Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Thursday, 24th April 2014 6.10 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Peter Baines, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582074 or email  pbaines@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

23.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 24th January 2014 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.

 

 

24.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

25.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by members of interests in respect of items on this agenda. 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

26.

Review of the Protocol on Planning Procedure pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) introduced a report on proposed amendments to the Protocol on Planning Procedure.   If approved, the proposed amendments would be recommended to Council Business Committee for inclusion in the constitution.

 

In the course of discussion, members agreed that it would be helpful to raise the protocol’s profile with the general public, in order to make people more aware of a councillor’s role in determining planning applications.   As such, it was agreed to include a reminder in the protocol’s introduction, stating that it was a public document, available on the council’s website, which councillors could share with members of the public.

 

Resolved:

 

To recommend the amended protocol to Council Business Committee for inclusion in the constitution, subject to the inclusion of a reminder in the introduction that the protocol was a public document, available on the council’s website, which councillors could share with members of the public.

 

27.

Complaint 3/13 - Update pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) gave an update on Complaint 3/13, and it was reported that Carnforth Town Council had censured Councillor Dent at its meeting of 19th February.  

 

This was in accordance with a recommendation from this committee, which found that Councillor Dent had failed to comply with paragraphs 3(1), 3(2)(b), 3(2)(c), and 5 of Carnforth Town Council’s code of conduct.

 

Resolved:

 

That the update be noted.

28.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The committee is recommended to pass the following recommendations in relation to the following item:

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraph 1 of schedule 12A of that act.”

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following item has been marked as exempt, it is for the committee itself to decide whether or not to consider it in private or in public. In making the decision, members should consider the relevant paragraph of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and also whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  In considering their decision, members should also be mindful of the advice of council officers. 

 

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That, in accordance with section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of schedule 12A of that Act. 

29.

Summary of Complaints

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) gave a summary of current code of conduct complaints against councillors.

 

During the course of discussion, Councillor Mace asked whether the process of bringing a complaint to the hearing stage could be speeded up, for the benefit of the person under investigation, and requested that his question be recorded in the minutes.   In response, the Chief Officer (Governance) reported that code of conduct complaints were given a high level of priority by officers, although time and resource pressures could impede progress during busy periods, and delays were sometimes caused by councillors failing to complete the required paperwork in a timely fashion.

 

Resolved:

 

That the summary of complaints be noted.