Merton Council

Home Home Merton Adult Education Home Home Jobs in children's social care Home Merton Means Business Home Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone Home Safeguarding Children Board
How do I contact my councillor?

Issue - meetings

Interim Decision Making Arrangements

Meeting: 23/03/2020 - Cabinet (Item 13)

13 Interim Decision Making Arrangements pdf icon PDF 84 KB




1.    That the arrangements for the good governance of the Council during the Covid-19 crisis, namely that officers will exercise their delegated authority to take decisions in accordance with the Council’s constitution be noted and endorsed.

2.    That it be noted that when officers are taking delegated decisions they will consult appropriately with members, key decisions will be subject to the usual notice requirements and both key and non-key executive decisions will be published on the Council’s website in order to ensure transparency.


The Chair altered the order of business to take this item first to allow the Chief Executive to be present for the discussion before he left the meeting.


The Chair introduced the item, explaining that its purpose was to ensure the effective running of the Council during the Coronavirus period.  However he wanted to reassure residents and Members of the Council that despite public meetings being cancelled, any decisions taken during this period would continue to be taken with the involvement of Members and that the work of the Council would increase over the coming months.


The Chief Executive reiterated that although decision making would be delegated in some cases to officers, those decisions would be taken with the full involvement of Members, taking into account their views before any technical decisions are taken.  Since the publication of the report, the Government had declared an intention to amend the Covid-19 Bill to allow for virtual Council meetings to take place and at the point that this became law, the Council would take action as appropriate.


The Chief Executive advised that the Council was responding to the challenges and had implemented emergency planning procedures and was participating in a regional pan-London; sub-regional and borough wide strategic response which was operating effectively and the Council’s services were continuing to operate.  Where possible staff were working from home which meant that social care could be preserved and the Council could respond to the new challenges which arose.  The Government had announced a “shielding” initiative to protect those most vulnerable residents who were required to stay at home for three months by delivering food, medicine and support.  The Council had a system in place and this would be in operation by end of the week.  It was acknowledged that there would be challenges to come, but as far as possible the Council was planning for those and building resilience into its systems.


At the invitation of the Chair, the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and the Environment reiterated his thanks to all the staff in the Community and Housing team and in the voluntary sector who had mobilised quickly to put support networks in place; and residents who had offered their help in mutual aid networks.  He outlined the measures taken in adult social care and echoed the Chief Executive’s comments on the work on the hub model to shield and support vulnerable residents. 


At the invitation of the Chair, the Cabinet Member for Schools and Adult Education expressed her thanks to officers and school teachers over the past days and to parents and families for their understanding.  She thanked fellow councillors and the volunteers in the community.  She outlined measures being taken in respect of schooling for the small number of children of key workers and the shift in youth provision from face to face to online.


The Chair echoed the comments made and was proud and humbled by the extraordinary effort in a small amount of time by people living  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13