Agenda and draft minutes

General Purposes Committee - Monday, 16th May, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Contact: Email: andy.booth@leeds.gov.uk 

Link: to View Meeting Recording

Items
No. Item

28.

Appeals against refusal of inspection of documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an appeal the press and public will be excluded).

 

(*In accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2, written notice of an appeal must be received by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals against the refusal of inspection of documents.

29.

Exempt Information - possible exclusion of the press and public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.

 

2   To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.

 

3   If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-

 

RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:-

 

Minutes:

There were no resolutions to exclude the public.

30.

Late items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes)

 

Minutes:

There were no late items.

31.

Declaration of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

32.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence from the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor D Jenkins.

 

 

33.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To receive and approve the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2022

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on the 11 February 2022 be approved as a correct record.

34.

Amendments to Councillor Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 731 KB

To receive and consider the attached report of the City Solicitor

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the City Solicitor presented further amendments which had been made to the Local Government Association’s Model Councillor Code of Conduct (LGA Model Code) for local councillors with a view to considering recommendations for adoption by the authority together with additional proposed amendments in response to unintended consequences that have arisen as a result of the adopted code.

 

The LGA Model Code was adopted by Full Council in March 2021. The new Councillor Code of Conduct took effect on 20 May 2021.

 

The Council became aware of amendments to the LGA Model Code after the Full Council decision in March 2021. The amendments add further clarification to the LGA Model Code.

 

In addition, at the request of the Leader, the adopted Councillors Code of Conduct has been further reviewed to consider any unintended consequences that have arisen as a result of it. 

 

On 14 March 2022, the Standards and Conduct Committee resolved to recommend that General Purposes Committee recommend to Full Council that it adopts the proposed amendments to the Councillor Code of Conduct as set out in red in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Following the resolution of the Standards and Conduct Committee, further unintended effects, relating to Members’ Other Registerable Interests were identified and further amendments, set out in blue in Appendix 1 to the report are proposed to address these.

 

Group Leaders had been consulted on the proposals and had been unanimous in support.  Training would be given to new Members and existing Members would be issued with a briefing note with regard to the impact of the changes.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)  That the resolution of the Standards and Conduct Committee dated 14 March 2022 be noted.

(2)  That the proposed further LGA amendments to the adopted Councillor Code of Conduct as set out in Appendix 1 of the report be noted.

(3)  That the proposed additional amendments to the adopted Councillor Code of Conduct as set out in Appendix 1 be noted.

(4)  That it be recommended to Full Council that it adopts all of the amendments to the Councillor Code of Conduct with effect from 26 May 2022.

 

35.

Amendments to Article 15 of the Constitution - Monitoring Officer authorisation pdf icon PDF 411 KB

To receive and consider the attached report of the City Solicitor

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

The report of the City Solicitor recommends an amendment to Article 15.2.3 of the Constitution following a review of the operation of the Constitution to ensure that the aims and principles of it are given full effect.

 

The recommendations propose to grant the Monitoring Officer further authority to make changes to any Part of the Constitution to those already set out in Article 15.2.3.

 

The recommendations are proposed having regard to the Leeds Best Council ambition to being an efficient, enterprising and healthy organisation and will reduce the resources and costs required to hold meetings to consider amendments to the Constitution where the Monitoring Officer is of the opinion such changes are de minimus and required for administrative or updating purposes only and for which there is unanimous agreement between the Leader of each political group.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)  That the reasons for proposed amendments to Article 15.2.3 of the Constitution as set out in Appendix A of this report be noted.

(2)  That it be recommended to Full Council that it approves the amendments.

(3)  That any amendments be reported to a future meeting of the General Purposes Committee.

 

 

36.

Independent Person pdf icon PDF 327 KB

To receive and consider the attached report of the City Solicitor.

Minutes:

The report of the City Solicitor sought agreement to an extension to the term of office of the existing Independent Person and a proposal to recruit a new Independent Person.

 

The term of office for Mr Gordon Tollefson, the existing Independent Person was due to expire in July 2022.  It was proposed that his term of office be extended by a further two years with an option to extend by a further two subject to agreement.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)  That Mr Tollefson’s term of office be extended by two years to July 2024 with an option to extend by a further two years, subject to agreement between the Council and Mr Tollefson.

(2)  That a recruitment process be progressed to appoint a new (additional) Independent Person via a cross party Member Panel (chaired by the Executive Member for Resources and with representation drawn from the Standards and Conduct Committee) with that Working Group making recommendations to the General Purposes Committee for appointment of a new Independent Person by full Council.

(3)  That during his extended term Mr Tollefson supports the induction of the new Independent Person.