Venue: Remote - To be held remotely via Zoom - https://www.youtube.com/user/NottCityCouncil. View directions
Contact: Nancy Barnard
Apologies for Absence
Malcolm Townroe – On Leave
Declarations of Interest
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2019
The minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Report of the Director of Legal and Governance
Beth Brown, Head of Legal and Governance and Deputy Monitoring Officer introduced the report which invited the Committee to consider a draft response to the Local Government Association’s consultation on a new model Code of Conduct. During the discussion the following points were raised:
· Key changes to the Code include:
o The application of the Code to all forms of communication explicitly including social media,
o Replacing the word respect with the word civility,
o Including a definition of bullying and harassment,
o Extending the obligation to declare interests to include the financial interests or wellbeing of a friend, relative or close associate in addition to the councillor’s own interests and those of their spouse or partner,
o Introducing a rebuttable presumption that Councillors are acting in their capacity as a councillor at all times,
o Imposing a bar on attending committee meetings for up to two months.
· The introduction of additional sanctions would require revisions to legislation.
· The Committee agreed the following amendments to the draft response:
o The inclusion of the Committee’s support for the presumption that Councillors should abide by the Code at all times,
o A preference for “Councillors should” rather than “I will” in the model Code,
o To support the inclusion of the £25 threshold for the value of gifts or hospitality that must be declared,
o The inclusion of guidance on discrimination, and
o The inclusion of a more rigorous definition of ‘other interests” including preferment.
(1) Approve the draft response to the consultation subject to amendments based on the comments outlined above, and
(2) Delegate authority to the Chair of the Committee to approve the final draft for submission to the Local Government Association.
Report of the Dircetor of Legal and Governance
Nancy Barnard, Governance and Electoral Services Manager, introduced the report, covering the following issues:
· The majority of complaints received since the last meeting of the committee have been allegations that councillors have failed to respond to contact from citizens.
· All complaints have been investigated and all but one have been resolved informally.
· One complaint remains outstanding as further information is awaited from the complainant.
Resolved to note the contents of the report.
Date of next meeting
10:30 on Friday 22 January 2021
Resolved to meet at 10:30am on Friday 22 January 2021.