Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
To ensure that the Council has a duly
appointed Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer for
South Lakeland District Council
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report informing Members that, following changes to the leadership structure which were being implemented from 1 April 2019 and with the existing Returning Officer leaving the Council on 31 May 2019, it was proposed that Simon McVey, who would be taking on the role of Operational Lead Support Services from 1 April 2019, be appointed Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer with effect from 1 June 2019.
The report further recommended that Tom Benson be confirmed as Deputy Electoral Registration Officer.
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) drew attention to the fact that, although both the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer and Deputy were officers of the Council, the roles of the positions formed a personal responsibility, independent and separate from their duties as employees of the Council.
In moving the recommendations contained within the report, Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder, explained that there were three items on the agenda that arose as a result of the ongoing roll out of the Customer Connect Programme. He stressed the significance to the Council of the Programme, which was entering a crucial stage, and that this was reflected in the changes to staffing, structure and the Constitution, as set out within the papers.
Councillor Brook took the opportunity to pay tribute to the current Returning Officer and Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) who would shortly be leaving the employment of the Authority and whose imminent departure gave rise to this particular agenda item. Debbie Storr had played a key role at South Lakeland District Council for the last 20 years. She had steered a successful course through hundreds of meetings and many elections during her time at the Authority. Councillor Brook was personally grateful for Debbie’s support and input during his time as Council Chairman and Cabinet Member and highlighted the fact that other chairmen, leaders, Cabinet Members and councillors had been similarly well supported over the years. Debbie had been a great servant and ambassador for the Council. Councillor Brook thanked Debbie for her work, and pointed out that she left a strong legacy. He wished her well for the future.
As the Council moved into a new era, on behalf of Members, Councillor Brook congratulated Simon McVey and Tom Benson on their appointments.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, seconded the motion.
The Chairman and Councillors Matt Severn, Janette Jenkinson and Brian Cooper all echoed Councillor Brook’s words of appreciation for Debbie Storr’s support and commitment.
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) confirmed that the roles of Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer were distinct from that of the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer).
It was unanimously
RESOLVED – That
(1) Simon McVey be appointed, with effect from 1 June 2019, as the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer for South Lakeland District Council; and
(2) Tom Benson be confirmed as Deputy Electoral Registration Officer.
Report author: Debbie Storr
Publication date: 10/04/2019
Date of decision: 28/03/2019
Decided at meeting: 28/03/2019 - Council