Agenda and minutes
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Emergency Evacuation Procedure
The Chairman will advise the meeting of the evacuation procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. This is particularly important for visitors and members of the public who will be unfamiliar with the building and procedures.
The Chairman will inform the meeting whether there is a planned evacuation drill due to take place, what the alarm sounds like (i.e. ringing bells), where the closest emergency exit route is, and where the second closest emergency exit route is, in the event that the closest exit or route is blocked.
The Chairman will inform the meeting that:
(a) in the event of the alarm sounding, everybody must leave the building via the nearest safe available exit and gather at the Assembly points at the far side of the Car Park. Nobody must leave the assembly point until everybody can be accounted for and nobody must return to the building until the Chairman has informed them that it is safe to do so; and
(b) the lifts must not be used in the event of an evacuation.
Any officers present at the meeting will aid with the evacuation.
It is important that the Chairman is informed of any person attending who is disabled or unable to use the stairs, so that suitable arrangements may be made in the event of an emergency.
The Chairman outlined the emergency evacuation procedure.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 September 2018 (Minute Nos. 233 - 238) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 September 2018 (Minute Nos. 233 – 238) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves or their spouse, civil partner or person with whom they are living with as a spouse or civil partner. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
The Chairman will ask Members if they have any interests to declare in respect of items on this agenda, under the following headings:
(a) Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI) under the Localism Act 2011. The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared. After declaring a DPI, the Member must leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or vote. This applies even if there is provision for public speaking.
(b) Disclosable Non Pecuniary (DNPI) under the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council in May 2012. The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared. After declaring a DNPI interest, the Member may stay, speak and vote on the matter.
(c) Where it is possible that a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts would conclude that there was a real possibility that the Member might be predetermined or biased the Member should declare their predetermination or bias and then leave the room while that item is considered.
Advice to Members: If any Councillor has any doubt about the existence or nature of any DPI or DNPI which he/she may have in any item on this agenda, he/she should seek advice from the Monitoring Officer, the Head of Legal or from other Solicitors in Legal Services as early as possible, and in advance of the Meeting.
No interests were declared.
The Chairman introduced the report, explaining that the aim of the proposals was to make Council meetings more open and interactive, and for less time to spent on the Leader’s Statement.
In respect of the Planning procedure rules, the proposal suggested would allow a representative from more than one parish/town council to speak if the application affected more than one parish/town council area.
Procedure Rule 14 – Member Questions
Debate ensued on Appendix 2, which centred on the time limit allowed for this item; the current practice of providing a written question and answer in advance of the meeting; and whether a three minute time limit for each supplementary question and answer was necessary.
Members agreed with the proposed changes subject to keeping the maximum time limit for questions to 30 minutes and removing the time limit for the supplementary question and answer. Wording would be added to reflect that supplementary questions should be short and relate to the original question, and the answer should be promptly answered. Members agreed to also remove the first sentence of the procedure rule which was considered to be unnecessary.
Procedure Rule 18 – Leader’s Statement
The Leader explained his intention not to provide a written Leader’s Statement but to give a verbal update at each meeting on the work of the Cabinet. There was discussion regarding the proposal to only allow the Leader of the Opposition to respond, rather than all Members, and on the time limit suggested.
It was agreed that the Leader would provide a list of bullet points in advance of the Council meeting to the Opposition Group Leader, so that he was aware of the topics that would be covered.
In respect of the timing of this item, it was agreed that the Leader should be given seven minutes to give his statement; the Opposition Group Leader five minutes to respond: and the Leader three minutes to respond.
Planning Committee Procedure Rules – Public Participation Rules
Discussion ensued on Appendix 6 and changes were suggested to the wording to make it clear that (a) and (b) referred to parish/town council areas and not wards. It was also clarified that one representative would be allowed to speak for each category, and that for (b) this meant that one representative from each parish/town council area affected.
There was discussion regarding the need for the Council to approve the changes before they could be implemented, and it was agreed that the report on changes to the constitution would be updated to reflect the discussion at the General Purposes Committee and would be added as the first item to the agenda for the Council meeting on 26 June 2019. This would allow the changes to take immediate effect at that meeting.
(1) That the Council amends the Constitution as follows:
(1.1) Council Procedure Rule No. 14, Member Questions, as set out in Appendix 2, subject to the changes outlined in the above Minute.
(1.2) Council Procedure Rule No. 18, Leader’s Statement, as ... view the full minutes text for item 44.