Standards Sub-Committee – 4 May 2012
Time: 9.30 am
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 Councillor Keith Vickers of Barton upon Humber Town Council breached the council’s Code of Conduct.
Papers attached: –
(ii) Investigating officer’s report
(iii) The Code of Conduct
Hearing Determination Date: 4 May 2012
Re: Reference concerning possible failure to follow the code of conduct
Respondents: Councillor Keith Vickers
Relevant Authority: Barton upon Humber Town Council
Wayne Harvie (Independent Member) (Chair)
Paul Kelly (Independent Member)
Richard Nixon (Parish Member))
Cllr John England (North Lincolnshire Council)
Cllr David Whiteley (North Lincolnshire Council)
1. The Referral
1.1. The Sub Committee considered a matter which had been referred for investigation by an Assessment Sub Committee (reference 2009/10-08). Miss Lisa Kershaw (Investigating Officer) had investigated the complaint and produced a report.
1.2 The complainant and the respondent had been provided with a copy of the Investigating Officer’s report and had been given an opportunity to respond. The Complainant had submitted further representations but these had not changed the Investigating Officers’ recommendations. The respondent accepted the contents of the report.
Miss Kershaw attended and presented the report.
The Sub-Committee was advised by the Monitoring Officer, Mr Will Bell.
3. The Complaint
3.1 A complaint had been received that the Respondent had breached the Code of Conduct by preventing access to information (Paragraph 4 (b) of the Code) and bringing his office into disrepute (Paragraph 5 of the Code). An Assessment Sub-Committee had considered the complaint and decided that no action should be taken on it. The complainant had exercised his right to request a review and a Review Sub–Committee, whilst upholding the Assessment Sub–Committee’s decision not to take any action in respect of the allegation of preventing access to information, had directed that the allegation of bringing his office into disrepute be investigated.
3.2 The complaint had been made by Mr M Martin.
4. Submission by the Respondent
4.1 There was no submission for excluding the press and public and no attendance by the Respondent.
5. Submission by the Investigating Officer
5.1 The Investigating Officer submitted an account of the investigation, the interview which had been undertaken, together with her findings and conclusions.
6. Findings/Failure to comply with the Code
6.1 The complainant had alleged that on 7 March 2007, Councillor Vickers had been appointed to represent Barton Town Council in connection with a project known as CHAMP and since that time he had conducted himself in a manner that could bring his Authority into disrepute. The complainant had given examples of this alleged conduct and these were considered in more detail in the Investigating Officer’s report.
6.2 The Investigating Officer had carried out an interview with the Respondent. She had not interviewed the complainant as he had submitted comprehensive written information in support of his complaint. She had concluded that there had been no breach of the Code by the Respondent.
The Sub-Committee having taken into account all representations made were of the view the allegations were not made out and accordingly there had been no breach of the Code.