Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Monday, 19th June, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne

Contact: Amy Bryan  Governance and Civic Manager

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Clive Moesby.


Urgent Items of Business

To note any urgent items of business which the Chair has consented to being considered under the provisions of Section 100(B) 4(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business to be considered at the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:


a)  any business on the agenda

b)  any urgent additional items to be considered

c)  any matters arising out of those items

and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.


Members were requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or other interests, not already on their register of interests, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.


There were no declarations made at the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 197 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 20th February 2023.


Moved by Councillor Justin Gilbody and seconded by Councillor Anne Clark

RESOLVED that the minutes of a meeting of the Standards Committee held on 20th February 2023 be approved as a true and correct record.


Draft Annual Standards Committee Report pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Additional documents:


Committee consider a draft Annual Report on the work it had undertaken during the municipal year 2022/23.  It was intended that the report be presented to Council on 2nd August 2023.


Moved by Councillor Louise Fox and seconded by Councillor Anne Clarke

RESOLVED that the Committee’s Annual Report be approved.      


RIPA Update


The Monitoring Officer provided an update on the Council’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which governed the use of covert surveillance by public bodies.  It was confirmed that no applications had been made during 2022/23 to use RIPA.


Review of the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a report in relation to areas for review within the Council’s Constitution.


The following areas had been identified for review at this meeting.


Junior Executive Members


The Leader of the Council had proposed the introduction of the role of Junior Executive Member.  The report set out the details of this new role.  Article 7 of Part 2 of the Constitution, which set out detail of the Executive would need to be amended to include details of the Junior Executive Member.  A revised version of Article 7 was attached to the report at Appendix 1.


In answer to a question the Monitoring Officer confirmed that it would be up to the Leader of the Council to appoint Councillors to this new role.


Access to Information Rules


The Access to Information Rules within the Constitution set out how the public could attend Council meetings, committees and the Executive and how they could access agendas, reports and minutes.  Following a review of these rules there were a number of omissions and points of clarification that needed to be addressed.  Of specific note were the changes to Rule 4.2.12, which would now place the responsibility for determining whether a report should be exempt with the Monitoring Officer.  A revised version of the Access to Information Rules was attached to the report at Appendix 2.


Scrutiny Procedure Rules


Following the separation of the Audit and Scrutiny functions, officers had taken the opportunity to complete a full review of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules.  The review highlighted that some sections required amendment to ensure they fully reflected current legislation and local operating procedures.  A revised version of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules was attached to the report at Appendix 3.


Councillor Call for Action (CCfA)


As part of the review officers had found that reference to the CCfA procedure had been omitted from the current version of the Constitution.  Furthermore, due to changes in legislation the original CCfA required minor amendments.  A revised Councillor Call for Action was now included within Appendix 3 to the report.


Executive/Scrutiny Protocol


Within the revised Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities, guidance was given on the creation of an Executive/Scrutiny Protocol.  As part of the review of scrutiny procedures a protocol had been created, the aim of which was to outline practical expectations of the relationships between Scrutiny Members and the Executive.  The proposed Executive/Scrutiny Protocol for insertion into the Constitution at 4.5.21 within Part 4.5 was attached to the report at Appendix 4.


Members Roles and Responsibilities


The current document omitted the role of a Scrutiny Member, so this had now been added.  In addition, the role and responsibilities of the Vice-Chair of the Council had been added for clarity, and the new role of Junior Executive Member had also been included.  A revised Members Roles and Responsibilities section was attached to the report at Appendix 5.




There was currently a slight discrepancy between the two parts of the Constitution  ...  view the full minutes text for item STA7-23/24


Complaints Update pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Update on complaints received by the Council against District and Parish Councillors


Committee considered a report which set out the figures for complaints made against Members during 2022/23.  The Monitoring Officer reported that 17 complaints had been received, 14 of which had been against Parish Councillors.  For most of the complaints there had only been a minor breach of the Code of Conduct, or it had not been in the public interest to pursue the complaint further.  The most common complaint was regarding Councillors being disrespectful to another Councillor or member of the public, either in person, at a meeting or increasingly, on social media.


The Monitoring Officer stated that a future training offer to Parish Councils would likely include training on the use of social media.