Agenda and draft minutes

Member Conduct Committee - Monday, 21st September, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom. View directions

Note: This is a public meeting and can be viewed by clicking on the media link below (you may need to use Chrome as a browser to do so). 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd December 2019

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd December 2019 were confirmed as a true record.

2.

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interest

Minutes:

No disclosures were made.

3.

Questions Under Committee Procedure 12.8

No questions were received.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

4.

Update on Complaints Received pdf icon PDF 134 KB

A report of the Monitoring Officer providing an update on complaints received about breaches of the Code of Conduct and any issues arising from those complaints.

Minutes:

Considered a report of the Monitoring Officer providing an update on complaints received about breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct and any issues arising from those complaints (item 5 on the agenda).

 

The Monitoring Officer noted that there had been one complaint for which a Panel Hearing had been arranged, and of the six new complaints this year most were related to a single parish council.  The parish council had recognised there were governance issues and were currently undergoing a review with LRALC.

 

RESOLVED that the current position in respect of complaints about breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct that have been received be noted.

 

Reason

 

To keep the Committee informed about complaints.

5.

Register of Members' Interests pdf icon PDF 105 KB

A report of the Monitoring Officer providing an update regarding recent reminders and responses for Register of Members’ Interests.

 

Minutes:

Considered a report of the Monitoring Officer providing an update regarding the Register of Members’ Interests (item 6 on the agenda filed with these minutes).  

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer noted that the response rate for borough councillors had remained consistent with the previous year. The Monitoring officer stated that there was no legal obligation for councillors to update their Register of Members’ Interests on a six-monthly basis; this was instigated by the Borough Council.

 

Members discussed the recent consultation by the Local Government Association (LGA) regarding a draft model Code of Conduct and it was noted that the consultation had closed on 17th August 2020 with a final draft anticipated to become available in Autumn 2020.  Once the draft model Code of Conduct had been finalised it would be considered by the Committee for adoption. This consultation did not affect sanctions for breaches of the Code of Conduct as these were regulated by the Localism Act 2011. 

 

Sanctions for breaches of the Code of Conduct had been reviewed as part of an earlier consultation by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL).  The Government had not yet responded to the recommendations made by CSPL.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.            that the processes for keeping the Register of Members’ Interest up to date be noted;

 

2.            that a further update of the Register of Members’ Interests and the processes for ensuring it is kept up to date is not scheduled for a future meeting of the Committee unless the response rate drops significantly and requires the Committee’s consideration.

 

Reasons

 

1.            Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 29 and 30), the relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interest) Regulations 2012 and the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members of the Council are required to disclose their own and partners disclosable pecuniary interests, and other interest.

 

2.            The Committee considered that the consistency of response over several years by borough councillors indicated that further reviews were not required unless the response rate dropped significantly. If this occurred an update would be scheduled to a future meeting for the Committee’s review.

 

 

6.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 100 KB

A report of the Monitoring Officer to enable the Committee to agree a work programme to plan its future business

Minutes:

Considered a report of the Monitoring Officer enabling the Committee to agree a work programme to plan its future business (item 7 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

It was noted that the update for the Register of Members’ Interests would be amended in the Work Programme to reflect the Committee’s request that it only be submitted for the Committee’s consideration if the response rate was to drop significantly.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee’s current work programme be noted and updated in accordance with the decisions taken during the consideration of this item and other items on the agenda.

 

Reason

 

To enable the Committee to fulfil its role in promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by councillor and co-opted members.