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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

3.

Announcements

When the continuous alarm sounds you must evacuate the building by the nearest available fire exit. Members and visitors should proceed to the visitors’ car park at the front of the building and await further instructions (during office hours staff should proceed to their usual assembly point; outside of office hours proceed to the visitors’ car park). Please do not re-enter the building unless instructed to do so.

 

In the event of a fire any person with a disability should be assisted in leaving the building.

Minutes:

3.1             The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was advised to those present.  

4.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

4.1             An apology for absence was received from Independent Person, Mr M Jauch.  

5.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

5.1             The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

5.2             There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

6.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meetings held on 21 March 2016 and 17 May 2016, the Special meetings held on 27 June 2016 and 22 November 2016 and the meeting on 16 May 2017.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1             The Minutes of the meetings held on 21 March 2016, 17 May 2016, 16 May 2017 and the special meetings held on 27 June 2016 and 22 November 2016, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

6.2             Referring to the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2016, a Member questioned whether the Protocol for Councillors and Officers Involved in the Planning Process was working well. In response, the Monitoring Officer indicated that the Protocol was effective as could be seen through the Planning Committee meetings. A new procedure had also been implemented which meant any new Officers who had any involvement with planning had to sign to say they had read the Protocol and would comply with it; this ensured everyone that needed to be was familiar with it.

7.

Review of Gifts and Hospitality Protocol pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To agree the mechanism for the review of the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol for Councillors.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1             The report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer, circulated at Pages No. 13-26, put forward proposals for a review of the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol for Councillors and Members were asked to agree that a review take place.  

7.2             The Monitoring Officer explained that this was the last of the Council’s Protocols that needed to be reviewed. As the review of the Protocol for Member/Officer Relations had gone so well it was suggested that the same process be followed for the review of the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol for Councillors whereby the Committee would meet as a Working Group and talk to Members to ascertain their views on the effectiveness of the Protocol and what, if any, changes would improve it. The Monitoring Officer advised that the Chair had questioned whether a Working Group was needed for this particular review and she had responded that it would be possible for her to update the Protocol and bring back a report on the changes made but equally the Working Group scenario had worked well previously. There had never been any problem with Members not observing the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol and, although it was mostly common sense, it was felt to be necessary.

7.3             In terms of whether the Protocol had any ‘teeth’, the Monitoring Officer explained that it was an addition to the Code of Conduct. If a Councillor was in breach of the Protocol they would almost certainly also be in breach of the Code of Conduct which was where complaints could be made. The Protocol was as much for members of the public to understand how the Council dealt with gifts and hospitality as it was for Councillors to follow as it demonstrated the standards the Council adhered to. A Member felt that the Protocol provided accountability and transparency for the public and gave Councillors protection in that they could use it as a reason for refusing a gift so as not to cause offence to the person offering it. She also felt a Working Group meeting would be helpful for the similar reason in that it gave the public the comfort that the Standards Committee took the matter seriously. Another Member agreed with those views. In response to a query, the Monitoring Officer indicated that she was sometimes asked what hospitality was but, in general, Members knew what was declarable and what was not. There had not, so far, been any Code of Conduct complaints regarding gifts and hospitality.

7.4             Accordingly, it was

                  RESOLVED          That the whole Committee meet as a Working Group, as set                                   out in Paragraph 2 of the report, to review the Gifts and                                            Hospitality Protocol for Councillors.

8.

Separate Business

The Chairman will move the adoption of the following resolution:

That under Section 100(A)(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

8.1             The Chair proposed, and it was 

                  RESOLVED          That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act                               1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following                              items on the grounds that they involve the likely discussion of                                     exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the                               Act.

9.

Separate Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016 and the Special meeting held on 22 November 2016.

Minutes:

9.1             The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 21 March and the special meeting held on 22 November 2016, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

10.

Code of Conduct Complaints

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

 

To consider an update report on complaints received. 

Minutes:

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

10.1           The Committee considered an update report on complaints received.