Agenda and minutes

SPECIAL MEETING, Joint Standards Committee - Tuesday 10th April 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon. View directions

Contact: Committee Services 

No. Item


Chairman's notices


The Chairman drew attention to the list of notices published on the back of the agenda.


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs B Acevedo.


Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6-8 inclusive of the Code of Conduct for Members.


(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).



Councillor Dobson disclosed a non-peculiarly interest in Agenda Item 5 – Investigation into Alleged Contravention of the Members’ Code of Conduct as an ex-member of Heybridge Parish Council, and knew a lot of the people mentioned in the officers report.


Investigation into Alleged Contravention of the Members' Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider the report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer seeking consideration of his investigation (Appendix A to the report) following a complaint made against Parish Councillor Professor Lew Schnurr (of Heybridge Parish Council) regarding the Code of Conduct for Members.


The Deputy Monitoring Officer drew the attention of Members to paragraph 34, line six of Appendix A, which read “I am of the view that disrepute is a stronger threshold to cross…” and advised that the word stronger should be replaced with higher.


Following the reports publication, the Deputy Monitoring Officer advised members of the following:

·                 Receipt of letters from Councillor Schnurr addressed to Councillor Benson, the Chairman of Heybridge Parish Council, and the Clerk of Heybridge Parish Council.  The letters apologised for what happened on the night of 18 January 2018 and any distress that was caused.  The Deputy Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that the letters were considered to be a full, frank, and honest apology.

·                 A document had been circulated by Councillor Benson to members which stated he was not party to any attempt to oust or victimise Councillor Schnurr.  This had also been mentioned in Councillor Schnurr’s interview with the Deputy Monitoring Officer as part of this investigation.


There were no questions raised for the Deputy Monitoring Officer by the Committee.


Councillor Schnurr read out a statement of apology, during which he apologised for the outburst on 18 January 2018, and how he had since made a subsequent positive contribution towards Heybridge Parish Council.


There were no questions raised for Councillor Schnurr by the Committee.


Adjournment of the meeting


RESOLVED that the meeting of the Joint Standards Committee be adjourned at 6:09pm for Members to consider the complaint.


Resumption of Business in Open Session


RESOLVED that the meeting resumed in open session at 6:30pm.


Investigation into Alleged Contravention of the Members' Code of Conduct continued


The Committee made the following decisions:




(i)             that a notice of the findings of this Committee be published on Heybridge Parish Councils website for six months;


(ii)           that Heybridge Parish Council publishes a notice in the Local Newspaper advising of the findings of this Committee.


(iii)         that Heybridge Parish Council be recommended to limit Councillor Professor Lew Schnurrs involvement at meetings, and his representation of the Council, by his removal from Committees for a period of six months; 

(iv)          that Councillor Schnurr should be prevented from formally representing the Parish Council until a change in attitude was shown. 

(v)            that Councillor Schnurr provide a full, and frank all apology at the next Full Council Meeting of Heybridge Parish Council.


Heybridge Parish Council was advised by the Chairman that they had the ability to amend, change, or adhere the Committees decisions.  The Chairman informed Heybridge Parish Council that they were to notify the Council of what their final decision was.