Matters especially brought forward by the Mayor and the Leader.
(i) Annual General Meeting
The Mayor announced that this was a historic day for the City as it was the first time that such a meeting had been held virtually and indeed believed that the City Council were one of the first Councils in the UK to hold an AGM virtually.
Due to new legislation allowing virtual meetings and ensuring there was the right IT platforms and software, no decision making meetings could realistically take place until now.
Accordingly, as the meeting could not be held in the normal way some of the traditional ceremonial parts would not take place today but it was intended to have a further event hopefully later in the year when everyone could meet in the Guildhall and celebrate the Mayoralty and our Citizens and Business Awards.
The Mayor also announced that the Country was in highly unusual and difficult times. Families in the City had lost loved ones to the dreadful coronavirus and indeed the Council had lost one of its valued and long serving employees, Nigel Fulbrook and John Campbell who was one of the City’s Independent School Appeal Members. I would therefore like to pass on both my and the City Council’s sincere condolences to anyone who has suffered such loss.
The Mayor also announced with great sadness that Ex Councillor Mary Lloyd who served as a City Councillor for the Bitterne Ward 2012 -2016 had passed away.
As a mark of respect Members bowed their heads and observed a minute’s silence to remember those who had passed away.
(ii) Meeting Protocol/Virtual Meeting Etiquette, Mobile Phones and Electronic Devices
The Mayor announced that there were new etiquette protocols which had been put in place for virtual meetings. As a reminder to Members, please ensure all electronic devices are muted whilst in the virtual meeting, unless you wish to speak. Having two devices operating close to each other may cause feedback.
Members were also urged to use their good sense and behave with courtesy, particularly in not tweeting messages which would otherwise be in breach of the rules or the law. For example, tweeting material discussed in confidential session would be a very serious breach.
Members were requested that if they wish to speak on an item that this was indicated using the chat function. In respect of voting it was noted that it was to be done by way of a negative resolution. When it came to the vote members who intended to either vote against the recommendations or abstain would be asked to say so. All other members who did not would be deemed to vote for the recommendation. This approach would be refined for future meetings.
The Mayor announced that as it was known the Local Elections this year had been postponed and all Members whose seats were to be vacant had had an extra year added to their terms of office until the elections scheduled for May 2021 so there were no changes to announce.
Those members were:-
Councillors Mrs Blatchford, Paffey, Hannides, Barnes-Andrews, Murphy, White, Thomas, Shields, P Baillie, Taggart, Keogh, Savage, Whitbread, Chaloner,
J Baillie and Mintoff.
In the circumstances the Maryor welcomed back all sitting Members to the Virtual Chamber.