Agenda and minutes

Standards and Conduct Committee
Friday, 7th March, 2014 1.30 pm

Venue: Civic Hall

Contact: Phil Garnett  Governance Officer

Items
No. Item

19.

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.

20.

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.

21.

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 submitted to the agenda for consideration.

22.

Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary and Other Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-18 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.  Also to declare any other significant interests which the Member wishes to declare in the public interest, in accordance with paragraphs 19-20 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations made.

23.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence from the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor B Atha and Councillor B Selby. Apologies were also received form Cllr Paul Cook the Parish Representative.

 

Councillor J Hardy was in attendance as substitute for Councillor B Selby.

24.

Minutes - 29th November 2013 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 29th November 2013.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29th November 2014 were approved as a correct record.

25.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Minute No. 56 Committee on Standards in Public Life: Annual Report 2012-13

 

The Head of Governance Services confirmed that a letter had been sent from the Chair of the Committee to the Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life conveying the views expressed by the Committee with regards to the disciplinary procedure in Leeds, and that a reply had been received.

26.

Update Report pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To receive a report of the City Solicitor to present the Standards and Conduct Committee with a summary of the complaints submitted to Leeds City Council regarding potential breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct since the last meeting of the Committee.  This includes complaints against Leeds City Councillors and about Parish and Town Councillors in the Leeds area.

 

(Report attached)

Minutes:

The Head of Governance Services presented a report of the City Solicitor. The report detailed complaints submitted to Leeds City Council regarding potential breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct over the past municipal year.  This included complaints against Leeds City Councillors and about Parish and Town Councillors in the Leeds area.

 

RESOLVED – The Committee resolved to note the information set out in the

 submitted report.

27.

Defamation and Qualified Privilege pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive a report of the City Solicitor which provides an overview of the potential use of the defence of qualified privilege in any proceedings against a Member in relation to a claim of defamation. The report also considers the Council’s indemnity for Members and officers in so far as it extends to the defence of an allegation of defamation.

 

(Report attached)

Minutes:

The Head of Governance Services presented a report of the City Solicitor. The report provided an overview of the potential use of the defence of qualified privilege in any proceedings against a Member in relation to a claim of defamation. The report also considered the Council’s indemnity for Members and officers in so far as it extends to the defence of an allegation of defamation.

 

Members discussed the defences available should a claim for defamation arise.

 

RESOLVED – The Committee resolved to note the contents of the report.

28.

Annual Report of the Standards and Conduct Committee pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To receive a report of the City Solicitor which presents the draft annual report of the Standards and Conduct Committee.  Members are asked to consider whether to refer the report to full Council for consideration so that full Council can receive assurances as to how the Authorities duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct (by Members and co-opted Members of the Council) is being discharged.

 

(Report attached)

Minutes:

The Head of Governance Services presented a report of the City Solicitor. The report presented the draft annual report of the Standards and Conduct Committee.  Members were asked to consider whether to refer the report to full Council for consideration so that full Council can receive assurances as to how the Authority’s duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct (by Members and co-opted Members of the Council) is being discharged.

 

Members agreed that the report should be considered by full Council.

 

RESOLVED – The Committee resolved to agree the annual report of the Standards and Conduct Committee and refer it to full Council for consideration.