Apologies and substitutions.
Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Farrell and Cllr Mrs Rowswell.
Declarations of interest.
Cllr Terry declared a prejudicial interest in Minute 7.
Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday, 24th July, 2008
The Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday, 24th July 2008 were agreed.
Codes of Conduct for Local Authority Members and Employees - DCLG Consultation Paper
The Committee considered the report of the Corporate Director of Support Services on this Consultation Paper.
Resolved:- That the draft consultation response at Appendix 2 to the report be agreed, subject to the following amendments: Q1. - Response to read "No - save where that conduct constitutes a criminal offence that is not minor. A parking fine should not trigger the Code." Q.2 - Response to read: "The definition of a criminal offence as proposed is acceptable, save that it should include all offences of dishonesty and offences relating to illegal drugs, even if they are capable of attracting fixed penalty notices." Q.11 - Response should read: "Yes - subject to comments made in response to Q.2." Q.14 - Response should read: "Yes. Professional Codes of Conduct are for different purposes. Also, a) employees of companies which have a service contract with the Council should be subject to the Code; and b) Employees of all quangos should be subject to similar model employee codes. Q.22 - Response should read: "Yes."
Setting High Standards in Serving all our Communities
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive and Town Clerk on the above subject.
Resolved:- 1. That the important role of Members with respect to equalities and diversity issues be endorsed. 2. That training and development be provided to Members to help them understand the impact the Council can have on access and service quality for all our communities. This will help Members to: a) Understand the need to work to redress any issues about lack of access and respect for individuals and communities regardless of who people are, where they come from and their levels of need; b) Be aware of how effective the Council is at meeting the needs of our diverse communities, for example, service uptake of different groups, including minority and vulnerable groups, and improved outcomes; and c) Understand how far the Council is meeting its legal duties to promote equality in relation to the six equality strands (age, race, gender, disability, religion/belief and sexual orientation) when carrying out its functions including policy-making, service provision, employment matters, and statutory discretion, as well as decision making. 3. That the Committee monitors, reviews and challenges local equalities and diversity priorities and local equalities and diversity targets. In particular ensuring the Council does not breach any equality laws. 4. That a Protocol for Members be developed which is designed to address those standards of behaviour and conduct that are expected of Members which are not expressly detailed in the Code of Conduct but which nevertheless are expected given position of Members as representatives of the Council. This should highlight a zero tolerance of prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice and discrimination should always challenged by Members. 5. That the purpose and roles of Members in relation to equalities and diversity be set out in the Protocol referred to in 4.
Exclusion of the Public.
To agree that, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
That the conclusions set out in the report be adopted.