Agenda and draft minutes
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Independent member Tony Elkington, Parish Council Ian Hendy, and District Councillor Paul Hiett.
The chairman to identify any items of urgent business.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal advised that she would need to present an urgent report which related to the commencement regulations and the new definitions of Discloseable Interests under of the Localism Act 2011. The matters were urgent as the regulations had been published after the agenda had been sent out. These new regulations had a significant impact on the matters being reported to the committee.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest in any matter to be discussed at the meeting. Members and officers are requested to identify the nature of the interest and indicate whether it is personal or prejudicial.
There were no declaration of interests.
To confirm the non-exempt minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2012 (attached).
The non-except minutes were confirmed as correct record except for a few minor amendments to correct the views recorded on page 3 of Mike Jones, to correct Alan Robertson’s name on page 3 and to include the missing text on page 5.
Localism Act 2011 - Commencement Regulations
The Assistant Solicitor Lisa Weaver presented report LD.426, she gave an update on the Localism Act 2011 and the Commencement Regulations. She referred to section 2 and advised that there were two new regulations which were numbers 28 and 29.
· 28 – Codes of Conduct, Enabling a local authority to make arrangements under which allegations can be investigated on or after 1 July 2012
· 29 - Register of interests enabling the Monitoring Officer of a relevant authority to prepare a register of interests which will take effect on or after 1 July 2012
The Assistant Solicitor Lisa Weaver, then referred to Section 4 of the report Transitional Arrangements, she advised that Article 7 stated that provided that a person maybe appointed by a local authority as the independent person under Section 28 of the Localism Act 2011 if that person:
(a) is not a member or co-opted member of the Standards Committee of the authority on 1 July 2012; but
(b) has held such a post at any time during five years ending on 30 June 2012
Independent member Alan Robertson said that he understood that the role of the Independent Member would be demised on 31 July 2012, if that was correct there would not be any independent members on the 31 July 2012.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal, confirmed she had thought that would be the case, until she had received the Transitional Arrangements. She said that the appointment of an independent member would be dealt with under the new provisions. She advised that this Council had not advertised the Independent Member post yet. She asked the Independent members on the committee to contact her after the meeting if they had an interest in applying for the position. She also said she would contact the Chairman Tony Elkington who was unable to attend the meeting, to see if he was interested in the position.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal referred members to section 3 Register of Interests, and said that schedule were broadly set out the same as present, and that the new registers would be put in place.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal to present report LD.424.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal presented report LD.424 she advised that The Localism Act required the council to make new arrangements for dealing with complaints of breaches of the Code of Conduct by members and by parish councillors and to adopt a new code of conduct, and a new process for considering complaints under that code and sanctions available.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal provided four draft versions of the Code of Conduct, she indicated that in her view the proposed Version 1 provided greater clarity for members and is therefore recommended for approval and adoption subject to any views the committee may have. This version was essentially a “do’s and “don’ts” which could be commended to our town and parish councils for their adoption. She advised that the revised Code of Conduct would need to be adopted at the Full Council meeting on the 12 July 2012.
Parish Councillor Neal Breeden asked if the Independent Members term was for one year, and that after one year the post would have to be advertised again.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal, replied that, that was correct.
Independent Member Mike Jones, believed that the current Standard regime kept councillors on their toes and this new regime was a backward step.
The four proposed draft versions of the new Code of Conduct that was presented by the Monitoring Officer were discussed in detail by members. Alan Robertson suggested that Version 1 be amended to include reference to the previous Code of Conduct principles relating to Duty to Uphold the Law, Respect for Others and personal Judgement. He also suggested that the clause relating to the Bribery Act obligations be simplified. The most favoured version was Version 1. A vote was taken which resulted in.
7 for Version 1 as amended
It was agreed that Version 1 would be adopted with some added text.
Standards Annual Report 2011-2012
Standards Annual Report 2011-2012 to follow.
The Monitoring Officer advised that she would be working with the Chairman and Vice Chairman on the Annual Report and would circulated a final draft before the council meeting on 12 July.
TO CONSIDER, AND IF SO AGREE, TO RESOLVE that under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the said act
RESOLVED that under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the said act
Complaints and Investigations
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal to present report LD.425.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal advised that the committee currently had four complaints in the system, three from St Briavels Parish Council and one from Newnham Parish Council all of which had gone to an Investigation. Unfortunately the Legal Team had recently been seriously under resourced and the four cases had had to dealt with externally. Investigation reports were due to be presented before the end of June and would have to be, completed under the new regime.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal, informed members that she had recently received two more complaints, if they go ahead those cases also would be dealt with under the new regime.
The Vice Chairman Richard Cockroft asked how the current on-going cases would be dealt with under the new regime.
The Monitoring Officer Marie Rosenthal advised that the Independent Person and the Monitoring Officer would continue with the cases under the new Code of Conduct.
The Vice chairman Richard Cockroft, announced that it was the end of the Standards Committee and on behalf of the Chairman Tony Elkington, would like to thank the committee for their hard work, he said it had been very interesting and generally a successful operation, he believed that the committee had raised standards of conduct locally and the public had an independent body they could go to with concerns. He also thanked the officers for their work.
- Andrew Gardiner
- Arthur Thomas
- Bernie O'Neill
- Bill Evans
- Bill Osborne
- Brian Edwards
- Brian Jones
- Brian Robinson
- Bruce Hogan
- Carole Allaway Martin
- Clive Elsmore
- Dave East
- David Thomson
- Di Martin
- Diana Edwards
- Don Pugh
- Frank Baynham
- Frankie Evans
- Gabriella Kirkpatrick
- Gethyn Davies
- Graham Morgan
- Helen Stewart
- Ian Whitburn
- Jackie Fraser
- James Bevan
- Jane Horne
- Jim Connell
- Judy Davis
- Julia Gooch
- Len Lawton
- Lynn Sterry
- Maria Edey
- Marion Winship
- Marrilyn Smart OBE
- Martin Quaile
- Max Coborn
- Norman Stephens
- Patrick Molyneux
- Paul Hiett
- Paul McMahon
- Peter Ede
- Philip Burford
- Roger Sterry
- Roger Yeates
- Roy Birch
- Terry Glastonbury
- Terry Hale
- Val Hobman