Standards Committee – 27 January 2011
Chair: Mr W Harvie
Venue: Function Room 2, Pittwood House, Scunthorpe
- Substitutions (if any)
- Declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests, if any
- To take the minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2010 as a correct record and authorise the chair to sign
- Complaints update
- The Localism Bill
- Publication of the members’ Register of Interest on the council’s website – oral report
- Any other items which the chair decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
PRESENT: – Mr W Harvie (in the chair); Councillors Swift (Vice-Chair), Armitage, B Briggs, Davison, England, Swift and Whiteley.
Councillors Mrs Y Aubrey and Messrs P Kelly, R Nixon and J Kitwood.
247 MINUTES – Resolved –That the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 25 November 2010, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.
248 (12) COMPLAINTS/CODE OF CONDUCT UPDATE – The Monitoring Officer submitted an update on progress with complaints received.
Since the last meeting no further complaints had been received. A draft report had now been completed in respect of one of the outstanding complaints A total of eight complaints were currently outstanding.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
249 LOCALISM BILL – The Monitoring Officer submitted a report setting out the provisions in the Localism Bill that related to standards and member conduct.
The main points were as follows:
- A change to the rules regarding pre-determination;.
- The abolition of the Standards Board Regime, including Standards for England, Standards Committees and the jurisdiction of the First Tier Tribunal in relation to local government standards;
- A duty to be placed on authorities to ensure that members and co-opted members maintain high standards of conduct;
- Provision for councils to adopt a voluntary code of conduct;
- A requirement for the establishment and maintenance of a register of members and co-opted members’ interests with the Secretary of State being given power to make regulations specifying which interests were to be recorded, and
- Creation of a criminal offence of failing without reasonable excuse to comply with obligations imposed by regulations to register or declare personal interests or to take part in council business when prevented from doing so by the regulations.
Resolved – That the current position be noted.
250 PUBLICATION OF MEMBERS’ REGISTER OF INTERESTS ON WEBSITE – Further to Minute 246, the Service Director Legal and Democratic reported on progress made towards publication of the Register of Members’ Interests for North Lincolnshire Council and parish and town councils in its area on the North Lincolnshire Council website. So far as the parish and town council registers were concerned a consultation exercise had been carried out. Out of 52 councils 13 were in favour and seven against. The remaining 32 had not responded. Responses were still awaited from some of the co-opted members regarding their willingness to have personal contact details and photographs published. Once received pages would be created on the website containing their registers.
Resolved – That the report be noted, and that a report be submitted to a future meeting regarding the cost of publishing the registers for those parishes that have indicated their willingness for this to take place.