Report of the Chief Executive
This report sought the Council’s approval, in emergency situations only, for the delegation of Council and Committee functions to the Chief Executive, and in the event that the Chief Executive was unavailable (or declared an interest in any decision to be made) to the Deputy Chief Executive.
In order for the Council to be flexible enough to make decisions quickly to support the provision of public services, it was proposed in emergency situations to delegate Council and Committee functions to the Chief Executive, and if the Chief Executive was unavailable to the Deputy Chief Executive. The specific form of delegations were set out in the report. These provisions would allow proper decision making to continue, provide public accountability through appropriate Member consultation and, just as important, allow the Council to react to changing circumstances throughout an emergency. The arrangements would only last for the period of any emergency and the use of the delegated powers would be terminated as soon as reasonably practicable.
That Council approves and authorises that:-
(1) in cases of emergency, authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, and in the event that the Chief Executive is unavailable (or declares an interest in any decision to be made) to the Deputy Chief Executive, to take any decision that would otherwise have been decided at a meeting of Council. As far as emergency situations allow the Leader of the Council shall be consulted before any decision is taken under this delegated authority;
(2) in relation to the Planning Committee, the Audit Governance and Standards Committee and the Licensing and Appeals Hearings Panel, authority be delegated in cases of emergency to the Chief Executive and in the event that the Chief Executive is unavailable (or declares an interest in any decision to be made) to the Deputy Chief Executive (or to any other officer authorised in writing by the Chief Executive or Deputy Chief Executive), to take any decisions that would otherwise have been decided by the relevant Committee or Panel, unless specifically prohibited by law. As far as emergency situations allow the respective Chairman of the Planning Committee, the Chairman of the Audit Governance and Standards Committee, and the Chairman of the Licensing Committee (or in their absences the respective Vice-Chairmen) shall be consulted before any decisions are taken under this delegated authority;
(3) the Chief Executive keeps under review (in consultation with the Leader) the need for these emergency delegations and terminates their use as soon as reasonably practicable; and
(4) the Director of Law and Governance make the consequential amendments to the Scheme of Officer Delegation set out in the Council’s Constitution.
As the meeting had been carried out through a telephone conference call, it was deemed appropriate for a recorded vote to be undertaken to ensure the record was both accurate and transparent. Members present were recorded as voting as follows:
For the motion: P Atkin, P Bardon, M A Barningham, G W Dadd, C A Dickinson, D B Elders, Mrs B S Fortune, B Griffiths, K G Hardisty, R W Hudson, J D Hugill, R Kirk, N A Knapton, C A Les, J Mortimer, J Noone, B Phillips, A Robinson, M S Robson, Mrs I Sanderson, M Taylor, P R Thompson, A P Wake, D Watkins, S Watson, D A Webster and P R Wilkinson (27)
Against the motion: None.
The motion was declared carried.
The Chairman wished to record thanks on behalf of the Council to all Members and Officers for their attendance at this meeting and wished to record personal thanks to the Chief Executive and all staff at Hambleton District Council, whether working from home, in the office or out on the streets of Hambleton such as the Waste and Street Scene Teams, for their continued efforts for providing services to the residents of Hambleton during the Coronavirus emergency.