Agenda, decisions and minutes

Standards Committee
Wednesday, 6th October, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Jill Bell/ Farzana Mughal 

Items
No. Item

1.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

2.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Jill Bell - 01274 434580)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict
documents.

 

3.

APPOINTMENT OF A COMPLAINTS SUB-COMMITTEE

The Committee is advised that it is required to appoint a Complaints
Sub-Committee. The Sub Committee shall comprise three members
of the Committee to include one of whom must be from the same political group as the subject Member (wherever possible), but not all of the Members will be from the same political group. The Chair will be elected from among the membership at the beginning of the meeting, but cannot be from the same political group as the subject Member.
The membership of the Sub Committee shall be drawn by rotation from the overall membership of the Committee as far as is practicable.

 

Recommended –


That a Complaints Sub-Committee be appointed with memberships and role and functions as contained in the resolution of Council made on 10 July 2012 and subject to the Rules of Procedure contained in Part 3 of the Constitution adopted by Annual Council on 18 May 2021.


(Parveen Akhtar – 01274 432496)

Minutes:

 

The Committee was advised that it is required to appoint a Complaints
Sub-Committee. The membership of the Sub Committee will be drawn by rotation from the overall membership of the Committee as far as is practicable.  The Sub Committee will comprise three members
of the Committee one of whom must be from the same political group as the subject Member (wherever possible), but not all of the Members will be from the same political group. The Chair will be elected from among the membership at the beginning of the meeting, but cannot be from the same political group as the subject Member. 

 

 

Resolved –


That a Complaints Sub-Committee be appointed with roles and functions as contained in the resolution of Council made on 10 July 2012 and Article 11 of the Constitution and subject to the Rules of Procedure contained in Part 3 of the Constitution adopted by Annual Council on 18 May 2021.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

4.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION MODEL COUNCILLOR CODE OF CONDUCT pdf icon PDF 120 KB

The City Solicitor will present Document “A” in which the Committee is requested to consider the Local Government Association (LGA) new Model Councillor Code of Conduct and decide whether to recommend to Council its adoption with or without amendments to replace the Council’s existing Members’ Code of Conduct or whether to require consultation with Councillors before considering adoption.

 

Recommended -

           

(1)       Members are invited to comment on whether they are content to recommend adoption of the Local Government Association Model Councillor Code of Conduct 2020 in principle or if they require consultation with Councillors before considering adoption.

 

(2)       If the former, the Local Government Association Model Councillor Code of Conduct 2020 be recommended for adoption by Council with such amendments as are agreed by this Committee. 

 

(3)       Upon adoption by Council, delegated authority be given to the City Solicitor to make any consequential amendments required to the Council’s Constitution including to the Protocols on Member-Officer Relations, Members Gifts and Hospitality and Members Use of Council Resources including Use of E-mail and the Internet in consultation with the Chair of this Committee.

 

(4)       Upon adoption of the amended Code by Council the City Solicitor write to all Town and Parish Councils within the Bradford District to advise them of adoption of the Code and encouraging them also to adopt the Code. 

 

(Parveen Akhtar -01274 432486)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Assistant City Solicitor (Democratic Services) presented Document “A” in which the Committee was requested to consider the Local Government Association (LGA) new Model Councillor Code of Conduct (“the Code”)  and decide whether to recommend to Council its adoption with or without amendments to replace the Council’s existing Members’ Code of Conduct or whether to require consultation with Councillors before considering adoption. 

 

The Code was attached as Appendix 1 to Document “A”.  This new Code was developed in response to the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s (CSPL) report into Local Government Ethical Standards. The CSPL report included a best practice recommendation for local authorities to adopt a Code of Conduct based on a model to be produced by the LGA. The Code is based on the CSPL best practice recommendations and the expectation is that all councils should adopt it as a minimum, but with provision for additional local variations. 

 

The Code builds on the Nolan principles and details members’ obligations as the minimum standards of conduct.   Members were advised that the Code is more detailed than the Council’s current Members’ Code of Conduct (attached at Appendix 3 to Document “A”) and for example, includes specific reference to respect and bullying, harassment and discrimination.   The Code requires members within 28 days of becoming a member or re-election or re-appointment to office to register with the Monitoring Officer Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.  Under the Council’s current Code where a member is re-elected/reappointed notification is only required of any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests. 

 

In addition to the requirements regarding Disclosable Pecuniary Interests the Code includes new categories of interests namely  Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests. Members were referred to Appendix 4 to Document “A” which summarised the differences between the new Code and the Council’s current Code.

 

Members were asked, to consider whether to include the following matters that are contained in the Council’s existing Code of Conduct if they were to recommend to Council adoption of the Code:   

 

·         The mandatory requirement that members complete a training course on Child Sexual Exploitation (paragraph 21A of the Council’s existing Members’ Code of Conduct).

 

·         Confirmation that all complaints alleging a failure to comply with the Code will be considered in accordance with the Procedure agreed by full Council (paragraph 22 of the Council’s existing Members’ Code of Conduct).

 

·         Incorporation of the Member- Officer Relations Protocol and the Members Use of Council Resources including use of Email and Internet Protocol into the Code (paragraph 23 of the Council’s existing Members’ Code of Conduct) subject to any consequential amendments required to address inconsistencies.

 

·         The provisions regarding granting of dispensations (paragraph 24 of the Council’s existing Members’ Code of Conduct).

 

It was noted that the mandatory requirement to complete a training course on Child Sexual Exploitation was a decision made at full Council and Members were in agreement that the matters detailed above which were contained in the Council’s existing Code of Conduct be included.   Members did not consider further consultation was required.

 

Members were advised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

TRAINING

The City Solicitor will provide a verbal update on member training.

 

(Parveen Akhtar – 01274 432496)

Minutes:

Members were advised that the way in which training had been delivered over the last year had changed because of the Covid19 pandemic.  Some training had been undertaken face to face where permitted and some on line or remotely.  Members were asked if they would prefer to continue to receive a mix of training methods going forward.  Members were in favour of continuing to receive a mix of training methods which they felt would be beneficial for members as it reflected their different circumstances and training needs.  Any training request from members would be referred to Human Resources to arrange the member training.

 

Resolved –

 

That members continue to receive a mix of face to face, remote and

on-line training.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor/Director of Human Resources