Venue: The Ridgeway, The Beacon, Portway, Wantage, OX12 9BX
Contact: Steven Corrigan, Democratic Services Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence
To record apologies for absence.
An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Webber.
Election of Chair
To elect a chair of council for the municipal year 2023/24.
Margaret Crick in the Chair for item 1, as the current Chair of council, to preside over the election of the Chair for the 2023/24 municipal year.
Margaret Crick thanked officers and councillors for their support during her time as Chair of council for the past four years and highlighted some of the events she had attended. Councillors Briggs and Thomas made statements in support of Margaret Crick’s role of Chair of the council.
Councillor Povolotsky was nominated as chair for the 2023/24 municipal year. Councillor Thomas as proposer and Councillor Cooke as seconder spoke in support of the nomination.
RESOLVED: to elect Councillor Povolotsky as Chair of the council for the 2023/24 municipal year, until the next annual meeting of the Council in May 2024.
Margaret Crick presented Councillor Povolotsky with the chain of office.
Councillor Povolotsky signed her declaration of acceptance of office and made an acceptance speech thanking those councillors who had either stood down or were not re-elected at the May election for their service to the council.
Councillor Povolotsky presented Margaret Crick with the past chair’s badge.
Councillor Povolotsky in the chair.
Appointment of Vice-Chair
To appoint a vice-chair of council for the municipal year 2023/24.
Councillor Bentley was nominated as vice-chair for the 2023/24 municipal year.
Councillor Thomas as proposer and Councillor Cooke as seconder spoke in support of the nomination.
RESOLVED: to appoint Councillor Bentley as Vice-Chair of the council for the 2023/24 municipal year, until the next annual meeting of the Council in May 2024.
Councillor Bentley signed her declaration of acceptance of office and made an acceptance speech.
To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2023.
RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2023 as a correct record and agree that the Chair sign them as such.
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, other registrable interests and non-registrable interests or any conflicts of interest in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.
Urgent business and chair's announcements
To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chair.
There were no items of urgent business.
Councillor Povolotsky advised that she would not designate any Chair’s charities for the forthcoming year. However, she would, with the assistance of the Vice-Chair, generate funds via a number of Chair’s charitable events towards a chair’s community fund from which local charities could bid for funds.
To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic on the appointment to those committees required to be politically balanced together with the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, the Licensing Acts Committee, area committees and joint committees.
Council considered the report of the head of legal and democratic on the appointment of those committees and joint committees which are required to be politically balanced; together with the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, Licensing Acts Committee, the area committees and appointments to joint bodies.
The chair referred to the following recommendation, circulated at the meeting, covering these appointments and to reflect the allocation of the vacant committee position:
1. appoints the committees and panels for the 2023/24 year and allocate seats to each political group as set out in the schedule circulated prior to the meeting;
2. appoints councillors and substitutes to sit on the committees and panels as set out in the schedule circulated prior to the meeting:
3. appoints councillors to the Licensing Acts Committee as set out in the schedule circulated prior to the meeting;
4. appoints councillors to the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee as set out in the schedule circulated prior to the meeting;
5. appoints chairs and vice-chairs as set out in the schedule circulated prior to the meeting;
6. appoints all local members representing the wards covered by the relevant area committees to those committees for the 2023/24 municipal year – Abingdon and North East, Faringdon and Wantage;
7. appointsPaul Barrow as the council’s representative and Diana Lugova as substitute on the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee;
8. appoints Neil Fawcett as the council’s representative and Helen Pighills as substitute on the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel;
9. appoints Emily Smith, Judy Roberts and Andy Cooke to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel;
10. authorises the head of legal and democratic to make appointments to any vacant committee or panel seat and substitute positions in accordance with the wishes of the relevant group leader.
That for the 2023/24 municipal year to:
1. appoint the following committees and panels for the 2023/24 municipal year and to appoint the membership, substitutes and chairs and vice-chairs as indicated to sit on them (see table below);
Election of leader of the council
Council is invited to elect a leader of the council in accordance with the Cabinet arrangements and procedure rules as set out in the council’s constitution for a term of office beginning immediately and ending on the date of the annual Council meeting in May 2027 (following the district council elections scheduled for May 2027).
The leader of the council will report on:
· the appointment of the deputy leader of the council
· the membership of the Cabinet and the allocation of portfolios
· the leader’s scheme of delegation to cabinet members and officers
RESOLVED: to elect Bethia Thomas as leader of the council for a four-year period ending on the day of the next post-election annual meeting in 2027.
Councillor Thomas invited each of the Cabinet members to introduce themselves and give details of their portfolios as set out below:
Councillor Neil Fawcett: Deputy Council Leader and strategic partnerships and place
Councillor Sue Caul: Affordable housing, development and infrastructure
Councillor Mark Coleman: Environmental services and waste
Councillor Andy Crawford: Finance and property
Councillor Debra Dewhurst: Leisure centres and community buildings
Councillor Andy Foulsham: Planning and development management
Councillor Debby Hallett: Corporate services, governance, policy and transformation
Councillor Helen Pighills: Community health and wellbeing
To consider the head of legal and democratic’s report.
Council considered the report of the head of legal and democratic covering the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel on the payment of an allowance to the Independent Person on the Joint Audit and Governance Committee and those Independent Persons who assist the monitoring officer with code of conduct matters.
1. agree that an allowance of £1,768 per annum be paid to the independent member of the Joint Audit and Governance Committee with effect from the date of the appointment, the cost shared equally with Vale of White Horse District Council;
2. agree that an allowance of £583 per annum be paid to each independent person appointed by the head of legal and democratic to assist in dealing with code of conduct matters, the cost shared equally with Vale of White Horse District Council, and to be backdated to 1 April 2023;
3. agree that the allowances above be subject to annual increases in line with the increase in allowances paid to councillors; and
4. authorise the head of legal and democratic to update the councillors’ allowances scheme to make reference to the allowances to independent persons set out above.