Agenda and draft minutes

Standards (Determination) Sub Committee - Friday, 28th February, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Wykeham Room, The Guildhall, Winchester

Contact: David Blakemore, Democratic Services Team Manager  Tel: 01962 848 217 Email:  dblakemore@winchester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairperson

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

                        That Councillor Becker be appointed Chairperson for the meeting.

2.

Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure of interests from Members and Officers in matters to be discussed.

 

Note:  Councillors are reminded of their obligations to declare disclosable pecuniary interests, or personal and prejudicial interests, in accordance with the Code of Conduct.  If you require advice, please contact the appropriate Democratic Services Officer, prior to the meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Chairperson advised that both she and the other two members of the Sub- Committee knew the Councillor who was subject of the complaint, but were not close acquaintances and so this did not preclude them from considering the item.

 

3.

To endorse the procedure for the hearing (see attached) pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

                        The Sub- Committee agreed to endorse the procedure as circulated with the agenda for the hearing.

4.

Exempt Business

To consider whether in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

To pass a resolution that the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business because it is likely that, if members of the public were present, there would be disclosure to them of 'exempt information' as defined by Section 100 (I) and Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

 

 

Item - 6                                                                                                    Para No 1

 of Schedule12A

to the Act giving description of

exempt information giving rise

to the exclusion of the public

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

1.         That in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

2.         That the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business because it is likely that, if members of the public were present, there would be disclosure to them of ‘exempt information’ as defined by Section 100I and Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

 

Minute

Number

Item

 

Description of

Exempt Information

 

 

 

 

 

Complaint relating to a City Councillor

 

)

)

)

)

 

Information relating to any individual. (Para 1 Schedule 12A refers)

 

 

 

5.

Complaint made against a City Councillor

Minutes:

(Report SSC050 refers)

 

The role of officers present at the hearing was explained. These were the Investigating Officer and Monitoring Officer (Lisa Kirkman), Deputy Monitoring Officer (Catherine Knight) and Legal Advisor (Fiona Sutherland). The Independent Person (Michael Cronin) would provide assistance to the Sub- Committee during its determination but would not take part in its decision. The Councillor subject of the complaint was accompanied by another Councillor to provide support throughout the hearing. Also present was the complainant (who was a witness of the Investigating Officer) and a companion to provide support to her.

 

The Standards (Determination) Sub- Committee considered the complaint received by the Monitoring Officer and the information and evidence as set out in Report SSC050 and in line with the procedure adopted by the Sub- Committee, it heard evidence from those present.

 

The relevant Code of Conduct and arrangements for considering complaints were included as appendices to the report. As the complaint had been received before the Council had adopted its current Constitution (and Code of Conduct therein) in May 2019, the previous Code and processes related to that code applied. Therefore all references and any breaches of the Code were those of the Code of Conduct as it stood at that time.

 

The Sub- Committee considered the report of the Investigating Officer (as set in Report SSC050) and determined that further consideration should be taken in exempt session, by virtue of Paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as the matter was about a person and personal details and information pertinent to that person (the complainant).

 

The Sub- Committee agreed that as the personal information in the report related to the complainant who was also a witness of the Investigating Officer, she and her companion could remain throughout the meeting if they wished.

 

In summary, the Sub- Committee concluded that a number of breaches of the Code of Conduct as it stood at the time had taken place (details set out in the attached Decision Notice).

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That, in respect of the complaint relating to a Winchester City Councillor, the findings of the Standards (Determinations) Sub -Committee be as set out in the Decision Notice attached to the minutes.

 

 

 

Chairperson

 

 

The meeting commenced at 2pm and concluded at 4.35pm (adjourned between 2.40pm until 2.55pm for a comfort break and then retired to consider its findings in private between 3.05pm and 4.30pm)

 

 

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