A period of up to one hour is allocated to consider the motions on notice. This may only be extended with the agreement of the Council.
The Vice Chairman explained that 2 Motions on Notice had been received for consideration at the meeting. Prior to the meeting, the Group Leaders had met and agreed the first Motion that had been submitted by Councillor Till. Therefore, the Motion would not be debated during the meeting.
Cabinet – Size and Composition
Members considered the following Motion on Notice submitted by Councillor P. McDonald:
“Recognising the financial challenges facing the Council and its communities and the additional financial pressures that Covid presents I would like to call on the leader to reconsider the size and make up of her Cabinet in the coming budget round to ensure that the Councils is effectively allocating its resources.”
The Motion was proposed by Councillor P. McDonald and seconded by Councillor H. Rone-Clarke.
In proposing the Motion, Councillor McDonald commented that since the previous meeting of Council, a new Portfolio Holder position, taking a lead on tackling climate change, had been introduced on the Cabinet. Councillor McDonald noted that it was important for the Council to take action to tackle climate change, however, he expressed the view that climate change should underpin the work of all Portfolio Holders in relation to every service area. Members were asked to note that Portfolio Holders received Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) for their position of £6,045, in addition to the basic allowances of £4,650 which all Members received, so the introduction of this new post had financial implications for the Council. In addition, Councillor McDonald commented that instead of this appointment, the Council could be investing in charging points for electric vehicles, solar panels for Council buildings and electric or hybrid vehicles that could be used for Council business. He concluded by commenting that he did not feel comfortable with the way that the appointment had been announced outside of a formal meeting environment.
In seconding the Motion, Councillor Rone-Clarke detailed the reasons for his opposition to the appointment of an additional Portfolio Holder serving on the Cabinet. Councillor Rone-Clarke expressed concerns about the way in which the appointment had been made. He questioned whether this indicated that the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, who previously had responsibility for tackling climate change, had had too much to do and, if so, the reasons why it had taken 2 years for this to be addressed. Members were asked to note Councillor Rone-Clarke’s support for measures that tackled climate change, but he commented that he would prefer a radical green new deal to the appointment of a Portfolio Holder for Climate Change.
The Leader responded to the proposed Motion by explaining that the Council was required by law to have a Cabinet. As Leader, she was responsible for making arrangements to discharge functions which fell to the Cabinet. Legally, the Leader could appoint up to 8 Members on her Cabinet and she was responsible for determining the number of areas of political responsibility or ‘portfolios’ that she believed were needed. Council had determined a number of ... view the full minutes text for item 42