Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Standards Sub- Committee held on 9 May 2016 (annual council) be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
Members' Declarations of Interests
Members may make any declarations of interest at this point but may also make them at any time during the course of the meeting.
All Members present declared a non-pecuniary interest in that any newly approved Code would directly affect them.
Print herewith SCC.02
The Committee gave consideration to a report which presented a first draft stage, revised Members Code of Conduct and Operating Procedures for consultation purposes. The report also included supporting data analysis and rational for change.
By way of background and context it was noted that the Council had introduced its current Code of Conduct and Operating Procedures in July 2012 in response to the requirements of the Localism Act 2011, which had seen the abolition of the Standards Board regime and all the rules under it.
A review of the Code had not been undertaken since its introduction in 2012 and having now worked within its requirements for over four years it was considered appropriate to do so.
The Committee noted that thecontent of any Code adoptedunder the Localism Actwas amatter foreach local authority to determine subject onlyto itbeing consistentwith theseven 'NolanPrinciples' and different authorities would and couldquite legitimatelycome toa rangeof viewsabout the content oftheir Code.
Having worked with the current Code for around four years, it had become apparent that the general public, Officers and Councillors alike were of the view that these principles do not go far enough.
The Localism Act did not prevent the Authority from including further provisions on its Members and in light of the nature of the complaints that have been received during the period, it was being recommend that general obligations relating to respect, bullying, intimidation and the disclosing of confidential information be incorporated in to the Code of Conduct.
The data to support the changes, was detailed in Section 2 of the report and was outlined to the Committee.
The main amendments being proposed and the rationale for such were detailed in Section 3 of the report, in summary these included: -
· An Introduction and Interpretation
· New General Obligations on Members relating to respect, bullying, harassment, confidential information and use of resources
It was stressed that all of the proposed changes, were arguably how the majority of Councillors currently conducted themselves. However if the changes were accepted, in due course, they would become enforceable under the Code of Conduct.
Two main changes were being proposed to the operating procedures namely: -
•Making it clear throughout the document which stages of the process were not within the public domain.
• Removing consultation with the Ward Member (for Parish Council complaints)
In response to a Members comment, it was confirmed that Officers were subject to a detailed Code of Conduct, and Officers undertook to provide this to the Member outside of the meeting.
It was also questioned as to whether confidentiality needed to be included with the Code, as ... view the full minutes text for item 8.