Agenda and minutes
Venue: Remote via Skype
Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330
The Leader explained that the meeting would be conducted in accordance with the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panel (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 No. 392.
In welcoming all Members and members of the public, the Leader explained which Swale Borough Council officers were in attendance.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 March 2020 (Minute Nos. 630 - 633) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 March 2020 (Minutes Nos. 630 – 633) 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 Committee considered the report which set out the proposed changes to the Council’s procedure rules to allow more members than the leader of the opposition to respond to the Leader’s Statement. The Monitoring Officer explained that this was the first step of an experimental approach and advised that the proposal would be updated to reflect that Members should only respond to topics on the Leader’s Statement.
The Leader drew attention to paragraph 3.1 on page 4 of the report and repeated that Members should only speak on matters which related to the Leader’s Statement. He added that the time limit would still be 30 minutes.
(1) That Council consider the revised wording in paragraph 3.1 for incorporation into the constitution.
The Leader introduced the report which reviewed the salary range of the Chief Executive role against salary data for other Chief Executives in Kent, as shown in paragraph 2.8 on page 8 of the report. He commented that the Chief Executive’s salary at Swale Borough Council was the highest paying in Kent but acknowledged that the Returning Officer fee was incorporated into the salary.
The Leader drew Members’ attention to the amended salary scale on page 12 of the report and said that it would be difficult to recruit to the role if the salary was set any lower than proposed.
In response to a question from a Member, the Head of Human Resources (HR) Shared Services confirmed that there would be reduced costs to the Council in the overall package, due to less pension and National Insurance contributions.
The Head of HR Services advised that most Councils appointed their Chief Executive as the Returning Officer in elections, but this role could be nominated to another officer of the Council.
Members spoke in support of the proposal.
(1) That the Chief Executive and the statutory role of Head of Paid Services pay grade be amended to reflect the median pay based on the salary review.
(2) That a separate fee be paid to the Chief Executive for undertaking the role of a Returning Officer in elections.