Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Council
Monday, 7th December, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: James Kinsella 

Items
No. Item

105.

Welcome

Minutes:

Before commencing formal proceedings the Mayor took the opportunity to remind Council of a letter she had sent to all Members in advance of the meeting regarding the standards of behaviour she would expect to be observed at this and all future Council meetings.

 

Having received confirmation that the letter had been received by Members, the Mayor reminded those present that she would, if required, have no hesitation in using the powers available within the Constitution to ensure good conduct at Council meetings.

106.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chris Bond, Robert Hayward, Adeline Kepez, Mary Maguire, Daniel Pearce and Haydar Ulus.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Dinos Lemonides and Ozzie Uzoanya.

107.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda.

Minutes:

The following interest was declared at the meeting:

 

Agenda Item 3.1: Motion in the name of Councillor Neville regarding the conduct of a member at the last ordinary Council meeting:

 

        Councillor Andrew Stafford declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest as the member to whom the Motion submitted for consideration related.  Before withdrawing from the Chamber he advised that he had written to the Mayor and members from both political groups to formally apologise for his conduct at the last meeting.  He then left the Chamber for the remainder of the meeting.

108.

Urgent Council Question

Minutes:

Before moving on to deal with the motion for which the Extraordinary Meeting had been requisitioned, the Mayor advised that she had also received notice of an urgent question for consideration at the meeting submitted by Councillor Neville, details of which had been tabled at the meeting.

 

Having consulted with the Monitoring Officer the Mayor advised that she was of the view that the urgency criteria had been met and was therefore minded to accept the question for consideration.  As this was an Extraordinary Council Meeting, however, she was required to formally seek Council’s agreement to accept it as an additional agenda item.

 

In response to a procedural query from Councillor Neville, John Austin (Assistant Director Corporate Projects) confirmed that under Council Procedure Rule 3.2 the agenda for an Extraordinary Meeting had to be limited to the item(s) of business notified on the original requisition, unless Council decided otherwise.  As notice of the question had not been included as part of the requisition for this meeting the Mayor would therefore need to seek Council’s formal approval to its consideration at the meeting.

 

Having noted the advice, Council agreed to inclusion of the urgent question on the agenda for response at the meeting.

 

Question from Councillor Neville to Councillor Taylor, Leader of the Council:

 

“The Leader is quoted in an article published in The Advertiser as saying that Councillor Stafford has been disciplined by the Labour Group for his outburst at the Council meeting on 11th November.  Can he tell the Council explicitly what disciplinary action was taken against Councillor Stafford?”

 

The following response was provided by Councillor Taylor at the meeting:

 

“I can confirm that the Labour Group has followed its internal procedures and rules regarding members conduct in terms of dealing with the matter.

 

The Groups Chief Whip has undertaken an investigation and whilst this was a confidential internal process I am satisfied the matter has been dealt with and action taken in an appropriate manner.”

 

The Mayor advised that no supplementary question would be permitted and the meeting then moved on to consider the next item of business.

 

Members noted that the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest which Councillor Stafford had declared would also apply to this item.

109.

Motions

Notice has been given of the following motion:

 

3.1    In the name of Councillor Neville:

 

“The Council condemns the behaviour of Councillor Stafford during the debate on the government’s Trade Union Bill at the Council meeting on 11 November 2015, when he used an extremely abusive epithet directed at Councillor Alessandro Georgiou during the latter’s speech.

 

Given that Councillor Stafford’s portfolio responsibilities include legal and governance, in using such language he failed to lead by example.  He has not only brought disgrace upon himself, but also on the Council and the Enfield Labour Group.  In the absence of his voluntary resignation from the cabinet, this Council calls on the Leader to dismiss Councillor Stafford forthwith as a member of the Cabinet.”

Minutes:

Before considering the motion listed on the agenda the Mayor invited John Austin to provide advice clarifying the procedure that would need to be followed in terms of dealing with the motion.

 

In terms of the advice, Members noted that the motion and consideration of issues regarding Members conduct generally fell within the remit of the Councillor Conduct Committee, as delegated by Council within the Constitution.  Whilst a complaint relating to the incident at the last Council meeting had been made to the Councillor Conduct Committee this had subsequently been withdrawn.

 

Given that responsibility for issues relating to Members conduct would usually rest with the Councillor Conduct Committee, Council would need to make a conscious decision to consider this specific issue and in so doing recognise this would be on the basis that it would:

 

·                not set any precedent for the future in relation to member conduct matters and

 

·                preclude the Councillor Conduct Committee from dealing with this specific matter in future, unless new evidence came to light;

 

Council confirmed that they were happy to agree to consideration of the motion on the basis of the above advice.  As a result Councillor Neville then moved and Councillor Alessandro Georgiou seconded the following motion:

 

“The Council condemns the behaviour of Councillor Stafford during the debate on the government’s Trade Union Bill at the Council meeting on 11 November 2015, when he used an extremely abusive epithet directed at Councillor Alessandro Georgiou during the latter’s speech.

 

Given that Councillor Stafford’s portfolio responsibilities include legal and governance, in using such language he failed to lead by example.  He has not only brought disgrace upon himself, but also on the Council and the Enfield Labour Group.  In the absence of his voluntary resignation from the Cabinet, this Council calls on the Leader to dismiss Councillor Stafford forthwith as a member of the Cabinet.”

 

Following a lengthy debate the motion was put to the vote and not approved, with the result as follows:

 

 

For: 19

Against: 32

Abstention: 0

 

It was noted that Councillor Stafford had declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in this matter and was not therefore present at the meeting for the duration of the debate and decision on the item.

110.

End of Meeting

Minutes:

Having dealt with the item of business listed on the agenda, the Mayor advised that the Extraordinary Council meeting had been concluded.