Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Council held on 24/04/2007
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE – 17TH APRIL 2007
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE –
17TH APRIL 2007
SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL MEETING – 24TH APRIL 2007
(To be read in conjunction with the Agenda for the Meeting)
Mr F N J Davies (Chairman)
Mr A Rayner
Mr L C Bate (Vice-Chairman)
Mr C C E Slyfield
Capt P G Burden
Mr P Scattergood
Mr M R Goodridge
Mr R C Terry
Miss K E Heenan
Mr D F Wheatley
Dr M-G Lane
(Agenda Item 1)
The Minutes of the meeting held on 12th February 2007 were confirmed and signed.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
(Agenda Item 2)
Apologies for absence were received from Mr L C Bate, Dr M-G Lane and Mr A Rayner.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
(Agenda Item 3)
There were no declarations of interest.
PART I – RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL
MEMBERS NEW CODE OF CONDUCT
(Agenda Item 6)
The Committee was advised that the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 was made on 4th April 2007 and would come into force on 3rd May 2007. At its last meeting, the Committee considered the New Model Code of Conduct in full and its views and observations were submitted to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
As a consequence of the consultation, the DCLG made a number of changes to specific areas of the original proposals to reflect comments raised in the 906 representations it had received. Members were asked to note these changes and to recommend to Council that it adopted the New Model Code of Conduct, without amendment, as the Waverley Code of Conduct and for it to be made effective from 3rd May 2007.
The Committee noted the main changes to the original proposals and, In particular, changes in relation to the disclosure of confidential information and also the new interest in relation to declaring gifts or hospitality over the value of £25. Members were pleased that the changes proposed had addressed many of their original concerns, and had resulted in a simpler Code of Conduct for Members. Members agreed that the New Code should include the ten General Principles as a non-enforceable preamble to remind Members and the public of the principles underlying the New Code.
The Committee was advised that there would be further guidance provided by the Standards Board to help clarify some of the points in the New Code, such as an explanation of the term ‘close associate’. There would also be road shows taking place in June and leaflets provided for Members.
The Committee noted that there would be further changes, in the next 12months, in relation to the application of the New Code in private life, and legislation enabling local Standards Committees to deal with allegations of misconduct from local ‘first sieve’ to final determination. Members also noted that new and existing Members will receive training on the New Code as part of the induction programme in the new Council year.
The Standards Committee
1. The New Model Code of Conduct for Members, attached at
, be adopted, without amendment, as the Waverley Code of Conduct, effective from 3rd May 2007; and
2. The ten General Principles, attached at
, be attached as a non-enforceable preamble to the New Code.
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
PARTS II AND III – MATTERS OF REPORT
The background papers relating to the following reports in Parts II and III are as specified in the Agenda for the meeting of the Standards Committee.
Part II – Matters reported in detail for the information of the Council
MONITORING OFFICER UPDATE
(Agenda Item 5)
The Committee was advised that from May 2007 there would be two vacancies on the Committee for Town and Parish Council representatives. Previously, the Committee had operated a process of asking for nominations and then voting. This was not only difficult in practice but took a long period of time to organise. Members were asked to consider alternative arrangements.
The Committee discussed a number of options and agreed that Town and Parish Councils should be written to, as soon as possible, and advised of the situation. Members also agreed that the Monitoring Officer should explore permitting Town and Parish substitutes to ensure that representation could be maintained. The Monitoring Officer agreed that she would look into this issue in more detail and, in view of their comments, begin the process as soon as possible.
INDUCTION OF NEW MEMBERS - MAY 2007
(Agenda Item 7)
The Committee was advised that there were two dates reserved for Member Training on the New Code of Conduct and Planning Code, 10th May at 2pm and 14th May at 7pm. Members asked officers to review the day and time of the second session as it might conflict with Group meetings on the evening before the Annual Council Meeting. Members were advised that it would be difficult to rearrange the training because there were only a few evenings after the Elections in advance of the Council meeting. However, officers would discuss with Group Leaders if there were any alternative options.
Part III – Brief summaries of other matters dealt with
There were no matters falling within this category.
The meeting commenced at 5.30 p.m. and concluded at 6.15pm.