Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Full Council, Full Council - Thursday, 11th February, 2021 5.00 pm

Contact: Sam Wilcock 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

Items
No. Item

87.

Welcome and Introductions pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor welcomed all attendees to the meeting..

88.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were heard from Councillors English and Rippington.

89.

Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.

 

Minutes:

The following declarations of interests were made:

 

Councillor Bradshaw declared a non pecuniary interest as a Council appointed non-executive director of Bristol Holdings Ltd and Bristol Heat Networks Ltd.

Councillor Brook declared a non pecuniary interest as a Council appointed non-executive director of Bristol Waste Company.

Councillor Gollop declared that in his role of Chair of OSMB he sits as an observer on the Shareholder Advisory Group.

Councillor Pearce declared a non pecuniary interest as a Council appointed director on the board of BE 2020 Ltd.

Councillor Don Alexander declared a non pecuniary interest as a Council appointed director on Goram Homes Ltd.

90.

Public Forum (Public Petitions, Statements and Questions) pdf icon PDF 973 KB

Public Forum (Public Petitions, Statements and Questions)

 

Please note: public forum is permitted for this Extraordinary Full Council provided that it relates to the business for which the meeting has been arranged (i.e. the items on the meeting agenda).

 

Submissions will be treated in order of receipt and as many people shall be called upon as is possible within the time allowed within the meeting (normally 30 minutes).

 

Further rules can be found within our Council Procedure Rules and Virtual Meeting Procedure Rules within the Constitution.

 

Please note that the following deadlines apply to this meeting:

 

a. Public petitions and statements: Petitions and written statements

must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday 10th February2021 at latest.  One written statement per member of the public is permitted.

 

b. Public questions: Written public questions must be received by 5pm on Friday 5th February 2021 at latest. A maximum of 2 questions per member of the public is permitted. Questions should be addressed to the Mayor or relevant Cabinet Member.

 

c. Members of the public who wish to present their public forum in person during the video conference must register their interest by giving at least two clear working day’s notice prior to the meeting by midday on Monday 8th February 2021.

 

Public forum items should be e-mailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk

 

Further information can be found within the public information sheet attached to this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Public petitions:

There were no public petitions submitted to this meeting

 

Public statements:

The Full Council received and noted the following statements (which were also referred to the Mayor for his consideration/information):

 

Ref No

Name

PS01

Clive Stevens

PS02

Suzanne Audrey

PS03

Merche Clark

PS04

Jen Smith

PS05

Caroline Gooch

CS01

Councillor Khan

CS02

Councillor Gollop

CS03

Councillor Hopkins

 

Statements PS01, PS02, PS03, PS05, CS01, CS02 and CS03 were presented by individuals present at the meeting.

 

Public Questions:

The Full Council noted that the following questions had been submitted:

 

Ref No

Name

PQ01

Suzanne Audrey

PQ02 & PQ03

Caroline Gooch

PQ04 & PQ05

Merche Clark

 

The Mayor responded verbally to all the questions also responding to supplementary questions.

 

91.

Motion

EXECUTIVE DECISION-MAKING AND SCRUTINY OF COUNCIL-OWNED COMPANIES

 

“This Council notes with alarm the numerous failings identified in the recent review of governance arrangements for Bristol Holding Company and its subsidiaries.

 

The value-for-money assessment in respect of Bristol Energy was especially damning and exposed some glaring deficiencies in existing structures, methods of monitoring and information sharing.  As a result, the conclusion was drawn that Cabinet was not properly informed when it came to making ‘high-risk’ investment decisions in that failed business.

 

These shortcomings inevitably raise continuing concerns over a lack of transparency and the ability or effectiveness of scrutiny to oversee executive/political decision-making for publicly-owned commercial companies.

 

In order to restore public confidence, protect the taxpayer, and discharge the Authority’s obligations to its employees in such enterprises, Council calls on the Mayor to accept and adopt (in total and without delay) the twelve recommendations contained in the report of our external auditors. 

 

Furthermore, a cross-party board or panel needs to be established as an adjunct to the Audit Committee and OSM, the membership of which shall have full access rights to potentially exempt information.  For the sake of clarity, the composition of this body will be made on the basis of proportionality and determined by Party Whips.  It’s first meeting will take place within two weeks of formation, with the initial task being to examine a detailed action plan prepared by officers on how all of the changes advised by the independent auditor are to be delivered. 

 

A report on the progress made towards implementation must then be brought back to Full Council within three months of the passing of this resolution. (Or no later than Annual Full Council.) In this way, appropriate checks and balances within the Council’s Constitution can be restored, rightly respected, and adequately safeguarded.”

Minutes:

Councillor Hopkins moved the following motion:

“This Council notes with alarm the numerous failings identified in the recent review of governance arrangements for Bristol Holding Company and its subsidiaries.

 

The value-for-money assessment in respect of Bristol Energy was especially damning and exposed some glaring deficiencies in existing structures, methods of monitoring and information sharing. As a result, the conclusion was drawn that Cabinet was not properly informed when it came to making ‘high-risk’ investment decisions in that failed business.

 

These shortcomings inevitably raise continuing concerns over a lack of transparency and the ability or effectiveness of scrutiny to oversee executive/political decision-making for publicly-owned commercial companies.

 

In order to restore public confidence, protect the taxpayer, and discharge the Authority’s obligations to its employees in such enterprises, Council calls on the Mayor to accept and adopt (in total and without delay) the twelve recommendations contained in the report of our external auditors.

 

Furthermore, a cross-party board or panel needs to be established as an adjunct to the Audit Committee and OSM, the membership of which shall have full access rights to potentially exempt information. For the sake of clarity, the composition of this body will be made on the basis of proportionality and determined by Party Whips. It’s first meeting will take place within two weeks of formation, with the initial task being to examine a detailed action plan prepared by officers on how all of the changes advised by the independent auditor are to be delivered.

 

A report on the progress made towards implementation must then be brought back to Full Council within three months of the passing of this resolution. (Or no later than Annual Full Council.) In this way, appropriate checks and balances within the Council’s Constitution can be restored, rightly respected, and adequately safeguarded.”

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Weston

 

There was a debate, following which the Lord Mayor then invited Councillor Hopkins, as mover of the original motion to speak.

 

Following final remarks, upon being put to the vote, the original motion was CARRIED (58 For, 0 against, 0 absentions) and it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council notes with alarm the numerous failings identified in the recent review of governance arrangements for Bristol Holding Company and its subsidiaries.

 

The value-for-money assessment in respect of Bristol Energy was especially damning and exposed some glaring deficiencies in existing structures, methods of monitoring and information sharing. As a result, the conclusion was drawn that Cabinet was not properly informed when it came to making ‘high-risk’ investment decisions in that failed business.

 

These shortcomings inevitably raise continuing concerns over a lack of transparency and the ability or effectiveness of scrutiny to oversee executive/political decision-making for publicly-owned commercial companies.

 

In order to restore public confidence, protect the taxpayer, and discharge the Authority’s obligations to its employees in such enterprises, Council calls on the Mayor to accept and adopt (in total and without delay) the twelve recommendations contained in the report of our external auditors.

 

Furthermore, a cross-party board or panel needs to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Motion - Executive Decision Making and Scrutiny of Council-Owned Companies Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 92.

    Grant Thornton Review of Governance Arrangements for Bristol City Council's Subsidiaries 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 734 KB

    Additional documents: