Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Link: Video recording

Items
No. Item

12/18

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mr Keith Bastin.

Councillor D Putty was replaced by Councillor D Taylor.

 

13/18

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

14/18

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To appoint a Vice-Chair of the Standards Committee for the 2018/19 Municipal year.

Minutes:

Councillor D Putty was elected as Vice-Chair of the committee for the 2018/19 municipal year.

15/18

Urgent matters

To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent matters.

 

16/18

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2018 pdf icon PDF 224 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2018 were confirmed by the committee as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to the minor amendment to remove the apostrophe from the word “It’s” that appears several times within the minutes.

 

17/18

Annual Report 2017/18 - Verbal report

Contact Officer: Marie Rosenthal

The Committee will receive a verbal report.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the item and explained that as the Standards Committee only met once in the 2017/18 municipal year that any commentary would be included in the 2018/19 Annual report instead.

18/18

Review of Dispensations pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Contact Officer: Marie Rosenthal

This report requests that the Committee reviews the current arrangements for granting dispensations.

 

Minutes:

The Interim Legal Services Manager introduced the report and explained that the Committee were being asked to review the current arrangements for granting dispensations in the light of the Council decision on 22 March 2018 which allowed a four year dispensation for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Councillors which allowed them to approve the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2018/19.

 

The Council also agreed to delegate authority to the Head of Law and Governance to determine any future applications for any dispensation.

 

Members queried the fact that under the new system, as the authority had been delegated to one person (the Head of Law and Governance) what would happen if the post holder was on long term sickness leave or the post became vacant.

 

The Interim Legal Services Manager confirmed that any concerns raised by the Committee would be referred back to the Constitution Working Group. The Head of Law and Governance further clarified that if a specified officer was absent from the office for whatever reason then the delegation could be redirected by the Chief Executive to another relevant Officer.

 

The Committee took a vote as to determine whether to agree with recommendation 2 of the report, which was to remove the Dispensation Sub-Committee. The Committee voted against the recommendation and agreed to keep the Dispensation Sub-Committee.

 

Resolved: The Committee

 

  • Notes the content of the Report

 

  • Agrees to keep the Dispensation Sub-Committee

 

  • Requests that the Monitoring Officer reports annually to the Standards Committee in regard to Dispensation requests and approvals.

 

19/18

Review of Local Government Ethical Standards: Call for evidence pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Contact Officer: Marie Rosenthal

This report details the call for evidence response to the Committee on Standards in Public Life Review of Local Government Ethical Standards.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report which explained that the Committee had agreed to set up a working group to draft a response to the call for evidence consultation from the Committee on Standards in Public Life as part of its review into local government ethical standards.

 

The response had now been submitted and the Committee thanked the members of the working group for their valuable contributions.

 

Resolved: The Committee

 

  • Thanks the members of the Call For Evidence Working Group for their contribution

 

  • Notes the content of the final submission

 

20/18

Member Complaints 2014/18 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Contact Officer: Marie Rosenthal

This report provides an update on the handling of complaints against Councillors by the Committee so as to keep the Committee informed of issues of probity in the Council and across town and parish councils.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report which provided the Committee with an update on the handling of complaints against Councillors by the Committee so as to keep the Committee informed of issues of probity in the Council and across town and parish councils.

 

The Chair explained that the report was a good start but did require some reworking.

 

The Committee expressed a number of suggestions to further improve the report such as the inclusion of some explanatory notes e.g. if there was a breach of some kind, was it a breach of the code of conduct or another relevant code.

 

Resolved: The Committee notes the content of the report.

 

21/18

Gifts and Hospitality - Verbal Update

Contact Officer: Marie Rosenthal

The Committee will receive a verbal update.

Minutes:

The Head of Law and Governance introduced the item and explained that when the code of conduct for elected members was introduced in 2000 there was a requirement that members declare any gifts and hospitality that they had received over the amount of £25.

 

The Head of Law and Governance confirmed that there was a hard copy of the gifts and hospitality register that included a number of declarations from members.

 

The Committee agreed with the Officers recommendation to remind members of the requirement to declare any such gifts or hospitality.

 

It was also suggested that the register be published on the website so that it is easily accessible to members of the public.

 

Resolved: The Committee requests that Officers remind all members of the requirement to declare any gifts or hospitality received over the amount of £25.

 

22/18

Review of work programme pdf icon PDF 117 KB

The committee is asked to note and review its Work Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Legal Services Manager introduced the report and invited the Committee to comment on the proposals for work to be considered by the Standards Committee over the 18/19 municipal year.

 

Members raised questions regarding the training available to Councillors and whether they could receive some further information on the training requirements of some regulatory committees so that the Standards Committee could better advise members on suitable training that is available to them.

 

It was also raised that members felt that they had not received sufficient training or guidance in relation to the new GDPR Regulations.

 

Resolved: The Committee

 

·         Notes and agrees the programme of meetings for 2018/19

 

·         Notes and agrees the proposed programme of meeting for 2019/20

 

·         Considers and agrees the revised Work Programme for 2018/19