Agenda and draft minutes

Consultative meeting, Standards Committee - Tuesday, 14th September, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: online via zoom

Contact: Debbie Meakin  01395 517540; email:  dmeakin@eastdevon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no members of the public registered to speak.

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 19 January 2021 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To recommend the minutes of the meeting held on the 19 January 2021 to senior officers for approval.

The Standards Committee meeting of 23 April 2021 was inquorate and therefore the minutes of that date cannot be presented.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 19 January 2021 were recommended to senior officers for approval.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation was approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

 

3.

Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

 

Minutes:

None.

4.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

None.

5.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded. Thereare no itemswhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway.

 

Minutes:

None.

6.

East Devon District Council Standards Regime update pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee were presented with an update report covering:

·         Possible arrangements for introduction of a Standards Assessment Sub-Committee

·         Review of Code of Conduct and Protocol for relationships between Members and Officers

·         Paying for training costs

·         Information on code of conduct complaints for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, and the period 1 January 2021 to 31 August 2021.

 

Discussion included:

·         Clarification on budget for District Councillor training was provided as £5k per year, reported as an underspend if the budget was not used;

·         Any recommendations by the Standards Working Group would come back to the Standards Committee;

·         The Standards Working Group should undertake a review of the Employee Code of Conduct, in tandem with the work they were already undertaking on the Councillor Code of Conduct, and the planned review of the Member/Officer relationship protocol.  The Committee agreed this approach and asked the Monitoring Officer to action, which he agreed to do;

·         Mixed views on the Chair of Standards Committee acting as Chair for the Standards Assessment Sub Committee (SASC), and if that should not take place.  The membership of the Standards Committee had already increased, giving a wider number of Members to call upon to sit on the SASC as required, with different Committee Members called upon to sit on any subsequent Standards Hearings Sub Committee (SHSC); on balance, the Committee felt that the detail in the revised standards procedure should remain;

·         Drawing from the wider membership for the SASC had been discussed previously, but on balance it was felt that this was difficult to put into practice on a practical basis from 60 members and keeping political balance;

·         That the revised standards procedure document should include a definition of Independent Representatives and Town and Parish Representatives.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council

1.    Approval of a revised procedure for dealing with Code of Conduct complaints, and related Constitutional amendments to implement it;

2.    Approve that any training requirement imposed by way of sanction against a District Councillor be paid for by the District Council and that a budget of £5,000 be provided for this purpose.