Venue: Meeting Room 2, Civic Centre, Dagenham
Contact: Margaret Freeman, Senior Democratic Services Officer, Civic Centre, Dagenham Telephone - 020 8227 2638 / e-mail - email@example.com
Declaration of Members' Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any personal or prejudicial interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.
The minutes of the Standards Committee meeting of 25 April 2012 were confirmed as correct.
The Committee received and noted this report introduced by the Deputy Monitoring Officer/Group Manager Safeguarding Law.
In relation to the draft Code of Conduct the Committee noted that:
1. whilst other boroughs may have different Codes, the general principles would be the same across all councils;
2. Member training on the new Code would commence on 2 July;
3. there was no reference in the new Code to bullying, which Members had requested be included at the meeting of 25 April [Minute 29 (d)]. In this connection Members referred to the definition of "bullying" as had been set out in the guidance provided by the Standards Board. Councillor Rai referred to a "Schools Code on Bullying", which he would circulate to Members as he felt this would provide clarity and understanding.
Agreed that the issue of bullying should be addressed explicitly in the Code.
In relation to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests the Committee noted that:
(a) if Members have such an interest, they must withdraw from the meeting room unless they have received a dispensation from the authority's proper officer;
(b) an "Interests" flowchart had been prepared the Deputy Monitoring Officer/Group Manager Safeguarding Law, which she would circulate to Members;
(c) the onus is on the member to register their interests with the Monitoring Officer.
In relation to the Complaints Procedures, the Committee:
(i) proposed amendment to the flowchart set out at Appendix 1 to the Complaints Procedures to include reference that the Monitoring Officer may consult with the Independent Person when initially considering any complaint;
(ii) raised concerns as to potential conflicts of interest if the Independent Person was permitted to be consulted by the Monitoring Officer, the Member being complained about as well as the complainant and concluded that the role of the Independent Person required clarification;
(iii) queried the necessity of paragraph 2.3 of Appendix 4 to the Complaints Procedure;
(iv) queried the wording "deliberate in private" in paragraphs 6.1 and 6.4 of Appendix 4 as the right to withdraw to consider a verdict was no longer available; and
(v) noted the sanctions available to the Standards Sub-Committee as set out in paragraph 8 of the Complaints Procedure.
Agreed that the Deputy Monitoring Officer/Group Manager Safeguarding Law refer the Committee's comments back to the Monitoring Officer.
The Committee received this report and were pleased to note that there were no matters outstanding.
On behalf of the Monitoring Officer, the Deputy Monitoring Officer/Group Manager Safeguarding Law thanked members for their hard work and vigorous input to the Standards Committee.
The Chair also thanked Members for their support and requested that the Democratic Services Officer pass his grateful thanks to independent members, Frank Dignan and Delbert Sandiford.
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