Agenda and draft minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee - Wednesday, 8 September 2021 6.00pm

Venue: Civic Suite - Level 2, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Teri Reynolds, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

312.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brake and McDonald.

313.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 7 July 2021.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 7 July 2021 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.

314.

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.

315.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 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.

316.

Proposed delegation to screen complaints pdf icon PDF 176 KB

This report asks the Councillor Conduct Committee (CCC) to recommend to full Council that a delegation be granted to the Monitoring Officer (MO), who shall seek the views of the Independent Person, to undertake the initial screening for some complaints.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer introduced the report which recommended the Committee to recommend full Council to agree a delegation to the Monitoring Officer (MO), in consultation with the Independent Person, to undertake the initial screening for some complaints.  She referred the committee to the types of cases that would apply, which were set out at section 2.4 and 6.1 of the report.

 

Reference was made to the consultation aspect with the Independent Person and it was suggested that it be made clearer that if either the Monitoring Officer or the Independent Person felt the complaint should be referred on to the Councillor Conduct Committee for formal assessment, then this be the action taken.

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer was also asked for some examples of complaints that might be dealt with under the delegation.  She explained that it was difficult to refer to examples without identifying previous complaints but added that the committee had recently considered a set of complaints which had largely fallen outside of the remit of the committee.  However, due to there being no delegation in place the complaints had been brought forward to the committee for assessment.  It was added that the screening criteria used by the committee to assess complaints already considered whether a complaint was trivial, malicious, vexatious, politically motivatedor tit-for-tat and in such cases would recommend no further action, subject to the view of the Independent Person.

 

Decision:

 

(1)  The Committee recommended to full Council that the following delegation is granted: 

 

The Councillor Conduct Committee delegates authority to the Monitoring Officer, who shall seek the views of Independent Person, to undertake the initial screening process for complaints and determine, if appropriate, that there is to be no further action (subject to the Independent Person sharing this view) on the following types of cases:

 

a)    No Councillor has been identified;

b)    No potential breach of the code has been identified;

c)    Insufficient detail to make a determination;

d)    The complaint is more than 6 months old and no cogent explanation for the delay in reporting;

e)    The complaint relates to matters that are not within the Councillor Conduct Committee’s remit.

f)      The complaint is considered trivial, malicious or vexatious.  

 

Note: If either the Monitoring Officer or the Independent Person consider the complaint should be referred on to the Councillor Conduct Committee for formal assessment, then this will be the action taken.

 

(2)  The Committee delegated to the Monitoring Officer the authority to amend the Councillor Conduct complaints form and the Complaints Procedure accordingly.