Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Graham Walton  020 84617743

Items
No. Item

10.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

11.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

12.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to the Chairman of this Committee must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting.  Therefore please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Friday 16th February 2018.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been submitted before the deadline. The Chairman reported that he had been contacted by a member of the public asking whether there was any intention to change the Council’s Code of Conduct in the light of the Development Control Committee’s recent re-consideration of the planning application for the proposed Bullers Wood Boys School. This issue would be considered by the Committee.

13.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 6TH JULY 2017 AND MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Minutes:

It was noted that the Head of Audit should have been invited to attend this meeting; this would now be arranged for the Committee’s next meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6th July 2017 be confirmed.

14.

MONITORING OFFICER'S GENERAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 413 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD18033

 

The Committee considered a report from the director of Corporate Services as Monitoring Officer summarising a number of issues for consideration.

 

Code of Conduct

 

At its last meeting, the Committee had agreed that no changes were needed to the Code of Conduct except that a Member with a disclosable pecuniary interest should be allowed to remain in a meeting provided that they did not address the Committee where that right would be available to a member of the public.

 

One area where the Code could be made more consistent was in the issue of declaration of non-pecuniary, personal interests. Bromley’s Code of Conduct went beyond the statutory provision in requiring Members to register a range of personal interests and gifts and hospitality. Although most Members routinely declared such interests when they arose in meetings, there was no requirement to do so in the Council’s Code of Conduct. The Committee concluded that the current Code of Conduct worked well and there was no need to make a further change. It was suggested that a print-out of the Register of Interests could be brought to each meeting so that it could be inspected by members of the public.

 

It was confirmed that new Councillors would be provided with a copy of the Code of Conduct.

 

RESOLVED that no further changes to the Code of conduct be recommended.

 

Registration of Gifts and Hospitality

 

The Committee received a schedule (Appendix A to the report) setting out all gifts and hospitality declarations made by Councillors in the current Council – from May 2014. It was suggested that the Committee should review these declarations at their meetings on a regular basis. Committee Members commented that in some cases it was not clear who had provided hospitality – this was as important as the date, the event and the value. It was also suggested that there should be a RAG system linked to different values of hospitality received. 

 

RESOLVED that the declarations of Gifts and Hospitality made since May 2014 be noted.

 

Review of Local Government Ethical Standards

 

The Committee on Standards in Public Life was conducting a stakeholder review of local government ethical standards and was carrying out a public consultation closing on 18th May 2018. The Standards Committee was asked to consider whether Bromley should respond to the consultation, and whether there were any areas of particular concern.

 

The Committee considered that the main area of concern was the lack of sanctions open to Standards Committees, and the potential reliance on party groups to suspend or discipline their Members. There were criminal penalties for serious failures to register or declare disclosable pecuniary interests, but the vast majority of complaints against Members were fairly trivial and often related to issues where the complainant was not happy with a Council decision, or where Councillors had, legitimately, expressed a strong view on an issue. The Monitoring Officer highlighted that Councillors were not disqualified from office if convicted of a criminal offence unless given a sentence,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDED

The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of confidential information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business referred to below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

 

The following summary

refers to matters

involving exempt information

 

16.

MONITORING OFFICER'S GENERAL REPORT - APPENDIX D: COMPLAINTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered a part 2 appendix containing details of complaints received about individual councillors.

 

As this was the last meeting before the local elections, the Chairman offered his thanks to everyone present for their work.

 

 

Original Text: