Standards Committee – 5 June 2008

Chair: To be appointed
Venue: Function Room 1, Pittwood House, Scunthorpe
Time: 2pm


  1. Membership of the committee
  2. Appointment of Chair
  3. Appointment of Vice-Chair
  4. Substitutions (if any)
  5. Declarations of Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests, if any.
  6. To take the minutes of the meeting held on 14 February 2008 as a correct record and authorise the chair to sign.
  7. Dates and Times of MeetingsThursday 24 July 2008
    Thursday 25 September 2008
    Thursday 27 November 2008
    Thursday 29 January 2009
    Thursday 2 April 2009
    (all at 2pm)
  8. Local Assessment/Determination.
  9. Seventh Annual Assembly – Birmingham – 13 and14 October 2008.
  10. Any other items which the chair decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.


PRESENT: Councillors Armitage, Davison, Swift Poole, Vickers and Whiteley.

Mrs Y Aubrey and Messrs W Harvie, P Kelly and R Nixon.

159 MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE – The Service Director Legal and Democratic advised the committee of changes in its membership arising from the appointment of Mr Harvie as an Independent member and changes in elected member representation at the Annual Meeting of the council.

160 APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR – Resolved – That Mr Kelly be and he is hereby appointed chair of the committee.

Mr Kelly thereupon took the chair.

161 APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR – Resolved – That Councillor Swift be and he is hereby appointed vice chair of the committee.


163 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 14 February 2008, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair, subject to the addition of Mr Nixon to the list of members present.

164 DATES AND TIMES OF MEETINGS – The Service Director Legal and Democratic informed the committee that the council had, at its annual meeting, set the following dates for meetings of the committee: –

  • Thursday 24 July 2008
  • Thursday 25 September 2008
  • Thursday 27 November 2008
  • Thursday 29 January 2009
  • Thursday 2 April 2009

All meetings would be held at 2 pm.

Resolved – That the dates be noted.

165 (1) LOCAL ASSESSMENT DETERMINATION – Further to Minute 154, the Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report informing members of the outcome of the consultation process on the detailed arrangements for introducing local assessment and determination of complaints against members.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) had now published the Standards Committee (England) Regulations 2008 which brought the revised regime into operation from 8 May. Accordingly any complaint that an elected member had breached the Code of Conduct would now be referred to the Standards Committee.

The main effects of the Regulations were summarised in the report.

Further Regulations on tidying up the dispensation provisions and on the granting of exemptions from political restrictions were promised later in the year.

The Standards Board had issued Guidance on the Local Assessment of Complaints together with a number of specimen documents. These were available on the Standards Board website.

Arising out of the new arrangements and the Guidance members would need to give consideration to a number of issues including publicity for the new arrangements, training arrangements (the Standards Board had also produced a toolkit on the local assessment of complaints), whether the complaints arrangements should form part of the council’s corporate complaints system or operate independently etc.

Resolved – (a) That the report be noted; (b) that the next meeting of the committee be used as a training session in addition to dealing with any relevant items, and (c) that publicity for the new arrangements be via the council’s website and Direct publication with the system being separate from the council’s complaints system.

166 SEVENTH ANNUAL ASSEMBLY – BIRMINGHAM 13 AND 14 OCTOBER 2008 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic reported that the seventh annual assembly was being held in Birmingham on 13 and 14 October, 2008. The cost was £430 per delegate, exclusive of VAT or £330 exclusive of VAT for one day.

Members considered that the greatest benefit to the committee would be attendance by the Monitoring Officer who would be able to report any new information obtained to the committee. The Service Director indicated that there were a number of other events that he might be able to attend that might be of equal value to the committee

Resolved – That the Service Director Legal and Democratic be authorised to attend the Assembly should he decide it would be beneficial to do so.