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Extraordinary Council meeting called to grant emergency powers

Published: Tuesday, 31st March 2020

Broadland District Council has called an Extraordinary Council meeting tomorrow.

Broadland District Council has called an Extraordinary Council meeting tomorrow that could see Council decisions being made by an Emergency Committee, should regular meetings be unable to take place due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Council and committee meetings are planned to go ahead as normal, with members attending virtually via a video or audio link. However, in the current climate, it is felt that it cannot always be guaranteed that enough members will be able to attend meetings for them to go ahead. In this situation, or when a decision is required urgently, Managing Director, Trevor Holden would be able to convene the Emergency Committee to authorise decisions on the relevant committee’s behalf.

This will mean urgent decisions can be made efficiently, allowing the council to continue its functions with minimal disruption to services.

If agreed, the committee will comprise of six members. This will include the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Cabinet, Cllrs Shaun Vincent and Trudy Mancini-Boyle; the Leader of the Main Opposition, Cllr Steve Riley; the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Wellbeing, Cllr Fran Whymark as well as two other members that will be chosen for political balance. All members will receive any additional training necessary for them to undertake their new roles.

The Extraordinary Council meeting will also layout formal lines of delegations to ensure the continuity of the committee should any members be unable to attend.

The role and authority of the Emergency Committee will be constantly reviewed by the Monitoring Officer as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

A rule stating that members who fail to attend meetings for sixth months lose their status as a member of the authority could also be suspended. It is viewed that during the coronavirus pandemic members could be unable to attend for a significant period of time and this change is necessary to ensure the continuity of the council going forward.

The Extraordinary Council will be attended by members virtually to comply with social distancing guidelines laid out by the Government. With these restrictions in mind, the meeting available for public viewing at broadland.gov.uk after the meeting for those who have wished to attend.

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