Coronavirus: Hull City Council amends meeting and committee arrangements

Hull City Council has made changes to the management of council meetings in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes will initially be applied to meetings which take place until Friday 19 June.

The local authority said in a statement: “The council recognises the importance of public access for meetings and intends to facilitate that requirement through the council’s live meeting stream video publication channel.  Members of the public who wish to attend council meetings should therefore use this communication channel which is accessible from the council’s website.”

The following changes have been made to Full Council, Scrutiny meetings, Area Committees, Planning meetings, Licensing and Civic Committee:

Full Council: At present no decision has been made to cancel Full Council meetings.  They will continue to take place to enable the opportunity for at least the minimum required number of council members to meet formally where this is necessary.

Civic Committee: Civic Committee meetings will only be organised where there is a pressing need for a decision.

Executive decision making: While Cabinet may still choose to meet, the arrangements already exist for all council decisions upon the application of the council’s resources to be made by decision record, without the need for a formal meeting.

Scrutiny: With the exception of Overview and Management Scrutiny Committee, the work of all other Commissions will be managed without the need for formal meetings and the Commission meetings have been cancelled. Overview and Management Scrutiny Committee will continue to meet to consider items for which it is considered a meeting is required.

Area Committees: Decision making through Area Committees will depend on the decisions that are required. Decisions can be facilitated by decision record and where members agree that a meeting is not required, scheduled meetings be cancelled.

Planning: The planning scheme of delegation already allows for most decisions to be made by officers, except where decisions are called in for consideration by members.  Revised arrangements are to be proposed to the Planning Committee to reduce the requirement for call in.  This may result in the cancellation of meetings.  Members of the public and interested parties should review the council’s CMIS website .  Where meetings are required the flexibilities proposed for introduction through the legislation presently before Parliament may be used to allow for virtual meetings.

Licensing:  Licensing applications under the Licensing Act and Gambling Act will continue to require a meeting where objection is raised to the proposals.  Outside of these applications it is anticipated that the majority of decision making can be undertaken through delegated powers, leading to the cancellation of Licensing Meetings.  Proposals will be considered by the Licensing Committee informed by the new legislation.

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