Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Tuesday 16th August, 2011 7.00 pm

Venue: Room 27, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Jeff Hughes  Tel: (01279) 502170 Email:

No. Item


Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for 2011-12.


Mr J Morphew and Mr T Vickers were duly nominated for the position of Committee Chairman for the remainder of the Civic Year 2011/12.  Upon being put to the vote, each candidate received the same number of votes.  Mr Morphew subsequently withdrew his candidature and the Committee duly elected Mr Vickers as Chairman.


           RESOLVED – that Mr T Vickers be elected Chairman of the Standards Committee for the remainder of the Civic Year 2011/12.



Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman thanked Mr Morphew for his work during his term of office as Committee Chairman.


The Chairman also welcomed the newly appointed District Councillors to their first meeting of the Committee.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 24 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2010.


           RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2010 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Localism Bill pdf icon PDF 38 KB


The Monitoring Officer submitted a report outlining changes to the councillors’ standard regime detailed in the Localism Bill.


The Monitoring Officer invited the Committee to formulate its views on the proposed changes, particularly with regard to a non statutory code; the investigation of complaints and the future of Independent Members.


The Committee agreed to make recommendations detailed below on this matter.


RECOMMENDED – that subject to review should there be any significant changes to the Localism Bill upon enactment:


(A)     Council opt for a voluntary code of conduct for Members;


(B)           the Standards Committee be asked:


(1)     to draft such a code (as referred to in (A) above) based on a revision of the current statutory code and to advise on any necessary consequential changes to other codes and protocols, and


(2)     to propose a scheme for handling complaints concerning Members’ conduct, having regard for the need to respond to such complaints equitably and expeditiously and without any unnecessary expense or calls on other resources, and


(C)    the Monitoring Officer be instructed to write to the clerk of each of the District’s parish and town councils to ensure that each one is aware of its probable new responsibilities and inviting co-operation in the preparation and adoption of a common code and machinery for its implementation.



Draft 2010/11 Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Additional documents:


The Leader of the Council submitted a report on the Authority’s draft Annual Governance Statement for 2010/11.


The Committee considered the content of the report, particularly the element detailing its activities during the year.  In response to Members’ suggestions, the Monitoring Officer undertook to amend this section of the Statement to provide more detail on the activity of both the Assessment and Review Sub-Committees and complaints relating to Members of the District and its constituent town and parish councils.


The Committee had no (further) comments on the Statement.


          RESOLVED – that Audit Committee be advised that this Committee has no comments (apart from that detailed in the narrative to this Minute) on the draft Annual Governance Statement for 2010/11.



Work Programme 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 29 KB


The Monitoring Officer submitted a report inviting the Committee to consider its work programme for the period ending 31 March 2012.


The Committee agreed to add the following items to those currently listed in the programme:


(1)     review of questioning procedures for the Monitoring Officer’s investigation, and


(2)     review of the Council’s Member IT protocol (initially through a virtual meeting mechanism involving a sub-group of Members).


The Committee noted that it would also be invited to consider a reference from a recent meeting of the Assessment Committee at a future meeting.


RESOLVED – that the proposed work programme for the Committee, as now submitted and updated, be agreed.