Democratic Processes and Decision Making during a pandemic (Covid-19 / Coronavirus) - Delegated decisions

Decision made by
Andy Wright, Chief Executive
Key decision
Source of delegation
Urgent Decision - Article 13 of the Constitution (February 2020)

The Chief Executive exercised the urgency powers granted to him to make decisions as to how the Council would continue to operate whilst the ability to make decisions through the calling of meetings of Members of the Council was suspended as a consequence of the public health shielding and social distancing provisions imposed by the Government. He decided to:- a. Appoint the following officers as deputy statutory officers to carry out the statutory functions of the roles in the event that sickness prevents the incumbent, appointed by Full Council, being able to fulfil their statutory function: i. Head of Paid Service – Cherie Root, Corporate Director; ii. Section 151 Officer – Trevor Wilson, Head of Finance; iii. Monitoring Officer – Emma Wisbey, Governance and Member Manager b. Amend the quorum required for all Council meetings during the public health emergency period to the statutory minimum of one quarter of the Councillors called to the meeting or 3, whichever is the greater, c. Allow Councillors to nominate a substitute member to take their place on a committee in the event of absence through sickness or self-isolation, provided that the substitute member has had appropriate training if the committee is a committee dealing with regulatory issues (i.e. Planning or Licensing) and has notified the Head of Governance of the nomination in writing in advance of the meeting. . d. Provide appropriate and relevant information to Town and Parish Councils in the district to help them help their community – by way of email; e. Ask the Head of Governance to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for the execution of urgent documents, including making suitable arrangements for the Council’s seal to be applied to said documents. f. Postpone all meetings of Members scheduled until 30 April 2020 be postponed pending the enactment of regulations under s78 Coronavirus Act 2020. This was a time sensitive decision considered necessary to advance the business of the Council given the shielding and social distancing restrictions imposed by the Government.

Reason for decision
COVID-19 interim arrangements - Urgent Decisions taken by Chief Executive
Consultation and community engagement
The Chief Executive consulted with the Leader and Cabinet and senior officers of the authority.
Date decision made
April 2 2020
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