Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Members will be asked to make any declarations of interest in respect of items on this Agenda.

Additional documents:


There were no declarations of interest made by Members in accordance with the code of conduct.


Chair's Urgent Business

To receive reports on business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be brought forward for urgent consideration.

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There were no items of Chair’s Urgent Business.


Public Consultation Regarding the Council's Electoral Cycle pdf icon PDF 172 KB

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Giles Perritt (Assistant Chief Executive) presented the Public Consultation Regarding the Council’s Electoral Cycle report.


It was highlighted that –



the purpose of the report was to seek the Committee’s endorsement of a public consultation using powers available under Section 116 of the Local Government Act 2003; the consultation would engage with stakeholders across the city on the issue of moving from the current electoral cycle of elections ‘by thirds’, to whole council elections;



the recommendations contained within the report were purely regarding the public consultation as opposed to any decision as to if the current third system should be retained or changed; the Council would not be bound by the result of the consultation as it was advisory in nature;



in order to add context, the Boundary Commission for England informed the Council they were to undertake an electoral review; this was a statutory process ending with an all-out election. Ordinarily reviews would be undertaken every five years however the Council’s last review was undertaken in 2000;



Plymouth City Council currently operated with an elections by thirds approach; for Councils to retain this system the number of Councillors in a ward  must be divisible by three – the Council currently had three wards with only two Councillors therefore this did not meet requirements. If the Council was to opt for an all-out election approach then two Member wards could be retained;



an additional proposal in the report, as a result of the discussion on this matter at the previous meeting, was that the Council would recommend an electoral review would result in elections in 2026, during a fallow year.


In response to questions it was reported that –



it was difficult to estimate the impact of inflation and the finances surrounding this subject, however it was highlighted that if local elections coincided with a general election or a Police and Crime Commissioner election then the cost to the council for undertaking a local election was reduced by 50% as the Government took financial responsibility for those elections;



the Council was not bound by the consultation results; the consultation was directed at Plymouth residents as well as local stakeholders and businesses however whilst the Council worked hard to maximise the response rate to previously advertised consultations, the rate of responses in other local authorities regarding the electoral cycle was very low. It was important that the Council demonstrated that the consultation results had been properly considered, however was not bound by it;



the advantages and disadvantages table contained within the report on page nine of the agenda was taken from the Electoral Commission report (this was footnoted in the agenda). The type of information as well as the questions that formed part of the consultation, if agreed by Members, would be a matter for the committee to decide. It was accepted that the potential savings to the Council by moving to an all-out election approach, whilst referred to in the report as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Exempt Business

To consider passing a resolution under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that it (they) involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, as amended by the Freedom of Information Act 2000

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There were no items of exempt business.