Standards Committee – 24 September 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 30 July 2009 as a correct record and authorise the chair to sign.
- Complaints under the Code of Conduct.
- Report from Regional Independent Members’ meeting – Chair to report.
- Any other items, which the chair decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances, which must be specified.
PRESENT: Councillors Armitage, Davison, England, Poole, Swift, and Whiteley.
Mrs Y Aubrey and Messrs D Cuckson, W Harvie, P Kelly, J Kitwood and R Nixon.
202 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of interests.
203 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 30 July, 2009, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.
204 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 – (a) That the report be noted, and (b) that a similar schedule be submitted to future meetings..
205 REGIONAL INDEPENDENT MEMBERS – MEETING – The Chair reported on the recent regional meeting of Independent Members. Issues that had been discussed at that meeting included the use of ‘other action’ as an alternative to referral for investigation, at what stage members complained against should be informed of the complaint, and the role of Standards Committees in providing training to parish councillors.
In respect of the use of’ other action’ it appeared that this was used on occasion elsewhere within the region although the disadvantage of this was that if this was unsuccessful a complaint could not then be formally investigated.
The committee had previously agreed that members complained about would only be notified of the complaint once an assessment sub-committee had considered the matter. However it appeared that, in line with the previous practice adopted by the Standards Board, some councils in the region informed them as soon as the complaint had been received.
Consideration was given to ways in which training could be provided to parish councils. It was noted that many of the councils were members of ERNLLCA which provided training to member councils.
Resolved– (a) That the report be noted; (b) that the Monitoring Officer make enquiries of colleagues in nearby authorities regarding their use of ‘other action’ and their practice in respect of informing members complained about of such complaints and report back, and (c) that the matter of training be discussed further at a future meeting.