Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location
Contact: Clive Willoughby Tel: 01946 598328
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Charles Maudling (Chair), Hugh Branney, James Date, Fred Gleaves, Jeffrey Hailes, Ged McGrath, David Moore, Brian O’Kane, Andy Pratt, Russell Studholme, Carl Walmsley, Doug Wilson and Felicity Wilson (Deputy Chair).
Appointment of Chair for the meeting
In the absence of both the Chair and Deputy Chair, it was moved by Councillor Michael McVeigh and duly seconded that Councillor Steven Morgan be appointed Chair for the meeting.
With no other nominations and following a 30 second pause to allow for any Member to indicate otherwise, it was: -
RESOLVED – That Councillor Steven Morgan be appointed Chair for the meeting.
Councillor Steven Morgan in the Chair.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
There were no Declarations of Interest made.
Requisition, made under rule 3.1(b) of chapter 5 of the Constitution, received from Councillors Michael McVeigh, Gwynneth Everett, John Kane, Allan Forster and Sam Pollen for an extraordinary meeting of Council to be held, such signed requisition being attached to this agenda. PDF 65 KB
Councillor Michael McVeigh as Labour Group Leader refreshed Council by restating a slightly amended Motion to that which had been presented to Council on 8 September that:
1) “This Council notes that the Mayor of Copeland, having joined a political party, has betrayed the electorate who voted overwhelmingly for an independent mayor.
2) This council notes that the austerity cuts faced by people in Copeland have been disproportionately high, and have devastated services. We express solidarity with our colleagues at Cumbria County Council, and recognise that cuts to their budget impact on the lives of people in our borough. This Labour Group respectfully requests, therefore, that the Mayor uses his new found political allegiance, and direct line to the Prime Minister, to demand forthwith that the Government restores to 2015 levels the central government funding grant for both Copeland Borough and Cumbria County Councils. This must be done publicly, and by letter to local government minister.
3) Furthermore, this Labour group respectfully requests that, in order to respect the fundamental principles of democracy, under which he was elected, the Mayor must resign his position and seek re-election via a by-election. This should be announced immediately, with the election carried out in May 2021. Holding the election at this time will minimise cost, because there are already County Council elections taking place, and should also ensure enough time has passed that the election can be held safely, from a Covid-19 perspective. The Mayor may continue in post on an interim basis until the election can be held.”
The motion was seconded by Councillor Eileen Weir.
Mayor Mike Starkie was given the opportunity to respond and in response to the motions, he repeated his reply from the 8 September meeting and re-stated that he could categorically say that writing to the Government would not happen under any circumstances, as restoring funding to 2015 levels would be less than what Copeland had received.
The motion regarding standing in solidarity and writing a letter for Cumbria County Council, would also not happen as he had no jurisdiction over Cumbria County Council and he could not act on behalf of another council.
Under the legislation of Elected Mayors, a resolution cannot be put forward for a by-election. The only way a by-election can happen is if he chose to stand down. The only way of removing an Elected Mayor is an election at the end of the four year term.
The Chair suggested that enough time had been spent on this item and asked Council if they wished to go to a vote or debate further.
Members requested that the debate continue.
Questions were then taken from Members.
Councillor McVeigh stated that Cumbria County Council was our biggest partner and we should be working closely with them. He continued that the simplest resolution to the current situation was for the Mayor to return to the ballot box.
The Mayor responded referring to the answers previously given. He then asked Councillor McVeigh why Egremont Town Council ... view the full minutes text for item C 20/35