Standards Committee – 8 July 2015
Chairman: Councillor Poole
Venue: Function Room 2, Civic Centre, Scunthorpe
Time: 2 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 25 March 2015 as a correct record and authorise the chairman to sign.
4. Assessment Panel Proceedings – To receive and where necessary confirm the minutes of the meetings of the panel held on 14 April 2015.
5. To note the dates and times of future scheduled meetings of the committee –
- Wednesday 16 September 2015 at 2.00 pm
- Wednesday 25 November 2015 at 2.00 pm
- Wednesday 27 January 2016 at 2.00 pm
- Wednesday 30 March 2016 at 2.00 pm
6. Standards Committee – Annual Report 2014/15.
7. Complaints Schedule.
8. 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), T Foster, Godfrey, O’Sullivan, Wells and Wilson
W Harvie – Co-opted (Non-voting) Member
Reserve Independent Person: Mr R Johnson.
The committee met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe
112 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY, PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations made at the meeting.
113 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 25 March 2015, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.
114 ASSESSMENT PANEL PROCEEDINGS – The minutes of the meeting of the Hearings Panel held on 7 April 2014 were received, with an amendment being made to a typographical error in the heading of minute 96.
115 DATES AND TIMES OF MEETINGS – Resolved – That the dates and times of future meetings of the committee be held at 2:00pm on –
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Thursday 25 November 2015
Wednesday 27 January 2016
Wednesday 30 March 2016
116 (1) STANDARDS COMMITTEE – ANNUAL REPORT – 2014/2015 – The Monitoring Officer submitted the above draft annual report of the Standards Committee under the council’s standards regime and the Localism Act 2011 covering the period 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015.
The Monitoring Officer in the draft report referred to the significant reduction in the number of complaints from 23 last year to 7 this year, with one being referred for investigation and one being resolved informally. No action had been taken on the other complaints received following consideration by the Assessment Panel.
In his report, the Monitoring Officer informed the committee that since the elections in May 2015, additional training sessions for newly elected/co-opted members of parish and town councils and any newly appointed clerks had been carried out on 26 and 29 June 2015. Both sessions had been well attended by 52 delegates and the East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire Local Councils Association (ERNLLCA). Subsequently, some clerks to parish and town councils had requested that a similar training event be carried out in the early evening on a date early Autumn. The Monitoring Officer also commented that he had been requested to speak at the ERNLLCA annual conference, which he had accepted.
The annual report also contained information on the Local Government Ombudsman’s (LGO) Annual Review Letter 2015 containing the annual summary of statistics on complaints made to the LGO about North Lincolnshire Council for the year ending 31 March 2015. The LGO looked at maladministration complaints made by service users and members of the public about councils and other bodies acting on their behalves, such as school appeals panels. The Annual Review Letter 2015, which was attached as appendix to the report, identified (i) 33 complaints and enquiries received by the LGO about North Lincolnshire Council, and (ii) decisions made by the LGO following investigations or informal resolutions.
Resolved – (a) That the 2014/15 Annual Report be approved and be circulated to town and parish councils in the North Lincolnshire area prior to its submission to council, (b) that a further training session be held with newly elected/co-opted members of parish and town councils in the early evening on a date in early Autumn 2015, and (c) that staff be commended on the low and declining number of complaints made to the Local Government Ombudsman in 2014/15.
117 (2) 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 only one complaint outstanding which was currently being investigated. All other complaints were complete.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
118 MONITORING OFFICER’S DUTY TO REPORT DISPENSATIONS – The Monitoring reported orally that he was obliged to report to the Standards Committee when he had granted members of North Lincolnshire Council a dispensation at any meeting. Accordingly, he informed members that he had granted a dispensation for members on a notice of motion on Tata Steel considered at the meeting of the Council on 15 June, 2015.
Resolved – That the report be noted.