Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 21/02/2006
Minutes of the Meeting of the Standards Committee - 18th January 2006 : Submitted to the Council Meeting - 21st February 2006



WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE –
24th January 2006
SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL MEETING – 21ST FEBRUARY 2006
(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 HeenanMr D F Wheatley
*Dr M-G Lane
*Present

35. MINUTES (Agenda Item 1)
36. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE (Agenda Item 2)

37. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS (Agenda Item 3)

38. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT IN ENGLISH LOCAL GOVERNMENT: THE FUTURE (Appendix A)
[Wards Affected: All]
38.1 Your Committee considered the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Discussion Paper ‘Standards of Conduct in English Local Government: The Future’ and the report of the Monitoring Officer at Appendix B. 38.2 Your Committee noted that the Discussion Paper had three separate sections: The Government’s responses to the findings and observations of both the Graham and ODPM Select Committees on a new conduct regime for local government;

Proposed amendments to the Code of Conduct for Members; and Conduct of Local Government Employees.

Some of these recommendations would require primary and secondary legislation.

38.3 The Monitoring Officer explained that the government proposed to extend the role of 38.4 Your Committee welcomed the proposals but was of the opinion that in order to meet these statutory responsibilities there should be a standardisation of the proposed new roles of the monitoring officers, the local Standard Committees and the procedures to be adopted. In particular, it was suggested that a move to a more locally based regime should be accompanied by the introduction of standardised documentation to be used in processing complaints and, where necessary, for referring a matter to the Standards Board for England. Reference was also made to whether appropriate resources would be provided with these additional statutory responsibilities. 38.5 Your Committee noted also the government proposals to amend the Code of Conduct for members to include the general principles required of members set out at Annexe 1 of the Discussion Paper and to include a specific provision on bullying and to replace the duty of whistleblowing with a more specific provision. In addition, the provisions of the Code in relation to disclosure of confidential information were to be modified to bring them into line with the Freedom of Information Act through a ‘public interest test’. 38.6 Reference was made to the need for training on the Code of Conduct to be available to town and parish councillors. The Monitoring Officer reaffirmed her commitment to complete training sessions for all 21 Town and Parish Councils within the year. The Committee was reminded, however, that while the Monitoring Officer had a duty to offer training, this could not be imposed on Town and Parish councillors. 38.7 Your Committee received the draft model on the Code of Conduct for employees which was circulated at the meeting, and noted that the role of the Standards Committee was limited to being satisfied that a Code was in place and that it was fair. In view of the considerable changes to be imposed on local Standards Committees, your Committee agreed to meet informally on Friday, 3rd March 2006 to consider a draft work programme. 38.8 Your Committee welcomed the proposals set out in the Discussion Paper providing that the support, guidance and advice was offered to implement and manage the new regime and accordingly 1. the findings and outcomes contained in the ODPM Discussion Paper be noted; and

the ODPM be requested to consider standardising the proposed new roles, responsibilities and procedures of local Standards Committees and Monitoring Officers and, in addition, consider the allocation of funding to meet the increased responsibilities.

Part III – Brief Summaries of Other Matters Dealt With

There were no matters falling within this category.
The meeting commenced at 5.30 pm and concluded at 7.19 pm.



Chairman

comms/standards/2005-06/028