Agenda and minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee - Monday, 11th December, 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: Room 2, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Penelope Williams 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Introductions were made and the Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Elaine Hayward. 



Any member 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.


There were no substitutions. 


Declaration of Interests

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relating to items on the agenda. 


There were no declarations of interest. 


Appeal Hearing pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider a report including information on an appeal against a decision taken by the Monitoring Officer on a complaint received about a councillor.  (Report No:124)

Additional documents:


The Committee received the report of the Monitoring Officer setting out the details of the complaint received from Mrs Kate Leach against Councillor Daniel Anderson and the subsequent appeal from Mrs Leach.  (Report No: 124). 


1.               The former interim Monitoring Officer presented her report to the Committee highlighting the following:


·       The original complaint had been received by Asmat Hussain, the former Monitoring Officer, within the required 3 months. 


·       Asmat Hussain had asked Jill Bayley, principal lawyer, to carry out an internal investigation into the original complaint, on her behalf. She had also consulted Sarah Jewell as Independent Person. 


·       Having reviewed the investigation report, Jayne Middleton Albooye had agreed to uphold the recommendations made, that Councillor Anderson had not been in breach of the Councillor Code of Conduct. 


·       The “to follow” documents included comments from the complainant in support of her appeal. 


2.               Jill Bayley highlighted the following from her independent investigation report: 


·       Two sets of interviews had been carried out.  The first with Councillor Anderson, Mr George Dunnion and Mrs Kate Leach and the second with Stephen Genus, the caretaker at Garfield School and David Taylor, Head of Traffic and Transportation at Enfield Council.  David Taylor who had had responsibility for the disputed decision.

·       Councillor Anderson had been asked to apologise at an early stage in the investigation but had not consented to do so. 

·       In relation to the first allegation on lack of accountability, she had had at first had some concern that Councillor Anderson had not accepted that he had to be accountable, stating at one point “I don’t have to be accountable”.  This had been queried by Jayne Middleton Albooye in a later interview and Jill Bayley had subsequently felt that Councillor Anderson had misunderstood her questioning and that he did fully accept accountability for the decision he had taken in his role as a Cabinet Member, but was not accountable to Mrs Leach, as a ward councillor, as he was not her ward councillor.  Jill Bayley had concluded that Councillor Anderson had felt that he had been following correct procedures. 

·       In relation to the second allegation on the lack of openness, the investigation had revealed that there had been several conversations between officers and Councillor Anderson, between officers and Mrs Leach, a meeting with ward councillors and that information on the decision and the reasons behind it had been provided to residents.  Although Councillor Anderson may not have responded in the most appropriate manner, Jill Bayley concluded that there had been not a deliberate attempt to avoid openness. 

·       In relation to the third allegation on lack of respect and courtesy it had been clear that the incident had been heated and had escalated quickly, but Jill Bayley concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Councillor Anderson had acted in a way which showed a lack of respect.  There had also been evidence that he had tried to calm things down. 

·       In relation to the fourth allegation of bullying, Jill Bayley concluded that there was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 401.


Update on Complaints pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To receive an update from the Monitoring Officer on complaints currently being considered.


Rolling record attached. 


The Committee received the rolling record of complaints currently being considered by the Monitoring Officer. 


Jayne Middleton-Albooye (Head of Legal Services and Deputy Monitoring Officer) advised the Committee that it had been agreed with Jeremy Chambers, the new Monitoring Officer that she would complete the complaints which had started under her tenure and that Jeremy Chambers would take over any new complaints. 


Jayne Middleton-Albooye briefed members on the complaints currently under consideration as follows: 


·       Complain 001 – The complaint was now closed.  The decision had been taken that there had been no breach of the councillor code of conduct, members and complainant notified and no appeal received. 


·       Complaint 002 - The investigation was continuing as a further interview had still to be arranged.  If this could not be done by the end of the first week of January 2018, then the Jeremy Chambers, as the new Monitoring Officer, would make a decision on the case. 


·       Complaint 005 - Jayne Middleton-Albooye had re-interviewed the members.  She apologised for the delay in progressing this, due to pressure of work. 


·       Complaint 006 - The appeal against the monitoring officer’s decision had just been heard. 


·       Complaint 007 - The case was now closed. 


·       Complaint 008 - Interviews had taken place and Jayne Middleton-Albooye would be reporting her findings to Jeremy Chambers. 


NOTED that


1.               Jayne Middleton-Albooye apologised for not providing the costs of the Brown Jacobson investigations and promised to do so.  The information would be circulated to all members of the committee as soon as available.   


AGREED to note the information on current complaints.      


Review of Member's Expenses pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer containing additional information on member expenses for 2016/17 as requested by members at the meeting held in March 2017.


The committee received a report from the Monitoring Officer containing the additional information on 2016/17 member expenses, as requested by members at the meeting held in March 2017. 


AGREED to note the information provided. 


Change to the Procedure for Handling Complaints against Councillors and Co-opted Members pdf icon PDF 217 KB

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. 

Additional documents:


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.  


Work programme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To note the work programme agreed for 2017/18.


The work programme for 2017/18 was received and noted.  No further items were added. 


Minutes of Meeting held on 5 October 2017 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive and agree the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2017 as a correct record. 


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2017 were agreed as a correct record. 


Dates of Future Meetings

Members are asked to note the dates agreed for future meetings:


·       Tuesday 6 March 2017


The date of the next meeting was noted as follows:


·       Tuesday 6 March 2017