If you are reading this page using a screenreader, we support ARIA landmarks for quick navigation too

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Online

Contact: Kieran Elliott 

Media

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies

To receive any apologies or substitutes for the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Derek Brown OBE, Pam Turner and Richard Baxter.

 

Cllr Brown was substituted by Cllr Sue Evans.

22.

Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2020.

 

To receive the minutes of the Hearing Sub-Committee meeting held on 23 September 2020, 2 November 2020 and 6 November 2020.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 7 October 2020 were presented for consideration. The minutes of the Standards Hearing Sub-Committee meeting held on 23 September 2020, 2 November 2020 and 6 November 2020 were also received, and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To approve and sign the minutes of the Standards Committee as a true and correct record.

 

To receive the minutes of the Standards Hearing Sub-Committee as a true and correct record.

23.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

24.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

25.

Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.

 

Guidance on how to participate in the meeting online

 

Access this link to view the meeting

 

Statements

If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda no later than 5pm on 2 February 2021.

 

Questions

Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 28 January 2021 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on1 February 2021. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.

 

Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

A statement and question was received from Andrew Nicolson as attached to these minutes regarding Members not voting on Full Council recorded votes, rather than voting for, against or abstain, on Full Council recorded votes, and whether as a matter of transparency the Constitution could be amended to make it best practice for an active vote to be cast when present.

 

Following discussion from the Committee, it was agreed to refer the matter to the Constitution Focus Group for consideration.

26.

Status Report on Code of Conduct Complaints

To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Paul Barnett, Acting Team Leader for Public Law and Compliance, presented a report updating the Committee on Code of Conduct complaints received and determined since the last meeting.

 

It was noted that there had been a large number of complaints submitted in August and September 2020, but that the number had reduced since that time.

 

In discussion, it was also noted that when there were a large number of complaints this could be the result of a single incident which received multiple complaints rather than multiple incidents.

 

It was then,

 

Resolved:

 

To note the Code of Conduct complaints update.

27.

Complaints Report

To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Ian Gibbons, Monitoring Officer, introduced a report summarising annual statistics in relation to corporate complaints, developments of the service and review of complaints procedures.

 

The number of complaints received under the corporate complaints procedure was 459 in 2019/20, compared to 588 the previous year and continuing a decreasing trend. Details were provided of complaints dealt with under Children’s Services statutory procedures, and that work was ongoing with services to identify trends and improve reporting to the Committee and the Corporate Leadership Team.

 

Details were also received in relation to the Annual Review Letter from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, the impact of Covid-19 with a rise in anxious or aggressive contacts with the complaints team, and proposals to review the complaints procedure. It was also stated that the complaints team would from April 2021 be transferred to the Democracy and Governance service as detailed in the report.

 

The Committee received the report and noted the ongoing discussions with services as well as the comments of the Ombudsman on some delays in completing remedies within agreed timescales, and that a review had taken place to ensure improvement of timeliness.

 

It was then,

 

Resolved:

 

1)    To note the current position on Corporate Complaints and Ombudsman investigations, and the proposed transfer of the complaints function to the Democracy and Governance Service.

 

2)    To note the review of the Complaints Procedure in Protocol 6 of the Constitution and to agree that the proposed new procedure is referred to the Constitution Focus Group for consideration and report to the Standards Committee.

28.

Appointment of Co-opted Members of the Standards Committee

To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Kieran Elliott, Senior Democratic Services Officer, introduced a report regarding the appointed of co-opted member of the Standards Committee. The Committee had to consider whether to recommend Council appoint co-opted members in future, how many to appoint, and the process for that appointment.

 

The Committee discussed the report, noting the invaluable work of co-opted members in particular with the Assessment Sub-Committee regarding Code of Conduct complaints. It was considered that retaining four co-opted members was appropriate, and to request Full Council delegate the appoint to the Committee, and that arrangements be made to advertise in advance and after the May 2021 local elections. A comment was received from a co-opted member thanking officers for their support during the current term of appointment.

 

It was then,

 

Resolved:

 

To recommend that Council:

 

1)    Appoint four non-voting co-opted Members for the next council term; and

2)    delegate the appointment of any non-voting co-opted members to the Standards Committee and the arrangements for selection of such members to the Monitoring Officer in consultation with the Chairman of the Standards Committee.

 

 

29.

Local Government Association (LGA) Model Code of Conduct

To consider the LGA Model Code of Conduct published following its 2020 consultation.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Ian Gibbons, Monitoring Officer, introduced a report on the Model Local Government Association (LGA) Code of Conduct. The Committee had responded to the consultation on the draft LGA Code in 2020.

 

The Committee discussed the Model Code, which was a more detailed Code than the previous light touch Code. Some Members considered that the Council’s Code needed to be strengthened and the LGA Code or elements of it could be a step in that direction. The continuing lack of effective sanctions, which would require legislative changes, was also raised.

 

Following discussion, it was then,

 

Resolved:

 

To refer the updated Model Code of Conduct to the Constitution Focus Group to review, and make comments and recommendations to the Standards Committee as appropriate.

30.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

Actions

Search

This website