Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester, WR5 2NP

Contact: Simon Lewis  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

278.

Apologies and Named Substitutes

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr RC Adams, Mr R M Bennett, Mrs P Hill and Dr P Whiteman.  Mr B Brookes attended as substitute for Mr R Adams.

279.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Mr Mackay declared an Other Interest in paragraph 13 of Agenda item 6, Code of Conduct Complaints Update.

280.

Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 22 October 2019).  Enquiries about this can be made through the telephone number/e-mail address listed below.

Minutes:

None.

281.

Confirmation of Minutes

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 April 2019. (previously circulated – pink pages)

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 April, 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

282.

Local Government Ethical Standards - Updated Pan-Worcestershire Code of Conduct for Members pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At its meeting in April 2019 the Committee had considered a report on the Nolan Committee recommendations about local government standards in relation to the legislative regime and best practice recommendations to local government.  The Committee had asked the Monitoring Officer to discuss implications for the pan-Worcestershire Code of Conduct with his colleague Monitoring Officers, having regard to the initial views of the Committee.

 

The Committee’s views were that a pan-Worcestershire Code should be retained, and it should be updated to include definitions of bullying and harassment.  The report to the Committee set out the recommendations from the Monitoring Officers for consideration.

 

Members supported the proposed updated Code and discussed appendix 3 relating to bullying and harassment in some detail.  The Monitoring Officer reported that a common sense approach would need to be taken to accusations of this type. 

 

In approving the draft Code, Members asked that the changes to the Nolan Principles included in appendix 1 be highlighted when the Code was considered by the Council.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee

 

(a)  noted the discussions which have taken place between the Monitoring Officers of the principal authorities within Worcestershire in response to the report published by the National Committee on Standards in Public Life (the Nolan Committee) on standards in local government;

 

(b)  endorsed the principle of a pan-Worcestershire Code of Conduct for members, and

 

(c)  endorsed the draft Code of Conduct set out in the Appendix to the report and recommended that the Council adopts it.

 

 

283.

Code of Conduct - Complaints Update pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Committee did not take part in discussion of Complaint 04/19.

 

The Monitoring Officer gave details of the complaints dealt with in the 2019/20 year so far.  He highlighted that he aimed to reach informal solution of complaints where possible rather than escalating to a formal route.  Overall, he did not have concerns about the complaints summarised in the report.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee

 

(a)  noted the formal complaints that had been made about the conduct of County Councillors and their outcome; and

 

(b)  considered that no further action should be taken to ensure members are aware of and comply with their obligations under the Code of Conduct.