Agenda item

Temporary Chair of the Full Council the Election of Mayor 2021/ 2022


In advance of agenda item 3 – Election of Mayor 2021/ 2022, Councillor Malik (the Deputy Mayor in the Chair) stated that as he was one of the nominations for the position of the Mayor, he therefore was unable to preside over an election in which he was involved. As a result, he would be leaving the Chair for the next agenda item Election of Mayor 2021/ 2022. As there was no Deputy to take the Chair Councillor Malik called for nominations for a member to be the Temporary Chair of the Full Council the Election of Mayor 2021/ 2022.


Before the vote on the Temporary Chair could take place, Councillor Crow put forward a Procedural Motion in accordance with FCPR 11.1 (q)) To suspend a particular Full Council Procedure Rule, namely in relation to suspend the Chair’s casting vote. This was seconded by Councillor McCarthy. Councillor Lamb spoke against the Procedural Motion.


The Deputy Mayor in the Chair, then called a vote on the Procedural Motion. The vote was a tie split 18 for and 18 against the Procedural Motion.  


Councillor Crow then raised a point of order that FCPR 13. Suspension of Full Council Procedure Rules, 13.1 stated that All Full Council Procedure Rules, except Rules 1.2(C1) (signing of minutes) and 10.4 (holding a recorded vote), may be suspended if at least one half of the whole number of Councillors present vote in favour of that suspension. Suspension will only apply for the duration of that meeting.


Following the points raised by Councillor Crow, the Deputy Mayor in the Chair called for an adjournment to seek advice from the Monitoring Officer.


On resumption of the meeting the Deputy Mayor in the Chair confirmed that the Procedural Motion moved by Councillor Crow had been carried as a result of the vote which had taken place just prior to the adjournment. It was carried because the threshold of at least one half, as set out in FCPR 13.1, had been met.


Nominations were then sought for the Temporary Chair, Councillor Ayling seconded by Councillor P Smith proposed Councillor Jones, whilst Councillor Crow seconded by Councillor McCarthy proposed Councillor Lanzer.


A voted was then called with Councillor Jones receiving 18 votes and Councillor Lanzer receiving 18 votes and the votes were tied with the casting vote having been suspended. The meeting could not proceed without a Temporary Chair as there is a constitutional requirement to have a Chair in place for a Full Council meeting. The Deputy Mayor in the Chair then read out section 8.1 of the Introduction to Crawley Borough Council’s Constitution, namely 8.1 Suspension: A motion to suspend any rules will not be moved without notice unless at least one half of the whole number of Councillors are present. The extent and duration of suspension will be proportionate to the result to be achieved and the purpose of any suspension should be to enhance the democratic process, not restrict it.


The Deputy Mayor in the Chair observed that the previously approved Procedural Motion to suspend the Chair’s casting vote was preventing the meeting from continuing and was therefore restricting the democratic process rather than enhancing it. As such, the Deputy Mayor in the Chair used the provision in 8.1 to set aside the Procedural Motion, for the meeting and in doing so used the Chair’s casting vote to break the deadlock and elect the Temporary Chair. The casting vote was used for Councillor Jones giving him 19 votes to Councillor Lanzer’s 18 votes.


Councillor Jones was appointed as the Chair for the next item and came to the dais, whilst the Deputy Mayor stepped out of the Chair.