Agenda and decisions

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

Contact: Fiona Young  Interim Democratic Services Manager

Note: Postponed from 17 August 2022 

No. Item


Appointment of Chair

To appoint a Member to chair the hearing.


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.



Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether to exclude the Press and Public during the deliberations and decision-making at the end of the hearing.


Complaint against Councillor Cuthbertson (City of York Council) pdf icon PDF 338 KB

To consider a complaint made against the above Member of City of York Council, which has been referred to the Hearings Sub-Committee for determination following an investigation.

Additional documents:



Joint Standards Committee

Hearings Sub Committee – 2 September 2022

Code of Conduct Complaints Relating To City of York Council and Haxby Town Council




In Attendance:


Hearing Panel:


Parish Councillor S Rawlings (Chair)

Councillor M Rowley BEM

Councillor M Pavlovic

Advisors to the Hearing Panel:


Alex Oram, Independent Person

Janie Berry, Monitoring Officer, City of York Council

Frances Harrison, Deputy Monitoring Officer

Investigating Officer:


Stephen Pearson, externally appointed Investigating Officer

Complainant and or Subject Member:


Councillor M Guilford, Haxby Town Council (complainant)

Councillor I Cuthbertson, City of York Council (subject member)


Councillor Guilford attended the hearing.

Councillor Cuthbertson sent his apologies and did not attend the hearing though he did provide a written position statement for the Panel’s consideration.


Councillor T Carmichael, Haxby Town Council – called at the request of the Investigating Officer



The Hearing Panel, a sub-committee of the Joint Standards Committee, was constituted in accordance with procedures approved by the City of York Council’s Joint Standards Committee to consider one complaint in relation to the conduct of Councillor I Cuthbertson of City of York Council.


The Hearing Panel noted that the complaint was submitted on 23rd October 2021.


The Hearing Panel had the benefit of an Investigating Officer report prepared by Stephen Pearson, an externally appointed Investigator. 


The Hearing Panel did hear from one witness, called at the request of the Investigating Officer, and also took into careful consideration all written material and statements provided either in support of or to counter the complaint.


The Hearing Panel considered the allegations in light of the Joint Standards Committee published criteria for the assessment of complaints.


Evidence and Finding of Fact


The Panel was concerned with one complaint received from Councillor Guilford in respect of Councillor I Cuthbertson of City of York Council.  At the time of making the complaint, Councillor Guilford was the Chair of Haxby Town Council.  Councillor I Cuthbertson is the Ward Councillor for Haxby.

Councillor Cuthbertson is a long standing member of City of York Council.

The Panel carefully considered the wording of the City of York Council Code of Conduct which was in place at the time of this complaint. 


The Panel is satisfied that the Investigating Officer gave ample opportunities to Councillor Cuthbertson to provide evidence and respond to the draft investigation report prior to its completion.


The Panel has carefully considered the written material provided by Councillor Cuthbertson and noted that Councillor Cuthbertson wished to contest a number of issues in the Investigation Report and the Investigating Officers findings.


The Panel took time to hear from Councillor Guilford and Councillor Carmichael.




The Panel found on the balance of probabilities that there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that Councillor Cuthbertson failed to show respect to others by shouting and speaking over the Chairperson at a meeting of Haxby Town Council’s Recreation and Open Spaces Committee on 12th August 2021 and that this constituted a breach of paragraph 3(1)  ...  view the full decision text for item 4.


Urgent Business

Any other business which the Chair considers urgent under the Local Government Act 1972.


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