Meeting documents

Standards Committee
Thursday, 18th July, 2002 6.30 pm

Civic Suite, Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea

Attendance Details

Part I
294 Appointment of Chairman.
Mr Sheldrake was unanimously elected as Chairman.
295 Appointment of Vice Chairman
Rev Burdett was unanimously elected as Vice-Chairman.
296 Declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
297 Review of Terms of Reference of the Standards Committee.

1. That the Council be recommended to add an additional provision to the Committee's terms of reference to deal with complaints against Members which do not involve a breach of the Members' Code of Conduct.

2. That the Council be recommended to amend the terms of reference to make it clear that the Committee exercise the matters referred to in Article 9.03(m) and (n) with regard to Leigh-on-Sea Town Council.

3. That the Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer be instructed to write to Leigh-on-Sea Town Council asking them to nominate a substitute for Councillor Johnson in case he is unable to attend at any time.
298 The Granting of Dispensations to Members with a Prejudicial Personal Interest

1. That the statutory provisions re granting dispensations to Members of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Leigh-on-Sea Town Council who have a prejudicial personal interest in a matter, be noted.

2. That any Member who wishes to apply for a dispensation shall submit an application in the prescribed form. Such applications should normally be submitted to the Monitoring Officer at least 10 days prior to the despatch of the agenda of a scheduled meeting of the Standards Committee.
299 Consultation Paper: Local Investigation and Determination of Misconduct Allegations.

That the Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer's response be noted, and that a report be prepared for the Committee when Regulations are issued.
300 The Members Code of Conduct.

That the contents of the Members' Code of Conduct be noted.
301 Informal Planning Code.

That the position be noted.
302 Work Programme

That the Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer should prepare reports for the next meeting of the Committee on relevant issues, including an overview of complaints handling and hopefully the details of new S.66 Regulations.
303 Training for Members of the Standards Committee and Members Generally.

That the Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer investigate training for Members of the Committee and report back.
304 Date of Next Meeting.
It was agreed that the provisional date of the next meeting should be Thursday, 17th October 2002.
6.30 pm - 8.00 pm

Attendance Details

Cllrs Cole, Copley, Garne, *Brown, *Wexham
*Substitute in accordance with Standing Order 31(B)(2)
Rev S Burdett, Mr D Johnson, Mr J Perry, Mr J Sheldrake
In attendance:
Mr J K Williams
Mr J H Baker
Mrs J Bates


297The Committee considered its terms of reference as set out in the Council's Constitution, which reflect the requirements of the Local Government Act 2000.

The Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer advised on the need to add an additional provision to deal with complaints against Members which do not involve a breach of the Members' Code of Conduct, e.g. a breach of the Informal Planning Code, or the Protocol on Member/Officer relations in Parts 5(c) and 5(e) of the Constitution respectively.
298The Committee considered CE&TC Report 162 which dealt with its responsibility for granting dispensations to Members to allow them to participate in a matter despite having a personal prejudicial interest.

The Committee noted the limited circumstances when such dispensations could be granted, and that the Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer was seeking clarification of certain matters from the Standards Board.
299Members of the Committee had previously been circulated with a Government Consultation paper on the above subject. The paper specifically dealt with proposed S.66 Regulations which will govern the way in which the Monitoring Officer and the Committee are involved in complaints against Members in conjunction with the Standards Board.

The Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer circulated a copy of his response to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which incorporated Members' comments.
300The Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer gave a presentation on the key issues in the new Code and answered questions. He emphasised that it was always better to err on the side of caution in connection with the declaration of interests, and confirmed that he is always pleased to give advice.
301The Deputy Town Clerk and Monitoring Officer referred the Committee to Part 5(c) of the Council's Constitution containing an Informal Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers dealing with planning matters. He explained how this informal code related to the Members' Code of Conduct.
302The Committee considered matters for future consideration.
303The Committee agreed that they needed training on the ethical framework and that they needed to be sure that Members generally had a good understanding of the Code of Conduct in particular.


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