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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Marlborough Town Hall : Council Chamber - 5 High St, Marlborough, SN8 1AA

Contact: Pam Denton  Email: pam.denton@wiltshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for this meeting only

Minutes:

Nominations for a Chairman of the Standards Sub-Committee were sought and it was

 

Resolved:

 

To elect Councillor Howard Greenman as Chairman for this meeting only.

 

2.

Chairman's Welcome, Introduction and Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the sub-committee members and others present at the meeting.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are requested to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by the sub committee.

4.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Number 5 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in  paragraph 7(c) of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Minutes:

There were no objections made by the interested parties to hearing the matter in public, and the sub-committee agreed that in the interests of transparency and fairness, the hearing would be conducted as a part 1 item.

5.

Standards Committee Hearing Complaint regarding the Alleged Conduct of Mr Roger Durie of Great Bedwyn Parish Council

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman opened the hearing, and confirmed the focus would follow from the agreed direction of the sub-committee pre hearing. The chairman summarised the following;

 

On 23rd March 2012 the Monitoring Officer of Wiltshire Council received a complaint from Ms Jan Thornton regarding the alleged conduct of Roger Durie, a member of Great Bedwyn Parish Council.

 

The allegation was that Mr Durie failed to show respect to Mrs Thornton:

 

(a)      by permitting a motion about the application of the Parish Council’s Vexatious Complaints Policy to be taken as a Part 1 agenda item; and

 

(b)      by referring to The Knapp Tenants’ Association as the ‘purported’ Knapp Tenants’ Association. 

 

The complaint is included within the Investigator’s report (pages 23 to 34 of the Schedule of Evidence).

 

On 17th April 2012 the Standards Assessment Sub-Committee of Wiltshire Council considered the complaint regarding Mr Durie. In accordance with section 57A(2) of the Local Government Act 2000, as amended, the Assessment Sub-Committee decided that the complaint should be referred to the Monitoring Officer for investigation. They considered that if proven, the behaviour giving rise to the complaint may be capable of breaching the following paragraphs of the Code:

 

3(1) – You must treat others with respect.

 

5 – You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute

 

The Chairman invited the investigating Officer, Marie Lindsay to provide a summary of the investigating officer’s report, and reminded the committee that the questions that required an answer in order to determine a breach were therefore: -

 

1. Whether the motion should have been accepted as a motion from the floor.

2. If it was should it have been determined as a Part 1 item.

3. If the answer to either issue 1 or 2 is no then did the subject member (as chairperson of the meeting) breach the relevant code of conduct by his failure to ensure correct procedures were followed within the meeting.

 

The Investigating Officer opened by confirming the relevant points from the agreed schedule of findings of fact (Appendix A). These were:-

 

1.     Mr Durie was at the relevant time, a member of Great Bedwyn Parish Council

 

2.     Mrs Thornton is the Secretary of The Knapps Tenants’ Association

 

19. On 8th February 2012 Great Bedwyn Parish Council adopted a Vexatious Complaints Policy

 

24. At the Parish Council meeting on March 14th 2012 (Parish) Councillor Raff proposed a Motion to identify Mrs Thornton and the Knapp Tenants Association as vexatious and to inform Mrs Thornton of this decision in accordance with the Council’s Vexatious Complaints Policy.

 

25. The Motion was taken as a Part 1 agenda item and the press and public had not been excluded from the meeting.

 

26. The Motion was carried with seven votes and one abstention.

 

28. Over 30 people attended the Parish Council meeting on 15th March 2012. A considerable number of people were still present at the meeting when the Motion was proposed and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

 

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