Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Standards Committee - Thursday 25th February 2016 4.00 pm

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

Contact: Committee Services 

Items
No. Item

942.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors I E Dobson and S Nunn.  In accordance with notice duly given Councillor Mrs M E Thompson was acting as a substitute for Councillor I E Dobson.

943.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the special meeting of the Joint Standards Committee held on 18 December 2015, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

(i)              that the Minutes of the special meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2015 be received.

 

Minute 721 – Allegation of Misconduct – Complaint Ref. 5/2015

 

In response to a question as to how this decision would proceed, the Chairman confirmed that a Private and Confidential session would be included at the end of the meeting to discuss this matter.

 

RESOLVED

 

(ii)            that the Minutes of the special meeting of the Committee held on 18 December 2015 be confirmed.

944.

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).

 

Minutes:

There were none.

945.

Councillor Code of Conduct - Review pdf icon PDF 162 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Monitoring Officer on the review of the Councillor Code of Conduct.  The report had been produced following the last meeting where Members had requested a review.

 

Councillor Mrs M E Thompson arrived at this point in the meeting.

 

The Monitoring Officer guided Members through the Report and drew particular attention to section 2.6 which highlighted the following provisions which had been incorporated into Tendring District Council’s Code of Conduct:

 

“You must:

(a)       not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or the Authority into disrepute;

(b)       not make vexatious, malicious or frivolous complaints against other members or anyone who works for, or on behalf of, the Authority.

(c)       comply with any request of the authority's Monitoring Officer or Section 151 Officer, in connection with an investigation conducted in accordance with their respective statutory powers.”

 

The Monitoring Officer advised the Committee that a similar provision should be incorporated into Maldon District Council’s Councillor Code of Conduct.  Members’ attention was then drawn to section 2.9 of the report and its’ importance in relation to clarification of ‘official capacity’.  A slight change to the Code of Conduct was proposed to reflect this.  Further amendments proposed were the inclusion of the Nolan Principles as part of the actual Code of Conduct and to ensure consistency with the Register of Interests as highlighted at sections 2.11 and 2.12 of the report.

 

A copy of the Code of Conduct showing the proposed changes was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              that the Monitoring Officer  reports back to the Committee on whether Tendring District Council has encountered any difficulties since implementing their Code of Conduct.

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(ii)            that the Council adopts the revised Code of Councillor Conduct, incorporating the revisions set out in Appendix 1 to the Report of the Monitoring Officer;

 

(iii)          that the revised Councillor Code of Conduct, if be adopted by the Council, should continue to be reviewed upon:

 

(a)             A change to the law or regulations which affect the Code of Conduct, or;

(b)            If no such change to the law or regulations takes place, then once every four years in the period leading up to the Maldon District Council elections.

 

Councillor Mrs M E Thompson stated that she had no declarations of interest to make in relation to any item of business before this Committee.

946.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

947.

Minutes of Meeting 18 December 2015

Minutes:

In response to a question raised earlier in the meeting, the Monitoring Officer gave an update on a matter which the Committee had considered in a confidential session at the last meeting.