercise is nearly complete with consensus reached on most points.  However, the working group requested the following 3 issues be brought to full Council for a decision, before subsequent inclusion in the final refreshed version scheduled for the July Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report covering three issues highlighted during the Constitution review work on which the Constitution Working group could not agree, for full Council to consider.

Councillor Richard Samuel, in summing up, acknowledged the strength of feeling and suggested the Constitution Working group would look at how it could be ensured that there is no reduction in public access for questions and statements.

On a motion from Councillor Richard Samuel, seconded by Councillor Joel Hirst, it was

RESOLVED to

1.  Agree the use of ‘Chair’ as the default terminology within the revised Constitution and confirms that the principle of allowing individual Chairs of bodies to choose how they wish to be addressed in meetings should remain.

 

2.  Confirm that there should be no change to the principle which requires the full text of a statement to a Council meeting from a member of the public or a councillor to be submitted in writing by the published deadline for registering this intention.

 

3.  Agree that the expression of this principle in Part 4 (A) Rule 34 of the Council’s Constitution be clarified, as follows:

 

“Councillors and members of the Public have the right to put forward petitions and statements at a Council meeting. The submission must be relevant to the Council and/or the Bath & North East Somerset area. All statements (including those supporting a petition) must be submitted in writing (this to include transmission by email) and must be lodged with the Monitoring Officer no later than close of business 2 clear working days before the day of the meeting at which the submission is to be made (e.g. Monday 5pm for a meeting on a Thursday).”

 

4.  Note that Councillors have no involvement in ‘vetting’ statements in advance of meetings, and that all Councillors on a committee/panel/body to which a statement will be made receive them at the same point before the meeting.

 

5.  Note that when a statement is received, officers will check that it does not breach the requirements listed in the Constitution, and that if it does so and time permits, they will work with the person to try and enable them to make a statement that complies with the rules.

 

6.  Note that the rationale for having sight of statements in advance will enable Councillors to have the opportunity to consider the issues raised, in order to respond in a meaningful way and ask pertinent questions: otherwise, Members have little option but to thank the speaker. It also enables the Monitoring Officer or their staff to check that statements comply with the rules above.

 

7.  Recommend that the Constitution Working Group consider a mechanism by which public speakers can receive a formal response to their statements, within a reasonable time.

8.  Note that Democratic Services will endeavour to assist and support people who are disadvantaged through protected characteristics under the Equalities Act, discussing any specific particular difficulties with someone in this situation and finding ways to overcome those, as they have always done as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Zhenya Shkil made a statement on behalf of Bath Stands with Ukraine suggesting ways in which the Council could give support to a type of twinning arrangement with a specific area in Ukraine. The full statement is available attached to the minutes.  Councillor Vic Pritchard asked Ms Shkil for a little more information about the 2 areas she had mentioned, to which she replied that for various reasons, Oleksandriya (approx. 60K population) was probably the best option.  The Chair thanked Ms Shkil for her statement and referred it to the Leader of Council.

 

Ben Reed made a statement welcoming the recent news that an operator is sought for Bath Approach golf course and hoped this would be a success story for Bath over the coming years.  The full statement is available attached to the minutes. The Chair thanked Mr Reed for his statement which was referred to the relevant Cabinet Member.

Public & Councillor statements pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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11.

QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Yukteshwar Kumar made a statement to Council about soil degradation, and the harmful effect of this in regard to environmental issues, food quality and financial impact.  He urged the Council to put pressure on national Government to take action to save British soil.  A full copy of the statement is attached to the minutes.  The Chair thanked Councillor Kumar for his statement, which was referred to the relevant Cabinet Member.

Statement on Save Soil Cllr Dr Kumar pdf icon PDF 109 KB

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