Venue: Pugin Room, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions
Contact: Louise CafferyItems No. Item
Apologies for Absence
Robin Hills, Chairman, Parish Cllr R Wade
Robin Hills, Cllrs Lawson and Wade
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the extract from the Standard Board Code of Conduct for Members, which forms part of the Declaration of Interest Form at the back of this Agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that Form and hand it to the Officer clerking the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Welcome to new Members
Ms Miriam Sarrafan, Independent Member, Councillors Lawson and M Tomlinson
The Chairman welcomed new Independent Member, Miriam Sarrafan and
Cllr Mick Tomlinson.
Cllr Green proposed the amendment to Minute R58, seconded by Brian Hinchley. The minute was amended to read ‘Committee members voted on whether a SRA should be paid to new Lead Members. The motion was lost 5:4. Cllrs Green and Nicholson were opposed.
Appointment of Chairman, Vice-Chairman 09/10
Robin Hills appointed Chairman and Brian Hinchley appointed as Vice-Chairman. Both appointments for a one year tenure.
The Monitoring Officer advised the Committee that Cllr Poole’s proposal did not come within the remit of the Standards Committee, but was more a matter for the Constitutional Review Working Party.
Cllr Nicholson agreed with the Monitoring Officer and suggested the Chairman of the Planning Committee and Director of that service should be invited to attend.
Cllr Wiltshire concurred with the suggestion.
Resolved: The committee agreed to refer the matter to the Constitutional Review Working Party
The report of the outgoing chairman was noted.
Cllr King made a short statement reviewing his experience of the new Standards Complaints regime and outlining his concerns reference bringing complaints to a speedy conclusion and the independence of any hearing sub-committee in deciding a sanction. Cllr King felt that addressing these issues would enhance the reputation of the council and gain the confidence of the general public.
Statistics on complaints received in Thanet were produced for the first time for circulation to the committee. The Chairman asked for feedback on the content of the data.
Resolved: Future reports would include:
1. The age of the complaint, improvement on the speed with which the complaint is dealt with.
2. How many complaints were NFA at assessment
3. Outcomes of breach – how many were found
4. Referral for other action – what were the ‘other actions’?
5. The number of complaints received in Thanet compared to National average
When the Council met in April it confirmed mandatory training for members of the Standards Committee. Report attached (with induction information). The Monitoring Officer will contact new members to arrange training.
The Monitoring Officer reported to the committee that he hoped to commission external training to be held at the Media Centre to cover the 3-month training requirement for members
Draft Protocol on Blogging
Report to follow
The Monitoring Officer reported that a draft protocol was with Group Leaders. The protocol would be for guidance only. If a Councillor byeline is used on a blog then the code is engaged; so advice is required to blog within the Code of Conduct. A protocol will be produced after consultation with councillors.
Miriam Sarrafan reported that Harlow LA has produced a protocol which is in the public domain.
Resolved: the Monitoring Officer would report on progress at the next meeting in September.
Exclusion of Public and Press
The Standards Committee is recommended to pass the following resolution:
“Resolved that, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act.”)
That the public and press be excluded from the meeting on agenda item 13 as it contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 & 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
To receive the confidential report of the Monitoring Officer.
Cllr Nicholson moved the motion there should be no further action. Seconded by Cllr Neville.
Resolved: TDCSC08/08 No Further Action. Monitoring Officer to speak to the Councillor concerned to check if a public notice should be published in the Extra.
Standards Assembly, October 09
The Monitoring Officer reported that Cllr Taylor had a place booked at the Standards Assembly on 12/13 October, but he was no longer a member of the committee. Cllr Nicholson agreed to attend in his place.
Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009 at 18.00