The Council is made up of 44 councillors who are elected every four years.
Areas of responsibility
Many decisions are made day-to-day by the council's Executive which are scrutinised by the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
However, all the councillors meet together as the Council and decide the Council's overall policies and set the budget each year. At Council meetings, the minutes of the Executive and all committees are received for information, and there is the opportunity to debate and decide on any recommendations made by the committees on matters where they do not have powers delegated to them.
The Council also has a Standards Committee which was established to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by all Councillors.
Meeting dates and agendas
The Council meetings are held once every six to eight weeks, usually on Wednesdays at 6.00pm in the Town Hall, Royal Leamington Spa. All meetings are open to the public except when there are confidential items which are considered in private. Copies of the agenda for the Council meetings are published at least five clear working days before the meeting. They are also available at Riverside House or the Town Hall.
How are the agendas organised
Agenda items 1 to 4: apologies for absence, declarations of Interest, minutes and communications and announcements
These are administrative parts of the agenda to record: those Councillors who are not present; to declare any conflicts of interest within items to be considered; to consider confirming the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record; and for the Chairman to inform the Council of matters they consider relevant (for example the details of functions they have attended or wish to encourage Councillors to attend).
Agenda items: petitions, public submissions, notices of motion leader's and portfolio holder statements, questions to the leader of the Council & portfolio holders
The Council has an adopted petitions scheme which enables members of the public to submit petitions and present them to formal Council meetings. Anyone presenting a petition may speak to the Council on the subject for up to three minutes.
With regard to public submissions a period of 20 minutes will be available for members of the public to speak for a maximum time of five minutes each. It is not possible to speak on any topic but only those matters that Council is to take a decision on during the meeting.
Notices of motion proposed by councillors are normally referred for detailed discussion to the executive or relevant committee. However, by agreement, it is possible for a motion to be debated at the Council meeting without first being referred elsewhere.
Portfolio holder statements provide the opportunity for the leader or portfolio holder to update Council of activities and news from their respective areas.
The questions to the leader of the Council and portfolio holder enables all councillors to ask questions regarding the respective portfolio areas.
Agenda items: reports of the executive and committees
The reports come forward in the form of the minutes of the respective meeting to recommend decisions for Council to take.
The Chairman of the Council will ask for a Councillor to move the recommendations of the meeting. Those items can then be debated so that a decision is reached at the conclusion.
Agenda item: common seal
This is a decision made by the Council to confirm that the decisions they have made are legal and binding.
Agenda item: Other business
Council procedure rules also defines a number of other business items that Council must consider. These are not regular business so have not been outlined in the above summary.
How are the debates managed
Once it has been proposed that a decision or recommendation of the executive or a committee should be amended, the proposal must be seconded and the councillor who suggested the amendment can speak then or reserve the right to speak until later in the debate.
The proposer of the amendment has the right to speak again at the close of the debate on the item. The councillor who made the original proposal, that the reports from the executive and committees should be agreed, then has the right of reply immediately before the vote on the amendment is taken.
In the case of debates on issues set out in the executive minutes, the relevant portfolio holder has the right to speak last in the debate before the seconder (if they have reserved their right to speak) and the proposer.
What happens next?
The minutes of the Council meetings are compiled within committee services and are made available to the public normally no more than ten working days after the meetings.
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