Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Graham Walton  020 8461 7743

Items
No. Item

6.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

Councillor Colin Smith was appointed Chairman.

7.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Simon Fawthrop and also from the Chief Executive.

8.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

9.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11TH OCTOBER 2019 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11th October 2019 be confirmed.

10.

DECISION MAKING ARRANGEMENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS DELAY PHASE pdf icon PDF 263 KB

The chairman to propose that the attached report be considered as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that effective decision making can take place whilst preserving democratic accountability during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minutes:

Report CSD20059

 

This report was considered as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that effective decision making could continue whilst democratic accountability was preserved during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

During the coronavirus pandemic local authorities had to consider how they held their meetings and took decisions. There was not yet a prohibition on local authority meetings being held, but it was possible that this could change. At present, local authorities were expected to use the provisions already available in their constitutions to continue with necessary decision-making, but it was possible that new provisions might become available through the emergency legislation being promoted by the Government. This might include provision for virtual meetings and options for the annual meeting, which currently had to take place before the end of May.

 

The report presented a series of changes to allow most decision making to take place whilst preserving democratic accountability during the pandemic. The same report would be considered by the Executive immediately after this meeting.

 

Councillor Morgan proposed that it was not necessary to include the words “cannot be deferred” in the decision about planning applications, which other members accepted.

 

Councillor Bennett commented on the appeal for volunteers and the need to prevent frauds, and added that, at present, it was intended that the next citizenship ceremony would take place, but with restricted attendance.

 

The Leader stated that there was a strong senior officer group which was reporting back to Councillors on a daily basis, and he would ensure that there was a flow of information to members and to residents. Over 1,300 volunteers had come forward in the last 24 hours.

 

Councillor Gary Stevens reported that he was working with the Head of Information Technology to develop the Council’s capacity for holding virtual meetings should the law be changed to allow this as anticipated. The Director of Corporate Services confirmed that a range of solutions was being considered with BT.

 

The Director of Corporate Services confirmed that it was intended that reports would be published in accordance with current agenda and meeting timelines with at least five clear working days to allow time for comments from Members and from the public.

 

Councillor Wilkins commented that it was essential to ensure that opposition members were included in the membership of any meetings that did need to take place - some additional wording around political balance could be included, which the Leader supported. She was also concerned that the planning application for Crystal Palace Park should not be deferred, and the Leader asked for any concerns from members or the public to be fed back to the Planning department to reduce any possibility of that occurring.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) All Committee Chairmen review whether meetings are needed and whether items under consideration can be deferred; where meetings are not required that the relevant Chairman requests cancellation of the meeting. 

 

(2) Where meetings are required that wherever possible then the minimum quorum of members should attend, subject to endeavouring to achieve political  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

 

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