Agenda and draft minutes

Standards Committee
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 3.00 p.m.

Venue: Georgian Room, Kendal Town Hall

Contact: Paul Rogers 

Items
No. Item

S/1

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 April 2015 (copy attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 April 2015.

S/2

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive declarations by Members and/or co-optees of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable 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.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations were made.

S/3

TERMS OF REFERENCE

To note the Terms of Reference for the Standards Committee as set out in Part 3 (pages 45, 46 and 47) of the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Terms of Reference of the Standards Committee, as set out in Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution, be noted.

S/4

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 - EXCLUDED ITEMS

To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no items in Part II of the Agenda.

S/5

STANDARDS COMMITTEE PARISH CO-OPTEES - UPDATE

To receive an update on Parish Co-optees.

 

For Members information, at its last meeting, the Committee agreed to invite the Chairman of South Lakeland District Association of Local Councils (SLDALC) to apply to become a co-optee. The invitation will be considered by the new Chairman who will be appointed at the annual meeting of SLDALC on 17 September 2015.  A further update will be provided at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) reminded Members that at the last meeting, the Committee had agreed to invite the Chairman of South Lakeland District Association of Local Councils (SLDALC) to apply to become a co-optee Member of the Committee. At its meeting held on 17 September 2015, SLDALC had re-elected David Peters of Natland Parish Council as its Chairman for the next 12 months period and, subsequently, he had accepted the invitation.

 

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) informed Members that no nominations had been received from Parish Councils for the other co-optee vacancy.

 

It was suggested that SLDALC be invited to put forward a nominee for the remaining vacancy.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)       David Peters be appointed as a co-optee Member of the Committee until September 2019 or for as long as he holds the position of Chairman of the South Lakeland District Association of Local Councils if shorter; and

 

(2)       South Lakeland District Association of Local Councils be invited to put forward a nominee for the remaining Parish co-optee vacancy.

S/6

REGISTER OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY AND OTHER INTERESTS pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To review the register of disclosable pecuniary and other interests for District Council Members and co-optees for the period to September 2015.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report which reviewed the Register of Disclosable Pecuniary and Other Registrable Interests for District Council Members and Co-optees for the period to September 2015. It was emphasised that all Members had completed their forms.

 

There was a suggestion, more so in connection with the Parish Report, that question 4 on the form relating to Land was not sufficiently clear. The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) informed the Committee that she would ensure that the completion of the question was monitored.

 

RESOLVED – That the review and the report be noted.

S/7

PARISH REGISTERS pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To review the register of disclosable pecuniary and other interests for Parish Councillors for the period to September 2015.

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report which reviewed the Register of Disclosable Pecuniary and Other Registrable Interests for Parish Councillors for the period to September 2015. Members were asked to consider the review. There were three forms where queries had been raised and these forms were in the process of being returned.

 

With regard to a question raised about completed forms being posted on Parish Council websites, the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) informed the Committee that it was the responsibility of the Parish Councils to post the forms on their website if they had one. She suggested that South Lakeland District Association of Local Councils be asked to include a reminder to Parish Councils in their newsletter about completed forms being posted on their websites.

 

A Member suggested that Parish Councils could insert a link on their own website to the page on the District Council’s website where the completed forms could be viewed. The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) took the view that this would be acceptable. She would consult with the Cumbria Monitoring Officers for their views on the suggestion with a view to achieving a consistent approach on the matter.

 

Reference was made to the time being taken by Members to return completed forms. It was suggested that a maximum period of time should be given by which time completed forms should be returned.

 

RESOLVED – That the following procedure be put in place for the completion of Parish Council Members’ Declaration of Interest forms to the Council:-

 

(1)       if forms are not returned within the 28 days, a reminder be given on expiry of that deadline to Members if the form has not been returned to highlight the fact that the statutory period has passed; and

 

(2)       notwithstanding that failure to complete a register form is a criminal offence, no direct action would be taken by the Committee until the expiration of a further 28 days following which a final reminder would be sent and followed up by the Chairman of the Committee.

S/8

EMPLOYEE REGISTER OF INTERESTS AND GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To review the register of interests and gifts and hospitality for employees for the period September 2014 to September 2015.

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report requesting the Committee to review the Register of Interests and Gifts and Hospitality for Employees for the period September 2014 to September 2015. An update of formal declarations made during that period was provided to the meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That the review and the report be noted.

S/9

GUIDANCE ON GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider for approval, a revised draft Guidance on Gifts and Hospitality for Members and Co-opted members of the Authority.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report which requested the Committee to approve for circulation a revised Guidance on Gifts and Hospitality for Members and Co-opted Members of the Authority.

 

RESOLVED – That the revised Guidance on Gifts and Hospitality for Members and Co-opted Members attached as Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

S/10

CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINTS pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer with regards to complaints under the Council’s Standards Arrangements from 1 April 2015.

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report which informed the Committee of complaints received under the Council’s Standards Arrangements since 1 April 2015.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

S/11

COMPLIMENTS, CUSTOMER FEEDBACK AND COMPLAINTS RECEIVED FROM APRIL 2015 TO AUGUST 2015 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To receive an update on the number of complaints and compliments received to date during 2015/2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Policy and Performance presented a report which gave an update to Members on the number of complaints and compliments received to date during 2015/2016. He emphasised that the number of complaints had reduced compared to the previous year and the total number of compliments had also reduced.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

S/12

LOCAL OMBUDSMAN ANNUAL REVIEW 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To receive the annual report of the Local Ombudsman for 2014/15.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Policy and Performance presented the annual report of the Local Government Ombudsman for 2014-15.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

S/13

STANDARDS COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented the Standards Committee Work Programme for June 2015 onwards.

 

RESOLVED – That the Work Programme be noted.