Agenda and minutes

Standards and Conduct Committee
Friday, 6th March, 2015 2.00 pm

Contact: Phil Garnett  Governance Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

2.

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.

3.

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.

4.

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:

No declarations were made.

5.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence from the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received form Councillors Lowe and Townsley.

6.

Minutes - 7th March 2014 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 7th March 2014.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – The minutes of the previous meeting held on 7th March 2014 were approved as a correct record.

7.

Annual Report of the Standards and Conduct Committee pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive a report of the City Solicitor which present to the committee an annual report relating to matters within the committee’s terms of reference. 

Minutes:

The Head of Governance Services presented a report of the City Solicitor which provided the Committee with an annual report relating to matters within the Committee’s terms of reference.

 

Members noted the assurances provided by the Head of Governance services in respect of the Standards responsibilities of Members, the Council and the Monitoring Officer. Particularly:

 

  • Training provided;
  • Registration and the declaration of interests;
  • Dispensations; and
  • Complaints

 

In discussing Parish and Town Councils two issues were raised as follows:

 

1)  That register of interests are being maintained up to date; and

2)  That each Parish and Town Council has a code of conduct in place

 

Assurances were given that regular contact with the clerks of the Parish and Town Councils is made to ensure registers are up to date. Further in light of upcoming elections it was confirmed that a process is in place to a) ensure Members’ duties in respect of registration on interests can be complied with and b) that the Monitoring Officer’s responsibilities for the publication of registers can be fulfilled.

 

Further it was confirmed that Parish and Town Councils have adopted a Council Code of Conduct.

 

The Committee also raised the changing role of Parish Councils and the impact that additional funding via the community infrastructure levy may have on number and scale of disclosable pecuniary interests arising at meetings of those bodies.  The Head of Governance Services agreed to raise this point with the local/national Parish and Town Council associations as something on which they may wish to provide guidance to their members.

 

Members were asked to consider whether to refer the report to full Council for consideration. Members agreed that whilst it is important that full Council be aware of the work of the Committee that this year efforts be made to ensure full Council consider the minutes of this meeting rather than consider a separate report.

 

The Committee thanked officers and the Independent Person for their work in providing an accessible and proportionate approach to matters arising during the year.

 

The Committee also recorded their thanks to Councillor John Eveleigh, Councillor Debbie Potter and Councillor Martin Hughes for agreeing to form a pool of Parish and Town Councillors that can be called upon by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED – The Committee resolved to agree the annual report of the Standards and Conduct Committee.