Standards (Initial Assessment) Sub-Committee Minutes

Standards (Initial Assessment) Sub-Committee Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 27 June 2012
Time:
10:30 a.m.
Place:
Oberhausen Room,Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Davison,Taylor, C J Nestor (Chair).
Officers:
J Bennington, C Davies and R G Long.
Apologies for absence:
There were no apologies for absence for this meeting.
Declarations of interest:

No declarations of interest were made at this point of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/1 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting of the Standards (Initial Assessment) Sub-Committee held on 2 May 2012 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.

12/2 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC.

ORDERED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the whole of the business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 7 (c) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

EXEMPT
12/3 CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT - CASE REFERENCE NO. MSC004/2012.

The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer in respect of an allegation relating to case reference number MSC004/2012, alleging that a Member in his comments on a social media site had brought the individual’s position as a Councillor and the Council into disrepute. A copy of the complaint had been circulated and the video in question viewed.

 

The Sub-Committee had been advised that they were required to consider the following initial tests: -

 

(a) was the complaint against one or more named Members of an authority for which the Standards Committee had responsibility,

 

(b) at the time of the alleged conduct, was the named Member in office and the Code of Conduct in force.

 

As the Sub-Committee determined that both of the above tests applied in this case, Members were required to determine whether the complaint, if proven, would constitute a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct operating at the time of the alleged misconduct.

 

Members were of the opinion that the allegation did not constitute a breach of the Code of Conduct.

 

ORDERED that having given full consideration to the information presented it was determined that no action be taken in respect of the complaint.

 

Reasons

 

Members regarded the Councillor’s remarks as being acceptable in the context of making political comment in their role as a Councillor.
 

12/4 CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT - CASE REFERENCE NO. MSC005/2012

The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer in respect of an allegation relating to case reference number MSC005/2012, alleging that a Member had breached the Council’s Code of Conduct. A copy of the complaint had been circulated.

 

The Sub-Committee had been advised that they were required to consider the following initial tests: -

 

(a) was the complaint against one or more named Members of an authority for which the Standards Committee had responsibility,

 

(b) at the time of the alleged conduct, was the named Member in office and the Code of Conduct in force.

 

As the Sub-Committee determined that both of the above tests applied in this case, Members were required to determine whether the complaint, if proven, would constitute a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct operating at the time of the alleged misconduct.

 

Members were of the opinion that the allegation did not constitute a breach of the Code of Conduct.

 

ORDERED that having given full consideration to the information presented it was determined that no action be taken in respect of the complaint.

 

Reasons

 

Members considered that as the incidents referred to were of a personal nature and were carried out in a private capacity the allegations did not constitute a breach of the Code of Conduct.

12/5 CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT - CASE REFERENCE NO. MSC006/2012

The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer in respect of an allegation relating to case reference number MSC006/2012, alleging a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct on the grounds that they failed to treat the complainant with respect. A copy of the complaint had been circulated.

 

The Sub-Committee had been advised that they were required to consider the following initial tests: -

 

(a) was the complaint against one or more named Members of an authority for which the Standards Committee had responsibility,

 

(b) at the time of the alleged conduct, was the named Member in office and the Code of Conduct in force.

 

As the Sub-Committee determined that both of the above tests applied in this case, Members were required to determine whether the complaint, if proven, would constitute a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct operating at the time of the alleged misconduct.

 

Members were of the opinion that the allegation did not constitute a breach of the Code of Conduct.

 

ORDERED that having given full consideration to the information presented it was determined that no action be taken in respect of the complaint.

 

Reasons

 

Members considered that the action taken was regarded as being acceptable in their current role.
 

12/6 CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT - CASE REFERENCE NO. MSC007/2012

In accordance with Section 100B (4) of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 as amended, the Chair and Members agreed to consider an additional item Case Reference No. MSC007/2012 as urgent business in view of impending changes to prevailing legislation.

 

The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer in relation to an allegation that a Member had breached the Code of Conduct in respect of Case Reference MSC007/2012, on the grounds that the Councillor failed to treat the complainant with respect. A copy of the complaint was circulated at the meeting.

 

The Sub-Committee considered and answered the following initial tests:-

 

(a) was the complaint against one or more named Members of an authority for which the Standards Committee had responsibility?

 

(b) at the time of the alleged conduct, was the named Member in office and the Code of Conduct in force?

 

Having determined that the initial tests applied, Members were required to determine whether the complaint, if proven, would constitute a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct operating at the time of the alleged misconduct.

 

Members felt that the allegation could constitute a breach of the Code of Conduct.

 

ORDERED that having given full consideration to the evidence presented it was determined that the Monitoring Officer refer the complaint MSC007/2012 for local investigation.


 

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