Agenda and draft minutes

Governance Committee
Friday, 20th November, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Online Meeting

Contact: Kirsty Tuffin  01902 552873 or Email:  kirsty.tuffin@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Note: Please note this meeting will be conducted in line with the The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Milkinder Jaspal.

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

David Pattison, Director of Governance, advised the Committee that pursuant to the Localism Act 2011 and the Council’s constitution he had granted Councillors with a dispensation under that Act so that all Councillors attending the Governance Committee (and indeed Council should the matter come before it) could vote on decisions as part of the electoral review by the Local Government Boundary Commission otherwise it would not be possible to make a decision. The dispensation granted under the following circumstances would last for two years to oversee the Boundary Commission process:

 

Where members of the decision-making body have disclosable pecuniary interests in a matter that would “impede the transaction of the business”.

 

Resolved:

That David Pattison, Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer, provide Councillors with a dispensation under the Localism Act 2011 and the Council’s constitution, for the duration of Two years, to make decisions as part of the electoral review by the Local Government Boundary Commission.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 287 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 September 2020 as a correct record].

Minutes:

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 September 2020 be approved as a correct record. 

4.

Matters arising

[To discuss any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting].

Minutes:

There were no matters arising discussed.

5.

Electoral Review: Update on Phase Two pdf icon PDF 299 KB

[To receive an update on the next steps of the electoral review].

Minutes:

David Pattison, Director of Governance, presented the report on phase two of the electoral review that had been underway by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). He outlined the proposed approach to preparing the Council’s submission to the LGBCE’s consultation on warding patterns and presented the key dates and governance arrangements for signing off the Council’s submission to the LGBCE.

 

The Committee were advised that the LGBCE had delayed phase two of the review, the public consultation on warding patterns would run from 19 January 2021 – 2 April 2021. Following the consultation, recommendations from LGBCE would be drafted and then subject to a second public consultation due to run from 28 June 2021- 6 September 2021. The final recommendation from LGBCE would be developed by October 2021 and be approved by Parliament in November 2021, with implementation of approved changes in May 2022.

 

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of Council, advised the Committee that himself and Councillor Wendy Thompson, Leader of the Opposition Group, had raised concerns to LGBCE in regard to the online public consultation as they felt it could disenfranchise up to 30% of the population who do not have access to online facilities. The LGBCE advised the Leader of the Council and Leader of the Opposition Group that due to time and budget restraints the dates of the consultations could not be changed.

 

The Committee were advised that two working groups would be set up, one for each political group to work independently with support from officers. To help assist both working groups Civica had been contracted to develop a mapping toolkit to plot new proposals using Xpress Maps online software. The new tool would be ready for use by 20 November 2020. A meeting between LGBCE and the leaders from each working group would take place on 25 November 2020. Officers would also meet with LGBCE to achieve a better understanding on what had worked well for other Local Authorities, in similar situations, given the current Covid-19 restrictions.

 

Resolved:

  1. That that the proposed approach to preparing the Council’s submission set out in this report for phase two of the electoral review that was currently being undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) be approved.
  2. That it be agreed that a full report containing the Council’s draft submission be considered by Governance Committee on 12 March 2021 to request Governance Committee to recommend Council approve the submission to the LGBCE on 2 April 2021.