Councillor C. Hotham accepted that the minutes were for noting, but questioned the length of the meeting, as he believed that it was incorrect, as it appeared a very short period of time to consider such important matters.
The Leader explained that detailed discussions had already taken place prior to the meeting at the Leader’s Group meeting, when strategic and items for Cabinet were discussed in some detail. It was suggested that these were private meetings and therefore not appropriate nor good practice for the democratic process when Council business was discussed in a private meeting.
Members questioned whether these meetings were minuted and whether those minutes were available for at least all Group Leaders to have access to them and whether they would be able to attend the meetings. The Monitoring Officer as asked to clarify the position in respect of this.
Reference was made to the move to a strong Leader format from a Committee format and how this had impacted on decision that were made, which some Members felt were in some cases, no longer open and transparent.
It was commented that if copies of the notes from the meetings were not provided then a Member could, if necessary, request them through a Freedom of Information request.
The Minutes from the Cabinet meeting held on 23rd October 2019 were submitted for information and noted by Members.