Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Wednesday, 21st June, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA

Contact: Alexa Coates, Head of Committee and Management Support  Tel: 020 8770 5094 | Email:  alexa.coates@sutton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATION OF SUBSTITUTES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Ifat Shah.

2.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2016.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2016 were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS,

brought forward at the direction of the chair, who has approved the reason for the urgency.

Minutes:

No urgent business was raised.

5.

Operation of the Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 110 KB

A function of the Council’s Standards Committee is to receive reports on the operation of the member Code of Conduct at Sutton. The purpose of this report is to update the committee on complaints which have been received and dealt with since the last meeting held on 14 December 2016.

Minutes:

Jessica Crowe, Monitoring Officer, presented the report which updated the committee on complaints which have been received and dealt with since the last meeting.

 

At the discretion of the Chair, a member of the public who had raised a complaint was invited to speak. The resident expressed dissatisfaction at how general complaints are dealt with by the Council and the clarity of that procedure, requesting greater openness and transparency in this respect.

 

In response, the Monitoring Officer explained the narrow remit of the Standards Committee under legislation and agreed to look at the clarification of information available online. Mr David Wales, Independent Member, repeated a previous request to ensure that complaints about the Council are dealt with correctly. Members further discussed the timescales of complaints raised and the Monitoring Officer proposed to bring information on Key Customer Care Performance Indicators to the Standards Committee.

 

Members commented upon the public question procedure at local committees in respect of one complaint. The Monitoring Officer reminded Members of the Chair’s discretion in setting indicative timings for the agenda and inviting contributions from residents, particularly at local committees. She also noted that cross-party discussions were taking place on possible constitutional changes, which provided a forum for procedural improvements to be raised and consensus reached.

 

Finally, the Committee discussed independent investigation options and the alternative channels that existed to review and challenge Council decisions.

 

Those present noted the report.

6.

Member Development Update pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the Council's member development programme, setting out how the Council is ensuring that all members are fully aware of their obligation to follow the Nolan Principles and to uphold the code of conduct at all times in their behaviour as elected members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Fiona Bywaters, Committee Services Team Leader, presented the report which updated the committee on member development programme and events scheduled since the last meeting.

 

In response, Members discussed the respective advantages and disadvantages of becoming more of a paperless Council. It was proposed by the Monitoring Officer to include one-to-one technology training as part of the induction 2018 to ensure Members are fully able to carry out their duties.

 

Members welcomed the survey proposed under Paragraph 4.7 and further discussed mandatory training as well as the new initiative to record member development sessions.

 

Those present noted the report.

7.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Committee will be on 13 September 2017.

Minutes:

The next meeting will be on 13 September 2017.