The Executive is recommended to:
i. Approve the General Consents to the District Councils under the Direction made under Section 24 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 as attached in Appendix 2.
ii. Delegate the ability to grant specific consents under the Section 24 Direction to:
· the relevant Executive Member; and separately to
· the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Monitoring Officer and the Section 151 Officers of the District Councils.
Considered: A report of the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer seeking the granting of granting a series of General Consents to the District Councils to enablethe business of existingDistrictCouncils to continuetoproceedin the run uptoVestingDay.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd introduced the report, noting that if a decision were taken to stick rigidly to the Section 24 Notice it would be too stringent for the District and Borough Councils. Instead, he outlined the collaborative approach proposed and suggested it would make it easier for all, and protect the democratic processes and sovereignty of the District and Borough Councils until March 2023.
Barry Khan, Assistant Chief Executive (Legal & Democratic Services) outlined the legal requirements and the consents needed as detailed in the report. He also noted that other Authorities being dissolved (Cumbria & Somerset) were working towards taking the same approach, but North Yorkshire County Council was the first to reach this stage, as a result of the excellent joint working to date.
Gary Fielding, Corporate Director for Strategic Resources outlined the four areas of focus i.e. Revenue Budgets, Capital Projects, Contracts & Procurements and Use of Reserves, and confirmed there would be a weekly update on the consents granted for the relevant Executive Member.
Councillor Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council welcomed the report but highlighted that whilst most of their funding allocations would fall under general consent, there were some key projects that were not included. He acknowledged there was ongoing dialogue about those projects to ensure they progressed as planned and he sought the Executive’s reassurance that this would continue.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd confirmed he was aware of the projects/schemes that would not be covered by the General Consents and drew attention to the opaque decision making process in place for them. He want on to suggest that the political accountability needed strengthening.
In response, Gary Fielding drew attention to the proposal within the report to delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Strategic Resources in consultation with other Section 151 officers. He acknowledged that open dialogue would be key and noted that if in doubt, consideration of a consent could be referred to the relevant Executive Member, and ultimately on to the full Executive if required.
Members discussed the option for the right of appeal to a controversial decision, and again Gary Fielding confirmed a decision could be referred on to the Executive Member if considered necessary, with any really contentious issues referred to the Executive.
Having being reassured about the level of transparency written in to the process, all Members voted in favour of the recommendations in the report and it was ... view the full minutes text for item 4