Venue: The Oculus, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF
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Councillor Michael Edmonds
Prior to the commencement of the formal business of the meeting all those present stood in silent tribute to the memory of Councillor Michael Edmonds who had sadly passed away recently. Councillor Edmonds had been the Member of the Council for the Stone Ward from 1975 to 1987, the Long Crendon Ward from 2003 to 2011, and the Haddenham and Stone Ward since 2011. He had also been the Deputy Leader of the Council from 2007 to 2013 and the Chairman of the Strategic Development Management Committee since its formation in 2014.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 24 October, 2018, copy attached as an appendix.
That the Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 24 October, 2018, be approved as a correct record.
Councillor Mrs Macpherson
Leader of the Council
To consider the report ‘to follow’.
The special meeting had been called due to the need to comply with a request for comment from the Secretary of State on a number of limited issues regarding the drafting of the Orders for the creation of a Single Unitary District Council for the area by the deadline of 30 November 2019.
At the Council meeting on 16 January, 2017, it had been agreed to submit a bid to the Secretary of State to deliver a two unitary model for the County. In September 2016 the County Council had submitted a case for a single unitary model. The background to the bids was contained in the reports to those previous Council meetings. At the Council meeting of 21 March, 2018, following a ‘minded to’ decision from the Secretary of State, the Council had agreed to make further representations supporting the District Councils’ bid.
On 1 November, 2018, the Secretary of State had announced his final decision regarding Modernising Local Government in Buckinghamshire (HCWS1058) and had concluding that “the right course of action was to establish a new single unitary district council for Buckinghamshire”. The announcement information was included at appendices A and B to the Council supplementary agenda. Should the Secretary of State’s announcement be implemented, this would mean:-
· All 5 principal councils in Buckinghamshire (Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Wycombe District Council, Chiltern District Council, South Bucks District Council) would be abolished on 1 April 2020.
· the new council would come into being on 1 April 2020.
· Draft orders would be prepared and placed before Parliament in early 2019, which would set out the broad operating rules and arrangements for the new Council, and as part of which a Shadow Authority would be formed shortly after the Orders had been given Parliamentary consent.
A copy of the slides from the Members Briefing held on the 14 November were also included at Appendix C to the supplementary agenda, and provided further detail and background on the processes and changes that were likely to take place.
The Chief Executive and Leader have already been involved in meetings with representatives from the Department for Housing Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), in particular regarding the drafting of the Orders. A number of important but discrete issues have already emerged where the Council’s view was urgently required so that they could be taken into account in the drafting process.
Firstly, Council, Town and Parish Council elections were due to be held in May 2019. However, should this go ahead then Councillors would only be elected for one year until the new authority was formed in April 2020. The Secretary of State was seeking this Council’s view on whether to delay this election cycle until May 2020, which would involve extending all Councillors current term for one year, at which point elections for the new Council will be held. This would also include Parish/Town Council elections. For information, the May 2019 District Council elections were likely to cost approximately £300,000 to run. ... view the full minutes text for item 3.