Agenda and draft minutes

Standards Committee - Monday, 11th January, 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Neil Carr  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Note: Virtual Meeting 

Media

Items
No. Item

36.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

37.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 October 2020.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 October 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.

 

Note: Prue Bray expressed concern that the meeting had originally been arranged for 7pm (as set out in the Agenda) but had subsequently been rearranged to commence at 7.30pm.

38.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

39.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions. A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice. The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this Committee.

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited members of the public to submit questions.

 

39.1

Philip Meadowcroft asked the following question of the Chairman:

Minutes:

 

What arrangements are in place for Councillors to be trained in fulfilling their duties and understanding the various protocols in the Borough’s Constitution where they apply to the conduct of Councillors?

 

Answer

The Standards Committee aims to achieve the highest ethical standards in line with the seven principles of public life. Newly elected Councillors receive induction training which outlines the standards of behaviour required and the importance of establishing and maintaining the trust of residents. The training also covers areas such as the declaration of personal and prejudicial interests, access to information and the Member/Officer protocol. Supplementary guidance is also provided on common issues which arise through the investigation of complaints. As an example, the development of guidance on the use and misuse of social media is currently under consideration.

 

Supplementary Question

In my question I referred to the protocols in place. Please can you guide me through Paragraph 9.1.1 a) of the Constitution?

 

Supplementary Answer

I will have to provide you with a written answer.

 

Note: Prue Bray expressed concern as she did not believe that the question had been circulated to Members prior to the meeting, nor was it available for public inspection.

40.

Member Question Time

To answer any Member questions.

Minutes:

There were no Member questions.

41.

Parish / Town Council Question Time

To answer any questions from Parish/Town Councillors.

Minutes:

There were no questions from Town or Parish Council Members.

42.

Consultation on the WBC Code of Conduct for Councillors pdf icon PDF 287 KB

To consider the responses received in relation to the public consultation on proposed changes to the Code of Conduct for Councillors.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages7 to 22, which gave details of a public consultation on proposed changes to the Code of Conduct for Councillors.

 

At this point (7.50pm) Imogen Shepherd-Dubey raised a point of order in relation to the Committee’s composition and the implications of Paragraph 9.1.1 of the Council’s Constitution (as referenced in the public question from Philip Meadowcroft).

 

On the advice of the Monitoring Officer, the meeting ended in order to allow further consideration of the Constitutional issue raised.

43.

Update on Complaints and Feedback pdf icon PDF 280 KB

To consider an update on progress relating to the investigation of Code of Conduct complaints and any wider training issues arising.

Minutes:

This item was not considered.