Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Link: Video recording

Items
No. Item

12.

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillor Reid and Mrs J Slimin sent their apologies.

 

The Chair noted that it was the final attendance at a committee meeting for Mrs E Morris and thanked her for her hard work over the past eleven years and the valued role that she had played on the Standards committee.

 

13.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Mr P Moore declared an interest in item 5 of the Agenda and proposed to vacate the meeting at that point. Control of the meeting would then delegate to the Vice Chair.

14.

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.

15.

Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June pdf icon PDF 215 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 10 June 2019 were confirmed by the committee as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

16.

Update on recruitment of Independent Persons pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Contact Officer:        Anne Greaves

The report provides an update upon the recruitment process for the two Independent Person posts and suggests an alternative recruitment procedure for the ISA posts.

Minutes:

The Chair excused himself from the meeting and the Vice Chair assumed control.

 

The Legal Services Manager provided an update on the recruitment process for the two Independent Person (IP) roles.

 

It was reported that there had been 26 applications shortlisted to 7 candidates, with interviews taking place on 18 and 29 October. Due to the calibre of candidate it was requested that unsuccessful candidates be offered consideration for the Independent Standards Assessor (ISA) positions.

 

It was acknowledged that the process had taken longer than anticipated due to difficulty co-ordinating diaries during the summer period. The Legal Services Manager explained that a report would be presented to full council on 17 October requesting an extension of office to the roles of both Mr P Moore and Mrs E Morris until new appointments had been made, and to extend the roles of Mr K Bastin and Mr C Evans should the later recruitment process require it.

 

Further, delegated authority was also being requested for the Legal Services Manager to confirm the new appointments of the IPs and ISAs based on the recommendation of the panels, and then report back to council at its next full meeting.

 

The committee requested that the distinction between the roles of IP and ISA, both in terms of allowance paid and the difference in roles be made clear to unsuccessful IP candidates.

 

The Legal Services Manager clarified that all IP interviewees would receive an ISA factsheet and asked to express an interest in the ISA role should they be unsuccessful as an IP. 

 

Resolved:     the Committee

 

·         Note the contents of the report;

·         Agree that the Monitoring Officer be given delegated authority to recommend the recruitment panel’s appointments to full council; and

·         Agree to consider unsuccessful candidates from IP interviews be given the option of being considered for ISA’s posts.

17.

Member Complaints Update Report

Contact Officer:        Anne Greaves

 

The report provides 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 returned to the meeting.

 

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.

 

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

18.

Review of members training

Contact Officer:        Anne Greaves

 

Report to be circulated at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Legal Services Manager provided a verbal update.

 

It was explained that members training had focused on GDPR and Code of Conduct.

 

It was reported that 39 councillors had undertaken GDPR training, with 20 failing to do so.

 

Code of Conduct training had been targeted at new councillors and, of those, 10 had attended the session. Group leaders had committed to encourage their members to attend but it had not proven completely successful.

 

The Legal Services Manager suggested that the committee may wish to review the Code of Conduct and consider reverting to a system whereby when members declared non-pecuniary interests the ‘reasonable man in the street’ test was applied. This would compel members to leave the meeting at such point. It was advised that an all member training programme could be rolled out at such time that the Code was amended.

 

Resolved:     the Committee note the current state of members training.

19.

Dispensation requests update

Contact Officer:        Anne Greaves

 

No dispensation requests received.

Minutes:

No dispensation requests had been received.

20.

Standards Committee Update on Standards in Public Life Report pdf icon PDF 300 KB

Contact Officer:        Anne Greaves

 

The report requests that the committee note progress towards implementing the recommendations of the Standards in Public Life Report.

Minutes:

The Legal Services Manager reported that the annual report from the Committee for Standards in Public Life (CSPL), promoted implementation of recommendations made in the Local Government Ethical Standards report but did not prescribe a timeline given the current uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

 

However, it was further reported that the CSPL had stated an intention to review councils take up of best practice arrangements in 2020.

 

It was noted that the best practice working group reviewing Basingstoke’s current arrangements was due to meet again on 17 October.

 

Resolved:     the Committee note the progress towards implementing recommendations of the Standards in Public Life Report.

 

 

21.

Review of work programme

Item 6 - Member Complaints Update Report

Minutes:

The committee reviewed its work programme and requested that the following updates and reports be included within the 6 January agenda:

 

·         Best practice working group update (comprising Mr P Moore, Mr K Bastin, Mrs L Agnew and Ann Greaves);

·         Appointment of Independent Persons and Independent Standards Assessors report; and

·         2020 recruitment arrangements for an Independent Person and two Independent Standards Assessors.