After the Mayor-Making, now down to business. Last night (Monday 16 May) at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Town Council, Councillors voted themselves on to the Committees of the Council and elected Chairs and Vice Chairs.
This was being held, in person, for the first time in three years. Rather than proceed as on previous occasions with a series of ‘show of hands’ votes, the Council adopted a process of secret ballots. Initially to nominate and elect each other on to the five individual sub-committees of the Council (Planning, Open Spaces, Finance & Policy, Staffing, Property), then employ the same procedure to elect the Chairs and Vice Chairs to each.
However, the initial phase of balloting proceeded slowly to start with as it was new to most Councillors and the process needed debate with subsequent explanation from the Town Clerk as to what was to happen and what each Councillor had to do. This secret ballot system was later abandoned once the process to elect Chairs had got underway and the ‘hands up’ procedure took over.
The new Committee Chairs (and Vice Chairs) are as follows:
|Planning||Cllr James Sheppard||Cllr Fogg|
|Amenities & Open Spaces||Cllr Jo Waltham||Cllr Don Heath|
|Finance & Policy||Cllr Caroline Thomas||to be decided at first meeting|
|Property||Cllr Guy Loosmore||Cllr Mervyn Hall|
|Staffing||Cllr Kymee Cleasby||Cllr Noel Barrett-Morton|
Later in the meeting, at the suggestion of Cllr Jo Waltham, Councillors unanimously voted to do away with gender specific titles, so whereas a Committee was chaired previously by a ‘Chairman’, in future the leader of the Committee would be referred to as ‘Chair’. Similarly for their ‘Vice Chair’, and also Standing Orders amended ‘He/Him’ references to be replaced by ‘Them/They’.