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Agenda item

MEMBERSHIP OF POLITICAL GROUPS ON THE COUNCIL, POLITICAL BALANCE AND ENTITLEMENT TO SEATS

 

To report on the establishment of political groups, the political balance of the Council and the entitlement of each group to seats on the authority’s committees.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which set out Section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 which placed on Local Authorities the duty to allocate seats to political groups and set out the principles to be followed when determining such allocation following formal notification of the establishment of political groups in operation on the council.

 

There was a requirement to annually review the entitlement of the political groups to seats on the committees of the Council and the allocation of seats must follow two principles:-

 

(a)        Balance must be achieved across the total number of available seats on committees; and

 

(b)        Balance must be achieved on each individual committee or body where seats are available

 

There were presently two political groups in operation on the Council – the Labour Group and the UK Independence Party Group – with two non-aligned Councillors (members who are not in a political group).

 

There were 149 seats available on committees, boards and panels and under the calculation the Labour Group was entitled to 114 seats and the UK Independence Group entitled to 31. This left four seats which could not be given to members of the political groups and should be allocated to the two non-aligned Councillors.

 

The appointment of Members to committees, boards and panels, and the appointment of Chairs and Vice-Chairs were set out on the schedule attached to the Mayor’s letter.

 

Councillor Read proposed and Councillor Watson seconded an amendment to the schedule:-

 

“That approval be given to the appointment of Members to joint committees, as set out on the schedule to be tabled at the meeting, with the exception of the nomination of Cllr Brian Cutts and that the Leader of the UK Independence Party Group be invited to propose an alternative nomination from his political group to serve on the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel.”

 

This was based on Councillor Brian Cutts appearing before the Standards and Ethics Committee who concluded that he had been in breach of the Members' Code and nothing had since changed.  On this basis, as this was not a temporary suspension, it was surprising to see him being nominated again by the Opposition.

 

Councillor Cowles had attended the same equalities and diversity training recommended to Councillor Cutts and believed his nomination to serve the Police and Crime Panel was appropriate as was membership of other Councillors in the Chamber.

 

Councillor Brian Cutts was also surprised and unsure as to why he had been removed from the Police and Crime Panel in the first place.

 

Councillor John Turner had listened to the comments and sympathised with his party member and voiced his own views about the law around sexuality, equal rights and free speech.

 

Councillor Watson was disappointed in Councillor Turner’s view on the law and equal rights, but offered his full support to the amendment.

 

Councillor Hoddinott supported the amendment.  The person appointed to the Police and Crime Panel represented all residents across Rotherham regardless of their background, their race or their sexual orientation.  Residents needed to have the confidence in the person representing the Council had a full understanding of equality issues.

 

Councillor Carter supported the amendment and wanted to put children first.  He had voted in favour of the motion to remove Councillor Cutts previously, but believed his reappointment was a little premature.

 

In his right to reply the Leader again referred to the recommendations from the Standards and Ethics Committee and the comments made by Councillor Cutts, which were not isolated as there had been a pattern of homophobic comments over a period of years.

 

Nothing had changed since Councillor Cutts was removed from the Police and Crime Panel so he urged the UKIP opposition to nominate an alternative member as it left the Police and Crime Panel unrepresented by the opposition group.

 

The vote was put for the amendment and carried.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the operation of two political groups on the Council and the detail of their designated Leaders be noted:-

 

(a)        Labour Group – Councillor Chris Read (Leader of the Council).

(b)        UK Independence Party Group – Councillor Allen Cowles (Leader of the Majority Opposition Group).

 

(2)  That the entitlement of the membership of the political groups be agreed and such entitlements be reflected in Council’s appointments of members to committees.

 

(3)  That the appointment of Members to committees, boards and panels, and the appointment of Chairs and Vice-Chairs, as set out on the schedule be approved as follows:-

 

Executive

 

Leader of the Council

Councillor Read

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Neighbourhood Working

Councillor Watson

Cabinet Member for Corporate Services & Finance

Councillor Alam

Cabinet Member for Cleaner, Greener Communities

Councillor Allen

Cabinet Member for Housing

Councillor Beck

Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety

Councillor Hoddinott

Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy

Councillor Lelliott

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health

Councillor Roche

 

 

 

REGULATORY BOARDS

 

Standards and Ethics Committee:-

(8 Council Members)

 

 

Councillor Sheppard

Councillor Clark (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Short

Councillor Ireland

Councillor Simpson

Councillor McNeely (Chair)

Councillor Vjestica

 

 

Independent Members:

Mrs. A. Bingham

Mrs. K. Penny

Mr. P. Edler

Mrs. J. Porter

Mrs. M. Evers

 

 

 

Parish Council Representatives:

Councillor D. Bates

Councillor R. Swann

Councillor D. Rowley

 

 

Licensing Board:-

(21 Members)

 

Councillor Albiston

Councillor Reeder

Councillor Beaumont (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Russell

Councillor Buckley

Councillor Sheppard

Councillor Clark

Councillor Steele

Councillor Ellis (Chair)

Councillor Taylor

Councillor Hague

Councillor Vjestica

Councillor Jones

Councillor Williams

Councillor Mallinder

Councillor Wyatt

Councillor Marriott

 

Councillor McNeely

 

Councillor Napper

 

 

(One non-aligned

Vacancy)

 

Licensing Committee

(15 Members drawn from Licensing Board)

Councillor Albiston

Councillor Napper

Councillor Beaumont (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Reeder

Councillor Buckley

Councillor Russell

Councillor Clark

Councillor Steele

Councillor Ellis (Chair)

Councillor Taylor

Councillor Hague

Councillor Vjestica

Councillor Jones

 

Councillor McNeely

(One non-aligned

Vacancy)*

 

Planning Board:-

(15 Members)

 

Councillor Atkin

Councillor Steele

Councillor Bird

Councillor John Turner

Councillor D. Cutts

Councillor Tweed

Councillor M. Elliott

Councillor Walsh

Councillor Jarvis

Councillor Whysall

Councillor Sansome

Councillor Williams (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Sheppard (Chair)

 

 

(One Labour Vacancy)*

 

 

Substitutes

 

Councillor Khan

Councillor Mallinder

Councillor Short

 

 

Audit Committee:-

(5 Members)

Councillor Cowles

Councillor Wilson

Councillor Vjestica

Councillor Wyatt (Chair)

Councillor Walsh (Vice-Chair)

Independent Member

Mr. B. Coleman

 

 


 

 

SELECT COMMISSIONS

 

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board:-

 

Councillor Cowles (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Cusworth

Councillor Jarvis

Councillor Keenan

Councillor Mallinder

Councillor Napper   

Councillor Short

Councillor Steele (Chair)

Councillor Taylor

Councillor Tweed

Councillor Walsh

Councillor Wyatt

 

(12 Members)

 

Health:-

 

Councillor Albiston

Councillor Andrews

Councillor Bird

Councillor Brookes

Councillor Cooksey

Councillor R. Elliott

Councillor Ellis

Councillor Evans    

Councillor Jarvis

Councillor Keenan (Chair) 

Councillor Short (Vice-Chair)

Councillor John Turner

Councillor Vjestica

Councillor Walsh

Councillor Williams

Councillor Wilson

Councillor Yasseen

(One Non-Aligned Vacancy)

 

(18 Members)

 

Improving Lives:-

 

Councillor Atkin

Councillor Beaumont

Councillor Buckley

Councillor Clark

Councillor Cusworth (Chair)        

Councillor Elliot

Councillor Fenwick-Green

Councillor Hague

Councillor Ireland

Councillor Jarvis (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Khan

Councillor Marles

Councillor Marriott

Councillor Pitchley

Councillor Price

Councillor Senior

Councillor Short

Councillor Julie Turner

 

(18 Members)

 

Improving Places:-

 

Councillor Atkin

Councillor Buckley

Councillor B. Cutts

Councillor Elliot

Councillor Jepson

Councillor Jones

Councillor Khan

Councillor Mallinder (Chair)                             

Councillor McNeely

Councillor Reeder

Councillor Rushforth

Councillor Sansome

Councillor Sheppard

Councillor Taylor

Councillor Tweed (Vice-Chair)

Councillor Julie Turner

Councillor Whysall

Councillor Wyatt

 

(18 Members)

 

(4)  That approval be given to the appointment of Members to joint committees, as set out on the schedule to be tabled at the meeting as follows:-

 

SHEFFIELD CITY REGION COMBINED AUTHORITY

Councillor Read (Deputy – Councillor Watson)

 

SOUTH YORKSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY

Councillors Buckley and Taylor

 

SOUTH YORKSHIRE PENSIONS AUTHORITY

Councillors Atkin and Yasseen

 

SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND CRIME PANEL

Councillor Sansome plus Vacancy

 

Mover:-  Councillor Alam                        Seconder:-  Councillor Beck

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