To receive a verbal update from the Head of Legal Services.
A copy of the report which was considered at Council on 22 November 2017 is attached for information.
The committee received the report that had been submitted to Council on the change to the procedures for handling and hearing complaints against elected and co-opted members.
1. That the changes had been agreed at Council on 22 November 2017, subject to further clarification at the next meeting of the Councillor Conduct Committee.
2. Members were re-assured that the change would just permit the Monitoring Officer to continue investigating a complaint, even if it had been withdrawn, but that all the existing procedures following any investigation would still apply. The change would not make a difference to any aspect of the complaints handling process. It was anticipated that this situation would not occur very often.
To receive a report including references from the Councillor Conduct Committee on changes to the procedure for handling complaints against councillors and co-opted members. (Report No: 100)
Council is asked to agree to the changes put forward in the report.
Councillor Stewart moved and Councillor Achilleas Georgiou seconded a report of the Head of Legal Services reviewing the Councillor Code of Conduct procedures for handling complaints against elected members and co-opted members. (Report No: 100)
1. The recommendations had been agreed and put forward following a review of the procedures by the Councillor Conduct Committee.
2. The main change was to enable the Monitoring Officer to pursue complaints of a serious nature even where they may have been withdrawn by the complainant.
3. The Opposition suggested that further detail on this was required and suggested that the recommendations should be agreed, subject to further discussion at the Councillor Conduct Committee.
1. To approve a change to the Councillor Code of Conduct procedures for handling complaints against elected and co-opted members to enable the Monitoring Officer to pursue complaints if she/he thinks that these warrant further investigation, even if they have been withdrawn. The full text of the change is included in paragraph 3.5 of the report.
2. To include the procedure for hearing complaints (as attached as Appendix 2 to this report) as an appendix to the Councillor Code of Conduct in the Council Constitution.
(This was agreed subject to further discussion on the wording around what determines a matter to be taken forward.)