Community Governance Review Working Group Thursday 8 July 2021
Present: Councillors Shelim (Chairman), Cannon (Vice Chairman), Davies, Knowles and Hilton
Officers: Mark Pattison (Project Management Officer), Karen Shepherd (Head of Governance)
Apologies for absence
Suzanne Martin (Service Lead, Information Governance and Electoral Services).
Councillor Shelim welcomed all to the meeting.
He placed on record his thanks to Suzanne Martin, Karen Shepherd, Mark Pattison and all other supporting officers who had worked very hard to support the Group. He also thanked his colleagues on the Group including Councillor Story who had been an original member, but had stood down when he was appointed Mayor.
Councillor Shelim explained that unfortunately on Tuesday 20 July 2021 he would not be in attendance at full Council to present the report. He had therefore asked Councillor Hilton to present the report.
As it was a cross party recommendation he requested either Councillor Davies or Knowles to second the motion.
Councillor Hilton stated he would present the report by detailing the process and some of the group’s conversations. He would also confirm the recommendations were made on a majority decision.
Councillor Knowles said he would be very pleased to second the motion at full Council. Hard choices had been made but following open and honest discussions. The group had harnessed the experience of a number of the Members who were on existing parish councils.
Final review of report to Full Council
Karen Shepherd summarised the minor changes to the report made by council officers since the version sent to Members the previous week, including clarification form finance officers and inclusion of references to the impact on the council’s climate strategy. It was confirmed that all figures in the report that came from the online consultation had been double checked and corrected where necessary. Only minor changes had been made which did not affect the overall outcome.
Councillor Knowles stated that the quality of the report was outstanding; he complimented Karen Shepherd and Suzanne Martin. All the issues raised during the process were addressed clearly in the report.
It was noted that the maps would be added to the report before publication.
Councillor Hilton commented that the changes to the main report by officers were very sensible. It was now a more substantive document than it had been and explained things clearly.
It was confirmed that the minutes of Wednesday 9 June 2021 Working Group meeting referenced that although over 1500 people had visited the website only 656 chose to engage and provide a response.
Councillor Cannon stated that the report was very comprehensive. It was confirmed that all relevant officers had been given the opportunity to review the report including those on the Officer Project Group which was working on the issue of asset and service transfer. Councillor Cannon felt the report would give Members at full Council all the information necessary to make the decision. All Members of the Working Group agreed to speak to their respective groups to highlight that all angles had been explored and encourage all read all sections of the report and appendices before the full Council meeting to ensure they were fully informed.
Councillor Davies commented that she was happy that the report reflected the discussions of the Group and its decisions.
Councillor Hilton stated that it would be important to explain that in relation to the consultation, as much as possible was done to engage with people and get their views.
It was noted that the report would be submitted to the full Council meeting on Tuesday 20 July 2021. The agenda would be published on Monday 12 July 2021. It was noted that the Windsor Town Forum was due to meet on Tuesday 13 July, but it was agreed that the issue should not be discussed at that meeting as it should follow the democratic process going to full Council.
Members thanked Councillor Shelim for chairing the Working Group. Councillor Shelim thanked all other Members for their support.
The meeting, which began at 2pm, finished at 2.32pm.