Agenda and draft minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee
Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Room 1, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Penelope Williams 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Christine Hamilton and Councillor Ergin Erbil.

2.

Substitutions

Any members who wishes to appoint a substitute for this meeting must notify the Monitoring Officer in writing, before the beginning of the meeting, of the intended substitution.

 

Any notifications received will be reported at the meeting. 

Minutes:

Councillor Tolga Aramaz stood in as substitute for Councillor Ergin Erbil who was unable to attend the meeting as he had been a witness in the investigation.   

3.

Declaration of Interests

Members area asked to declare any interests relating to items on the agenda. 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest. 

4.

Appeal Hearing pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To carry out a hearing in relation to an appeal against a Monitoring Officer decision on a councillor complaint.  (Report No: 86)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Monitoring Officer (Report No: 86) with details of the appeal against a monitoring officer decision on a breach of the Councillor Code of Conduct by Councillor Caliskan, Leader of the Council.

 

Jayne Middleton Albooye (Deputy Monitoring Officer) set out the process for an appeal: 

 

·         Presentation of the Monitoring Officer’s Investigation report including any representations, the view of the independent person and with an opportunity for the committee to ask questions.

·         Consideration of the evidence by the committee. 

·         Agreement of the outcome and if there was confirmation that a breach of the code had occurred consider what sanctions should be imposed. 

 

1.            Presentation of the Monitoring Officer’s Investigation Report

 

1.1         Jeremy Chambers, Monitoring Officer highlighted the following: 

 

1.1.1    A complaint had been received from Councillor Brett on the 11 January 2019 alleging that Councillor Caliskan undermined her in front of officers and members, wrote to her and behaved in an intimidating manner and made it very difficult for Councillor Brett to perform her role as Cabinet Member for Public Health.

 

1.1.2    Councillor Brett alleged that Councillor Caliskan breached a number of the expectations of the Members Code of Conduct, as follows: -

 

a.    paragraph 8.8 (respect for others),

b.    paragraph 11 (conduct yourself in a manner which will maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the authority and never undertake any action which would bring the Authority, you or members or officers generally into disrepute),

c.    paragraph 12.1 (treat others with respect and courtesy), and

d.    paragraph 12.2(b) (not bully any person).

 

1.1.3    The Monitoring Officer considered the complaint in accordance with Council procedures, was satisfied that it fell within the remit of the Code of Conduct and merited investigation. He said that he was and remained completely satisfied that the issue of Cllr Caliskan’s conduct was a matter that could be properly considered under the Code of Conduct. 

 

1.1.4    In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Monitoring Officer sought the views of one of the two Independent Persons appointed to deal with member conduct.  For this complaint Sarah Jewell was consulted.  On 15th January 2019 Sarah Jewell agreed that the complaint should be referred for further investigation. 

 

1.1.5    The Council’s Constitution allowed him to carry out the investigation himself as Monitoring Officer or, as in this case, appoint another person to carry out the investigation in his name.  On 22nd January 2019 he appointed Frances Woodhead of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP as Investigating Officer to carry out an investigation in to the complaint.  Frances Woodhead was an experienced and well-respected public-sector lawyer used to dealing with complaints under the Code of Conduct.

 

1.2         Frances Woodhead presented her report, highlighting the following: 

 

1.2.1    She had considered a number of documents included with the complaint and had interviewed Councillor Brett, Councillor Caliskan (the Leader), Councillor Anderson (the Deputy Leader at the time),  Councillor Orhan, Councillor Erbil (the Whip), Councillor Pite and Jeremy Chambers (Monitoring Officer). 

 

1.2.2    The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To receive and agree the minutes of the previous meeting. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 July 2019 were agreed as a correct record. 

6.

Dates of Future meetings

To note the dates agreed for future meetings of the committee:

 

·         Wednesday 4 December 2019

·         Tuesday 3 March 2020

Minutes:

NOTED the dates agreed for future meetings as follows:

 

·         Wednesday 4 December 2019

·         Tuesday 3 March 2020