Agenda and draft minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee - Wednesday, 22 January 2020 6.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR

Contact: Teri Reynolds, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

591.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology of absence was received from Councillor Brake.

592.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 6 November 2019.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 6 November 2019 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.

593.

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.

594.

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 (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

595.

Request for Dispensation pdf icon PDF 185 KB

This report informs the Committee of a dispensation request that has been received by the Monitoring Officer for a Non-Voting Co-optee of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Monitoring Officer introduced the report which informed the Committee of a request for a dispensation that had been received by the Monitoring Officer from a non-voting co-optee of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to grant a dispensation to Geoffrey Matthews for two years for the reasons set out in section 4 of the report to allow participation in debate on the annual schools performance report at Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings in which he has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in relation to his employment by Leigh Academies Trust at Strood Academy.

596.

Exclusion of the press and public pdf icon PDF 78 KB

This report summarises the content of agenda item 7, which, in the opinion of the proper officer, contains exempt information within one of the categories in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. It is a matter for the Committee to determine whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the documents. 

Minutes:

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the exempt material relating to agenda item 7 because consideration of these matters in public would disclose information falling within Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as specified in agenda item 6,and, in all the circumstances of the case, the Committee considers that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

597.

Screening of Complaint CCC/2019/002

The Committee is requested to consider a complaint relating to Councillor conduct.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Monitoring Officer introduced a report which detailed four complaints received on 13 and 14 November 2019 relating to a Medway Councillor.  The Committee considered the complaints as detailed in section 2 of the report, along with the full complaint submissions, which were appended to the report. The Committee also considered an email submitted to the Monitoring Officer by the Subject Member on 18 January 2020.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee decided that, given the subject member had apologised to three of the complainants, to take no further action in relation to the complaints by those three complainants, provided they confirmed to the Monitoring Officer that they accepted the apology as an informal resolution of their complaints.

 

In relation to the complaint by the fourth complainant, the Committee considered that there was a potential breach of the Code of Conduct, in relation to Section 2 of the Code, relating to General Conduct.

 

It felt that the complaint was one which could be dealt with by a Political Group and therefore decided that the complaint be referred to the relevant group for resolution.  The Committee also requested that the Leader of the Group report back to the Monitoring Officer on the outcome in due course.

 

Reasons:

 

The Committee wished to express its view that the behaviour complained about was appalling and unacceptable, however, it acknowledged that an apology had been provided to three of the four complainants.  It felt that an apology should be provided to the fourth complainant and considered that the subject member needed to fully acknowledge that their behaviour had been unacceptable and would benefit from learning coping mechanisms to manage future situations.