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David Roper-Newman declared a personal interest in Item 5.
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.
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.
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
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
RESOLVED to note the report and to agree the changes as set out in
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.
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.