Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, Westgate, Canterbury

Contact: Josie Newman  01227 862 009, Email: democracy@canterbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

223.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Dawkins and Parish Councillor Evison.

 

Councillor Butcher was present as a substitute for Councillor Dawkins.

 

An apology for lateness was received from the Monitoring Officer.

224.

Election of a chairman for the council year

TO CONSIDER

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Councillor Dekker be elected Chairman of the Committee for the Council Year 2019/20.

 

(Councillor Dekker then took the Chair for the remaining business for the meeting).

 

RESOLVED – That Councillor Kenny be elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the Council Year 2019/20.

225.

Declaration of interests by councillors or officers

TO RECEIVE any declarations for the following in so far as they relate to the business for the meeting:-

 

  1. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
  2. Other Significant Interests (what were previously thought of as non-pecuniary Prejudicial interests)
  3. Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests

 

Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests not required to be disclosed as DPI’s or OSI’s, ie announcements made for transparency reasons alone, such as:

·         Membership of outside bodies that have made representations on agenda items, or

·         Where a Member knows a person involved, but does not have a close association with that person, or

·         Where an item would affect the well-being of a Member, relative, close associate, employer, etc but not his/her financial position.

 

[Note: an effect on the financial position of a Member, relative, close associate, employer, etc; OR an application made by a Member, relative, close associate, employer, etc, would both probably constitute either an OSI or in some cases a DPI].

Minutes:

The following declarations were made:

·         Councillor Flack made a voluntary announcement that her daughter-in-law was a Senior Human Resources Advisor for East Kent Services who were contracted by the council.

·         Councillor Glover made a voluntary announcement that one of the Independent Persons was known to her.

·         Jacqueline Dabnor, one of the Independent Persons, made a voluntary declaration that she had previously worked with Councillors Butcher, Glover and Kenny.

226.

Public participation at the meeting

Provided that notification has been given to Democratic Services by 12.30pm on the working day before the meeting, members of the public may speak on any item on the agenda for a maximum of three minutes.

Minutes:

There were no public speakers.

227.

Procedures for complaints against a councillor pdf icon PDF 74 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Legal Services & Monitoring Officer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Solicitor introduced the report which detailed the arrangements which were in place to deal with complaints made against individual councillors under the code of conduct and the proposed amendments to the process.

 

The Committee discussed the report and the Principal Solicitor provided clarification where necessary.  The following points were made:

 

               Councillors welcomed the recommended amendments to the process.

               It was queried whether the union were consulted on the procedure or if it was just consulted with the Independent Persons.  It was confirmed that the procedure was not in an employment setting and therefore it was not appropriate to consult with the union as the procedure would mainly impact the Independent Persons and Monitoring Officer.

 

It was agreed that the report would be noted and the amended process and procedures be implemented.

 

A record of the vote is as follows:

 

For the proposal: Councillors Butcher, Dekker, Dixey, Glover, Flack and Kenny (6)

 

Against the proposal: None

 

Abstained from voting: None

 

228.

Annual Governance Report pdf icon PDF 123 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Corporate Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Corporate Governance introduced the report which detailed the Governance arrangements relating to councillors.

 

The Committee discussed the report and the Head of Corporate Governance gave clarification where necessary.  The following points were raised:

 

  • It was highlighted that the induction programme was good, with the shorter more interactive sessions being the most successful. 
  • There had been a lot of sessions offered in a short period of time but it was important that councillors were properly trained.
  • The senior officer buddy scheme had been particularly useful as it helped councillors identify appropriate officers and understand how the council operates.
  • The recent corporate plan workshop had attempted to cover a lot of topics in a short space of time. Sometimes a simpler format is needed for complex subjects.  
  • The briefings were a useful way of increasing knowledge.

 

It was queried whether or not the number of complaints was considered to be high or low for the council when compared to other local authorities.  It was confirmed by the Monitoring Officer that the number of complaints received were the anticipated level for a local authority of Canterbury’s size.

 

It was agreed that the report would be noted and the comments regarding the Councillor Induction would be considered for the next election.

 

A record of the vote is as follows:

 

For the proposal: Councillors Butcher, Dekker, Dixey, Glover, Flack and Kenny (6)

 

Against the proposal: None

 

Abstained from voting: None

 

229.

Introduction of the Independent Persons

To introduce the Indepenent Persons, who for the year 2019/20 are:

 

·         Myra Field

·         Jacqueline Dabnor

·         Joy Inameti

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Independent Persons.  The Independent Persons who were present then provided some background regarding their experience and interest in the role.

230.

Any other urgent business to be dealt with in public

Minutes:

There was no other business to be dealt with in public.

231.

Any other urgent business which falls within the exempt provisions of Schedule 12A of the local government act 1972 or the Freedom of Information Act 2003

It will be necessary for the committee to pass a resolution excluding the press and public for any business under this item.

Minutes:

There was no other urgent business which fell within the exempt provisions of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 or the Freedom of Information Act 2003.