Minutes for Standards Committee (replaced by Councillor Conduct Committee ) meeting, Oct 12 2010, 7.30PM official page
Venue: Room 1, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
Note: Date moved forward by committee (originally scheduled in November)Items No. Item
WELCOME AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Chairman welcomed Simon James to his first meeting of the Standards Committee. The members and officers present at the meeting then introduced themselves.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rye for absence and Councillor Simon for lateness.
Members of the Committee are invited to identify any personal or prejudicial interests relevant to items on the agenda. A definition of personal and prejudicial interests has been attached for members’ information.
Members had no declarations of interest in respect of the items on the agenda.
To receive and confirm the minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 14 July 2010.
Received the minutes of the last meeting held on 14 July 2010.
1. On minute 88 that the Probity in Planning Guidance, had been considered by the Planning Committee at its meeting on 28 September and would now be considered by the Governance Review Working Group on 19 October 2010. The committee requested feedback on the decision taken by the Governance Review Working Group on this Guidance Note.
ACTION: Committee Secretary
2. On minute 98 that the training course had been cancelled. The Assistant Director of Corporate Governance informed members that he would look at the following options:-
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To receive an oral report from the Chairman, highlighting briefly any action taken following the previous meeting of the committee and informing members of any items of note.
The Chairman of the Committee, Lawrence Greenberg gave an oral update.
1. He and Geoffrey Mills (Vice-Chairman) had met with the Monitoring Officer for the regular catch up / briefing meeting.
2. A case had been considered by the Assessment Sub Committee on 28 September 2010.
3. He referred to a letter from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on changes to the standards regime which suggested that local authorities may have the choice of keeping their Standards Committees. However, he also pointed out a DCLG press release which stated that Standards Committees would also be abolished.
4. That Sophia Lambert, Chair of the independent non-political Chairs of Standards Committees of London boroughs had drafted a response to the Decentralisation and Localism Bill, expressing concerns and commenting that local authorities should retain some kind of member complaints process. The draft response had been circulated to Chairs for comment and he asked the Committee for its views before he responded.
5. That the correspondence the Chair referred to in Noted 3 and 4 above be circulated to all members of the Committee.
ACTION: Committee Secretary
6. The Assistant Director of Corporate Governance outlined the proposals in the Decentralisation and Localism Bill and he explained that a change in legislation was needed to abolish Standards for England. Originally it had been suggested that local authority Standards Committees would also be abolished but the DCLG letter the Chair referred to indicated a departure form this.
7. The Local Codes of Conduct would need to be enforceable.
8. Geoffrey Mills commented that without publicity of complaints considered through the Standards process the electorate may not know what a councillor had done so how could they judge them at the ballot box.
9. In response to a question, that the Standards Committee followed a formal process when dealing with alleged complaints against members but the Monitoring Officer would try to resolve them informally beforehand.
10. The view that the House of Lords may not agree with the proposals contained in the Decentralisation and Localism Bill.
AGREED that in response to Sophia Lambert’s draft response to the Bill, the Chairman should inform her that Enfield’s Standards Committee had made the following comments:
- That the proposal for Local Codes of Conduct would need to be enforceable.
- That Standards Committees should be retained by local authorities.
5.1 To receive a Briefing Paper from the Principal Licensing Officer on training sessions held for Licensing Committee members. (Pages 9 – 10)
5.2 To receive a Briefing Paper from the Head of Development Management on training sessions held for Planning Committee members. (Pages 11 – 12)
1. The Committee received the Briefing Paper from Mark Galvayne, Principal Licensing Officer on Licensing Committee Training.
a. That Aled Richards, Head of Development Management introduced the Briefing Paper on Mark Galvayne’s behalf. He highlighted that the training covered:-