Agenda item

Announcements of the Leader of the Council

To receive a report from the Leader of the Council on the business of the cabinet and on matters that the leader considers should be drawn to the council’s attention. The leader shall have 10 minutes to make his announcements.


The opposition group will have an opportunity to reply to the leader’s remarks.  The opposition group leader shall have 5 minutes to respond after which the Leader of the Council will have a right of reply.  Any right of reply will be for a maximum duration of 5 minutes.


The Leader gave the following announcements:


“Thank you madam Chairman, and good evening to you all.


Well it is a long time since I last addressed the Council with my report.


Such a lot has happened since I last spoke to you all.


I must start by praising the fantastic response of our officers in dealing with the pandemic situation as well as continuing to deliver our ambitious programmes. There are many instances of them ‘Going above and beyond’ in the course of their duties. In recognition of this we have extended the Christmas break. I would also like to thank those members that were able to contribute especially those working with the hubs.


With regard to Napier barracks, the situation at the moment appears to be stable, this past weekend’s potential clash of divergent groups passing off with only one arrest. Again six of our officers were supporting the police to assist in controlling the situation. I will stress that this is a Home Office project although we have posted to our website a Q&A to inform our residents.


Back to our wonderful staff, we have just received the official confirmation of the outcome of the review of our Customer Service Excellence certification, not only have we fully passed all 57 categories we have gained another three compliance plus awards which brings our total to 15 which is exceptional and is an endorsement of our mantra ‘Customer First’. The assessor particularly noted the enthusiasm and good will evinced by all.


Some of you have asked me to arrange a physical meeting for all of the councillors that want or can attend. To that end I am trying to arrange a meeting at Westenhanger where there is room in the marquee to set out tables with safe distancing as soon as I can confirm that I will let you know. At the present time there is no likelihood of a physical Council meeting as some members are shielding and we cannot at present legally hold hybrid meetings.


We will continue to hold Leader’s Question sessions and the next virtual council meeting is scheduled for 25 November”.


The Leader of the Labour Group responded and advised that time had flown by, and it had only been a short time ago when preparations were being made for Full Council in March, which had not gone ahead.  He echoed the comments relating to staff, who had adapted so well to a new way of working.  He also commended the introduction of the regular Leaders Q&A sessions, helping to bridge the gap when Full Council meetings were not going ahead.  He stated that the community hubs had been fantastic.  With regard to Napier Barracks, he looked forward to the council working together with the Home Office to ensure that those staying at the Barracks were treated as any other resident of the district.


The Leader in reply stated that he seconded the point about Napier Barracks.


Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and




That the announcements of the Leader be noted.