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Agenda and minutes

Standards and Ethics Committee
Thursday, 9th September, 2010 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH

Contact: Alan Harston (Tel. 01709 822056)  (E-mail:-  alan.harston@rotherham.gov.uk)

Items
No. Item

7.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 8th July, 2010, be approved as a correct record.

8.

Standards Committee Working Group pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the notes of the meeting of the Working Group held on 8th July, 2010.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the information be noted.

 

(2)  That Mrs. A. Bingham attend the next Parish Network meeting.

9.

Significant Partnerships' Governance pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. B49 of the meeting of this Committee held on 14th January, 2010, Rob Houghton, Governance and Risk Manager, presented the submitted report highlighting positive progress made in relation to the arrangements in place.  Also highlighted were areas for improvement and a proposal for a monitoring regime to ensure that identified areas for improvement were implemented and that outcomes and benefits derived from the partnerships were identified.  The proposed monitoring form was submitted.

 

The Audit Committee had received the report and supported the proposals at its meeting on 21st July, 2010.

 

Discussion and a question and answer session ensued and the following issues were covered:-

 

-        Mechanism to qualify as a significant partner

 

-        Visiting arrangements to significant partners

 

-        Survey timescale

 

-        Exit strategies

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the changes to the previous list of significant partnerships be noted.

 

(2)  That the outcomes from the review of partnerships’ governance arrangements be noted.

 

(3)  That support be given to the need to build on the previous good practice by:-

 

-        Introducing a monitoring regime to ensure that identified areas for improvement were dealt with and outcomes and benefits were identified

 

-        Introducing a survey of all local partnerships and identifying areas for improvement

10.

Protocol for Local Authority Partnership Working pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Richard Waller, Team Manager Legal (Non-Contentious), presented the submitted paper from Standards for England regarding partnership behaviour protocols.  The approach involved partners developing a shared set of values and behaviours that they thought should underpin their partnership work.  The protocol could be adopted wholly or adapted to suit circumstances.

 

The paper covered;-

 

-        The purpose of the partnership behaviour protocol

 

-        Suggestions for using the partnership behaviour protocol

 

§               Forming partnerships

§               Managing partnerships

§               Overseeing partnerships – a role for the Standards Committee

§               Suggested actions for Standards Committees

 

-        Local authority partnerships and the Code of Conduct

 

Discussion and a question and answer session ensued and the following issues were covered:-

 

-        Avoiding duplication of effort, reference assessment of significant partnerships’ governance arrangements and reinforcing the significant partnerships’ template

 

-        Mediation not considered appropriate as part of role of a Standards Committee

 

-        Monitoring arrangements and accountability

 

The Committee considered the submitted protocol and textual amendments were suggested.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the information be noted.

 

(2)  That Rob Houghton scrutinise and dissect the protocol for inclusion in the Significant Partnerships’ Governance arrangements.

 

(3)  That a further report be submitted, as appropriate, on any proposed template/protocol.

11.

Review of Assessment Criteria pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Richard Waller, Team Manager Legal (Non-Contentious), presented the submitted report on the review of the criteria for use by assessment and review panels as previously agreed on 8th October, 2008.  The current criteria was submitted.

 

Discussion and a question and answer session ensued and the following issues were covered:-

 

-        Possibility of publishing on the website a league table of costs for allegations considered

 

-        Potential for precepting each Parish Council to cover the costs of allegations considered

 

-        Initial tests regarding the recrurring themes of (a) acting or giving the impression that they are acting as a representative of the Council and (b) failure to treat others with respect

 

-        Possibility of providing a leaflet spelling out clearly the range of sanctions available to the Committee when considering allegations.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the information be noted.

 

(2)  That further reports be submitted on the following issues:-

 

(a)  acting or giving the impression that they are acting as a representative of the Council

 

(b)  failure to treat others with respect

 

(c)  costs of considering allegations.

12.

Work Programme

Minutes:

The Committee noted the latest position.

13.

Standards for England Bulletin 48 pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the latest bulleting covering:-

 

-        The future of Standards for England and the Standards Framework

 

-        An update on monitoring returns

 

-        Acceptance of complaints by Standards for England

 

-        Reappointment of independent members

 

-        Tell us how it should be done – using the Standards Forum.

 

(1)  Resolved:-  That the information be noted.

 

(2)  Recommended:-  That, given the present situation for the future of standards regimes in local government and advice from Standards for England, prior to their current term of office expiring, the Council reappoint to the Committee, for a further term of four years, any independent member whose term of office expires before 31st December, 2012.