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None was declared.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Committee meetings held on the 20 May 2015 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer, presented the report and
explained that the report provides information about the extent of compliance
with the Member Code of Conduct.
The Committee was informed that since the last report there have been two
complaints raised against members. Both complaints were resolved informally
in one case by the member concerned providing a public apology to the
complainant and in the other the complainant decided not to pursue the
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer introduced the report and
explained the proposed revised Whistle blowing policy followed a request
from the Committee at its last meeting that it be fundamentally reviewed.
It was explained that the proposed policy followed a review of the policies of a
number of other local authorities both in and outside of London by the Head of
It was explained that the whistle blowing policy is intended to be used as a
supplement to other avenues of complaint where such procedures would not
enable matters to be investigated.
Under the revised policy it was proposed that any serious concerns a
complainant may have about any aspect of service provision, the conduct of
officers, members or others acting on behalf of the Council be reported under
the policy. However where there are more appropriate channels for
investigation the Monitoring Officer will direct the complainant to that channel.
It was further explained that the proposed policy will require the Head of Law
or her deputy to personally conduct an initial review of all complaints .This will
enable her to be in a position to advise whether the complaint should be
investigated and if so how, with potential timescales.
A further proposed change to the existing policy was the introduction of a
requirement to notify complainants and to keep them regularly informed where
an investigation was not likely to be completed within the expected 28 day
The Committee’s attention was drawn to the written comments received from
an absent Independent member suggesting that updates on the progress of
an investigation should be appropriately determined dependent on the nature
of the complaint and required investigation. It was agreed that updates be
provided normally within 28 days and thereafter every 3 months.
It was further explained that as a management tool a register and spread
sheet of referrals be introduced and regularly monitored to ensure that all
referrals are dealt with in the most timely and appropriate manner.
It was suggested that a step by step guide (flowchart) be considered for
inclusion in the revised policy.
It was further suggested that at paragraph 7.1 the Head of Law’s contact
details should be inserted.
The Committee expressed particular interest in the publicity of the revised
policy. The Head of Law confirmed that she would have discussions with the
Head of Communications ensuring that there is clarity on the Council’s
website as to the policy and its application. It was also suggested and agreed
that the revised policy be placed on the Council’s intranet.
The Head of Law also confirmed that she would be providing training to all
service heads on the revised policy with the expectation that this is then
cascaded throughout the Council. In the future as well as reporting to the
Standards Committee, the annual report will also be submitted to the
Council’s Executive Management Team to ensure the highest officer level
The Committee was also informed that a briefing on the whistleblowing policy ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer presented the item and
invited the Committee to comment.
RESOLVED that the work programme shown in paragraph 3.3 be agreed.
INFORMATION ITEM - Oral Report back on whistle blowing referral
Kath Nicholson provided an oral report back on the whistle blowing referral
which was discussed at the previous meeting but which had not been
concluded at that time. The Head of Law, Kath Nicholson confirmed that since
the previous meeting she had met with the complainant and had obtained
further information about the complaint.
The Independent Executive Board (IEB) at the school had now conducted a
thorough investigation and had prepared a comprehensive and full report.
Save for some recommendations in relation to improved HR practice within
the school they concluded that they could find no evidence to support the
complainant’s contentions and in the circumstances proposed no further
INFORMATION ITEM Oral Report - Resignation of Independent Member
The Committee was informed that Hannah Le Vay had resigned as an
Independent Member of the Standards Committee. The Committee
requested that its recognition and appreciation of Hannah’s membership be
The meeting ended at 8:15pm