Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Monday 10th December, 2012 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Jeff Hughes  Tel: (01279) 502170 Email:  jeff.hughes@eastherts.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

488.

Appointment of Chairman

To appoint a Chairman for 2012/13.

Minutes:

          RESOLVED – that Councillor S Rutland-Barsby be appointed Chairman of the Standards Committee for the remainder of the 2012/13 Civic Year.

 

489.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors M Carver and M Wood.

 

490.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all present to the first meeting of the Standards Committee under the new code of conduct regime.  She invited everyone to introduce themselves.

 

491.

The Standards Regime pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report on the Members’ Code of Conduct complaints procedure.  He also updated the Committee on the progress of implementing the new standards regime.

 

The Monitoring Officer reminded Members that provisions within the Localism Act 2011 had made fundamental changes to the regulatory system covering the conduct of elected and co-opted members of local authorities.

 

Council had previously approved a Members’ code of conduct together with a complaints procedure.

 

The Monitoring Officer summarised the process for dealing with conduct complaints, commenting in particular on: how investigations would be conducted; action that could be taken in the event that an investigation concluded there was or was not evidence of a failure by a Member to comply with their authority’s code of conduct, and action available when a subsequent hearing finds a failure to comply with a code.

 

Members noted the Monitoring Officer’s explanation of the complaints process and also the role and functions of the “independent person”.

 

Members supported the Monitoring Officer’s suggestion that a Standards Sub-committee of 3 Members, drawn from the membership of the Standards Committee, be established (seats to be allocated in accordance with the rules of proportionality in terms of political groups’ sizes) to conduct hearings.  The Director of Finance and Support Services was authorised to constitute meetings of the sub-committee based on the foregoing.

 

RESOLVED – that (A) a Standards Sub-Committee of 3 Members, drawn from the membership of the Standards Committee, be established (seats to be allocated in accordance with the rules of proportionality in terms of political groups’ sizes) to conduct (code of conduct) hearings,

 

(B)            the Director of Finance and Support Services be authorised to constitute meetings of the sub-committee referred to in (A) above on the basis now detailed, and

 

(C)    the report on the complaints process and also the role and functions of the “independent person”, be noted.