Standards Committee – 26 November 2009
Chair: Mr W Harvie
Venue: Function Room 1, Pittwood House, Scunthorpe
Time: 2 pm
- Substitutions (if any)
- Declarations of Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests, if any.
- To take the minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2009 as a correct record and authorise the chair to sign.
- Complaints under the Code of Conduct.
- Report from regional Independent Members’ meeting – 30 October 2009 – Chair to report.
- Role and Working Arrangements
- Any other items, which the chair decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances, which must be specified.
A training session for members, on the assessment of complaints, will be held on the conclusion of the meeting.
PRESENT: Mr W Harvie (Chair), Councillor Swift (Vice-Chair) Councillors Armitage, Davison, England, Poole and Whiteley.
Messrs D Cuckson and J Kitwood.
206 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of interests.
207 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 24 September, 2009, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.
208 (8) COMPLAINTS UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT– The Monitoring Officer submitted a schedule showing progress on complaints received since the delegation of responsibility for dealing with these to the Standards Committee in May 2008.
Resolved –That the report be noted.
209 (9) REGIONAL INDEPENDENT MEMBERS’ MEETING – The Chair reported on the recent regional meeting of Independent Members. He referred to the greater role being undertaken by some other Standards Committees, including consideration of members’ remuneration and whistle blowing complaints.
Members referred to the need to provide training for parish councillors. It was suggested that a session be held for clerks who could then cascade information down to their members.
Resolved – (i) That the report be noted, and (ii) that parish and town clerks be invited to attend a training session.
210 (10) ROLE AND WORKING ARRANGEMENTS – The Monitoring Officer submitted a report inviting the committee to look into ways of expanding its role and working arrangements.
It was clear from the questions that had been raised by the Standards Board (Standards for England) for the Annual return that Standards for England was looking to authorities to increase the profile of Standards Committees and for them to take a proactive role in promoting and embedding standards.
In addition the Audit Commission as part of its Use of Resources Assessment of local authorities included a section within the Good Governance element which dealt with the Ethical Framework and Culture.
Looking at the questions raised in the Annual Report and the criteria used by the Audit Commission a number of issues emerged for consideration. These were listed in the report.
Resolved – (i) That the report be noted; (ii) that a further report be prepared setting out ways in which some of these issues could be developed and highlighting ones already in place.
211 (11) DISPENSATION – The committee considered a letter dated 18 November 2009 from the clerk of Saxby-all-saints Parish Council enclosing an application for a dispensation as five of its six parish members were members of the Village hall committee.
Resolved – (i) That dispensation be granted to Councillors Ashworth, Bailey, Hope-Barton, Sedman and Mrs Ladlow so as to enable them to participate and vote on matters relating to the Village Hall Committee, and (ii) that the dispensation last until the local elections in May 2011 or until such time as the parish council though changes which may take place in its membership becomes quorate on matters relating to the Village Hall without councillors who have been granted a dispensation taking part.