Agenda item

Bingham Improvement Board

The report of the Chief Executive is attached.


Councillor Williams left the Council Chamber and did not take part in the following debate or vote.


Councillor Purdue-Horan left his seat but remained in the Council Chamber and did not take part in the following debate or vote.


The Leader and Portfolio Holder for Strategic and Borough Wide Leadership, Councillor Robinson presented the report of the Chief Executive, which provided the Council with an update detailing the membership and terms of reference of the Bingham Improvement Board.


It was noted that at the September 2021 Council meeting, Council had received a petition from The Bingham Deserves Better pressure group, presented by Mr Anthony Fox, calling for a community governance review of Bingham Town Council, and considered whether the petition was valid. Whilst Council did not accept the petition it did resolve to support a commitment to working collaboratively with Bingham Town Council and to offer to set up an Improvement Board to review governance and improvement issues at the Town Council.


Councillor Robinson informed Council that following the Council’s meeting in September, the Chief Executive had written to Bingham Town Council offering Rushcliffe Borough Council’s support in setting up an Improvement Board. This was debated at the Bingham Town Council meeting on 19 October and agreed.


It was noted that the Chief Executive had met with Neil Taylor, former Chief Executive of Bassetlaw District Council, Jonathan Owen, Chief Executive of the National Association of Local Councils and David Pye, Advisor at the Local Government Association and parish councillor, who have agreed to be on the Improvement Board alongside two Town Councillors. Additionally, the draft terms of reference for the Board were submitted to the Town Council and were debated and approved at an Extraordinary Council meeting on 23 November.


Councillor Robinson outlined the next steps for the Bingham Improvement Board, which would include the independent members visiting Bingham and meeting Bingham Town Councillors. The Board would then develop a work programme and arrange meetings. The outcomes of those meeting would be reported back to Bingham Town Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council.


Councillor Edyvean seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.


Councillor Gaunt supported the recommendations outlined in the report and was pleased to see that progress had been made since the last Council meeting. Councillor Gaunt noted that the Bingham Improvement Board was made of all male members and would have preferred to have some female members too and also criticised the use of the word ‘chairman’ in the report.


Councillor Howitt, Councillor R Mallender and Councillor Thomas all supported the recommendations in the report.


Councillor Edyvean responded to the comments of Councillor Gaunt and assured him that the Council did support inclusivity and that the members of the Bingham Improvement Board had the right skills and experience.


Councillor Robinson noted that two substitute members of the Board representing Bingham Town Council were female and that the senior officers supporting the Board, Mrs Sanjit Sull and Mrs Joanne Riddle were both women. 


It was proposed by Councillor Robinson and seconded by Councillor Edyvean and RESOLVED that:


a)     the progress made and the joint commitment by Rushcliffe Borough Council and Bingham Town Council to deliver an Improvement Board in 2022 be noted; and


b)  a further update report be received by Cabinet in Summer 2022.

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