Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions

Contact: Fiona Young  Interim Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

46.

Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests.

 

Minutes:

Members were asked to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, or any prejudicial interests or disclosable pecuniary interests which they might have in respect of business on the agenda. 

 

Cllr Fisher declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 11 (Monitoring Report on Complaints Received), as the subject member of one of the cases on the list.  He left the room during consideration of this item and took no part in the discussions or decision thereon.

 

Cllr Chambers also declared an interest in Item11, as Vice-Chair of Strensall Parish Council (of which Cllr Fisher was Chair), and stated that he would leave the room if the case in question was discussed.

47.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting during consideration of exempt Annexes A and B to Agenda Item 10 (Monitoring Report in respect of Complaints received), on the grounds that they contain information which is likely to reveal the identity of individuals.

 

This information is classed as exempt under Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) Order 2006.

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the exempt versions of Annexes A and B to Agenda Item 10 (Monitoring Report in Respect of Complaints Received), on the grounds that they contain information likely to reveal the identity of individuals, which is classed as exempt under Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.

 

 

48.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Standards Committee held on 24 January 2022, and to receive an update on the following matters raised at the meeting:

·        supporting Parish / Town Councils in adopting the Model Code of Conduct;

·        substitutes for Parish / Town Councillors on Joint Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Standards Committee held on 24 January 2022 be approved and signed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:

·        Under Minute 35 (Declarations of Interest), amend ‘Fisher’ to ‘Rowley’ in the final paragraph.

49.

Minutes of Sub-Committees

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee Hearings Sub-Committee held on 8 March 2022.

Minutes:

thaThe Monitoring Officer advised that the minutes of the Hearings Sub-Committee on 8 March 2022 attached to the agenda not be approved, as they contained information that was additional to that in the Notice of Decision published after the hearing.  The Notice of Decision contained all relevant information regarding the outcome of the hearing and a separate minute was not required.

50.

Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.

 

Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings.  Due to the Easter Bank Holidays, the deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Thursday, 14 April 2022. 

 

To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an online registration form.  If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact Democratic Services.  Contact details can be found at the foot of this agenda.

 

Webcasting of Public Meetings

 

Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast, including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.

 

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.

 

Minutes:

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

51.

Draft Annual Report for 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 524 KB

This report invites Members to consider and comment upon the committee’s draft Annual Report for the 2021/22 Municipal Year ahead of its presentation to Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which invited them to comment upon the committee’s draft Annual Report for the 2021/22 Municipal Year, attached at Annex 1, ahead of its presentation to Full Council. 

 

Following discussion, it was

 

Resolved:  (i)      That the draft be amended to:

·        complete the ‘Complaints’ section;

·        refer in the second paragraph of the ‘Other work’ section to the refresher training offered to Members on the Model Code of Conduct;

·        add to the ‘Dispensations’ section the dispensation granted to Cllr Douglas on 12 October 2021;

·         add a section on ‘Aspirations’, and a final section on work planned for the next year.

 

(ii)      That the revised draft be shared with the Chair and Vice Chair then brought back to the committee for approval.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the Annual Report presented to Council reflects the views of the committee.

 

52.

Government response to the Committee for Standards in Public Life's Review of Local Government Ethical Standards pdf icon PDF 567 KB

This report informs Members of the Government’s response to the review of Local Government Ethical Standards carried out by the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which informed them of the Government’s response to the review of Local Government Ethical Standards carried out by the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

 

The response, published on 18 March 2022, did not propose any immediate plans to amend or introduce legislation to deal with the matters raised.  However, the Government did support and encourage local authorities to develop best practice.  In York, the Joint Standards Committee had already responded positively to some of the recommendations, including adoption of the LGA Model Code and encouraging parish councils to adopt it, publishing an annual report, and clarity for councillors in respect of gifts and hospitality.

 

The response had been made available online as Annex A to the report.  Following discussion, it was

 

Resolved:  (i)      That the Government response to the Committee for Standards in Public Life’s Review of Local Government Ethical Standards be noted.

 

                   (ii)      That the Chair, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, write to the Local Government Minister to express Members’ concern that the response had not addressed the issue of sanctions in respect of breaches of the Code of Conduct.

 

Reason:     To bring the committee’s views to the Government’s attention.

 

                   (iii)     That the Monitoring Officer be asked to bring to the next meeting a list of 10 main points in relation to areas of best practice with details of progress made on these.

 

Reason:     In order to monitor progress and inform the committee’s work plan.

 

53.

Dispensation granted to Councillors sitting on the Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee on 7 February 2022 to enable them to participate in a call -in of a decision taken by the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change. pdf icon PDF 545 KB

This report asks Members to note the granting of the above dispensation.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which informed them of the granting of a dispensation to all Members of the Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee (Calling-in) at the committee’s meeting on 7 February 2022.

 

The dispensation had been granted to enable the Members to participate in the meeting, which related to the call-in of a decision made by the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change on ‘Weed Management of Highways and Associated Areas’, despite all having in 2019 voted in favour of a motion to Council promoting the Pollinator Strategy.  It had been granted to Cllrs Crawshaw, Fenton, Hollyer, Pearson, Orrell, Wann, Melly and Douglas by Cllr Rowley, as the Chair of Joint Standards Committee, and to Cllr Rowley himself by the Monitoring Officer.

 

Resolved:  That the granting of the above dispensation be noted.

 

Reason:     So that the committee has oversight of dispensations granted.  

 

54.

Review of Work Plan pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider the Committee’s work plan for the coming year and decide whether any amendments or additions are required.

 

Minutes:

Members considered the committee’s work plan for the upcoming 2022/23 Municipal Year.

 

Resolved:  That the work plan be approved subject to the following amendments / additions to the items listed for the June 2022 meeting:

·        Annual Report - amend ‘Draft’ to ‘Final’;

·        Add an item on Areas of Best Practice (as referenced in Minute 52 above).

 

Reason:     To ensure that the committee has a planned programme of work in place.

55.

Monitoring Report on Complaints Received pdf icon PDF 466 KB

To receive a routine update report on recent standards complaints.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

An anonymised list of live complaints was attached at Annex A to the report, and an anonymised list of closed complaints at Annex B.  Full details were provided in an exempt version of each annex. Discussion of the exempt lists took place in private session, in accordance with the resolution in Minute 47 above.

 

Resolved:  That the report be noted.

 

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

 

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