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Agenda item

2023/24 West Berkshire Council Timetable of Public Meetings (C4331)

Purpose: To recommend a timetable of meetings for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.


Council considered a report (agenda item 20) which recommended the timetable of meetings for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Tom Marino and seconded by Councillor Howard Woollaston;

That the Council: approve the timetable of public meetings for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.

Councillor Marino explained that the Council was required to publish a timetable of meetings each municipal year. He thanked officers for their hard work in putting the timetable together.

AMENDMENT: Proposed by Councillor Jeff Brooks and seconded by Councillor Owen Jeffery.

That Council find an earlier date to hold the Annual Meeting of Counciland that it be held during the week beginning 15 May 2023.

Councillor Brooks said he was proposing the amendment as the proposed date (25 May 2023) was three weeks post the elections and thus three weeks before the new Executive could be appointed as well as other committees. He said he remembered when the Annual Meeting had been held on the 10th May so it could be done sooner with proposed committee memberships marked as to follow if required.

Councillor Jeffery felt that the Annual Meeting should be held as soon as reasonably practicable after the results of the election were known.

Councillor Lynne Doherty said that she did not know how many members Councillor Brooks hoped to return but in her experience it was a complex job sorting out the committee system. She said that she would not be supporting this amendment as last time there had been 19 days between the election and the Annual Meeting. The Chairman and Leader would remain in place until that meeting and so work could continue. There was also the Coronation and after all the hard work that members and officers had done during the elections they deserved the bank holiday off.  

Councillor Graham Bridgman referred to a point often made by Councillor Hilary Cole that the Council was member led and officer advised and in this instance officers were advising the particular dates. There was also a difference between setting the date in an election year and those in between.

Councillor David Marsh said that his group would not require three weeks to sort out which committees their members would sit on. He felt that it should be possible to make the arrangements within a two week period.

Councillor Adrian Abbs said that history showed that there had always been an earlier meeting. The Coronation was important and officers would be able to take the bank holiday off. He felt that any of the parties would be ready for an earlier date and added that his group had a number of good candidates who would be ready to start should they be elected. Councillor Marino thanked Members’ for their comments. He reiterated that there was a bank holiday after the elections and both officers and Groups needed the time between the elections and the Annual Meeting for preparation. The date of the 25th May was also in line with other Berkshire authorities and fell within the legislation.

Councillor Brooks gave examples of when the Annual Meeting had been held on earlier dates in the past and said officers would cope if it was brought forward.

The Motion was put to the vote and duly LOST.

Councillor Woollaston stated that the proposed timetable was a well thought out piece of work.

The Motion was put to the vote and duly RESOLVED.


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