Agenda and draft minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee - Wednesday, 7 December 2022 6.00pm

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

Contact: Teri Reynolds, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

441.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brake and Potter.

442.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 15 June 2022.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 15 June 2022 was agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as correct.

443.

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.

444.

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.

445.

Exclusion of the press and public pdf icon PDF 110 KB

This report summarises the content of agenda item 6, 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 documents. 

Minutes:

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the exempt material relating to agenda item 6 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 5,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. 

446.

Screening of complaint CCC/2022/009

The report requests the Committee to consider a complaint about a Councillor and to determine what action, if any, to take.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion: 

 

The Monitoring Officer introduced the report which set out the details of a complaint relating to the conduct of a Medway Councillor.  He explained that he had undertaken initial screening as part of the authority delegated to him by the Committee to initially screen complaints and he had concluded that it was not appropriate for him, as Monitoring Officer, to determine that no further action be taken.  The matter had therefore been referred to the Committee.

 

He added that he had attempted an informal resolution between the two parties, as documented in the papers, but that this had been unsuccessful.

 

The Committee debated the issue and considered that a second attempt at an informal resolution was the most favourable outcome for both parties, should that be successful.  This was a view supported by the Independent Person.  During the discussion it was suggested that the Monitoring Officer contact all Members to remind them of the expectations of them in relation to their actions on social media, particularly as the Council was leading into a pre-election period, which he undertook to do.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to request the Monitoring Officer to make a conditional offer of informal resolution by requesting the subject member to apologise more formally to the complainant and to remove the relevant posts on social media.  Should the subject member not accept to undertake these actions then the matter would be referred for investigation.