Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Thornton Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G039). View directions

Contact: Catherine Clarke & Louise Cook (job share) 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare:

·        any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests

·        any prejudicial interests or

·        any disclosable pecuniary interests

which they may have in respect of business on this agenda.


At this point in the meeting, Members were asked to declare if

they had any personal interests not included on the Register of

Interests or any prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interests

that they might have had in the business on the agenda.


No Member present had any interests to declare.



Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following:


Report and annexes to Agenda Item 5 (Staffing Issues) on the grounds that they contain information relating to individuals and information which is likely to reveal the identity of individuals. This information is classed as exempt under paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as revised by The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).



Prior to the Committee agreeing to pass the following resolution, Councillor Waller wished it to be recorded that he was aware of concerns being expressed generally about a perceived level of secrecy within the Council, specifically in relation to business being discussed in private session.  However, under the circumstances outlined relating to the specific matters identified in the report covering Minute No 48 below, the statutory requirement to exclude press and public from any discussion was agreed.


Resolved: That the press and public be excluded from the

meeting during the consideration of the report and annexes to Minute No48 below on the grounds that they contained information relating to specific individuals, this information being classed as exempt under Paragraphs 1, and 2 of Schedule 12A to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as revised by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).


Minutes pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Staffing Matters & Urgency Committee held on 13 November 2017.


Resolved: That the minutes of the Staffing Matters and Urgency Committee held on 13 November 2017 be approved and then signed by the Chair as a correct record.


Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so.  The deadline for registering is on Friday 8 December at 5.00pm. Members of the public can speak on agenda items or matters within the remit of the committee.


To register to speak please contact the Democracy Officers for the meeting, on the details at the foot of the agenda.


Filming, Recording or Webcasting Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be filmed and webcast, or recorded, including any registered public speakers who have given their permission.  This broadcast can be viewed at http://www.york.gov.uk/webcasts. or, if recorded, this will be uploaded onto the Council website following the meeting.


Residents are welcome to photograph, film or record Councillors and Officers at all meetings open to the press and public. This includes the use of social media reporting, i.e. tweeting.  Anyone wishing to film, record or take photos at any public meeting should contact the Democracy Officers (whose contact details are at the foot of this agenda) in advance of the meeting.


The Council’s protocol on Webcasting, Filming & Recording of Meetings ensures that these practices are carried out in a manner both respectful to the conduct of the meeting and all those present.  It can be viewed at http://www.york.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/11406/protocol_for_webcasting_filming_and_recording_of_council_meetings_20160809.pdf





It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Staffing Issues

To consider a report from the Head of Human Resources.


Paper copies of this fully exempt report (as per agenda item 2 above) are being provided to Members of the Committee.


Members received a report and supporting annexes relating to complaints received against senior officers. Details of those complaints were annexed to the report, together with a report from a Solicitor, commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) on behalf of the Council, independently reviewing the complaints and the actions arising at a meeting of the Audit & Governance Committee, which had led to those complaints being made. Also annexed to the report were responses from the officers concerned and extracts from appropriate Council policies.


Members were advised that, under normal circumstances, such complaints would be dealt with by relevant line managers.  That not being possible in the circumstances outlined to Members, the Committee were, in effect, responsible for determining the next steps in relation to the cases outlined.  The options available to the Committee were set out in the report for consideration.


Members discussed those options and the issues in some detail, including prevailing organisational and cultural matters which they felt had a bearing and negative influence. It was then


Resolved: That


(i)      no further action be taken and the relevant parties (Officers affected and complainants) be informed accordingly;


(ii)      wider cross party discussions be organised with Group Leaders, initially to develop agreed joint approach to improving organisational culture;


(iii)     an appropriate report be produced for circulation to Audit & Governance Committee Members in the first instance identifying the issues raised in the independent report from the investigator appointed by the LGA.      


Reason: To enable complaints to be considered and next steps determined.   


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