Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Graham Walton  020 84617743

Items
No. Item

12.

TO APPOINT A CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN FOR 2019/20

Minutes:

Councillor Will Harmer and Councillor Vanessa Allen were appointed Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the 2019/20 Council year.

13.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Michael Tickner and Dr Simon Davey.

14.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

15.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 22 JANUARY 2019 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd January 2019 be confirmed.

16.

QUESTIONS

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. 

 

Questions specifically on reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 3rd July 2019.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

17.

MONITORING OFFICER'S GENERAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD19098

 

The Committee received a report from the Monitoring Officer setting out a number of issues for consideration. The Independent Person, Dr Simon Davey, had sent in some comments on the report which were tabled for consideration.

 

(A) Independent Persons

 

The Committee received an update on progress with recruiting additional Independent Persons. Advertisements earlier in the year had failed to attract any applications; Members proposed advertising in a wider range of locations and suggested looking amongst different categories of potential recruits, such as honorary aldermen, religious groups and residents associations, although it was a requirement that Independent Persons should not be actively engaged in politics or local campaigning. 

 

Members also suggested that the advertisement could be made more attractive and direct.

 

(B) Committee for Standards in Public Life - Local Government Ethical Standards Report (January 2019)

 

The report of the Committee for Standards in Public Life on “Local Government Ethical Standards” had been published on 30th January 2019. The report reflected the Committee’s concerns that there was a lack of effective sanctions in the current standards regime, other than the criminal sanctions relating to Declarable pecuniary Interests. The Committee for Standards in Public Life made 26 formal recommendations, most of which were addressed to government and required legislation, but also proposed 15 “best practice” recommendations which could be implemented by local authorities. One of the recommendations (25) was that party groups at local and national level should require that formal induction training be compulsory, and a Member considered that compulsion was not a helpful approach. It was proposed that work on the best practice recommendations in the Committee’s report be fed into a wider review of the Council’s Code of Conduct.

 

Members discussed the requirement that their home addresses be published on the Council website as part of their Declaration of Interest. These addresses could be taken down temporarily if there was a genuine threat to a Councillor or their family, but otherwise this was a clear statutory requirement. 

 

The Committee discussed how high ethical standards could be promoted beyond the formal realm of Council meetings at group meetings. This was an area where group leaders could be effective in encouraging good practice and integrity of decision making.

 

The peer review of Bromley’s planning committees by the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) had made reference to the Standards Committee’s role on monitoring and advising on training of planning committee members. It was noted that a report on the recommendations arising from the Review was expected to be considered by the Development Control Committee at its meeting on 23rd July 2019. The Chairman offered to speak to the Chairman of Development Control Committee before their meeting, and a special meeting of this Committee could be called if necessary.  Members requested that the PAS Report be circulated to the Committee members. 

 

Bromley’s Code of Conduct was based on a model code proposed by the Department for Communities and Local Government following the Localism Act 2011. Bromley had voluntarily opted to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

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 summaries

refer to matters

involving exempt information

 

19.

MONITORING OFFICER'S GENERAL REPORT: APPENDICES

Minutes:

The Committee considered part 2 appendices containing details of whistle-blowing cases and complaints received against individual councillors since the last meeting on 22nd January 2019.

 

Original Text: