Posted: Sat 18th Apr 2020

How Flintshire Council has adapted its democratic process under lockdown

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 18th, 2020

It’s been around a month since county council meetings were ‘stood down’ in Flintshire due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Important decision-making processes, planning applications and debates have been unable to take place since then.

Routine decisions have been deferred while the council has been in crises mode, allowing it to focus on delivering core services during the lockdown period.

The UK Government passed emergency legislation on April 4 to allow English councils to hold remote meetings and the Welsh Government is currently in the process of doing the same.

 

In the absence of a technological solution, the council has turned to  ‘Individual Cabinet Member’ decision-making which will aid transparently during the crisis period.

The council says: “During the current emergency situation, the Council has adapted its democratic processes so that urgent decisions can be made.

We have introduced ‘Individual Cabinet Member’ decision-making so that such decisions are taken transparently and with due accountability. 

Three clear days before a Cabinet Member makes a decision, the Council will publish an agenda on the Council’s website (www.flintshire.gov.uk) with a report analysing the issues and making a recommendation.”

Councillors and the public can email representations to the Democratic Services Manager, before the appointed date and time for the decision to be made, who will bring them to the attention of the Cabinet Member before the decision is made.

Flintshire council added: “In the absence of the Planning Committee being able to meet, a process has been put in place which will allow urgent planning applications to be determined whilst physical meetings cannot take place. 

Such applications will be determined by the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) having taken into account the views of the applicant, members of the public, consultees, the Local Member and the members of Planning Committee members. 

Any reports in relation to urgent planning applications to be determined will be uploaded onto the Council’s website, as will any decisions taken.”

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