Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Monday 3rd July, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Mandela Room

Contact: Susan Lightwing 

No. Item


Welcome and Evacuation Procedure


The Chair welcomed all present to the meeting and introductions were made.  The Building Evacuation Procedure was read out.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no Declarations of Interest at this point in the meeting.


Minutes- Standards Committee - 3 April 2023 pdf icon PDF 16 KB


The minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 3 April 2023 were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Quarterly Update Report to Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 268 KB


A joint report of Director of Legal and Governance Services and the Executive Member for Finance and Governance was presented to provide a quarterly update to the Standards Committee on Code of Conduct complaints.


The report included an update on actions from the last Committee meeting, details of outstanding complaints against Members who were not re-elected to the role in which the alleged breach occurred and the recruitment process for the role of Independent Person.


There was 1 complaint from 2020, 4 complaints from 2021, and 3 ongoing from 2022 at various stages of the process which had not yet concluded. One complaint had been withdrawn from 2021 further to the April update. Specifics about those complaints could not be provided to the Committee at this time so as not to prejudice any outcomes, and/or create a conflict should any of those complaints need to come to Standards Committee at a future date.


There had been 39 complaints submitted to date in 2023. Of the 39 complaints, there had been 15 complaints rejected further to the assessment criteria, 1 withdrawn, and 1 resolved by way of advice and guidance.


There was one matter which was due to come before the committee for a hearing, dates were currently being arranged and the appropriate report would be provided in due course.


The issue of the use of social media was highlighted as being a theme throughout a number of complaints received this year and the Committee had agreed several actions at the Standards Committee meeting held on 3 April 2023 which had been completed as follows:


           An advice and guidance email was sent to all current Members from the    Monitoring Officer/Deputy Monitoring Officer reminding them of the guidance   around social media use with reference to the Code of Conduct.


           Regular meetings have taken place with the Monitoring Officer/Deputy      Monitoring Officer and Group Leaders at which standards issues have been           discussed.


           A training session was held on 20 June 2023 with newly elected Members,           focussing specifically on guidance around social media


           The issue of Social Media use was also covered in detail in Code of Conduct        training held on 6 June 2023 via Teams.


There were 10 complaints at various stages of the procedure where the subject member was not re-elected into the role in which the alleged breach occurred.  The Code of Conduct applied to Councillors and as the subject members were no longer Councillors, the code did not now apply and thus any sanction that the Standards Committee could impose, fell away.


A table at paragraph 12 of the submitted report set out the position in relation to outstanding complaints where the subject member was no longer in the role in which the alleged breach occurred. These complaints would now be closed with no further action.


The following points were raised by Members in relation to the complaints that had been closed:


           The potential for a former Councillor with a complaint against them that had          been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23/4


Any Other Urgent Items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered