Standards Sub-Committee – 18 January 2012
Chair: Mr W Harvie
Venue: Function Room 1, Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe
1. To consider whether the public should be excluded from the meeting for the following
2. To consider whether the public should be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)
3. To consider the findings of the Investigating Officer Miss Lisa Kershaw, into an allegation that Councillors Bates and Bailey of Saxby–all–Saints Parish Council breached the council’s Code of Conduct
Papers attached –
(ii) Investigating officer’s report.
PRESENT: Mr W Harvie (in the chair), Mrs Y Aubrey and Councillor N Poole
1. DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.
2. (1) REPORT OF THE MONITORING OFFICER ON A REFERRAL BACK TO THE SUB–COMMITTEE – The Monitoring Officer submitted a report referring back this matter under Regulation 16 of the Standards Committee (England) Regulations 2008.
On 11 March 2009 an Assessment Sub-Committee had considered a complaint by Mr W Cheetham in respect of the then Councillor G Siddall–Butchers of Bonby Parish Council. After careful consideration the Sub–Committee had determined that the complaint be referred for investigation and had directed that the Investigating Officer address whether there had been a breach of paragraphs 3 (1), 3 (2) and 5 of the Code of Conduct.
Following an initial delay arising from a jurisdictional issue an investigation had commenced. However in July 2010 the complainant requested that the investigation be adjourned pending the completion of another investigation of which Mr Cheetham was the complainant involving another member of Bonby Parish Council.
The other investigation had concluded in November 2011, following which the Investigating Officer, Mr R Mell, had been invited to review the present investigation. Mr Mell had drawn the Monitoring Officer’s attention to the fact that Mr Siddall–Butchers was no longer a member of Bonby Parish Council and had invited him to consider whether the matter should be referred back to the Sub-Committee. The provisions of Regulation 16 were set out in the report.
The views of both the complainant and Mr Siddall-Butchers had been sought. The complainant had maintained that the investigation should proceed. Mr Siddall–Butchers had confirmed that he had resigned from the parish council more than two years ago and had no intention of standing for re-election. He also believed that the delay in progressing the investigation could prejudice his ability to defend his conduct.
After careful consideration the Monitoring Officer considered that it would no longer be appropriate to continue with this investigation.
Resolved – That, given that Mr Siddall–Butchers resigned his position on Bonby Parish council, and in light of the amount of time that has elapsed since the matter was first complained of, the investigation be terminated.
3. EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item (minute 4 refers) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
4. (2) REPORT OF THE MONITORING OFFICER ON A DIRECTION FOR “OTHER ACTION” – COMPLAINTS REFERENCE 2011-12/07 and 08 – The Monitoring Officer reported on “Other Action” taken by himself in relation to the above complaints as directed by an Assessment Sub–Committee and invited the sub–committee to determine whether to issue a further direction or to conclude that the matter was now closed.
Resolved – That the action taken by the Monitoring Officer be endorsed and that the matter is now closed.