Funding for Hartlepool organisations with links to councillors to be discussed at special meeting next week
An extraordinary meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council is to take place next week to consider a motion calling for a review of funding for organisations with links to elected members.
The motion has been put forward by Hartlepool’s Labour Councillors and ‘aims to ensure the council is open, transparent and accountable’.
The motion calls for a review of funding for any organisation to which an elected member is affiliated, for the council to ensure the organisations are audited and findings published, and for the council to state how it validates ‘value for money’ within those companies.
The council meeting will take place at the Civic Centre in Hartlepool from 7pm on Tuesday, July 30.
It comes following a debate at the previous Full Council meeting on Thursday, June 20, where Labour councillors wanted to have the motion heard on the evening, a change to the usual council protocol.
Previously there had been confusion over the deadline for motions to be submitted to go before the meeting.
Labour councillors stated they believed the motion had been submitted in time, however the council chief solicitor confirmed it had not met the deadline.
Council leader Coun Shane Moore said at the time motions must be submitted ‘seven clear working days before the date of the meeting’, but added he would be ‘more than happy’ for it to come before the next council meeting.
Chair of the council, Coun Brenda Loynes, ultimately made the decision after discussions between the council chief executive and solicitor, for an extraordinary meeting to take place to discuss the motion.
This was due to the next full council meeting not being scheduled until September.
The motion, in full, which will be considered by the council at the extraordinary meeting on Tuesday states: “Hartlepool’s Labour Councillors requests that this Council:
“1. Review its decision making procedures around the awarding of funding to any organisation to which an elected member is affiliated in a capacity, such as an employee, trustee or director.“
2. Ensures that any organisation in receipt of funding from Hartlepool Borough Council in excess of £1000 in total per annum be subject to stringent processes of auditing and reporting with an additional requirement to submit full accounts, prepared and audited by an independent qualified accountant to Hartlepool Borough Council at the end of each financial year within which local authority funds have been received.
“3. Makes known its systems and processes for ensuring and evaluating ‘value for money’ relating to the funding provided to individual organisations and makes public the results of any and all such evaluations on an annual basis.”