So what’s on the agenda for tomorrow evening’s meeting of East Cambridgeshire District Council? No petitions, motions, or questions from councillors this time. But the deadline for questions from the public isn’t up until just before the start of the meeting at 6:00PM – so if you have a burning question you’d like to ask the district council, here’s how.
The Treasury Operations Annual Performance Review is unlikely to cause much of a stir. More controversial is likely to be the item on the Future Role of the Shareholder Committee with appendices Appendix B2: Shareholder Committee Terms of Reference, Appendix B3: Shareholder Agreement East Cambs Trading Company, Appendix B4: Shareholder Agreement East Cambs Street Scene, Appendix B5: Memorandum of Understanding and Appendix C: Summary of Shareholder Committee Amendments
This item will remove the council’s final say over a large number of matters which will now be decided solely by its two in-house companies. I kicked up quite a fuss about this at the recent meeting of the Shareholder Committee (the first one for months), and managed to persuade the committee to reinstate one or two of the powers they had proposed to remove, but it still leaves a lot of decisions to the company (two councillors, two officers, plus the independent chair).
The item also removes references to the original trading company being a ‘Teckal-compliant’ company, which it now will not be — but we knew that this would happen after the council messed up how it set up the company in the first place.
Finally, the council is proposing a new Memorandum of Understanding for councillors regarding the Shareholder Committee and the council’s trading companies. I’ll have something to say about that tomorrow.
End of Year Council Report
This is the taxpayer-funded report that will be delivered to every household in the district telling us what a grand job the council is doing. I’ll have something to say about that tomorrow too!
Statement of Community Involvement
This is an ‘update’ of the statutory statement that sets out how the council will consult on planning matters and engage with and support parish councils on the neighbourhood plans. It is not clear what has changed between the proposed 2018 version and the current 2015 version, other than that the section on neighbourhood planning is new. I have asked the council’s Chief Executive for a version that makes it clearer what the changes are between the current version and the updated one.
Polling Districts, Places and Stations Review and Community Governance Review
The Polling Districts, Places and Stations Review and Community Governance Review with all its appendices is the culmination of two rounds of public consultation. It changes the various election arrangements to align with the changes to district council ward boundaries, and it reviews parish boundaries too to resolve some historical anomalies.
And finally, there’s a report asking the council to extend leave of absence for my colleague Cllr Sue Austen (Ely West) while she recovers from her recent serious ill-health. And the council will receive reports of recent decisions by the Combined Authority.
The council has given up broadcasting Full Council meetings on YouTube, so I’m afraid you won’t be able to watch proceedings from the comfort of your own home. But the council is on Twitter (as @EastCambs) — and so am I.