Venue: Remote Meeting via Zoom
Contact: Neil Terry
Senior Democratic Services Officer
019032 21006 Email: email@example.com
Apologies for Absence
The Mayor advised that apologies had been received from Cllr Mark Withers and the Chief Executive.
Declarations of Interest
Members and Officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation
to any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage
such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.
If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.
Councillor Carl Walker declared an interest in Item 4 as a co-founder of a mutual aid group in East Worthing.
Councillors Louise Murphy and Steve Wills declared personal interests as non-Executive Directors of Worthing Homes.
Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes declared a personal interest as an elected member of West Sussex County Council.
Councillor Beccy Cooper declared an interest in Item 4 as a co-founder of a mutual aid group in Marine Ward.
Councillor Margaret Howard declared an interest in Item 4 as a co-founder of a mutual aid group.
Councillor Noel Atkins declared a personal interest as an elected member of West Sussex County Council.
Councillor Sally Smith declared an interest in Item 4 as a member of a mutual aid group in Worthing Westend.
Questions from the Public
To receive any questions from members of the public addressed to Member of the Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11. There is up to 5 minutes for each question, one supplementary question may be asked arising from the original question.
Questions must relate to any matter the Council has power or which affects the Borough, except no questions may be asked in relation to
a. A specific planning or licensing application
b. A specific staffing appointment or appeal, or Standards determination
Public question time will last up to 30 minutes; questions will be taken in the order of receipt.
The following question had been received in advance of the meeting.
Mrs Shelley McCabe, a resident of Worthing asked;
Local Councillors say they haven’t had a briefing from you since April.
As the Member responsible for public health and covering the community response to the Covid-19 pandemic, how informed do you think you've kept non-Executive Members of the Council, on a scale of 1-10?
The Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing replied that although Emergency Planning was not part of her portfolio she was able to confirm that during the first few months of the pandemic, the priority had been developing the swiftest and most effective response on behalf of local communities.
The lead Members for Emergency Planning were briefed each week and from July both Leaders of the Opposition were receiving weekly briefings.
A JSC report was provided to all Members in July detailing all of the work of officers during the pandemic
In the first two months of lockdown members and staff received regular emailed updates on the pandemic and the Councils action in response from the Covid Response Lead, Martin Randall, Director for the Economy. Many members expressed their thanks to him for this information. Mr Randall headed a twice-weekly Response Group meeting formed of senior officers charged with responding to the challenges arising from lockdown.
In addition to this, Councillors had also received periodic updates on the community efforts, the work on homelessness and more recently in relation to Covid-outbreak planning. This was alongside regular press release updates and monthly members briefings.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.1.10, Councillor Martin McCabe moved that the matter raised by the question be referred to the Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee. The motion was seconded by Councillor Bob Smytherman but not supported following a vote.
Mrs Shelley McCabe, a resident of Worthing asked;
Section 5.12 of Worthing Council’s Emergency Plan says,
“Members can provide a useful link with local communities and be a source of information in an emergency.”
Can you please outline:
How you have kept communities informed during the Coronavirus pandemic
The dates and types of media appearances you have made in order to inform the public about Coronavirus in the last six months
What your role has been in the Council’s Community Engagement Team, with reference to The Council’s Emergency Plan Section 3.7.1
The Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing replied that Worthing Borough Council had played an important local leadership role on the COVID-19 response, despite not having formal public health responsibilities (those sat with West Sussex County Council, Public Health England and the government).
At the outset an A&W Community Response partnership was established with other key stakeholders from charities, health and government to ensure that information about the pandemic and the community response had been reaching communities through partners. This met daily initially and was now meeting monthly.
Information on the local and wider Sussex response had and continued to be shared with at risk groups using those groups, including GPs and the Councils ... view the full minutes text for item C3220-21
To consider a report from the Director for Communities attached as item 4.
Before the Council was a report by the Director for Communities, copies of which had been circulated to all Members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as Item 4.
The recommendations in the report were proposed by Councillor Daniel Humphreys and seconded by Councillor Kevin Jenkins.
Councillor Jim Deen proposed an amendment requesting that ‘the Leader produce a short summary report of the strategic direction of the Council during the ongoing pandemic and the second wave to be brought to the next meeting of Full Council (if possible for debate by the whole Council)’. The proposed amendment was seconded by Councillor Beccy Cooper. Following a vote, the amendment was not supported.
*Cllr Crouch left the meeting at 7.49pm.
Members debated the Council’s response to the pandemic thus far, associated reports and the actions taken.
*Cllr Turner left the meeting at 7.58pm.
On a vote: For 22, Against 0, Abstentions 12
That the Council noted the contents of the report.
Items raised under Urgency Provisions
To consider any items the Mayor has agreed are urgent.
The Mayor had not received any matters that met the legal or constitutional requirements for their urgent consideration at the meeting.