Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Thursday, 11th June 2015 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the duration of the 2015/16 municipal year.   

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the Vice-Chairman must not be drawn from the same political group as the Chairman, who is a member of the Labour group.

Minutes:

The Chairman requested nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman of the Standards Committee for the 2015/16 municipal year.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Yates and seconded by Councillor Whitaker that Councillor Mace be appointed to the position and, there being no further nominations, the Chairman declared the proposal to be carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Mace be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Standards Committee for the 2015/16 municipal year.

 

2.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 22nd January 2015 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

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

 

3.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

4.

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 Mace declared an interest in item 7 on the agenda, the nature of his interest being that he was a member of the same political group as the subject of the report.

5.

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 paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of that Act.”

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following item has been marked as exempt, it is for Committee itself to decide whether or not to consider each of them 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 discretion 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. 

 

6.

Complaint of Breach of the Code of Conduct

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered an exempt report from an investigating officer, about a code of conduct complaint that had been lodged against a former councillor.  In the course of discussion, members indicated that they accepted the investigating officer’s findings that the code of conduct had been breached, and considered a subsequent course of action.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the investigating officer’s findings be accepted, and that the report be made public subject to redactions to safeguard personal data.

 

(2)          That, in accordance with the Committee’s role in assisting the Council  to fulfil its duty under the Localism Act 2011 to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members, the redacted report be referred to full Council, to remind members of the requirement in the Council’s code of conduct for members to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of any new disclosable pecuniary interest or any change to an existing disclosable pecuniary interest, and to remind members of the Committee’s expectation that any member who is the subject of a code of conduct complaint will co-operate with the investigating officer’s inquiries.

 

(3)          That  the Monitoring Officer be requested send a copy of the report to the Monitoring Officer of the County Council for the information of the County Council’s Standards Committee.