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Agenda and minutes

Standards and Ethics Committee
Thursday, 16th December, 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

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 14th October, 2010 be approved as a correct record.

21.

Acting as a representative of the Council pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. B11 of the meeting of this Committee held on 9th September, 2010, the Committee considered a report by the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services relating to the above.

 

The report covered:-

 

-          scope of the Code of Conduct

 

-          most provisions only apply to activities performed whenever members act in an official capacity

 

-          paragraphs applying at any time when Members’ conduct has led to a criminal conviction (subject to Parliamentary approval to legislative amendments)

 

    Paragraph 3(2)(c) – intimidation of certain persons in relation to an allegation under the Code

 

     Paragraph 5 – Disrepute

 

     Paragraph 6(a) – Improperly confer or secure an advantage or disadvantage

 

Otherwise the Code does not affect a Member’s private life

 

-          whether members had been representing an authority or acting in a private capacity must be established because it was crucial to whether or not the Code applied at all. Not always established at assessment and investigation

 

-          case law : regarding a Councillor acting in his or her official capacity

 

-          revised Standards for England guidance on the Code. Questions and answers regarding application of the Code

 

-          position regarding blogs, social networking sites and twitter etc.

 

-          case examples from Standards for England regarding decisions as to whether or not a member was acting within the scope of the Code

 

Resolved:- That the information be noted and regarded by Assessment and Review panels when allegations raised issues of whether or not the Code of Conduct was applicable.

22.

Failure to Treat others with Respect pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. B11 of the meeting of this Committee held on 9th September, 2010, the Committee considered a report by the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services relating to the above.

 

The report covered:-

 

-           Paragraph 3(1) of the code : “You must treat others with respect”

 

-          summary of Standards for England summaries, published on their website, of cases where allegations concerning breach of Paragraph 3(1) of the Code had been considered by case tribunals

 

-          key points arising from the above case summaries

 

-          Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to freedom of expression) must be taken into account

 

-          issues when challenging the performance of officers

 

-          Members’ use of blogging and social networking sites

 

Resolved:- That the information be noted and regarded by Assessment and Review Panels when allegations raised issues of whether a member had failed to treat another person with respect.

23.

Responses to Questions for Town and Parish Council Clerks

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. B17 of the meeting of this Committee held on 14th October, 2010, the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, presented responses received so far from town and parish council clerks.

 

The Committee considered the responses received to the eleven questions posed.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the information be noted and referred to the Working Group for further consideration.

 

(2) That the Working Group be updated on the responses from town and parish councils regarding expressions of interest in the Compact Toolkit.

24.

Localism Bill pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

The Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, presented briefly submitted statements from DCLG regarding the Standards Board regime.

 

Also submitted was a briefing paper on the Localism Bill, prepared by Steve Eling, Principal Policy Officer (Parliamentary Analysis), headlining details of the proposed legislation in relation to standards. It was noted that the Bill had only been published on Tuesday, 14th December, 2010.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the information be noted and a detailed report be submitted to the next meeting.

 

(2) That Tim Mumford and Steve Eling be thanked for submitting preliminary information so promptly after publication date.

25.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the latest position.