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Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair
To note the appointments made by Council at the Annual Meeting on 22 May 2023:
The Committee noted the appointments made by Annual Council of Councillor Taylor as Chair and Councillor Kubaszczyk as Vice-Chair of the Committee.
Declarations of Interest
To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023.
The minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Public Question Time (15 minutes)
To receive any questions from members of the public, provided that questions do not contravene the provisions set out Council Procedure Rule 10(2).
To ask a question at this meeting, please submit it to email@example.com by 12 noon on Tuesday 13 June 2023 or telephone 01452 396203 for support.
There were no public questions.
Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)
To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:
· Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or
· Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings
There were no petitions and deputations.
To consider the report of the Head of Paid Service concerning various proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution.
The Committee considered the report of the Head of Paid Service concerning the various proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution.
The Monitoring Officer presented the report and referred to the Unified Gloucestershire Code of Conduct, the amended arrangements for dealing with Standards Allegations, the new Member/Officer Protocol, the Scheme of Delegation, amendments to the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules and references to the Council Solicitor.
She advised that the Monitoring Officers for the seven principal local authorities had worked together to draft a Gloucestershire wide Member Code of Conduct, for adoption by all the Gloucestershire Councils. The Code had been based on the requirements of the seven Nolan principles in public life.
The main benefits for adopting the new Code of Conduct would provide more clarity on the role of a Member and ensure a consistent approach is taken for setting behaviour expectations. The Unified Code of Conduct would also ensure that if a Member was both a City and County Councillor, the same set of rules would be applied so that they could operate within the one Code.
The Monitoring Officer referred to Appendix A of the report and outlined the proposed amendments. It had been noted that if a Member was found to have breached the Code of Conduct following a formal investigation, a copy of the formal decision notice would be published on the Council’s website.
Councillor Hilton commented that if a Member had made an apology to the complainant which had been mutually accepted by the individual, this should be reasonable and not require the nature of the complaint to be published on the website or for the individual to be named.
The Managing Director explained that Members would be encouraged to offer an apology to the complainant in the first instance to seek to resolve the complaint informally. If the apology had not been accepted by the individual and the Member had breached the Code of Conduct, the decision notice would be published. If there had been no breach, then the identity of the Member would not be disclosed.
The Monitoring Officer stated that a decision would only be made at the end of the investigation process and that it would not be in the public interest to take forward a complaint if all other options had been explored. The Monitoring Officer would speak to the Group Leader of the relevant political party regarding a Members behaviour.
In response to a question from the Chair relating to the number of complaints received, the Monitoring Officer advised that the County Council had not received any formal complaints since 2011 and that four complaints had been received within the last six months at the Council.
The Managing Director commented that the proposal was not unique as previously if Members had been found in breach of the Code they would have been reported to the Standards Board. The proposed amendments to the Code of Conduct were to ensure processes were in place for good behaviour from Members and ... view the full minutes text for item 6.