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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The King Richard III Room (GO49) - West Offices. View directions

Contact: Laura Clark  Democracy Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair

To appoint a Chair of the Joint Standards Committee for the municipal year.

Minutes:

Resolved:   That Councillor Runciman be appointed as Chair of the Joint Standards Committee for the municipal year.

2.

Appointment of Vice Chair

To appoint a Vice Chair of the Joint Standards Committee for the municipal year.

 

Minutes:

Resolved:   That Councillor Perrett be appointed as Vice Chair of the Joint Standards Committee for the municipal year.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

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 might have in respect of business on this agenda.

Minutes:

Members were 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 the agenda.  None were declared.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Standards Committee held on 19 April 2017.

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Standards Committee held on 19 April 2017 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

5.

Public Participation

At this point in the meeting, members of the public who have registered their wish to speak, regarding an item on the agenda or an issue within the remit of the Joint Standards Committee, may do so.  The deadline for registering is 5:00pm on Tuesday 4 July 2017. To register to speak please contact the Democracy Officer for the meeting on the details at the foot of the agenda.

 

Filming or Recording Meetings

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 Officer (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

 

Minutes:

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

6.

Review of Complaints for the last Municipal Year pdf icon PDF 128 KB

This annual report provides an overview of the standards complaints received during the previous municipal year.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which gave details of the standards complaints received during the previous municipal year.

 

The Monitoring Officer stated that he had written to Group Leaders with regard to complaints between Councillors. As yet he had not received a response.

 

Resolved:  That the report be noted.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the Committee continues to make an effective contribution to ethical standards within the City Council.

7.

Monitoring Report on Complaints Received pdf icon PDF 106 KB

This report updates the committee on current business as regards complaints.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided an update on current business as regards complaints.

 

During discussion of this item an issue was raised regarding ‘prejudicial interests’ and non-formally recognised relationships. The Monitoring Officers suggested this could be considered during the upcoming review of the member Code of Conduct. As it was felt this issue applied to Parish Councillors in the same way the Committee suggested that the parish Councils Code of Conduct be added to the work plan.

 

The Monitoring Officer highlighted an ongoing complaint regarding a Parish Councillor and clarified that this had now been referred for investigation. 

 

Resolved:  That the report be noted.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the committee is aware of current levels of activity.

8.

Parish Council Membership pdf icon PDF 121 KB

This report updates the Committee on steps taken since the last meeting to fill the current Parish vacancy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report updating them on steps taken since the last meeting to fill the current Parish vacancy.

 

The Chair spoke about the work she had undertaken with the Vice Chair and highlighted some issues raised during a ‘drop in’ for parish Councillors.

 

Following discussion of these points, the Committee clarified that the following should be included in the role description:

 

·        The Terms of Office should be consistent for both CYC and Parish Councillors.

·        There should be a minimum 12 month period between a complaint being upheld and a Councillor being appointed to the Joint Standards Committee.

·        If a complaint was upheld against a current member of the Committee there should be an expectation that they would  resign.

 

It was also decided that:

 

·        If a complaint was taken to a formal hearing, the period of time before a Member could be appointed to the Joint Standards Committee would be included in the decision (minimum of 12 months).

·        Councillor complaints regarding fellow Councillors should be referred to parish Council Chairs or Group Leaders for mediation in the first instance.

·        YCLA would be informed of upheld complaints with regard Parish Councillors.

 

Resolved: That Members;

 

                                     i.        Note the update on action since the last meeting.

 

                                    ii.        Approve the draft role description for Parish Council Members of the Standards Committee with the additions discussed.

 

                                   iii.        Amend the Committee’s procedures for dealing with complaints to include consideration of a time period required before considering the Member for appointment to the Joint Standards Committee.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the City Council effectively engages with Parish Councils in promoting high standards of ethical conduct for all local Councillors.

 

 

9.

Feedback on Planning Issues pdf icon PDF 105 KB

At previous meetings Members have requested information in relation to a number of planning issues and also recommended certain actions. This report updates the Committee in respect of those matters.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the last meeting Members approved for consultation a draft code of conduct for Planning Panel Members.

 

The Monitoring Officer highlighted that initial and helpful feedback had been received from the Communities and Equalities team, who support the Ward Committees from which Planning Panels are drawn. While supportive of the principles underpinning the code, they had suggested that some changes to the wording could help the code be received more positively.

 

Members approved the recommended changes and asked that the word “should” in paragraphs 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.7 of the revised draft code be replaced with the word “must”. Members also asked that paragraph 3.1 of the draft code be amended to include a requirement that Panel Members withdraw from the consideration of applications in the circumstances described.

 

Resolved:  That Members approve the revised draft code, subject to the above amendments, for consultation with Planning Panel Members.

 

Reason:     To ensure that Planning Panels can command public confidence.

 

 

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