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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

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

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Items
No. Item

1.

Announcements

Minutes:

1.1            The Chair advised that the meeting was being held under the emergency provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and, specifically, The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.  The meeting was being broadcast live via the internet, it was not being recorded by the Council but, under the usual transparency rules, it may be being recorded by others.  

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

2.1            Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor L A Gerrard and Independent Person, M Jauch.  

3.

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:

3.1            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.

3.2            There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2019.

Minutes:

4.1            The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record.  

5.

Local Government Association - Draft Model Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 255 KB

To consider the consultation by the Local Government Association on its draft Model Member Code of Conduct.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1            The report of the Monitoring Officer, circulated at Pages No. 7-58, informed the Committee of the consultation by the Local Government Association on its draft Model Member Code of Conduct. The Committee was asked to note the report; consider whether it wished to make a response to the draft consultation; and, if so, determine its response which the Monitoring Officer would submit to the Local Government Association on its behalf.

5.2            The Monitoring Officer explained that the report had been brought to the Committee to enable it to respond and influence the form and content of the Model Code which had been produced by the Local Government Association. The Model had arisen as one of the recommendations from the review of local government ethical standards which had been undertaken by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. That review had found there was no consistency of Codes of Conduct either nationally or locally with considerable variations in terms of length, breadth, clarity and detail – many even failed to address important areas of behaviour such as bullying and harassment - which it was felt caused confusion among members of the public as well as Councillors; particularly those that represented more than one tier of local government. Consequently, it was considered that the availability of a Model Code would enhance the consistency and quality of local authority Codes. The Local Government Association was seeking views on the draft Model Code of Conduct via an online form by 17 August 2020.

5.3            The Committee was advised that, reassuringly, there were no huge differences between the Council’s current adopted Code of Conduct and the draft Model Code with the majority of provisions already in place. Of particular note was that the Code was now intended to apply to Members when acting or claiming, or giving the impression that they were acting, in public or in their capacity as a Member or representative of the Council; and to all forms of Member communication and interaction including written, verbal, non-verbal, electronic and via social media where the Member could be deemed to be representing the Council, or if there were potential implications for the Council’s reputation. It was also noted that parts of this would require legislation to amend the provisions of the Localism Act 2011.

5.4            The way the Model Code was presented was to set minimum requirements for Members’ standards and would be individual commitments by a Councillor. Particular attention was drawn to obligation 1 of the Model Code which was ‘to treat all persons with civility’ which was defined as meaning politeness and courtesy in behaviour, speech and in the written word – Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Code did not refer to civility but did require Members to treat each other with respect and to promote and support high standards of conduct when serving in their public post by leadership and example, rather than obligation 7 in the Model Code which required Members not to bring their role into disrepute. The Monitoring  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.