Apologies and substitutions.
Councillor Ascroft. (The Chairman welcomed Mrs Jean Rowswell the new representative of Leigh-on-Sea Town Council).
Declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
Local Investigation of Complaints against Members and Revised Hearing Procedure Rules
That the Council be recommended to:- 1. Agree the minor amendments to the "Hearing Procedure Rules for Local Determinations by the Standards Committee" contained in Part 4(i) of the Constitution, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report with the addition of a new paragraph 35 in the following terms:- "All reasonable efforts should be made to hold the hearing at the earliest opportunity. Any delays resulting from the need to obtain additional evidence or as a consequence of a reference back to the ESO should be kept to a minimum. The Member and the Complainant should be kept informed of progress." 2. Adopt the "Procedure for Local Investigations" in the form set out in Appendix 2 to the report to be incorporated in Part 4(i) of the Constitution with the addition of a new paragraph 6 in the following terms:- "6. General All reasonable efforts should be made to conduct the Local Investigation as quickly as possible, commensurate with the carrying out of a full and proper process. The Member and Complainant should be kept informed of progress." 3. Adopt the amended Guidance in respect of the Hearing Procedure Rules and the Procedure for Local Investigations in the form set out in Appendix 3 to the report to be incorporated in Part 4(i) of the Constitution. 4. Note that there may be a need to appoint external investigators and potentially legal advisors for individual case hearings given the potential for a conflict of interest.
Review of the Code of Conduct for Members
That the response to the Standards Board's consultation document be as set out at Appendix 4 to the report with one amendment: In the response to Question 7 the response should be that the Code should remain in its current form.
Informal Local Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers Dealing with Planning Matters
That a revised Informal Local Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers Dealing with Planning Matters be prepared for consideration at the next meeting of the Standards Committee.
Applications for Dispensations - re: Indemnities
That dispensations be granted enabling all Members to speak and vote on the proposed scheme of general indemnity to Members.