Venue: REMOTE MEETING via MICROSOFT TEAMS
Contact: Mrs Lisa Jablonska, Elections and Democratic Services Manager, Tel No. 07810 637503 /e-mail Lisa.Jablonska@huntingdonshire.gov.uk
Note: This meeting follows the Annual Council Meeting, the Annual Meetings of Committees and Panels and the Cabinet.
To receive from Members declarations as to disclosable pecuniary, non-disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests in relation to any Agenda item. See Notes below.
No declarations were received.
EXECUTIVE LEADER'S UPDATE
The Executive Leader, Councillor R Fuller to address the Council.
Contact: 45 Minutes.
The Chairman invited the Executive Leader, Councillor R Fuller to address the Council.
Councillor R Fuller explained that given this was the first time that the Council had met in public since the start of the pandemic, it was now appropriate for him to talk to all Members about the Council’s response to the coronavirus and provide a brief overview of the plans for recovery.
The Council were reminded that traditionally the Executive Leader presents a State of the District Address to Members in July, however given that the meetings in May and July had been combined, he would begin his address by giving a brief update of the Council’s performance over the 2019/20 Municipal Year.
The Council were advised that during the majority of the last year the District Council has performed strongly in a number of different service areas. The Council had managed to deliver the highest number of new affordable homes across the District in more than a decade. By maintaining the manifesto commitment to fund the homelessness trailblazer early intervention project despite the cessation of Government funding, the Council had managed to prevent 521 cases of homelessness. Nearly 30% more successful preventions than the previous year. The Council’s persistence in working towards eradicating the usage of bed and breakfast accommodation had also delivered a 90% reduction in the numbers of people housed in such accommodation.
Councillor Fuller explained that a further manifesto commitment had also been successfully met with 60% of household waste now being recycled or composted. One Leisure also had experienced another exceptional year with admissions increasing yet again.
Members were reminded that the Council had been able to successfully deliver such strong service delivery through the pursuit of a prudent financial strategy. Without the use of a Commercial Investment Strategy, for example, it would not have been possible to achieve such strong performance or to survive the current crisis.
Councillor Fuller also reported that it had also been pleasing to see the reduction in staff sickness days from 9.2 to 6.5 days per full time equivalent member of staff.
Until around March 2020, the Council had every expectation that it would be able to continue to build on the strong performance of the previous year.
Councillor Fuller reminded Members that on 18thMarch 2020, in his first public statement on coronavirus, he had reiterated that Huntingdonshire District Council’s priority at this time would be to support and protect its communities and that as Executive Leader he would do everything possible to assist our business community, maintain the essential services that the residents relied upon and support the most vulnerable residents in the District. This has guided all Council activity over the past three months in response to coronavirus.
Councillor Fuller then drew Members attention to some of the work that the Council had undertaken during the pandemic. A number of Council staff had been redeployed to assist with the delivery of prescriptions and food parcels and efforts to contact vulnerable residents. New teams ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
To consider a report by the Managing Director regarding the appointment of a permanent Chief Finance Officer / Section 151 Officer.
Contact: 5 Minutes.
With the assistance of a report by the Managing Director (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) regarding the legislative duty placed on the Council to appoint a Section 151 Officer, the Council were reminded that the designation was held currently by the Council’s Finance Manager on an interim basis for a period not to exceed 12 months. This period was due to expire on 14 October 2020.
Having regard to the need to formalise a more permanent arrangement for these duties to be undertaken now that the senior management reorganisation within the organisation had been completed, it was
(a) that Claire Edwards, Finance Manager, be appointed permanently as the Council’s Chief Finance Officer/Section 151 Officer; and
(b) that the Council’s Constitution be updated to reflect the changes that resulted from this appointment.
The meeting ended at 7.23pm