Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access
Contact: Fatima Rehman 01628 796251
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
To receive any Declarations of Interest.
To confirm the Minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 16th June 2020 be approved as a true and correct record.
Appointment of co-optees
To discuss the appointment of co-optees.
The Vice Chairman introduced the item and said the Chairman and Vice Chairman provided a shortlist of co-optees, and the clerk said the co-optees needed to be appointed with the Panel’s decision. The Panel was being proactive rather than reactive and therefore the Overview & Scrutiny (O&S) was being used in the best way. He quoted the Communities A3d Constitution rule that said the Panel could use the process as the Panel sees fit and decide the methodology. He proposed to have several co-optees or residents for projects for Task & Finish Groups (T&FG).
The Vice Chairman said that most T&FG could be accomplished without external input, whilst residents could be appointed for more complex T&FG. He proposed to consider a co-optee for each item that had a T&FG as a Panel. For important topics, a political balance could be ascertained to have 3 or 6 Conservative members, 2 or 4 opposition members and 5 or 10 members, who would be the public to balance the number of Members.
Councillor Sharpe said co-optees could be appointed once the Forward Work Programme (WP) was decided. He was supportive of co-optees and proposed to decide this on items that required co-optees. Councillor Haseler agreed that co-optees could be invited as and when needed.
Councillor Bateson agreed with Councillors Sharpe and Haseler and said fewer Councillors should be involved in the T&FG and more members of the public to have their views heard.
The Chairman agreed that residents with specialist knowledge could be invited to provide their input, and the appointment of co-optees could be reviewed at a later meeting.
To consider the Panel’s Work Programme for the remainder of the municipal year.
To include consideration of items scheduled on the Cabinet Forward Plan.
The Chairman introduced the report and said there were many items suggested for the WP, some with proposed meeting dates and responsible officers, whilst other items needed further discussion and finalisation of meeting dates.
Councillor Sharpe said this was a good idea, but felt the report looked like a working draft rather than a finalised documentation and asked if this was intended by the Chairman. The Chairman said this was a suggested WP.
Councillor Sharpe said the first four proposed items were carried from the previous municipal year; therefore, they could be agreed.
Councillor Targowski asked the Vice Chairman about his requested item on 5G and queried the speculation of potential health risks associated with 5G frequencies and electromagnetic spectrum may have. On 29th February, the Vice Chairman wrote a blog article that 5G accelerated COVID-19, and he asked if the Vice Chairman believed the conspiracy theory. He asked if the Vice Chairman did not believe the conspiracy theory, why the ideas were promoted on his blog considering the government’s Don’t Feed the Beat campaign. The campaign asked the public to check the credentials of conspiracy theories on COVID-19, and the Vice Chairman would be viewed as a trustworthy source to the public as a Councillor.
The Vice Chairman said he did not think there was a direct link between COVID-19 and 5G, and he was concerned of the health risks posed by 5G with supporting documentation to prove this.
Councillor Sharpe said there were many items proposed for November 2020 and proposed to seek advice from offices with the workload. The Vice Chairman informed the Panel that officers were involved in the compilation of the proposed dates for items.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the following items and meeting dates for the WP be approved:
· Volker and Project Centre Annual Review for November 2020
· Highways Investment Report for November 2020
· Draft Parking Permit Scheme Policy for November 2020
· Capital Programme Update for November 2020
Singular Use Plastics Update Report
The Chairman introduced the item and said this was brought forward from the Communities O&S Panel and was suggested for 17th September 2020.
Councillor Sharpe proposed to take the item off the list and discuss this at another meeting and Councillor Bateson agreed. Chris Joyce, the responsible officer, informed the Panel that the item was due for the Communities O&S Panel, but the decision was made for it to be itemised for Infrastructure O&S Panel, as it related to the Council’s commitment to reduce single use plastic.
Councillor Stimson, Lead Member of Environmental Services, Climate Change, Sustainability, Parks and Countryside, said this was a fantastic report and a lot of work had been carried out on climate change, and she welcomed the report to be brought forward on September 2020. Councillors Sharpe and Bateson agreed with Councillor Stimson.
Councillor Bateson said there was confusion on the WP items because of the lack of clarity on the agenda document, as some Members had the original agenda, whilst others ... view the full minutes text for item 53.