The borough council tonight will be invited to agree the following changes to procedures. They are deemed necessary because of the corona virus:
“In the event of a national emergency declared by the Crown or HM Government where it is considered it will be impractical to call meetings for an extended period of time, the Chief Executive will have authority to exercise all the powers, duties and functions exercised by the Council, the Executive or any of the committees, including the authority and power to delegate such powers, duties and functions.
“This authority is time limited to a six-week period, following which any extension must be authorised by the Leader, or in his/her absence, the Deputy Leader.
“Where the Chief Executive is unable to act for the purposes of the above, the Corporate Management Team, both individually and collectively, is authorised to perform this function.”
No doubt this description of the new powers takes into account the fact that the chief executive is still – as far as we know – on extended leave.
Those interested in planning matters might like to note the following:
“Executive Head of Regulatory be authorised to determine all planning applications which would ordinarily have been determined by the Planning Applications Committee, after consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Applications Committee and ward councillors, until the lifting of restrictions on public gatherings;”
There is probably no alternative to this arrangement. Presumably there will still be an opportunity for residents to make their views known as at present. Also, if enough people object, or support, an application, one or more of them must have the opportunity to address the Executive Head of Regulatory as if they were addressing a meeting of the planning committee.
(Tonight’s meeting will also consider an ‘HR matter’. More than that we are not told.)