Standards Committee – 25 November 2015

Chairman:    Councillor Poole
Venue:         Function Room 1, Civic Centre, Scunthorpe
Time:           2.00 pm


1.  Substitutions (if any)

2.  Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests.

3.  To take the minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2015 and Special Meeting on 6 November 2015 as a correct record and authorise the chairman to sign.

4.  Complaints Schedule – Update.

5.  Training Update – Oral report.

6.  Grant of Dispensations – Oral report.

7.  Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.

Note:  Reports are by the Director of Policy and Resources unless otherwise stated.


PRESENT: –  Councillor Poole (in the Chair).

Councillors England (Vice-Chairman), Collinson, Davison, T Foster, O’Sullivan, and Wells.

W Harvie – Co-opted (Non-voting) Member

The committee met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe


127     MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of this committeeheld on 8 July 2015 and special meeting on 6 November 2015, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.

128     (9) COMPLAINTS SCHEDULE – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report updating the committee on progress made with complaints received.

The Director informed members that to date there was one complaint awaiting consideration by a Hearings Panel following recent completion of an investigation. All remaining complaints received would be considered by an Assessment Panel on 18 December 2015 or by the Monitoring Officer in accordance with the council’s published Standards Arrangements.

The committee discussed the positive impact of recent standards training on the frequency and nature of complaints submitted.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

129    TRAINING UPDATEThe Monitoring Officer informed members that following two training sessions held in June 2015 for newly elected/coopted members of town and parish councils and any newly appointed clerks, a further evening session had been held on 7 October 2015 for those who could not attend because of work commitments. This had also been well attended resulting in over 75 delegates receiving the training over the three sessions.

The Monitoring Officer also reported that he had given a similar presentation to the  East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire Local Councils Association (ERNLLCA) Annual Conference on 23 October 2015.

Members then engaged in discussions regarding opportunities to widen the remit ofstandards/code of conduct training for town and parish councils.

Resolved – (a) That the report be noted; (b) that the Monitoring Officer continue current training arrangements for town and parish councils including associated training on his annual report, any newly elected/coopted members or appointed clerks, and also extend the training to all clerks and chairmen to include good chairmanship and clerking of standards matters, and (c) that Mr A Barker, Executive Officer of ERNLCCA be invited to the next meeting to inform the committee of associated training provided by ERNLLCA.

130   GRANT OF DISPENSATIONS – Further to minute 116, the Monitoring Officer reported orally that following receipt of a written request from both the Conservative and Labour Group secretaries, the Standards Committee had granted to all member of the council a dispensation enabling them to participate in a debate and vote on a motion on TATA Steel, Scunthorpe considered by the council at its meeting on 10 November 2015. This was pursuant to section 33 (c) of the Localism Act 2011 and any related motions or items that come before the council for consideration to apply for a period of twelve months unless rescinded earlier by the committee.

All members reiterated the importance of the cross-party support for the dispensation and the subsequent success of the debate at the above meeting of the council.

Resolved – That the report be noted.