Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council - Audit and Governance (Assessment) Sub-Committee
Tuesday, 17th September, 2019 12.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room A/B, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester, DT1 1EE

Contact: Lindsey Watson  01305 252209 - Email: lindsey.watson@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

Change to membership of Assessment Sub-committee

It was noted that Councillor Gray had taken the place of Councillor Christopher on the sub-committee.

1.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the meeting.

Minutes:

Councillor Parkes was elected Chairman for the meeting of the sub-committee.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

As a general point, the Monitoring Officer noted that Dorset Council councillors who served on town and parish councils would not be precluded from considering a Code of Conduct complaint in respect of a councillor of that Council, merely for being a member of the same council.  Likewise, they would not be precluded from considering a complaint against a Dorset Council councillor.  An issue would only occur if the councillor had been a witness to or party to the events associated with the complaint.

 

Councillor Parkes confirmed that he was not present at the meeting referred to in one of the complaints to be considered on the agenda.

3.

Assessment Sub-committee Terms of Reference and Dorset Council Member Complaint Process pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To note the Sub-Committee’s terms of reference:

 

Audit and Governance (Assessment) Sub-Committees for the consideration of Code of Conduct issues

(a)  The Audit and Governance Committee shall arrange that, to the extent it is called upon to determine any allegation relating to a Member Code of Code (including that of a Town Council or a Parish Council), the determination shall be made by a Sub-Committee of the Audit and Governance Committee. An Audit and Governance Sub-Committee with such responsibility may include non-Members. An Audit and Governance Sub-Committee that has non-Members forming part of it shall not have any power relating to the regulation and/or control of the finances of the Council.

(b)  Substitutes may only be appointed to an Audit and Governance Sub- Committee from the membership of the Audit and Governance Committee. There shall be no power to appoint non-Member substitutes.

 

 

To note the Dorset Council Member Complaints Process (attached).

Minutes:

All present noted the Assessment Sub-committee Terms of Reference and Dorset Council Member Complaint process.

4.

Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

5.

Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following items in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 1 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the items of business are considered.

Minutes:

Decision

 

That the press and the public be excluded for the following items in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraphs 1 and 2 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

6.

Code of Conduct Complaint 1 - Exempt

To consider an exempt report by the Monitoring Officer. NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Minutes:

The sub-committee noted two complaints that had been received by the Monitoring Officer and considered the information that had been provided including a copy of the relevant council’s code of conduct.

 

Decision

 

That the allegations are investigated by a person to be appointed by the Monitoring Officer.

 

 

7.

Code of Conduct Complaint 2 - Exempt

To consider an exempt report by the Monitoring Officer. NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Minutes:

The sub-committee noted a complaint made against two councillors that had been received by the Monitoring Officer and considered the information that had been provided including the report provided by an independent person appointed by Dorset Council.

 

Decision

 

That the Monitoring Officer write to the complainant informing them that in line with the recommendations of an independent person, no action is to be taken to investigate the complaint.

8.

Code of Conduct Complaint 3 - Exempt

To consider an exempt report by the Monitoring Officer. NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Minutes:

The sub-committee noted a complaint that had been received by the Monitoring Officer and considered the information that had been provided including the report of an independent person appointed by Dorset Council.

 

Decision

 

That the allegations are investigated by a person to be appointed by the Monitoring Officer.

9.

Update on the outcome of Code of Conduct Complaint referred to Dorset Police - Exempt

To consider an exempt report by the Monitoring Officer. NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Minutes:

The sub-committee received an update on a complaint which had been considered by an Assessment Sub-committee on 28 June 2019.

 

Decision

 

That the sub-committee endorse the decision of the Monitoring Officer to take no further action in relation to the complaint.