Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Ian Hunt - Email: democracy@buckinghamshire.gov.uk 

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Items
No. Item

1.

Election of the Chairman of the Council

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Minutes:

Councillor P Birchley, the outgoing Chairman, welcomed everyone to the meeting. She spoke of the honour and privilege she felt at having served as the Chairman of the Council over the previous year.  She thanked Members and Officers for their support, the Chairman’s Secretary for all her work and support, and the Vice Chairman of the Council who had deputised for her at events during the last year. Councillor Birchley also mentioned that it had been a pleasure during her year in office to meet with His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire and the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, with the Queen at Clarence House, and with all the partner organisations that worked with the Council.  The Chairman also made mention of her chosen charities, Scannappeal and Medical Detection Dogs.

 

It was proposed by Councillor P Brazier that Councillor M Harker OBE be elected as Chairman of the Council for the 2024/25 municipal year. The proposer put on record his thanks to the Chairman and her consort for their work and dedication over the past year and detailed the qualities that would make Councillor Harker an excellent Chairman of the Council.

 

The nomination was seconded by Councillor R Matthews.

 

There being no other nominations, it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

That Councillor M Harker OBE be elected as Chairman of the Council for the 2024/25 municipal year.

 

Councillor Harker thereupon accepted office, made the necessary declaration, and was presented with the Chairman`s chain.

 

Councillor Harker in the Chair

 

The Chairman addressed the meeting and thanked the proposer and seconder for their kind words, all Members for electing her as Chairman of the Council for the next year, and paid tribute to the outgoing Chairman for all her hard work and community leadership over the past 12 months.  The Chairman spoke of it being a privilege to serve as the Chairman of the Council, a role that she would perform to the best of her ability. She spoke of the challenges for the next year and stated that she would strive to be a champion for the Council and Members.  The Chairman intended to carry on in the footsteps of the outgoing Chairman and chair Council meetings that were fair, orderly, and well run.

 

The Chairman informed Members that she had chosen three charities for her main fundraising focus for the next year and they would be the South Bucks Hospice, The Oasis Partnership and the Heart of Bucks Community Foundation.

2.

Election of the Vice Chairman of the Council

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Minutes:

3.

Apologies

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Barnes, Barrett, Baughan, Broadbent, Butcher, Collins, Culverhouse, Gaster, Griffin, Hogg, T Hussain, Irwin, Kelly, Knight, Mohammed, Naylor, W Raja, Rouse, Rush, Schaefer, G Smith, Southworth, Wadhwa and K Wood, and from Kurshida Mirza BEM, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire.

 

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 179 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 April 2024 be approved as a correct record.

5.

Declarations of Interest

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There were none.

6.

Chairman's Update

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The Chairman informed Members that she would update them at the next meeting on events of note that were happening across Buckinghamshire.

7.

Report of the Leader on Cabinet appointments pdf icon PDF 93 KB

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Minutes:

The following appointments to the Cabinet were confirmed by the Leader and noted:

 

Portfolio

Cabinet Member

Leader

Councillor Martin Tett

Deputy Leader / Health and Wellbeing

Councillor Angela Macpherson

Deputy Leader / Transport

Councillor Steve Broadbent

Accessible Housing and Resources

Councillor John Chilver

Climate Change and Environment

Councillor Thomas Broom

Communities

Councillor Arif Hussain

Culture and Leisure

Councillor Clive Harriss

Education and Children’s Services

Councillor Anita Cranmer

Homelessness and Regulatory Services

Councillor Mark Winn

Planning and Regeneration

Councillor Peter Strachan

 

The following appointments to Deputy Cabinet Member positions were also confirmed by the Leader and noted:

 

Portfolio

Deputy Cabinet Member

Environment

Councillor Jilly Jordan

Public Health

Councillor Zahir Mohammed

Resources

Councillor Jonathan Waters

Education and Skills

Councillor Joseph Baum

Community Safety

Councillor Peter Brazier

Regulatory Services

Councillor Carl Jackson

HS2 / East West Rail

Councillor Peter Martin

Project Delivery (Transport)

Councillor Dominic Barnes

Town Centre Regeneration

Councillor Rachael Matthews

Enforcement

Councillor Gary Hall

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the appointments made by the Leader for the municipal year 2024/25 to Cabinet Member and Deputy Cabinet Member positions be noted.

8.

Committee Appointments and Proportionality, Substitutions, and Appointments to Partnerships and Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 192 KB

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Minutes:

The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the report on Committee Appointments and Proportionality, Substitutions, and Appointments to Partnerships and Outside Bodies published with the Council agenda.  A supplementary agenda had been published with information on appointments to Council Committees for 2024/25, appointments made by the Leader of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Community Boards for 2024/25, and on the appointments to partnerships and outside bodies for 2024/25, and a hard copy left on all Members desks at the meeting.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)               That the allocation of seats on Council Committees to political groups at Appendix 1; and the nominations by political groups to Council Committees at Appendix 2 be approved.

 

(2)               That authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer, upon the written confirmation of a Group Leader, to vary their nomination on a given Committee and to make the appropriate amendments to membership (and notify all Members / Chairman of the appropriate Committee of the change).

 

(3)               That all Councillors may act as potential substitutes on Committees, and authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer, upon the written confirmation of a Group Leader, to agree or vary lists of proposed substitute nominations.

 

(4)               That the appointments made by the Leader for the municipal year 2024/25 of the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the Community Boards (Appendix 3) be NOTED.

 

(5)               That the membership of the High Wycombe Town Committee (Appendix 4) be NOTED.

 

(6)               That the appointments of Councillors to partnerships and outside bodies for 2024/25 be agreed.

 

(7)               That authority be delegated to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and where appropriate with other Group Leaders, to make changes to outside body appointments as may be required during the course of the Council year.

9.

Select Committee Structures 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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Minutes:

The Chairman drew Members attention to the agenda report on the proposed structure and remit for Select Committees for the municipal year 2024/25.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the proposed structure and remit for Select Committees for the municipal year 2024/25 in order to discharge the Council’s statutory overview and scrutiny functions be agreed.

10.

Buckinghamshire Council - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

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Minutes:

The Leader presented the Annual Report which highlighted the achievements of the Council against the key priorities of the Corporate Plan. The report reflected the Council’s corporate priorities agreed by Cabinet. Feedback from Cabinet Members had been sought in drafting the report. Once approved, it would be published on the Council’s website and would accompany the refreshed Corporate Plan which was agreed at Full Council on 17 April 2024.

 

The draft Buckinghamshire Council Annual Report 2023-24 was attached as Appendix 1.  During the presentation, the Leader highlighted achievements and challenges across each of the priorities. Amongst the wide amount of areas covered by the Leader, points raised included:

 

·               Whilst stretched targets had been set, the Council had to operate within an incredibly challenging financial and regulatory environment. Setting priorities was a significantly challenging task within a limited budget and the forthcoming year was expected to be exceptionally challenging for the entire local government sector.

·               During the previous financial year, inflation had reached over 11%, which put a great amount of pressure on residents, businesses, the Council and its staff.

·               Increased demand for Council services, notably the areas of Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Home to School Transport for vulnerable children and Temporary Accommodation, had accounted for significant cost pressures on the Council. These services accounted for over 70% of overall Council spend. The Council was working on doing all it could within its own control to bring this expenditure down, including building its own specialist provision, however even with the Council making vast savings between 2020 and 2027, this would still not make up the shortfall from rising costs and demand which meant difficult choices would have to be made and be felt by residents.

·               The poor weather over the recent year had caused a large amount of damage to the county’s roads and remained a challenge that was being addressed. The major Government infrastructure projects of HS2 and EWR also continued to impact on residents, although the Council’s expert team had engaged well and achieved some great outcomes in these areas in terms of holding these organisations to account for damage caused to roads.

·               The Leader spoke with pride of the progress made against key priorities given the difficult financial context. Significant progress on key projects within the Opportunity Bucks programme had been made, which would bring positive change for the residents living in the Wards this programme focussed on to ensure members of those communities had opportunities to succeed now and in the future. Through the programme the Council had also adopted a targeted approach for vulnerable adults in the ‘Making Every Adult Matter’ (MEAM) service. This work supported some of the county’s most vulnerable adults with particularly complex needs. The MEAM team had helped to turn lives around and it had been uplifting to see the difference the joined-up way of addressing issues with partners had on people’s lives.

·               Providing enough suitable and affordable housing remained a challenge, particularly in Buckinghamshire given the higher than average rental  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Community Boards Annual Report 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

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12.

Proposed Calendar of Meetings for Buckinghamshire Council 2024/2025 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

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Minutes:

The Chairman drew Members attention to the agenda report on the proposed calendar of meetings for Buckinghamshire Council for the municipal year 2024/25.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the proposed calendar of meetings for Buckinghamshire Council from May 2024 be approved.

 

13.

Report for information - Key Decisions Report pdf icon PDF 129 KB

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Minutes:

A list of decisions taken by Cabinet Members since the last Full Council meeting on 17 April 2024 were received and noted.

14.

Date of Next Meeting

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Minutes:

The next full Council meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024 at 4pm.

15.

Committee meetings

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At the conclusion of the above business, the following Committees of the Council will meet for the purposes of electing their Chairmen:

 

Committee

Children’s & Education Select Committee

Communities & Localism Select Committee

Finance & Resources Select Committee

Growth, Infrastructure & Housing Select Committee

Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee

Transport, Environment & Climate Change Select Committee

Audit & Governance Committee

High Wycombe Town Committee

Licensing Committee

Standards and General Purposes Committee

Central Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

North Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

South Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

West Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

Strategic Sites Committee

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the conclusion of the Council meeting, the following Committees met to elect their Chairman for the ensuing year:

- Children’s & Education Select Committee

- Communities & Localism Select Committee

- Finance & Resources Select Committee

- Growth, Infrastructure & Housing Select Committee

- Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee

- Transport, Environment & Climate Change Select Committee

- Audit & Governance Committee

- Licensing Committee

- High Wycombe Town Committee

- Standards & General Purposes Committee

- Central Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

- East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

- North Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

- South Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

- West Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee

- Strategic Sites Committee