Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Friday, 3rd January, 2020 2.30 pm

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interests. pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer advised that the Leader, Councillor Siddons and Members of his Cabinet may each be considered to have a personal and prejudicial interest in the motion at agenda item 3.  On this basis, each had requested a dispensation from herself in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct.  This dispensation had been granted which enabled them to participate fully in the debate at agenda item 3.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

See above.

 

 

3.

Motion in respect of the Leader of the Council

To consider the following motion:

‘In recognition of the discontent amongst members in regard to the Leader’s many departures from the vision he set forth upon his assumption of the Leadership, this Council has NO CONFIDENCE in the Leader.’

Proposer: Councillor Bill Chatt

Seconder: Councillor Heather Phillips

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the following motion which was proposed by Councillor Chatt and seconded by Councillor Phillips.

‘In recognition of the discontent amongst members in regard to the Leader’s many departures from the vision he set forth upon his assumption of the Leadership, this Council has NO CONFIDENCE in the Leader.’

The Monitoring Officer advised that should the above motion be carried, then the Leader would be removed from office with immediate effect.  It was agreed that Council Procedure Rules be suspended for this item to enable the motion to be debated.  The proposer of the motion, Councillor Chatt then addressed the chamber, criticising the delay in commencing the new Council after the elections last May, and the Leader’s failure to consult and involve the wider Council in a series of decisions including the Big Wheel attraction on the Futurist site, the additional £54k found for public conveniences, the continued financial support for Welcome to Yorkshire, and not to bid for the Tour de Yorkshire 2020.  He was also critical of the Leader’s attendance record, the delay in conferring the awards of Honorary Aldermen, and what he saw as the Leader’s attempt to repackage initiatives of the previous administration as his own.  The Leader, Councillor Siddons then spoke in reply.  He noted the Conservative Group’s support for the motion, but also the outside influences on this extraordinary meeting including the author of the motion who it seemed was not an elected Member.  Councillor Siddons explained his surprise when he was re-elected, but noted the clear mandate for change from the elections, particularly he believed for a new, more collaborative way of working, and the two-thirds support for his election as Leader.  However, he admitted that he had not taken proper account of the scale and complexity of the task of reforming the Council’s governance structure, the impact of being without a Chief Executive for several months, and of the Council’s largest political group’s resistance to change.  He acknowledged the need for better communications across the Council which he would address with more resources in the coming weeks, and reminded the meeting of key initiatives in his plans for the Borough: the redevelopment of the Argos building, the town centre strategies for the three towns in the Borough, the reviews of the Futurist site, of the development of the North Bay and of public conveniences, and the provision of affordable housing.  He placed before Members a stark choice between giving his administration time to implement their plans and manifesto commitments or ushering in a period of continuing instability because of the political arithmetic of the Council which would be to the serious detriment of both the organisation and the Borough.  Other Members then commented on the motion.  Although Councillor Heritage was critical of the administration’s communications, he believed that the Leader had given sufficient reassurances on this matter, and instead proposed an amendment to the motion that it be deferred for nine months, to give the Leader opportunity to demonstrate improvements  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.