Agenda and draft minutes

Taunton Shadow Town Council
Thursday, 3rd November, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: The John Meikle Room - The Deane House. View directions

Contact: Email: m.prouse@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

3.

Apologies

4.

Terms of Reference

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    All Shadow Councillors had been advised of an urgent item to be considered at the meeting – Terms of Reference.  This was suggested to be a revised Item 3, taken after the Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair. Physical copies were available at the meeting and was attached to the Agenda online as an addendum.

     

    The Governance Specialist introduced the item and took members through the document.

     

    During the discussion of this item, Members made comments and asked questions which included:-

    ·       Further detail was sought on the Programme Board and its relationship with the Shadow Town Council, including how SWT is involved.

    ·       Officers advised that the later Agenda item would provide more detail on the Board workings but that the exercise was a collaborative one as set out in a letter from the County Solicitor to SWT.

    ·       The Senior Responsible Officers affirmed that the Board would work very closely with the Shadow Council over the next few months.

    ·       Clarity was sought over the contents of the letter from the County Council including a reference to an officer/member group.

    ·       Officers provided reassurance on the journey so far which had been significantly collaborative to this point. The letter was setting out how officers from the programme board would be attending the Shadow Town Council meetings to capture that feedback and provide advice and guidance throughout. The Programme Board itself was an Officer construct to take forward the milestones in the Project Plan.

    ·       A query was raised as to the duration of the body and the Chair confirmed that this would be in place until the Town Councillors were elected, and from 1st April the Shadow would become a vested body to which all Shadow Councillors would be temporarily appointed.

     

     

    RESOLVED to Adopt the Terms of Reference for the Shadow Taunton Town Council.

5.

Declarations of Interest

    To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

     

    (The personal interests of Councillors of Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton District Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor or Clerk of a County, District, Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-

     

    Name

    Minute No.

    Description of Interest

    Reason

    Action Taken

    Cllr S Coles

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Darch

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

     

    Cllr T Deakin

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Ellis

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr H Farbahi

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr Marcia Hill

    All Items

    SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr J Hunt

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Bishop’s Hull

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr R Isaacs

    All Items

    Cheddon Fitzpaine

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Johnson

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr B Larcombe

    All Items

    Comeytrowe & Lyme Regis

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Lees

    All Items

    SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr L Lisgo

    All Items

    SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Perry

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr H Prior-Sankey

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Rigby

    All Items

    SCC & SWT Bishops Lydeard

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr F Smith

    All Items

    SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr F Smith-Roberts

    All Items

    SCC & SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr I Talbot

    All Items

    Staplegrove

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Wakefield

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and 

    Cllr D Wedderkopp

    All Items

    SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr B Weston

    All Items

    SWT & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr K Woodmason

    All Items

    Comeytrowe

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr L Whetlor

    All Items

    Watchet & SALC

    Personal

    Spoke

     

    ·       A query was raised over whether all Councillors on the Shadow Council needed to alter their declaration of interest forms to take account of being a member of this body and Officers agreed to seek advice on this point and advise members accordingly.

    ·       Officers were also advised to look ahead to the 1st April and how the Interest arrangements were to be managed in the period between then and the election as Parish Councillors did not always operate in the same way as District Councillors are used to.

     

6.

Public Participation

    The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.

     

    For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker and you will be asked to speak before Councillors debate the issue.

     

    We are now live webcasting most of our committee meetings and you are welcome to view and listen to the discussion. The link to each webcast will be available on the meeting webpage, but you can also access them on the Somerset West and Taunton webcasting website.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    No members of the public had requested to participate in proceedings.

7.

Adoption of Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 488 KB

    It is recommended that the Shadow Town Council Resolve:

     

    1.     That although the Shadow Town Council is not a formal decision making body, it will as far as possible follow the meeting procedure rules applying to Somerset West and Taunton Council.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Governance Specialist introduced the item and set out that that following advice from technical advisors the Society of Local Council Clerks and looking at other Council examples, e.g. Weymouth, the Shadow could simply follow the meeting procedure rules of a parent body. The use of these procedure rules would guide Councillors and allow business to be expedited in an established and efficient manner.

     

    During the discussion of this item, Members made comments and asked questions which included:-

    ·       Councillor Whetlor, attending as a Director of the Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC), raised concerns that the District Council procedure rules did not explicitly apply to the Parish Sector.

    ·       The Chair confirmed that these rules were purely an interim measure for the Shadow Council period and part of the creation of the Town Council will be in looking at those procedures for Vesting Day.

    RESOLVED that;

    1.     That although the Shadow Town Council is not a formal decision making body, it will as far as possible follow the meeting procedure rules applying to Somerset West and Taunton Council.

8.

Introduction to the Implementation Plan / Project Governance (Verbal Update)

    Officers will present a verbal update on this item at the meeting with slides.

     

    As per the Somerset County Council Resolution on 5th October 2022 that:

     

    2.6 That a Shadow Taunton Town Council be established with effect from 14 October 2022 and with membership as set out at section 13.6 of the attached SWTC report (Appendix 2), to lead and oversee the work to establish on 1 April 2023 the new Taunton Parish/Town Council

     

    That report went on to confirm that prior to 1?April 2023 the Shadow Town Council?would not have delegated?powers to make?decisions or commit expenditure but would?act?as an advisory body to the officers and others?working on the?implementation programme with?any formal decisions required?then being made?under existing officer or member delegations. 

     

    The Programme will regularly report to the Shadow Town Council about progress of the programme and any key risks and issues for their consideration. 

     

    It is recommended that the Shadow Town Council:

     

    ·       Note the update on the Implementation Plan progress and project governance and provide any comments.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Governance Specialist introduced the item and took Members through a number of Slides, alongside the Programme Manager Dan Webb.

     

    During the discussion of this item, Members made comments and asked questions which included:-

     

    ·       Clarity was sought over the term capabilities and the project terminology such as MoSCoW.

    ·       This meant Must haves, Should haves, Could haves, Won’t have now and new capabilities were meant as a better way of doing things, end of the project where something is adopted that works.

    ·       Councillors requested a glossary of terms and suggested the LGR joint scrutiny glossary may be a good place to start.  Consideration for the needs for accessibility to residents also needed to be considered.

    ·       Concern was raised about the existing parish clerks in that they needed to be assisted and helped through this.

    ·       A meeting had been set up with the Parish Clerks and they would be assisted through this process.

    ·       A query was raised in relation to naming in that this was Taunton Parish Council, but could it be re-named by us as a shadow/vested body in April or by the town council in May?

    ·       It was confirmed that the naming of the Parish could be amended at the first meeting after the elections e.g. the AGM.

    ·       A query was raised as to how would this process and body influence the aspirational elements of what the new council was likely to be? It was stated that some of this work could not wait until the elections but had to be something that was passed across to the new council. There was going to be increasing public expectation as this started to gather traction.

    ·       The aspirations for the new town council would be reflected in the stakeholder engagement work that Officers wanted to develop a strategy as part of. Members needed to be cognisant of balancing with the timescale that was in place, and there was a lot to be done to ensure the Town Council would be safe, legal and functioning by the 1st April.It will be for the elected councillors to put forward their visions, aspirations for the town council.

    ·       A discussion was held on the asset transfers and what that included, in terms of the Re-Organisation Order and any further conversations building on from that.

    ·       A view was posited that the Shadow body would be building on the framework, however, fellow Councillors needed to understand that the list of assets had been defined and agreed, and future conversations would be primary roles for the elected town council once in place.

    ·       A query was raised as to what happened to the everyday local business between now and April the 1st? Were the parish councils still dealing with this?

    ·       Those parishes primarily affected by the Re-Organisation Order should still be functioning and fulfilling their roles until the 1st April.

    ·       It was commented that stakeholders had a big part to play in creating the vision, but the Shadow Body needed to restrict itself somewhat to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Taunton Shadow Town Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 68 KB