SWT Full Council
Tuesday, 19th October, 2021 6.15 pm
Venue: The John Meikle Room - The Deane House. View directions
Contact: Clare Rendell Email: email@example.com
Webcast: View the webcast
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors P Bolton, S Buller, N Cavill, A Hadley, B Hall, C Morgan, C Palmer, M Peters, A Pritchard, F Smith, F Smith-Roberts, A Sully, R Tully, T Venner and K Wheatley.
Declarations of Interest
To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.
(The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)
Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor or Clerk of a County, Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-
Public Participation - To receive only in relation to the business for which the Extraordinary Meeting has been called any questions, statements or petitions from the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 14,15 and 16
The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.
For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker and you will be asked to speak before Councillors debate the issue.
Temporary measures during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Due to the temporary legislation (within the Coronavirus Act 2020, which allowed for use of virtual meetings) coming to an end on 6 May 2021, the council’s committee meetings will now take place in the office buildings within the John Meikle Meeting Room at the Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton. Unfortunately due to capacity requirements, the Chamber at West Somerset House is not able to be used at this current moment.
Following the Government guidance on measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the council meeting rooms will have very limited capacity. With this in mind, we will only be allowing those members of the public who have registered to speak to attend the meetings in person in the office buildings, if they wish (we will still be offering to those members of the public that are not comfortable in attending, for their statements to be read out by a Governance and Democracy Case Manager). Please can we urge all members of the public who are only interested in listening to the debate to view our live webcasts from the safety of their own home to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
No members of the public had requested to speak on any item on the agenda.
Councillor N Cavill had submitted a letter in regards to the Community Governance Review, which was read out by the Governance Specialist.
To receive any communications or announcements from the Chair of the Council
Special Council observed a minute’s silence on behalf of the late MP, Sir David Amess.
To receive any communications or announcements from the Leader of the Council
No announcements were made by the Leader of the Council.
To receive only in relation to the business for which the Extraordinary Meeting has been called any questions from Councillors in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13
No questions were received in relation to Procedure Rule 13.
This matter is the responsibility of the Community Governance Review Working Group.
The purpose of this report is to set out for Members a set of options, which have been considered by the Working Group and the preferences of this group.
During the discussion, the following points were raised:-
· Councillor Lisgo presented the report as Chair of the Working Group. She highlighted the following:-
- The Group had worked hard to investigate many different options.
- The work had been a challenge as not many Authorities had gone through the same process before.
- There was one clear driver from the Group and that was, no action would be the worst option.
- Option 2a was the most popular option of the Group, however, it had not received unanimous support. Most of the Group agreed that option 2a was the most pragmatic of all the options and would likely achieve the establishment of a Town Council to help the area through into the Unitary Authority.
- Some support was given to a wider review being carried out, which would include the surrounding parishes.
- Not much support had been shown for the latter options detailed in the report, this was due to concern being raised that it would lead to no action being taken.
· Councillor Lisgo proposed option 2a within the recommendations (which was endorsed by the members of the Working Group), which was duly seconded by Councillor Weston.
· Councillors requested clarification on the procedure to follow on which option was being debated first.
· Councillors were advised that option 2a was being debated first unless any amendments were received.
· Councillor Rigby proposed an amendment to option 2b:-
- To commence a Community Governance Review of the Unparished Area of Taunton and the adjoining Parish areas with the intention to implement a town council for all or part of that area.
· Concern was raised that councillors did not want the review to ‘drift’ and they wanted to ensure that action was taken to create a Town Council for Taunton and its residents.
· Councillors requested clarification on which option was being debated.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that an indicative vote could be taken to see which option, 2a or 2b, would be preferable. If option 2a was carried, the report could be brought back to Full Council at a later date, to request a wider review.
· Councillor Wakefield proposed that option 2b was debated first, which was duly seconded by Councillor Booth.
· Concern was raised that the option proposed by the Working Group was not being debated first.
· Councillors again requested clarification on which option was being debated first.
· The Chair of Council advised that option 2b would be debated first because the work carried out under option 2b, would cover option 2a as well.
· Councillors agreed that they wanted to ensure the best option was carried out for the residents of the town.
· Councillor Stock-Williams joined the meeting at 7pm, so would not be able to take part in the vote.
· Councillors agreed that they wanted the review carried out properly in time for the creation of a Unitary Authority in 2023.
· Some councillors did not want a wider review to be lost in the work to create a Unitary Authority. ... view the full minutes text for item 53.