Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Link: Video recording

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillor Putty was replaced by Councillor Sanders.

Councillor Fryer sent his apologies.

 

The Chair welcomed new members to the committee and thanked former councillor Parker for his past work on the committee.

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

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.

4.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To appoint a Vice-Chair to the Standards Committee for the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Putty was appointed as Vice Chair for the 2019/20 municipal year.

5.

Minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 221 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 27 March 2019 were confirmed by the committee as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

6.

Review of Terms of Reference and Membership Following Review of Accounts and Audit Terms of Reference

Contact Officer: Ann Greaves

This item has been deferred.

Minutes:

This item was deferred on the basis that it would be more logical to review the issue following all out elections in 2020 and the reduction from 60 to 54 borough councillors.

7.

Standards Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Contact Officer: Ann Greaves

This report seeks approval of the committees Annual Report for publication and submission to Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Legal Services Manager introduced the Standards Committee Annual Report 31 May 2018 to 1 June 2019, and suggested presentation to full council once agreed.

 

Committee members voiced concern at restricting the term of the role of Independent Person (IP) and Independent Standards Assessor (ISA) to 4 years (a 2-year term followed by one extension). The Legal Services Manager commented that the change had arisen from a report published by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which had suggested such restrictions to ensure no loss of integrity, by members becoming too close to councillors.

 

It was agreed that the report would cover the period 1st May 2018 to 30th April 2019, with respective amendments to reflect the reduced period.

 

It was agreed that wording in relation to the recruitment process for Independent Persons and Independent Standards Assessors would be amended to refer to ‘appointing’ individuals rather than ‘replacing’. 

 

It was noted by a borough councillor that as a committee structure review would be undertaken following elections in 2020, there would also be the potential to change the terms of the IP and ISA roles.

 

Subject to minor grammatical amendments which the Chair had copied to the Legal Services Manager, the committee approved the report.

 

Resolved:     the committee approve the report and recommend its presentation to full council.

 

8.

Report on recruitment of Independent Persons

Contact Officer: Ann Greaves

To receive a verbal update on the recruitment of Independent Persons to the committee.

Minutes:

The Legal Services Manager provided a verbal update.

 

It was reported that recruitment packs were ready and currently with Human Resources and that members would be contacted in the future to arrange convenient interview dates. It was anticipated that interviews would take place in a month’s time.

 

It was clarified that the Independent Person roles would be advertised prior to the Independent Standard Assessor roles.  

9.

Local Government Ethical Standards - Best Practice recommendations pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To receive an update from the task and finish group in relation to the gap analysis of best practice recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair thanked the working party for its work.

 

It was noted that the Legal Services Manager had provided responses to the comments made by the group.

 

Resolved:     the committee agreed that the working party would meet again with the Legal Services Manager to consider the additional commentary and then report back to the committee with firm proposals at the 7 October meeting.

10.

Member Complaints Update Report 2018/2019

Contact Officer: Ann Greaves

To receive an update on the progress of the determination of complaints under the Arrangements for dealing with complaints against Councillors so as to keep the Committee informed of issues of probity in the Council and across town and parish Councils.

 

Minutes:

The Chair proposed that due to the confidential nature of information contained within the report, the committee pass a resolution that by virtue of paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting.

On resumption of the open session the Chair summarised that the committee had discussed the member complaints update report 2018/19.

 

Resolved:     the committee note the progress made on complaints as set out in the report.

11.

Review of work programme

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed its work programme and made the following comments:

 

·         Best Practice working group update to be added to 7 October agenda; and

·         Recruitment of Independent Persons and Independent Standards Assessors to be reviewed at 7 October meeting.

 

The Legal Services Manager mooted the idea of the Standards committee merging with the Audit & Accounts committee at some point in the future. Members unanimously opposed the idea.