Agenda

Venue: The Guildhall, High Street, Worcester WR1 2EY

Contact: Claire Chaplin, Democratic and Civic Services Manager - Tel: 01905 722005 

Note: To view the live broadcast go to https://www.youtube.com/user/WorcesterCityCouncil 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Of the meeting held on 17th October 2022 to be approved and signed.

4.

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications the Mayor may wish to make.

5.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

 

Marilyn McCarthy, Chair, The Swan Food Project will ask:

 

“We invite Councillors with interests in wildlife, environment, culture, history and tourism to join us to explore ways to give the swan sanctuary, established by the City Council and the Cathedral in the early eighties, a more formal and organised identity. We propose the creation of a 'Worcester Swan Sanctuary Trust' to enhance swan welfare, infrastructure, visitor experience and community engagement. Will the City Council agree to meeting with us?”

6.

Questions

The Joint Leader of the Council, or the Chair of any Committee or Sub-Committee, to take any questions that may be submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

7.

Notice of Motion

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

1.    Proposed Amendment to Council’s Constitution

  

The Council notes that:

 

1.   Public participation in Committee meetings should offer a meaningful opportunity for residents to engage with local democracy. Residents should be able not only to raise questions and share their views on matters discussed by the Committees of this Council; they should be also entitled to receive responses to their questions raised in the Committee meetings.

 

2.   The current Constitution does not guarantee that residents must receive answers to their questions and therefore it may create a serious doubt whether the Council listens to and seriously considers the views and suggestions raised by residents.    

 

3.   In order to rectify this democratic deficiency and enhance the sense of accountability of Elected Members and Council Officers, this motion asks the full Council to amend our Constitution where it states that ‘Any question shall be directed at the Chair who may reply orally at the meeting, or in writing following the meeting or who may decline to reply; or who may ask an Officer so to reply on his or her behalf.’ (Part 5 Committee Procedure Rules, 10.4.3).

 

4.   The Council is therefore being asked to accept the material amendment resulting in the following wording: “The Council values opinions and welcomes questions of the public. Shall there be any questions directed at the Chair, the Chair shall be obliged to reply orally at the meeting, or in writing following the meeting; or shall ask an Officer so to reply on the Chair’s behalf.” 

 

5.   Furthermore, one may be under the impression that the Council’s present Constitution does not give sufficient weight and acknowledgement to the importance of petitions put forward by members of public.

 

6.   The relevant section of our Council’s Constitution states that: ‘Any petition shall be received by the Chair without response’ (10.4.2).

 

7.   Whereas it is right and proper to allocate sufficient time for considering petitions of residents, acknowledging the receipt of a petition should be an important and clear sign that the views of residents matter. Thus is the nature of democracy.

 

8.   Therefore, the Council is happy to accept an amendment that would affect the wording regarding petitions from members of public by stating that: “Any petition shall be received by the Chair who will who be obliged to acknowledge its receipt and will endeavour to respond in writing to its content. The Chair may delegate the formal reply to the petition to an Officer.”

 

Proposed by: Councillor Piotrowski

 

2.    Voter ID

 

In April 2022 the Elections Act came into effect. This rules that all voters for English or UK-wide general election must show photographic identification.

 

Voter ID is completely unnecessary and all the evidence indicates that it is likely to particularly suppress turnout amongst disadvantaged groups. 

Furthermore, there is specific concerns about its rollout for local election across England in May 2023.

 

Election officials as quoted by The Guardian on 10th  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

8.

Matters Relating to the Leadership of the Council

To consider the election of the Joint Leader(s) of the Council.

 

9.

Council Response to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England: Draft Recommendations for New Electoral Arrangements for Worcester City Council pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Council agrees the Response set out in Appendix 1 as its collective response to the draft recommendations published by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and authorises the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance to submit this document to the Commission, on behalf of the Council.

Additional documents:

10.

Report from the Relevant Committee on Matters which are Referred to Council for Decision

To receive reports on matters which by law or in accordance with the Constitution are referred to Council for decision.

11.

Report from the Joint Leader of the Council on Any Matters Which he is of the Opinion Require Urgent Consideration by the Council

To receive a report, if necessary.

12.

Items Involving the Disclosure of Exempt Information

The Council is invited to pass the following resolution:-

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.

 

PART II

(ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION AND DECISION IN PRIVATE)

13.

Any Exempt Issues

To consider any exempt matters which might arise.