The Committee heard from the Assistant Director for People & Democratic Services regarding the review of the Whistleblowing Policy. It was explained that the policy was last reviewed in 2019 and, following an annual report to the Governance and Audit Committee regarding whistleblowing activity, Members had recommended the policy be reviewed to take into account the feedback from that Committee. The amendments were summarised with reference to how the recommendations from the Governance and Audit Committee had been incorporated.
The Chairman thanked the Assistant Director for People and Democratic Services and formally congratulated on her new role. Members of the Committee commended the layout of the report and the detailed amendments. It was questioned whether there could be a standard approach to such policy reviews, with the Assistant Director for People and Democratic Services undertaking to seek feedback and incorporate suggestions into the report writing style.
It was highlighted that one of the concerns raised by the Governance and Audit Committee has been that people may be nervous to proceed with whistleblowing, due to perceived repercussions, and it was enquired as to whether any assurance had been sought for mitigating this concern. It was explained that the policy delivered a well-rounded and robust approach to whistleblowing, and also provided external avenues of support, all of which was standard across similar policies in other organisations and as supported by ACAS.
Having been moved and seconded it was unanimously
a) the reviewed Whistleblowing Policy be approved and adopted by the council; and
b) delegated authority be granted to the Chief Executive to make minor housekeeping amendments to the policy in future, in consultation with the Chairman of the Corporate Policy & Resources Committee and the Chairman of the Joint Staff Consultative Committee.