Agenda and minutes
Contact: Julian Pugh Tel: 01905 722006
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question, or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.
Of the meeting held on 24th November 2014 to be approved and signed.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 24th November 2014 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To present the Annual Review Letter of the Local Government Ombudsman for the period covering 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 to the Committee for information and comment.
The Committee considered the Annual Review Letter of the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) for the period covering 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015.
Although the number of enquiries received by the LGO about the Council and those where a decision was made had increased since last year, the Committee noted that no complaints were upheld.
In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:
· Refresher training on responding to complaints would take place for all services. There was no set timescale, but in was expected that this would be on-going throughout 2015/16.
· A Complaints & Feedback Member Reference Guide had recently been sent to all Members via the weekly information items.
· The Letter contained links to several documents that might be of interest, in particular the Workbook for Councillors, and it was suggested that these be made available to all Members.
RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Annual Review Letter for 2015.
To consider and approve the draft Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the Municipal Year 2014/15.
The Committee considered the draft Annual Report of the Standards Committee for the Municipal Year 2014/15.
In the ensuing discussion, reference was made to the requirement to allow any member of the public to take photographs, film and audio-record the proceedings, on any public meeting. Some Members expressed the view that there would be benefit in the Council introducing its own audio and/or video recording facility for meetings. The Monitoring Officer commented that if Members wished to take forward this suggestion, it could be raised formally via a Notice of Motion at full Council.
The Chairman expressed his thanks for Councillor Rowden for his work in that capacity over the last three years.
RESOLVED: That the Committee approve the draft Annual Report for the Municipal Year 2014/15.
Registers of Members' and Officers' Gifts and Hospitality and Register of Interests
To review the registers of Members’ and Officers’ gifts and hospitality and register of interests. The registers will be available for inspection from 6.30p.m. onwards, so that Members can have the opportunity to review them either before or at the meeting.
The Committee were given the opportunity to review the registers of Members’ and Officers’ gifts and hospitality and register of interests.
Item Involving the Disclosure of Exempt Information
The Committee is invited to pass the following resolution:-
That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.
RESOLVED: That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.
Reports of the Local Government Ombudsman
To consider two report of the Local Government Ombudsman.
The Committee were advised that to date, for the year commencing 1 April 2015, the Council has received two reports from the Local Government Ombudsman.
The Monitoring Officer advised that the decision statements for the two cases would be published by the Ombudsman on their website no earlier than three months after the decision dates. As that period had not yet been completed, the Ombudsman had requested that the reports be considered by the Committee in private.
The Committee noted the content of the report and the two Ombudsman decision statements, and approved the Ombudsman’s recommended actions.