At the Annual Town Council Meeting of 11 May 2023 the appointments and structures as below were agreed.
Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley
Deputy Leader Cllr Kathy Pearce
Mayor Cllr Mick Lerry
Deputy Mayor Cllr Jacqui Solomon
The Council structure would continue on an Executive system of portfolio Holders backed by 2 support members in a PFH-Triad to ensure debate and agreement amongst leader groups. Increased public involvement was also encouraged through the Forum system.
EXECUTIVE AND PORTFOLIOS
The Policy & Finance Executive should consist of the 8 portfolio holders (PFH) . 3 rule changes were agreed as below
That the TRIADS be allowed to send any one of the 3 should the PFH not be available.
That there be a new CIVIC Triad comprising a) Current Mayor b) previous Mayor and c) Deputy Mayor (ie next Mayor). This triad should be present at Exec, but non-voting.
The opposition Conservative group are entitled to send an observer to the P&F Exec, nominally the Leader of the Opposition, but able to substitute.
The 3 member Triads are a crucial part of sharing the load and having full discussion of a topic or policy. They should meet regularly and share the workload within their realm. Ie taking Chairs and vice chair of committees and forums and nominating to the appropriate ‘outside body’.
The proposed Triad system for 2023-24 is as follows.
Leader Brian Smedley
Deputy Leader Kathy Pearce
Economy PFH Mick Lerry
This PFH and triad should focus on the 4 key forums of HISTORY DAY -TWINNING-TOURISM-BRIDGWATER TOGETHER. The new LCN role will fall within this department and will require a BTC rep to compliment the 8 unitary councillors. The Leader will Chair the P&F Exec.
Deputy Kathy Pearce
This PFH will include the new ENVIRONMENT committee, which all 3 should serve on plus 6 others. Triad should run the 4 areas covering Allotments, cemeteries, seed the day and parks and gardens. This can be any way they see fit but could include a Forum or a working party or directly by the triad.
This PFH will also include the STAFF brief (the working party should include the Leader & Deputy) The Triad should also have input on Town Team, Town Deal, Markets. The brief would now include the Town Development Forum.
The property portfolio will include chairing the Premises ctte and also the Planning committee. The brief will extend to the new buildings that the town takes on and the property PFH should have a degree of consultation with other portfolios that include property elements. We are proposing Tim Mander because of his work experience at Sedgemoor in the field of property and the extra and specific workload due to the creation of Unitary and the demise of Sedgemoor.
The Transport Forum is a successful self-functioning body with established outside involvement and should continue with more of an environmental drive to it. It will also include the Nuclear related transport bodies.
This PFH will cover not just culture but arts and heritage. The PFH and Triad should take shared roles on the BCP and SEED groups in whatever format and ensure at least one is represented on the Art Centre & Museum. One of triad should chair the Museum sub ctte
The main role of this PFH is liaison with our core grant funded community centres – Victoria, Sydenham and Hamp. It should also provide the structure for liaison with the Police plus other community initiatives such as the Community Drop ins (warm rooms) etc
The brief of this PFH is maintain and run the Youth Forum plus encourage links from schools.
This new civic triad of past, present and future Mayors should meet to plan and discuss mayoral role and functions. It will also be eligible to send a rep as an observer to Exec
There are several committees which any member of council can be on. Town Council is not bound by politically proportionality rules but if it were, for fairness, then the balance would be that the Conservative Group should have 18.75% of all committee places. There are 29 committee places (Environment 8 Premises 10 Planning 11). This means 5 Conservative seats. We have allocated this as requested (Environment 1 Premises 2 Planning 2)
The Executive is comprised of the 8 Portfolio Holders as voting members. We have introduced observer status for the Mayoral Triad and for the Conservative Group as a key element of scrutiny and openness. This is in line with the system previously operated by Sedgemoor whereby the portfolios were chosen from the ruling group.
The relevant Triad members should nominate chairs and vice chairs from amongst them.
POLICY & FINANCE EXECUTIVE (8 x PFH)
Slocombe (sub Aujla)
BRIDGWATER ARTS CENTRE
BRIDGWATER ART CENTRE PROPOSAL ;- The current arrangement is that the BTC nominated Cllrs are DIRECTORS however, annual meeting agreed they should be ‘observers’ so they could vote at BTC meetings but not at BAC ones
These are open to ANY member of the council but should be organised by the relevant Triad and chaired by one of the Triad members. Triads can also choose to set up additional forums if they feel appropriate. Forums should be open to councillors, relevant groups of experts and members of the public, ideally delegates from organised bodies.
LOCAL COMMUNITY NETWORKS
BTC Tim Mander
BW Without rep
Bridgwater is Area 8 LCN. The 8 county councillors are aically on it but both BTC and ‘BW Without’ need to appoint a delegate. Tim Mander is the BTC rep on the LCN 8 Area. OUTSIDE BODIES
Wyndham Lecture Trust
Tidal barrier (stakeholders)
Tidal Barrier Enhancement
Hamp Community Association
Sydenham Community Centre
Victoria Community Centre
Bw Memorial Homes
Friends of Wembdon rd cem
Together Team (ONE TEAM)
All EDF related bodies
Parret Drainage Board
Meetings will be held at the following times-