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Note: To be held on the rise of the Extraordinary meeting
Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Asker, Evans, Gregory, Loughlin and Reeve.
To consider the Pay Policy Statement.
The Portfolio Holder – Finance and the Budget gave a summary of the report, which said there was a requirement under the Localism Act 2011 for councils to publish an annual Pay Policy Statement which set out the pay and remuneration of its employees for the forthcoming year. The policy also included data on the gender pay gap. Publication of this data was required by the Equalities Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Authorities).
a) Approve the Pay Policy Statement
b) Give delegated authority to the Assistant Director – Corporate Services to update the Pay Policy Statement and associated documents with pay multiple figures as at 31 March 2020 and with revised salary information once the 2020/21 national pay award is agreed.
To consider the report on Public Party Participation at Planning Committee Meetings.
The Chair of the Governance, Audit and Performance Committee gave a summary of the report, which said the Planning Committee had been trialling changes to enhance public participation at the Committee since 21 August 2019, and had decided it wished to implement the changes on a permanent basis.
a. Adopt the changes to Planning Committee procedure identified in paragraph 8 of this report subject to the inclusion of reference to district and county councillors in paragraph 8 (e) of the report.
b. Authorise the Assistant Director, Governance and Legal to amend the text of the Constitution to reflect the changes agreed.
To receive the committee timetable 2020-21.
The Council noted the committee timetable for the upcoming municipal year.
Councillor Hargreaves left the meeting.
To consider the adoption of the IHRA working definition of Antisemitism.
The Portfolio Holder for Housing, Youth and Health gave a summary of the report, which said the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government had written to all local authorities encouraging them to adopt the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. The definition was not designed to be legally binding but was intended to demonstrate a commitment to engaging with the experiences of Jewish communities.
Members expressed the view that it would be appropriate for Government to propose definitions of hatred towards all communities.
RESOLVED to adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
To consider the motion regarding the North Essex Economic Strategy (as attached).
A briefing paper on the subject of NEES is to follow.
Councillor Pavitt put forward his motion which proposed that Council note the North Essex Economic Strategy (NEES), but requested that Cabinet pause further work on the strategy pending detailed further clarification of:
a. the economic benefits that the NEES will bring to Uttlesford.
b. the role of Uttlesford within this strategy given our proximity to Cambridge and the knowledge based economy centred there.
c. the opportunities for deeper cooperation and coordination with the local authorities, including the Mayoralty, of the Cambridge sub region.
It was the view of some Members that it was necessary to take a holistic approach. It was important to be pragmatic and build partnerships to improve infrastructure. Being a part of the NEES would not stop constructive conversation with South Cambridgeshire and other local authorities.
It was the view of some Members that the NEES needed more work, and did not at present address the needs and realities of the District, and offered too few benefits. Where Uttlesford was concerned, it was strongly focused on garden communities and the expansion of Stansted Airport, both of which might not occur.
In response to a Member question, the Chief Executive said Cabinet had adopted the strategy in November. Councillor Pavitt would therefore need to request a pause in the strategy’s implementation.
The Leader of the Council said he had been working on strategic issues, and there were an enormous number of threads to consider. There was money available from participating in the North Essex Economic Strategy and the Council should not endanger its chances of receiving this.
Councillor Pavitt said this reflected a pattern whereby a strategy was prepared and rubberstamped.
RESOLVED to reject the motion on the North Essex Economic Strategy.