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Agenda and minutes

Standards and Ethics Committee
Thursday, 14th October, 2010 2.00 p.m.

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

Contact: Alan Harston (Tel. 01709 822056)  (E-mail:-

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 45 KB


Resolved:- (1) That the minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 9th September, 2010 be approved as a correct record.


(2) That, with regard to Minute No. B8 (Standards Committee Working Group), a further meeting of the Working Group be held at the rising of the next Standards Committee meeting on 11th November, 2010.


Standards for England Guidance - Blogging pdf icon PDF 95 KB


The Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, presented the submitted guidance from Standards for England on blogging and social networking.


The guidance covered:-


  • What is a blog?


  • What is social networking?


  • How do members use blogging and social networking?


  • How does the Code of Conduct apply to blogging ?


  • Human rights considerations


  • Examples of how the First Tier Tribunal and standards committees have viewed cases involving social networking


  • Other issues to consider


- Libel

            - Bias and Predetermination

            - Copyright

            - Data protection

            - Obscene material


  • Helpful links


Resolved:- That the information be noted and the guidance be distributed to all members of the Council.


Code of Conduct - Ministerial Statement pdf icon PDF 43 KB


The Committee noted the submitted statement by Communities Minister Andrew Stunnell, published on 20th September, 2010, regarding the axing of the Standards Board regime.


Questions for Town and Parish Council Clerks pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:


The Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, presented the submitted report relating to the above.


The Standards Committee Working Group, at its meeting on 29th July, 2010, discussed the Compact Toolkit that had been developed jointly by Standards for England, the National Association of Local Councils and the Society of Local Council Clerks. The purpose of the toolkit was to build a better relationship between the Borough Council and town and parish councils. The Toolkit could be used to raise the profile of standards and also to reduce the costs of training.


The Working Group felt that it would be helpful to acquire better knowledge as to the training provided by town and parish councils and their clerks for their members. Accordingly it was agreed to send the toolkit to all town and parish council clerks seeking interest. It was also agreed that a series of questions be drawn up for town and parish council clerks in relation to what training was already provided.


Suggested questions were submitted and considered.


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


  • template to record training


  • skills audit template from the Yorkshire Local Councils’ Association


Resolved:- (1) That the questions, as now submitted, be approved for distribution to town and parish council clerks.


(2) That consideration be given to devising a template to cover skills audit and record of training.


First Tier Tribunal Decision pdf icon PDF 246 KB


The Committee noted the full decision of the First Tier Tribunal, held on 19th July, 2010, to consider the allegations against Councillor Neil Fulcher of Bramley Parish Council.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 48 KB


The Committee noted the latest position.