Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Jeffrey Room, The Guildhall, St. Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1DE. View directions

Contact: Tracy Tiff, Scrutiny Officer, 01604 837408 Email: 

No. Item



The Chair to note any apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest (including Whipping)

Members to state any interests.


There were none.


Deputations and Public Addresses

The Chair to note public address requests.


The public can speak on any agenda item for a maximum of three minutes per speaker per item.  You are not required to register your intention to speak in advance but should arrive at the meeting a few minutes early, complete a Public Address Protocol and notify the Scrutiny Officer of your intention to speak.



There were none.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

The Scrutiny Panel to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2018.


 The minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2018 were signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record.




Background Information

Clarification on the following roles:


ØMayor’s Sargeant





Francis Fernandes, Borough Secretary and Monitoring Officer, addressed the Scrutiny Panel.  He provided the following information:


As detailed in the book “The Borough of Northampton, its Guildhall and Civic Traditions  written by RJ Morris:


There is no longer a Mayor’s Serjeant (a position held until his final retirement in 2006 by Alan Hughes, who was robed on formal occasions.)  The Mace is now carried by the person who is also the Mayor’s Chauffeur.”


The role of Mayor’s Serjeant exists in other Local Authorities.


Civic and Mayoralty Officer


The Post is has been recently filled.


Key roles include: 


·           To manage and coordinate all Civic/Mayoral functions and related activities on behalf of the Borough Council and co-ordinate such events with the County Council

·           To help to provide a high quality administrative, secretarial and appropriate support to enable the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and their escorts to perform their civic duties, and to ensure that the Council’s other civic and twinning activities are delivered successfully

·           To act as Advisor and Personal Assistant to the Mayor  

Mayor’s Chauffeur


The Post is covered by two individuals.  The key role is to be the Mayor’s Chauffeur taking him to Civic/Mayoral functions and full Council.  To maintain the upkeep of the Mayoral car to include re-fuelling and servicing and ensure all related documentation is up to date.


To act as Macebearer as appropriate, which entails wearing a ceremonial outfit and carrying the Mayor’s Mace.


The Scrutiny Panel made comment, asked questions and heard:

·         The Role of  Mayor’s Serjeant was to protect the Mayor; carried the mace; the mace is the sign of the authority of the Mayor.  A number of Councils keep the tradition of Mayor’s Serjeant.

·         The previous Mayor’s Serjeant retired and and was not replaced. The Scrutiny Panel suggested that there be an Honoray Mayor’s Serjeant, possibly an Alderman or former Councillor. There would be no cost to such an Honorary post. A potential recommendation of the final report was suggest that a Major’s Serjeant and Town Serjeant as an Honorary role, possibly Alderman or former Councillor is investigated.


Francis Fernandes was thanked for his address, the contents of which will inform the evidence base of this scrutiny review.













Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 70 KB

  The Scrutiny Panel to receive a response to its core questions from a number of Expert Advisors:


All Saints Church pdf icon PDF 119 KB


Father Oliver Coss, All Saints Church, addressed the Scrutiny Panel highlighting the salient points of his written address.


The Scrutiny Panel made comment, asked questions and heard:


·         There is a need for a medium with a high level of search capacity for individuals to use when searching for events.

·         NBC website has events page where people and organisations can log in about  

·         Remembrance Sunday had biggest crowd ever seen this year and  the event had been promoted by “word of mouth”.

·         There is a need to promote Oak Apple Day.

·         There is a need for further promotion of civic events.

·         In response to a query, the Panel heard that to lay a wreath one has to register with the Mayor’s office.

·         A number of stakeholders are involved in planning for Remembrance Sunday; it is lead by the Royal British Legion

·         The Scrutiny Panel suggested a potential recommendation of its final report that the flags in Abington Square are reinstalled.

·         In discussing Anzac Day, it was noted that attendees wear rosemary instead of poppies

·         The Mayor is invited to Edgar Mobbs Day   

·         The Scrutiny Panel suggested a potential recommendation of its final report that  All Saints is recognised as the Borough Church for the Borough of Northampton

·         All Saints Church has very close relationship with the Borough and the County which needs to be acknowledged. A further potential recommendation of the final report was suggested that it is investigated whether free or dispensation parking can be offered for those attending church services in the town; especially on a Sunday


Father Coss was thanked for his informative response, the contents of which will inform the evidence base of this scrutiny review.



Sir Thomas White Charity


A response was not received from Sir Thomas White Charity. Contact would be made with Councillor Tim Hadland to attend the next meeting.


Chair, NIFF


The Chair of NIFF was unwell and would attend the next meeting.


Town Clerk, Sutton Coldfield Town Council


The Chair advised that he had spoken in length to the Town Clerk, Sutton Coldfield Town Council and she had explained how the Town Council operated.  Their Mayor has just two events each year – Mayor Making and Remembrance Sunday.


The information provided would inform the evidence base of this scrutiny review.