Agenda and draft minutes

Standards Committee
Thursday, 7th June 2018 6.10 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Liz Bateson, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582047, or email  ebateson@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

Minutes:

The Chairman requested nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman of the Standards Committee for the 2018/19 municipal year. 

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That Councillor Barry be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Standards Committee for the 2018/19 municipal year.

 

2.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 18th January, 2018 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18th January 2018 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 9 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.

5.

LGA Response to the Review of Local Government Ethical Standards pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented a report that informed the Committee of the response of the LGA to a recent consultation undertaken by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.  The consultation was with regard to a Review of Local Government Ethical Standards.  The Monitoring Officer explained that the main issues where proposals would be developed were with regard to the impact of town and parish council complaints on principal councils, investigations of bullying and harassment of councillors on social media with the Police Commissioner appointment now perceived as a political appointment, and whether the role of the independent person required strengthening. The Monitoring Officer responded to questions and advised the Committee that any developments would be reported to a future meeting.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

 

6.

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(s) have 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:

That, in accordance with Section 110A(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.

7.

Summary of Complaints under the Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Office presented a report, which advised the Committee about the progress of current complaints and any other code of conduct complaints received since the last report in January 2018.  The Monitoring Officer responded to a number of questions.  The Committee agreed that the Constitutional Working Group be requested to consider the press protocol regarding code of conduct breaches as part of  its’ consideration of the  review of the constitution.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

(2)          That the Constitutional Working Group be requested to consider the press protocol regarding code of conduct breaches as part of  its’ consideration of the review of the constitution.