Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Via teleconference

Contact: Louise McGeoch Tel 01835 825005  email

No. Item


Convener's Remarks


As detailed on the agenda, the Convener confirmed that he had directed that the meeting of Scottish Borders Council was taking place in accordance with Section 43 of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003, whereby all Members and those Officers in attendance were accessing the meeting remotely via telephone links. 



Emergency Decision Making Procedure pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Consider report by Chief Executive.  (Copy attached.)



There had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Executive on Emergency Decision Making Powers for Urgent Decisions.  The report recognised the need for Scottish Borders Council to take steps to reduce risks for its Members, staff and citizens arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19).  To mitigate those risks, all formal Council and Committee meetings had been cancelled, with any public consultation meetings also postponed.  It was however vital to ensure that the Council was able to continue to exercise its essential functions.  This meant that there needed to be a process whereby urgent decisions could be made during this extraordinary period.  The report therefore proposed an interim decision making process and, to implement, that process, proposed some additions to Standing Orders.  It was important that those urgent decisions were able to be made in the most efficient and effective way possible.  This would enable the Council to be agile and responsive at this difficult time.  It was proposed to delegate further decision making responsibility to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Convener, the Leader, and the Leader of the Opposition, on a temporary basis, through a new Standing Order No. 49(a)(ii).  There could however be situations where formal Council or Committee meetings did require to take place during this period.  Where that was necessary, it was proposed that such meetings should minimise social contact and therefore Members should mostly attend those meetings remotely, through a new Standing Order No. 49(a)(iii).  The Convener advised that an email had already been issued to all Members regrading those decisions which could not be delegated.  He confirmed that a full record of all decisions made under the new procedure would be kept and published and Councillor Haslam, Councillor Bell and he would ensure that all Members were fully aware of the decision being taken.  With reference to the revocation of the Standing Orders No. 49(a)(ii) and (iii) through Standing Order No. 49(a)(iv), the Convener advised that, in terms of a Motion signed by Members, the required signatures would be accepted by email.  Although the powers could be kept in place until 30 September 2020, the Convener expressed the hope that these could be removed at a much earlier date.  Councillor Haslam, seconded by Councillor Bell, moved approval of the recommendations in the report and spoke in support of this approval.  Thanks were given to the Chief Executive, Directors and all Council staff for their work over the last few weeks and their continuing efforts as well as those of the Council’s partners and volunteers working across communities in the Borders.  Councillor Aitchison asked that the Motion be taken by Roll Call and this was unanimously agreed.


Roll Call Vote




Councillor Aitchison


Councillor A. Anderson


Councillor H. Anderson


Councillor Bell


Councillor Brown


Councillor Chapman


Councillor Edgar


Councillor Greenwell


Councillor C. Hamilton


Councillor S. Hamilton


Councillor Haslam


Councillor Jardine


Councillor Laing


Councillor McAteer


Councillor Miers


Councillor Moffat


Councillor Mountford


Councillor Parker


Councillor Paterson


Councillor Penman


Councillor Ramage


Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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