Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite Lewisham Town Hall Catford SE6 4RU

Contact: Troy Robinson 0208 3149365 

No. Item


Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 33 KB


David Roper-Newman declared a personal interest in Item 5.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 15 KB

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RESOLVED that subject to an amendment to record that Councillor Julia

Fletcher submitted her apologies, the minutes of the meeting held on 21

November 2013 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Annual Review of Complaints Made Under the Council's Whistleblowing Policy pdf icon PDF 71 KB

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Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer introduced the report and

explained that there had been six referrals since the last report considered by

the Standards Committee. The nature of the complaints were broad ranging

and Kath Nicholson explained that on receipt of whistleblowing complaints

she seeks to have matters resolved in the most appropriate manner.


In response to an enquiry as to the position where the whistleblower may be

maliciously motivated, Kath Nicholson explained that she will always arrange

for an investigation to be undertaken where there appears to be a reasonable

cause for concern and that the whistleblower’s motive in the raising of a

complaint is irrelevant.


It was further suggested that in future the review report should include some

feedback from complainants on the application of the policy and their

satisfaction with the process.


It was noted that the Policy required minor amendments to reflect the

Committee is no longer chaired by an independent person and to remove the

references to the District Auditor.



RESOLVED to note the referrals under the Councils’ Whistleblowing Policy as

set out in the report and reported to the Committee and to agree the proposed

amendments to the Whistleblowing Policy.


Review of procedure for handling complaints of breach of member code of conduct pdf icon PDF 49 KB

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Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer presented the report and

explained that the report provides information about the procedure for

handling complaints of a breach of the Member Code of Conduct, its

application to date and to consider whether any changes were required to the

current procedures.


It was explained that the procedures were to be flexible, fair and as

uncomplicated as possible.  Kath Nicholson also gave a brief review of the

three allegations considered under the procedures.


The Committee’s attention was also drawn to the research undertaken into a

sample of the procedures used in other local authorities.


Proposed revisions to the procedures were appended to the report at

Appendix 2.


RESOLVED to note the report and to agree the changes as set out in

Appendix 2.


Member Induction 2014 Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 54 KB

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Salena Mulhere, Overview and Scrutiny Team Manager, presented the item

and provided an overview of the draft member induction programme proposed

following the elections in May.


The Chair identified the need for ethical standards to be an integral part of

members induction programme and for strategies to be in place to ensure that

all members receive appropriate training and support.


There was wide ranging discussions in relation to encouraging member

attendance at training sessions and various potential strategies to enhance

member development and training; ranging from 1:1 training, mentoring,

online training, joint training with other boroughs, and the influence of political

groups in such matters.


RESOLVED  that the report be noted and that political groups be urged to

ensure member attendance at training.


Independent Person Appointments pdf icon PDF 19 KB


The Committee was requested to note the appointment of Erica Pienaar and

Wendy Innes to act as Independent Person to assist the Council in the

investigation of complaints under the Member Code of Conduct.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.



The meeting ended at 8:10pm.