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Declarations of Interest
To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda notes.
There were no declarations of interest.
Declaration of Party Whipping
To declare if any issues to be covered in the Agenda are under party whip.
There were no declarations of party whipping.
To consider a call in of the Cabinet decision of 5th April 2023 regarding Nominations to the Gloucester City Homes Board.
The following documents are included:
· Call In request, dated 14th April 2023.
· Decision Record signed by the Leader of the Council, dated 6th April 2023.
· Call In Procedure.
The following documents have been marked TO FOLLOW:
· Statement of the decision-taker.
139.1 The Chair provided the Committee with an overview of the Call-In procedure.
Reasons for the Call-In
139.2 Councillor Hilton outlined his reasons for ‘Calling-In’ the decision, arguing that in his view the decision failed to comply with the ‘Principles of Decision Making’ set out in 12.02 of the council’s constitution. Referring to the presumption of openness and clarity of aims and desired outcomes, Councillor Hilton expressed concerns that the summaries provided in the Cabinet Forward Plan and the 5th April Cabinet meeting agenda front sheet were misleading.
139.3 Councillor Hilton further noted that he was not aware of any evidence that tenants and leaseholders had been consulted by Gloucester City Homes (GCH) regarding the removal of the City Council’s right to appoint Board Members to the GCH Board, noting his view that Council nominations were helpful. He also stated that there had been no consultation with political Group Leaders around the decision. In relation to clarity of aims and desired outcomes in particular, Councillor Hilton stated that the report did not provide clarity around the pros and cons of the council withdrawing its right to nominate two members to the Board of GCH. He referred to future land transactions and noted that if the City Council were to retain a close working relationship with GCH, it was important that Board Members with the appropriate skills were in place.
139.4 The Chair invited Members to ask questions on matters of clarification.
139.5 Councillor Hilton responded to Members’ questions of clarification as follows:
· It was correct that the main issues around the decision process were the way the report was described on the Forward Plan, the wording on the agenda front sheet and the length of the Cabinet meeting. He noted that the Cabinet meeting had lasted 10 minutes and that 9 separate agenda items had been discussed during this timeframe. Councillor Hilton expressed concern that Cabinet had approved the decision without taking sufficient time to consider it.
· There was no documentation or evidence in the report explaining why the decision had been proposed or whether it had been initiated by the City Council or GCH.
139.6 Councillor Morgan raised a point of order in respect of a statement from Councillor Trimnell which the Chair accepted.
Decision Maker’s Response
139.7 The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy, Councillor Stephanie Chambers, assured the Committee that there had been no intention to mislead, and that there would be an opportunity for Members to debate the decision at the next full Council meeting. Councillor S. Chambers agreed that the summary published in the Cabinet Forward Plan could have been worded differently and she confirmed that she had asked her Lead Officers to check all future wording carefully to ensure it accurately reflected the content of the report. Councillor S. Chambers maintained that the report was factual and confirmed that she was satisfied that it had been considered properly and that the proposed decision was correct.
139.8 Councillor S. Chambers reminded Members of ... view the full minutes text for item 139.