Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Full Council - Wednesday, 6th October, 2021 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Note: This extraordinary meeting of the Full Council, commencing at 6.30pm, will be followed by an ordinary meeting of the Full Council commencing at 7pm or at the rising of the extraordinary meeting (whichever is the latest). 


No. Item


In Memoriam Julian Stanyer

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The council observed a two minute silence and received eulogies from members following the death of councillor and former mayor Julian Stanyer on 26 September 2021. Julian had served as member for Speldhurst and Bidborough ward since May 2008 and Mayor the Borough of Tunbridge Wells 2014-15.


Apologies for absence pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

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Apologies were received from Councillors Ellis, Funnell, Morton and Roberts. Councillor White was not present.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.

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No declarations of pecuniary or other significant interest were made.


Whole Council Elections pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To consider and, if thought fit, to decide on the matter set out in the associated report.

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Councillor Holden moved, and Councillor Scott seconded, a motion for the Council to move to whole-council elections, meaning an electoral cycle of one election every four years with all councillors being elected and the first election under the new system being held in 2024.


The Mayor noted that if the motion was not carried by at least two-thirds majority, the Council would retain the current elections by thirds.


Debate included –

In favour of whole-council elections:

·         Avoid mandatory three-member wards.

·         Would allow smaller wards bringing representatives closer to the electorate.

·         Allowed longer-term planning.

·         Reduce time electioneering and inactive time during pre-election periods (purdah).

·         Avoid smaller wards being subsumed into larger areas.

·         Reduces the cost of elections, regularly highlighted as a priority during Budget consultations.

·         Distinct elections allows greater public awareness of who their representatives are.

In favour of elections by thirds:

·         Gives electorate more opportunities to influence the direction of the Council.

·         Keeps members more focused on the wishes of electors.

·         Other councils with whole-council elections had a greater number of uncontested seats.

·         Has hidden cost-savings as a result of fewer public contacts, fewer by-elections, easier ballot counting and the maintenance of knowledge in election officials.

·         Preferred option in public consultation.


The Mayor took a recorded vote.


Members who voted for the motion: Councillors Allen, Atwood, Backhouse, Bailey, Bland, Barrington-King, Dawlings, Fairweather, Goodship, Hamilton, Holden, March, McDermott, Scholes, Scott, Simmons, Thomson and Woodward. (18)


Members who voted against the motion: Councillors Atkins, Britcher-Allen, Chapelard, Everitt, Fitzsimmons, C. Hall, Hayward, D. Hill, B. Hills, Knight, Lewis, Lidstone, Patterson, Poile, Pope, Pound, Rands, Rutland, Warne, Willis and Wormington. (21)


Members who abstained for voting: Councillor Dr Hall, Hickey and Ms Palmer. (3)




Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To consider any other items which the Mayor decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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There was no urgent business.


Common Seal of the Council pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To authorise the Common Seal of the Council to be affixed to any contract, minute, notice or other document arising out of the minutes, or pursuant to any delegation, authority or power conferred by the Council.

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RESOLVED That the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to any contract, minute, notice or other document arising out of the minutes or pursuant to any delegation, authority or power conferred by the Council.