Council meetings

Agenda item

Complaint against the Mayor


The Monitoring Officer introduced her report into a complaint received that the

Mayor had breached the Member Code of Conduct by failing to make full

disclosures in the Register of Members’ Interests in relation to his position in

several companies.


The Monitoring Officer reported her conclusions that technically the Mayor

was in breach of the requirement to register the two directorships. The

situation had been rectified and the Mayor had not participated in any decision

which would affect either of the two companies. It was noted that the Mayor’s

directorship in these companies arose as a result of his position in the Local

Government Association ( LGA), which position was registered in the

Members’ Register of Interests. The Monitoring Officer further reported that

the Mayor had apologised to her and also brought the Sub Committee’s

attention to his letter dated 24th April 2017 which extended his apology to the

Standards Committee.


The Monitoring Officer further explained that in accordance with statutory

requirements and the Council’s procedures her report had to be submitted to

the Independent Person whose views the Sub Committee were required to

consider before reaching a decision.


The Sub Committee’s attention was specifically drawn to the Independent

Person, Wendy Innes’ report at Appendix 5. Her report concurred with the

Monitoring Officer’s findings that a technical breach had occurred. The

Independent Person’s report then proceeded to list factors which in her

view mitigated the seriousness of the breach. These were :-


  • The fact that one of the companies, LGIH, is understood from

information provided by the LGA, referred to at paragraph 13 of the

Monitoring Officer’s report, to be effectively dormant, and that it has

never conducted any business; hence although the company’s objects

enable it to exercise functions of a public nature, it may never have

done so;

  • The fact that the Council’s Head of Business and Committee has

confirmed that the Council has not made any decisions

affecting either of these two companies of which the Mayor is a

director; hence the Mayor has not participated in any Council decision

making in respect of either of the companies;

  • The fact that the Mayor has apologised  to the Monitoring Officer for

this oversight;

  • The fact that the Mayor expeditiously updated his entry in the Register

of Members’ Interests to include these two directorships as soon as the

Monitoring Officer advised him of the concern.


In conclusion, the Independent Person intimated that should the Sub-

Committee reach a finding of breach of the Code it may consider that the

breach is of such a minor nature that it does not merit further action, for

instance by way of sanction.


Members of the Sub Committee raised various questions in relation to the

Monitoring Officer’s report, which the Monitoring Officer responded to. It was

suggested that consideration be given to the Member Code of Conduct being

amended to include a requirement that the registration of membership or

position of control in a body to which members are appointed or nominated by

the Council be extended to include a reference to any subsidiary or

associated companies or other organisations of that body.


After very careful consideration the Sub Committee unanimously:




(1) there was a breach of paragraphs 4.4 and 4.5 of the Member Code

of Conduct;


(2) the views of the Independent Person and the mitigating factors referred to

in her report be endorsed;


(3) in accordance with the views of the Independent Person the breach does

not merit any further action by way of sanction;


(4) on the next review of the Member Code of Conduct it be clarified that the

requirement to register any interest in a company or outside body extends to

associated companies and other organisations established by that body.


The meeting ended at 07:20 p.m.

Supporting documents: