Agenda and minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 6.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR

Contact: Wayne Hemingway, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

942.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Kemp and Wicks.

943.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To approve the record of the meetings held on 8 November 2017, 14 March 2018 and 21 March 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The records of the meetings held on 8 November 2017, 14 March 2018 and 21 March 2018 were agreed as correct records.

944.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 

Minutes:

There were none.

945.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

946.

Requests for Dispensations pdf icon PDF 127 KB

This report seeks dispensations for three Cabinet Members who are also Directors of Council Companies.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Monitoring Officer introduced a report which provided details of requests for dispensations for three Cabinet Members who were also Directors of Council Companies.

 

The report stated that the granting of dispensations to Councillors to allow participation in debate and/or voting on any item in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest was a matter for this Committee. The Committee detailed the requests from Councillors Doe, Gulvin and Mackness, in relation to Medway Development Company Ltd (MDCL), Medway Commercial Group Ltd (MCG), Medway Commercial Services Ltd and Medway Public Services Ltd, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Members raised a number of issues including:

 

·         Other Directors of Council owned companies – the Chief Legal Officer stated that, at present, that there was a vacancy for the role of Council (Cabinet Member) appointed Director on Medway Norse. There were two non-executive Directors appointed to MDCL, whilst Council officers (and others) were appointed as Directors to Medway Norse and MCG. The Chief Legal Officer confirmed that Medway Council held a majority on the Boards of MDCL and MCG. Whilst Medway Council did not hold a majority on the Board of Medway Norse, it was able to veto any proposals which would not be in the Council’s interest.

 

·         The rationale to grant dispensations in respect of these particular companies – the Chief Legal Officer stated that on this occasion the Cabinet was exercising the role of shareholder, therefore, this would allow the relevant Cabinet Members to participate in discussions when Cabinet was exercising that role. He also stated that Members serving on other outside bodies could also apply for dispensations as necessary.

 

·         The role of Overview and Scrutiny – the Chief Legal Officer stated that whilst performance reports on Medway Norse were regularly submitted to the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee, there was a role for Overview and Scrutiny in holding Cabinet Members to account in relation to activities on Council owned companies.

 

Decision:

 

a)    The Committee agreed to grant dispensations until 28 June 2019 to Councillors Doe, Gulvin and Mackness for the reasons set out in section 4 of the report to allow participation in debate and/or to vote on any item at Cabinet and Council in which they have an other significant interest as follows:

 

(i)        Councillor Doe in relation to his position as Director and Chairman of Medway Development Company Limited;

 

(ii)       Councillor Gulvin in relation to his position as Director of Medway Development Company Limited;

 

(iii)      Councillor Mackness in relation to his position as Director and Chairman of Medway Commercial Group Limited, Medway Commercial Services Limited and Medway Public Services Limited.

 

b)    The Committee agreed that Cabinet Members which are appointed to Council owned companies be asked to include activities of those companies in their reports when they are being held to account by Overview and Scrutiny.