Agenda and draft minutes

Councillor Conduct Committee - Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Metin Halil 

Items
No. Item

8.

Welcome and Apologies

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. 

 

No apologies for absence were received.

9.

Substitutions

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. 

Minutes:

There were no substiutions for this meeting. 

10.

Declaration of Interests

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

Minutes:

There were no declaration of interests. 

11.

Appeal Hearing - Part 2 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To carry out a hearing in relation to an appeal against a Monitoring Officer decision on a councillor complaint.

 

The appendices attached to this agenda are confidential and cannot be shared beyond the members of the committee and Councillor Anderson.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee agreed to move the discussions into Part 2.

 

The Committee received the report of the Monitoring Officer with details of the appeal against a Monitoring Officer decision on a Councillor Code of Conduct complaint against Councillor Daniel Anderson.

 

1.            Introduction by the Monitoring Officer

 

1.1         Jeremy Chambers, Monitoring Officer, highlighted the following: 

I)     On 27th September 2019, having been made aware of complaints by officers, Ian Davis, Chief Executive, in accordance with Protocol for Member/Officer Relations, wrote to Councillor Nesil Caliskan, Leader of the Labour Group to let her know that complaints had been received about Councillor Anderson and asking that she seek to resolve the complaints informally. 

II)    The Protocol for Member/Officer Relations states, at paragraph 7.3:

“If an employee considers that they have been treated inappropriately by a councillor, they should raise the matter with their line manager or Director. The manager or Director will as appropriate discuss the matter with the member concerned or the party whip or group leader. If the matter directly relates to a group leader, the Chief Executive will be notified”

III)  The Complaint was referred to the Monitoring Officer on 7 October 2019 in line with paragraph 7.4 of the Protocol for Member/Officer Relations.

IV)  In accordance with the Constitution the Monitoring Officer:

a.    Considered whether the complaint fell within the Council’s Code of Conduct or should be rejected; and

b.    Sought the views of one of the Independent Persons, Christine Chamberlain, appointed to deal with member conduct.

V)   Christine Chamberlain shared the view of the Monitoring Officer that the complaint should be referred for investigation.

VI)  The Constitution allows for the investigation to be carried out by Jeremy Chambers as Monitoring Officer or to appoint another person to carry out the investigation in the Monitoring Officer’s name. On 18 October 2019, Jayne Middleton-Albooye, Head of Legal Services and Deputy Monitoring Officer, was appointed as the Investigating Officer to carry out the investigation of the complaint.

 

2.            The Investigating Officer’s Report

 

Jayne Middleton-Albooye, the investigating officer, presented her report, highlighting the following: 

I)       That in October 2019, she had been asked by the Monitoring Officer to investigate this complaint on his behalf.

II)     That all parties were interviewed separately and that notes were taken, which were e-mailed to each party for verification. She advised that she sent the notes to the persons interviewed to ensure they accurately reflected what was said and took any amendments or additions into account. Furthermore, following her interview with Councillor Anderson, she felt it important to re-interview several of the witnesses, again separately, to test their evidence and to put to them, Councillor Anderson’s view of events.

III)    That following the investigation she assessed the evidence and reached her conclusions using the balance of probabilities, finding that there had been a breach of sections 8 and 12 of the Members Code of Conduct.

IV)   Whilst conducting the investigation Jayne had been mindful of the Council’s Constitution and the Member/Officer Protocol. Additionally, she took into account  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Appeal Hearing - Part 1

Minutes:

 

The Committee agreed to move the discussions into Part 2.

 

AGREED:  to uphold the Monitoring Officer’s original decision that a breach of

the Members Code of Conduct had occurred and the sanctions that were

imposed. If Councillor Anderson wished to contact the Local Government

Ombudsman as regards his complaint, he was free to do so.

 

Councillor Vince and Councillor Hayward asked for their abstentions to be

recorded.