Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Friday, 24th January 2014 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

19.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 10th October 2013 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

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

20.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

21.

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:

Councillor Gardner declared an interest in item 5 on the agenda, the nature of the interest being that he was a member of the same parish council as the subject member.

22.

Alleged Breach of the Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was agreed to consider the hearing in public, removing the exemption from publication in respect of pages 14-36 of the agenda, but with the proviso that the press and public would be excluded should members wish to refer specifically to the appendices to the Investigating Officer’s report, which would remain exempt from publication.

 

At 10:25am, the committee adjourned to consider a request from Councillor Dent of Carnforth Town Council, to postpone the meeting, on medical grounds, and an objection from Councillor Dent to Councillor Mace chairing the hearing.   Following discussion, it was agreed that the meeting would not be postponed, and would continue as scheduled with Councillor Mace as chairman.   The meeting resumed at 10:35am.

 

The committee considered the Investigating Officer’s report into an alleged breach of the code of conduct by Councillor Dent (complaint 3/13).

 

The complaint had been lodged by Mr Lawrence Branyan about Councillor Ian Dent, of Carnforth Town Council.   The Investigating Officer had prepared a report setting out her findings concerning whether Councillor Dent had breached the following paragraphs of the Carnforth Town Council Code of Conduct:

 

3(1)  -  you must treat others with respect;

 

3 (2) (b)  -  you must not bully any person;

 

3 (2) (c) – you must not intimidate or attempt to intimidate any person who is or is likely to be:

 

i.              a complainant;

ii.             a witness; or

iii.            involved in the administration of any investigation or proceedings

 

in relation to an allegation that a member has failed to comply with the  Code of Conduct.

 

5  - you must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing the council or the office of councillor into disrepute.

 

The Investigating Officer presented her report and called Mr Lawrence Branyan as a witness.  Mr Branyan answered questions from Councillor Dent and members of the committee.  Mr Branyan remained at the meeting as a member of the public after giving evidence.

 

The committee adjourned for lunch at 12:25pm, resuming at 12:55pm.

 

Councillor Dent then addressed the Committee, and answered questions from the Investigating Officer and members of the committee.

 

The committee then adjourned to consider its decision, and the chairman announced that a copy of the decision would be circulated to all parties by post.

 

The Senior Democratic Support Officer attended the committee’s deliberations to record their decision at each stage, and the Monitoring Officer was present to advise and assist on matters of law and procedure and assist in the preparation of the written decision.

 

Resolved:

 

Preliminary issues

 

(1)          That the hearing be held in public, with the exemption from publication lifted in respect of pages 14 – 36 of the agenda;

 

(2)          That the hearing not be postponed, and that it proceed with Councillor Mace as the chairman.

 

Findings

 

(3)          That in his conduct towards Mr Branyan, Councillor Dent failed to comply with paragraphs 3(1), 3(2)(b), 3(2)(c) and 5 of the Code of Conduct of Carnforth Town Council;

 

(4)          That Carnforth Town Council be recommended to censure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.