Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming. View directions
Contact: Ema Dearsley Democratic Services Officer
To agree as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting of the Panel held on 13 June 2016 (to be laid on the table half-an-hour prior to the meeting).
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2016 were confirmed and signed.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Else, Jeanette Stennett and John Williamson.
Disclosure of Interests
To receive from members, declarations of interest in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting in accordance with the Waverley Code of Local Government Conduct.
There were no disclosures of interest.
PART I – RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL
Unless specified under an individual item, there are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to the reports in Part I of these minutes.
As requested at the 13 June 2016 meeting of the Standards Panel and subsequently agreed at Council meeting on 19 July 2016, this report sets out a number of suggested changes to the Waverley ‘Member Code of Conduct’, ‘Arrangements for dealing with Standards Allegations’ and ‘Councillors Planning Code of Good Practice’.
It is recommended that the Standards Panel
1. notes any comments or observations received from the Council’s designated Independent Persons on the three revised documents; and
2. agrees, subject to any changes they wish to make, to recommend to Council changes to be made to the Waverley ‘Member Code of Conduct’, ‘Arrangements for dealing with Standards Allegations’ and ‘Councillors Planning Code of Good Practice’.
[NB Cllr Jerry Hyman attended the meeting and spoke on this item].
9.1 The Localism Act gave Councils an explicit duty to promote and maintain high standards of Member conduct. It obliged the Council to adopt a Code dealing with the high standard of conduct that is expected of Members when acting in their official capacity.
9.2 At its meeting on 13 June 2016, the Standards Panel recommended to Council that the Waverley ‘Member Code of Conduct’, ‘Arrangements for dealing with Standards Allegations’ and ‘Councillors Planning Code of Good Practice’ be reviewed by the Monitoring Officer in light of examples that had come forward and advice that had been given. Council agreed that recommendation on 19 July 2016.
9.3 That review has now taken place and this report sets out a number of suggested changes. The existing versions of all three documents are attached as Annexes 1-3 to this report with suggested amendments highlighted in red.
9.4 The proposed changes have also been shared with the Council’s three designated Independent Persons and any feedback from them will be shared with members at the meeting. If, subject to any changes they recommend, Members of the panel resolve to put forward these changes, they will be considered by the Council on 18 October 2016.
9.5 Annexes 1-3 to these minutes set out the text of the existing documents with all suggested amendments highlighted in red. The following tables summarise the key changes that have been put forward both by officers, an Independent Person and raised by Members of the Standards Committee.
Table 1 – Amendments to Waverley Code of Conduct
PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT
There were no matters falling under this category