Breaking News: Setback for Cllr Stuart Hughes’ attempt to remain Chairman of EDDC

 

After Cllr. Stuart Hughes, Chairman EDDC, cancelled the Annual Meeting due to be held this month, the full council has just decided to hold an election for the positions of Chairman and Vice Chairman on Monday week by passing the motion. below 37 votes to 23.

Constitutionally, EDDC must elect its Chairman each year. Cllr Stuart’s argument for cancelling the Annual meeting, when this election takes place, was that there should be no change during the pandemic. 

Motion: to determine whether to hold a meeting to elect positions

‘Should the Council hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on 8th June 2020 at

6pm to elect the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council.’

5 thoughts on “Breaking News: Setback for Cllr Stuart Hughes’ attempt to remain Chairman of EDDC

  1. Peter

    What was the purpose of sharing the letter if it was not to make some sort of point? The only points that it could possibly have been trying to make were:

    A. you suggesting that cancelling the meeting was NOT democratic vandalism; and

    B. you coming out in support of Stuart Hughes in order to justify his decision to cancel the Annual Meeting.

    If these were NOT your intent, and if you agree with me that the election of a new leader was both a democratic and practical necessity, then please explain why you posted that lengthy letter.

    As I pointed out, the Government letter only made it legal for the EDDC constitutionally authorised individual (the CEO) to cancel the Annual Meeting, but it didn’t make it democratically / morally right to do so, and whilst it overrides the Constitution to allow the Annual Meeting not to be held, it doesn’t override the constitution definition of WHO is responsible for calling or cancelling meetings and allow someone else to do so.

    However I am glad to hear that you were NOT one of the 23 who tried to stop the election of a new leader. Perhaps there is hope for you after all. 🙂

    Paul

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  2. Peter – Might I suggest that you enrol on two evening courses at the earliest opportunity: A. Basic Understanding of Democracy; and B. Logical Thinking.

    1. In the letter you copied and pasted, the government does not (as you appears to be suggesting) mandate that councils cancel their Annual Meetings, but instead has relaxed the rules to allow them to miss them if it makes sense to do so. The choice is for each council to make based on local circumstances.

    In a situation where a council’s leadership has resigned (or been sacked) en-mass by a Leader who is clearly putting personal ambition above his responsibilities to the Community, and where the Opposition alliance now holds a majority position, it is clearly both urgent and essential to hold further elections of new leadership rather than leave the council rudderless during a crisis.

    For the Conservative Party and it’s Council Chairman to try to avoid such elections when it is perfectly possible to hold them and when there are no CV-19 related grounds to cancel them, is quite simply anti-democratic and a disgrace. There is no obvious justification for this other than democratic vandalism – but if you have one, please feel free to state it together with supporting evidence.

    2. The EDDC Constitution clearly and unambiguously states that it is the responsibility of the CEO to call meetings, not the Chairman. Stuart Hughes was not the person responsible for calling or cancelling the Annual Meeting, and was acting completely outside his constitutional remit in doing so.

    N.B. You might also wish to enrol on a Fundamentals of Coal Mining course – in order to learn when it is best to stop digging a deeper hole for yourself. 🙂

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    • Dear Paul

      You seem to have assumed all sorts of things. All I did was to share the letter and make no comment. I actually voted in support of the vote.

      cheers.

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  3. Dear Paul

    Please see the letter bellow sent out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

    Chief Executives
    Principal Councils in England
    Dear Chief Executive,
    Monday 6 April 2020

    I am writing to update you on emergency legislation that we are making to support local authorities in the vital work you are doing to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic whilst ensuring essential business and services continue.
    We have in the last week made two sets of regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The first set enables all local authority meetings before 7 May 2021 to be held remotely and removes the requirement for the annual meeting this year. The second set postpones until 6 May 2021 local by-elections and other polls, either scheduled or which would otherwise arise before that date. I am annexing a note explaining these regulations. I would be grateful if you could, as appropriate, ensure that parish and town councils in your area are aware of these.
    The regulations aim to give local authorities greater flexibility to redeploy their resources to focus on meeting the many new challenges they face in responding to the pandemic whilst maintaining critical front-line services. The regulations on meetings will enable essential decision-making to continue whilst upholding democratic principles and enabling all to comply with the public health guidance. The elections regulations also ensure that unnecessary risks to voters, the officers who run polling stations and counts, and campaigners are avoided.
    On behalf of the MHCLG team who have worked to make these regulations, I would like to thank you and your colleagues who have contributed to their development – the regulations are undoubtedly more comprehensive and workable as a result of your input.
    In making these regulations we have been engaging with our counterparts in the Devolved Administrations who will be putting in place analogous arrangements in their countries where required. As with the whole approach to responding to the pandemic the Government is seeking to follow a four nation approach.
    Paul Rowsell CBE Email paul.rowsell@communities.gov.uk Head of the Governance Reform and Democracy Unit Telephone 0303 444 2568
    Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
    2nd Floor North East Corner Fry Building
    2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

    Further sets of regulations are intended to be made in the coming weeks including MHCLG regulations to relax the date for the completion and publication of annual accounts, and regulations by the Cabinet Office to make further election-related provisions.

    Yours sincerely,
    P ROWSELL
    Paul Rowsell CBE
    Head of the Governance Reform and Democracy Unit Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 2nd Floor North East Corner Fry Building
    2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
    Email paul.rowsell@communities.gov.uk Telephone 0303 444 2568

    ANNEX
    The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020
    These regulations enable all local authority meetings to be held remotely, including allowing remote access by members of the public, and they remove the requirement for the annual meeting this year.
    The regulations are drafted very broadly, applying to different types of local authorities, and to different categories of meetings including annual meetings, cabinet and committee meetings.
    Local authorities can decide not to hold the legally prescribed annual meeting. Where meetings are held, local authorities have the flexibility to hold them at any time of day and on any day, to alter how frequently they are held and to move or cancel them without further notice. Where a local authority does not hold an annual meeting, current appointments will continue until the next annual meeting of the authority or when the local authority determines.
    Meetings may be held remotely including via telephone conferencing, video conferencing, live webchat and live streaming. Remote attendance by members counts for other purposes such as the six month rule on attendance, and for allowances. Members of the public and press may also access meetings remotely rather than in person.
    The regulations are not prescriptive about how local authorities may facilitate remote meetings or related matters such as voting and access to documents by members and the public. Different solutions will be appropriate in different localities and local authorities may make appropriate standing orders.
    The regulations also enable Police and Crime Panels in England and Wales to take place remotely, allowing Police and Crime Panels to continue undertaking their statutory duties.
    The regulations came into force on 4 April 2020 and apply to meetings taking place before 7 May 2021. We are able to legislate to bring forward this date if medical and scientific advice leads to the relaxation of social distancing rules.
    You can find the regulations and supporting documents here on the legislation.gov website http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/392/contents/made
    Paul Rowsell CBE Email paul.rowsell@communities.gov.uk Head of the Governance Reform and Democracy Unit Telephone 0303 444 2568
    Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
    2nd Floor North East Corner Fry Building
    2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

    The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020
    The Coronavirus Act 2020 postponed the scheduled local and mayoral elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections due to take place on 7 May 2020 until 6 May 2021.
    The regulations postpone to 6 May 2021 other polls, either scheduled or which would otherwise arise before that date, including local authority, mayoral and Greater London Authority by-elections, polls and referendums in England and by-elections for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.
    Local and mayoral by-elections include to any county, district or London Borough Council, parish council, for a local authority directly elected mayor, a combined authority mayor, and for the Greater London Authority the Mayor of London or constituency member of the Greater London Assembly.
    Other polls include local advisory polls, referendums on a local authority change of governance and neighbourhood planning referendums.
    The regulations make other changes as a consequence of the postponement of polls. For example, to extend the period for collation of signatures on a governance referendum petition and to preserve the transitional election cycles set out in legislation following a local government electoral review or reorganisation of local government, such as in Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. Further regulations are to be made relating to the governance arrangements of the new Buckinghamshire Council and the shadow Northamptonshire authorities.
    The regulations provide legal certainty for Returning Officers and ensure that they cannot be held criminally liable for any actions or omissions in relation to a poll that is scheduled to be held but not held. The regulations act retrospectively to cover polls that were required to be held, but were not held, in the period after 15 March 2020.
    The regulations come into force on 7 April 2020 and apply to polls than would otherwise be scheduled between 15 March 2020 and 5 May 2021. We are able to legislate to bring forward this later date if medical and scientific advice leads to the relaxation of social distancing rules.
    A further set of regulations on election-related matters will be made by the Cabinet Office.
    You can find the regulations and supporting documents here on the legislation.gov website: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/395/contents/made
    Paul Rowsell CBE Email paul.rowsell@communities.gov.uk Head of the Governance Reform and Democracy Unit Telephone 0303 444 2568
    Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
    2nd Floor North East Corner Fry Building
    2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

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  4. So who were the 23 who voted AGAINST electing a new council leadership? And how could they POSSIBLY reconcile that with any sensible understanding of democracy?

    The 23 who voted against were IMO quite simply democratic vandals, hoping to completely dis-rail the democratic process for their own Party-Political gain. Shameful. An utter disgrace.

    Like

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