{meta} Agenda for Standards Committee on Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 2.15 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall

Contact: Stephanie Lewis 01392 382486  Email: stephanie.lewis@devon.gov.uk

Items
Note No. Item

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34.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 March 2018, previously circulated.

Minutes:

It was MOVED by Councillor Mathews, SECONDED by Councillor Bloxham, and

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2018 be agreed as a correct record.

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35.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

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36.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Recommendation: that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act namely, information relating to an individual and information likely to reveal the identity of an individual and in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

It was MOVED by Sir Simon Day, SECONDED by Councillor Bloxham, and

 

RESOLVED: that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act namely, information relating to an individual and information likely to reveal the identity of an individual and in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

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37.

Allegation of Breach of Members' Code of Conduct

Report of the County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Report of the County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer which also included the Independent Investigator’s Report into a complaint received from the Chief Executive Dr. Phil Norrey (the Complainant) relating to an alleged breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct by Councillor Brian Greenslade (the Subject Member).

 

The covering Report of the County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer gave the background on actions to date including receipt of the complaint, consultation with the Independent Person, the views of the Assessment Sub Committee and the decision of the Assessment Sub Committee that the views of the Independent Person to undertake an independent formal investigation be endorsed.

 

The County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer’s Report highlighted that the Independent Investigator believed that the Subject Member had breached the Code but, stressed the importance of the Committee thoroughly considering the issues before reaching its own conclusion as to whether or not there had been a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

The Report of the County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer also encompassed the views of the Independent Person following his consideration of the Independent Investigator’s Report.

 

The County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer reminded the Committee of their role and remit which was to determine, in light of the Investigator’s Report, whether or not it considered the Code of Conduct had been breached. If the Committee found there was no breach then there would be no further action, but if the Committee agreed with the Investigator and the Independent Person that there was a breach then it needed to determine what sanctions, if any, should be applied to the Subject Member.

 

The sanctions available to the Committee were to require the Subject Member to issue a formal, public apology, recommend that the Committee issue some form of public censure of the Subject Member, recommend to the appropriate Group Leader that the Subject Member be removed from any or all Committee / Sub Committees and outside bodies, exclude or restrict the Subject Member’s access to some or all County Council premises, instruct the Monitoring Officer to arrange training, remove the Subject Member from all outside bodies appointed to or nominated to by the Council; and / or withdraw facilities (e.g. computer access).

 

The Committee then considered in full the content of the Independent Investigator’s Report, which outlined that both the Subject Member and Complainant were interviewed along with four employees and the Chief Executive of North Devon District Council, and also the views of the Independent Person on the conclusions of the Independent Investigator’s Report.

 

The Committee’s deliberations and recommended course of action are reflected in full in the decision notice attached to these minutes, however, the decisions of the Committee on each of the alleged breaches and application of allowable sanction is detailed below.

 

It was MOVED by Councillor Twiss, SECONDED by Councillor Bloxham, and

 

RESOLVED that the Committee agree that the Subject Member has breached Paragraph 1.3 (i) of the Code of Conduct, namely to ‘promote and support high standards  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.