Contact: Jade Hannah, Democratic Services Officer
This report provided details of a proposal to administer the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund which the government had introduced in response to Covid-19, to which the Leader’s approval under urgency provisions was sought.
The report explained that in March and April 2020, the government announced and issued guidance on a number of business support schemes. On 2 May 2020, the government announced the establishment of a discretionary ‘top-up’ fund to accommodate certain small businesses outside the scope of the previously-announced business grant fund schemes. Full guidance was issued on 13 May 2020, and officers had developed a proposed scheme, set out at paragraphs 2.6 to 2.18 and Appendix 1 to the report.
The report noted that the urgency provisions were set out in the Constitution (paragraph 3.2 of Part 3 (Responsibility for Cabinet functions) of Chapter 3 (Responsibility for Functions) of the Constitution).
The Chairman of the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the taking of these decisions were urgent and could not be reasonably deferred until the next Cabinet meeting on 9 June 2020, in accordance with Section 11 (Cases of special urgency) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to Information)(England) Regulations 2012 and Rule 17 (Special Urgency) of the Access to Information Rules (Part 2 of Chapter 4 in the Constitution).
Additionally and in line with rule 15.11 of Chapter 4, Part 5 of the Constitution, call-in could be waived where any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the Public’s interests. The Chairman of the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the decisions proposed were reasonable in all the circumstances and to them being treated as a matter of urgency and to waive call-in.
Given the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of cost to Medway Council it is appropriate for the Council to introduce these measures.