Agenda and decisions

Venue: Hollinsworth Hall, Canalside Conference Centre, Marsh Lane, Huntworth, Bridgwater TA6 6LQ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Email: democraticservicesteam@somerset.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair of the Council

To invite nominations and elect the Chair of the Council to serve until the Annual General Meeting in May 2025.

Decision:

Councillor Bill Revans proposed, which was duly seconded by Councillor John Hunt, that Councillor Mike Best be elected to Chair of Council for the remainder of the municipal year.

2.

Election of Vice Chair of the Council

To invite nominations and elect the Vice Chair of the Council to serve until the Annual General Meeting in May 2025.

Decision:

Councillor Mike Best proposed, which was duly seconded by Councillor David Fothergill, that Councillor Lee Baker be elected to Vice Chair of Council for the remainder of the municipal year.

3.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

4.

Minutes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 434 KB

To approve the minutes from the previous meeting.

5.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 483 KB

To receive and note any declarations of interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

(The other registrable interests of Councillors of Somerset Council, arising from membership of City, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes: City, Town & Parish Twin Hatters - Somerset Councillors 2023 )

6.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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.

We are now live webcasting most of our committee meetings and you are welcome to view and listen to the discussion. The link to each webcast will be available on the meeting webpage, please see details under ‘click here to join online meeting’.

7.

Chair's Announcements pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To note the Chair’s Announcements including events detailed on the Chair’s Information Sheet.

8.

Octagon Theatre - Addition to Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Recommendations from the Leader and the Executive.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts proposed the recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Andy Soughton.

 

Having been duly proposed and seconded, the Council RESOLVED to add the revised Octagon project to the Council Capital Programme, on the proviso that a build contract was not awarded and build work did not commence until a devolution deal had been finalised with Yeovil Town Council.

9.

First year review of the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Recommendations from the Constitution and Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Ross Henley proposed the recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Tim Kerley.

 

Having been duly proposed and seconded, the Council RESOLVED to:-

      i.         Agree the proposed changes to Part B – Public Participation as shown in Paper A and the tracked changes in Appendix 1 of Paper A

     ii.         Agree the proposed changes to Part C – Council Procedural Rules as shown in Paper B and the tracked changes in Appendix 1 of Paper B

   iii.         Agree the proposed changes to Part D4-Licensing and Regulatory Committee Terms of Reference, Part D5 – Licensing sub-committee hearing procedure and specific delegations for the Licensing Functions as shown in Paper C and the tracked changes in Appendices 2, 5 and 7 of Paper C

    iv.         Agree the proposed changes to Part D8 – Planning Committees Terms of Reference as shown in Paper D and the tracked changes in Appendices 4,5, 7 and 8 of Paper D. Note the further review work that Constitution and Governance Committee will undertake during 2024/25 as set out in Paper D.

      v.         Agree the proposed changes to Part I2 – Officer Scheme of Delegation as shown in Paper E and the tracked changes in Appendices 1 and 2 of Paper E

    vi.         Agree the proposed changes to Part I7 – Financial Regulations as shown in Appendix 1 of Paper F.

10.

Appointments to Committees, Internal and Outside Boards and Panels and Calendar of Meetings pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Recommendations from political group leaders and the Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Liz Leyshon proposed the recommendations which were seconded by Councillor David Fothergill.

 

Having been duly proposed and seconded, the Council RESOLVED to:-

Paper A

1)     Note the political balance of the Council and agree the proposed allocation of committee places as set out in this report and its appendices;

2)    Agree the terms of reference, size and quorum arrangements for all committees as set out in the Council’s Constitution, this report and its appendices;

3)    Continue to endorse the recommendation of the political group leaders and agree to continue to set aside the political balance rules for the Standards Committee and the four area-based Planning Committees and instead allocate places for those committees on the basis set out in Appendix 3;

4)    Approve the political group leaders’ nominations for the appointment of Chairs, Vice-Chairs, members and co-opted members to the Council’s committee and joint committees as set out in the Appointments Schedule (see Appendix 3);

5)    Delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the appropriate political group leader, to make in-year changes to committee and joint committee appointments (excluding the appointment of Chairs and Vice-Chairs) in accordance with the allocation of places to political groups by the Council and the wishes of the relevant political group leader.

Paper B

6)    Agree the appointment of members to internal, partnership and outside bodies for 2024/25 until the next Annual General Meeting, as set out in Appendix 1.

7)     Delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the political group leaders, to make in-year changes to internal, partnership and outside bodies appointments in accordance with the wishes of the relevant political group leader.

Paper C

8)    Approve the proposed calendar of meetings for Somerset Council from 22 May 2024 (set out in Appendix 1).

9)    Delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to finalise and make any changes to the proposed meeting dates, times, meeting arrangements and meeting venues in consultation with the Chairs of the relevant committees.

11.

Somerset Council Redundancies Requiring Full Council Approval pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Recommendations from the Special Members’ Panel and the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Bill Revans proposed the recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Liz Leyshon.

 

Having been duly proposed and seconded, the Council RESOLVED to:-

2.1  Approve the redundancy costs for 49 posts as set out in Appendix A, as Full Council approval was required for costs that exceed £100,000.

2.2  Delegate authority to the Chief Executive to agree the final date of dismissal and the final redundancy packages, noting that such settlements would not exceed contractual redundancy pay or the payment required under statute to the Local Government Pension Scheme/NHS Pension Scheme.

2.3Approve the dismissal and redundancy costs of the Executive Director Corporate and Resources (Section 151 Officer) by reason of redundancy (voluntary) as per the recommendation of the Special Members Panel.

2.4Delegate authority to the Chief Executive to agree the final date of dismissal and the final redundancy package of the Executive Director Corporate and Resources (Section 151 Officer), noting that such settlement would not exceed contractual redundancy pay or the payment required under statute to the Local Government Pension Scheme

12.

Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Recommendations from the Scrutiny Committee Corporate and Resources and the Chairs of the five scrutiny committees.

Decision:

Councillor Bob Filmer proposed the recommendations which were second by Councillor Leigh Redman.

 

Having been duly proposed and seconded, the Council RESOLVED to approve that:-

1)     The current structure of 5 scrutiny committees to remain in place, with a further scrutiny review to be conducted by the scrutiny chairs in late 2024/early 2025 following any potential service restructure.

2)    The scrutiny manager was tasked with preparing a revised and improved scrutiny report template, which enabled clearer and more concise presentation of reports, a standard consistency of reports across all 5 scrutiny committees, a clearer link between committee recommendations onto the Executive/Executive Member(s) and ensuring service areas clearly demonstrated where scrutiny was able to add value.

3)    That all 5 scrutiny committees adopted a consistent approach to dealing with information only items, in order that agendas were kept clear for items with specific recommendations and the opportunity for the committees to add value. This information also to include details of any delegated decisions the scrutiny chair had been consulted on.

4)    To bolster the links between all 5 scrutiny committees and the Executive by ensuring clear communication between the parties and encourage increased opportunities for committee chairs to update the Executive on areas of focus and present any recommendations/proposals the committee have agreed. Also for the Democratic Services team to establish a central record of all formal scrutiny recommendations and the responses to them.

5)    The scrutiny manager to liaise with the 5 Group Leaders in advance of the AGM Council meeting (May 2024) in order to provide detailed attendance information on each of the Committee’s membership, to ensure committee membership and substitutes reflected maximum engagement and consistency.

6)    The scrutiny manager to liaise with the 5 Group Leaders to ensure a consistent, timely and wherever possible consistent approach to scrutiny substitutes.

7)     Elected committee membership to remain as 13 individual members.

8)    To continue with the monthly meetings of the 5 Scrutiny Chairs, Vice Chairs and scrutiny manager.

9)    To continue with the model of an Executive Director aligned to each Committee as the lead service officer and to encourage continued attendance from all relevant Executive Members.

10)To support the continuation of a dedicated scrutiny resource from the Democratic Services team, to allow for more effective and efficient scrutiny and increase scrutiny opportunities, whilst ensuring resilience within the officer cohort.

13.

Annual Report of the five Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To receive and note the annual report from the five scrutiny committees for their work undertaken during 2023/24.

14.

Key Decisions taken since the last Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To receive and note the report from the Executive, the Chief Executive and the Monitoring Officer of key decisions taken since the last meeting on 24 April 2024.

15.

Annual Report of the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To receive and note the annual report.

16.

Annual Report of the Constitution and Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive and note the annual report.

17.

Annual Report of the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To receive and note the annual report.

Additional documents:

18.

Questions from Councillors to the Executive

Councillors are required to give notice of any such question in writing to the Monitoring Officer no later than 12noon providing three clear working days’ notice before the meeting, in order to be guaranteed a written response. For this meeting the deadline is 12noon on 16 May 2024.

 

Details of any questions received will be circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

 

Any question received after 12noon on 16 May 2024 and no later than 9am 22 May 2024 may only receive a verbal response at the meeting or the Chair may direct them to the appropriate committee or the next meeting of the Council.

 

Questions may be asked without notice and councillors are limited to one minute to put their question. Supplementary questions can only be asked with the consent of the Chair. The Chair will determine the number of questions asked without notice and the total time allocated for this item.

 

Councillors are reminded of the opportunities outside of the Council meeting to raise matters directly with the Leader of the Council, Executive Lead Members or Directors. In addition, Councillors can raise questions at meetings of the Executive.