TIME for a review of emergency powers to make delegated decisions on council Covid-19 matters, councillors say.
At Ceredigion County Council’s audit committee on Thursday (September 10) members called for a review of March’s approved decision to allow urgent matters relating to the Covid-19 response to be made by the chief executive and leadership group.
While not questioning the necessity for the decision – nor the “exceptional work” carried out – the committee voted to recommend that a review of the position be held as soon as possible, and regular reviews are considered as the pandemic continues.
Committee chairman Cllr Rowland Rees-Evans asked what the “timeline” for he delegated powers was, adding “at the moment it’s open-ended, it could go on for another 12 months but the pandemic might have stopped.”
Monitoring officer Elin Prysor told members that it was timely that a review is carried out by the leader and senior officers with the March decision not having a timeline attached to it but a review would be required for “good governance practice.”
Cllr Elizabeth Evans added: “Obviously we all understand why the decision was taken in the first place but it would seem ultimately sensible that it’s brought into the 21-day review,” referring to the regular review of measures such as ‘safe zones’.
“I think things are going to have to be reviewed more often now to basically unlock democracy is you like,” she added.
Cllr Evans was assured that any decisions taken at council meetings at any of the meetings held virtually would be subject to the usual call-in process if required.
Councillors Gareth Rees and Keith Evans also backed reviewing the delegated decision process and for it to be discussed at the cabinet.
The committee was discussing the updated Annual Governance Statement, which included a reference to Covid-19 responses, and was approved for presentation to full council, also held on September 10.