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Can a Town Council take a decision by email outside of a monthly meeting?

0 votes

We have an urgent project that needs Town Council approval. 

We have just had our monthly meeting.

QUESTION = Is is possible to have councillors vote by email to get a majority to authorise a project going ahead in advance of the next monthly meeting?

Particularly under Covid 19 related guideline - or indeed at any time

Many thanks 

asked by (120 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Several questions come to mind. If it is so urgent and so close to your normal meeting how come it wasn't on the agenda. Such required decisions rarely appear out of nowhere and should presumably be included in the planning of the project.
Isn't this what EO meetings are for?

If this decision is so urgent that it cannot wait for the short time for an EO to be called then there must be something basically wrong with the running of the project in that no provision was made to cover and negate such an eventuality.
answered by (4.7k points)
The item WAS on the last Agenda - the Council agreed to support the project BUT we now have an initiative (relating to LOCKDOWN) that needs Council approval - to wait until the next meeting three weeks away will lose the momentum - I am seeking advice as whether there is a mechanism whereby council members can approve actions outside of an EO.
You wrote 'several questions come to mind' - you only asked one. What were the others?
Sorry for the confusion on questions. Main one regarding agenda, the others (investigative) regarding the planning and implementation of the project and the built in safeguards.
From your answer it seems to be that you are seeking to amend the project to cover something in the latest round of covid legislation and its effect on the project. This is one of the questions in that living in the times we are could such a necessary requirement have not be included in the project wording when it was passed by council to make compliance with such legislation changes by agreement by email or automatically implemented? Or indeed the project requirement reworded at an EO meeting. A simple, 'the project must at all times meet the requirements of the government covid instructions and recommendations'.
I obviously do not write clearly
+1 vote
Initial response is that you cannot use an email decision to authorise a project.  The Chair will need to call an Extraordinary Meeting giving a week's notice.

However..... depending on the cost implication of the decision that needs to be made, there may be cover under delegated spending powers of the Clerk / Proper Officer.  If an urgent decision to spend money is considered business critical, then your Financial Regulations may allow for a spend eg, if urgent tree works were required for the safety of the public...
answered by (12.5k points)
Thank you - just the info I needed
0 votes
The answer depends on the question being asked. If it is a directional question we have often done Decisions by emails for a Parish Council but a Town Council works like an office.

Be aware if a project Is running a delay could incur financial penalties which would have a detrimental effect in the long run

The government made decisions by email  during Covid -  my question would be where is the difference?
answered by (3.1k points)
A Town Council is merely the Parish Council of an urban area.

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