Agenda and minutes

Standards Hearings Panel
Thursday, 13th April, 2017 9.30 am

Venue: Meeting Room 2, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton

Contact: Democratic Services Officer  01609 767015

Items
No. Item

SHP.7

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

THE DECISION:

 

That Councillor G W Dadd be elected Chairman for duration of the meeting.

 

(Councillor G W Dadd in the Chair)

SHP.8

Exclusion of the Press and Public

To consider passing a resolution under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 4 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

Minutes:

THE DECISION:

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public were excluded from the meeting during consideration of the items of business at minute no SHP.9 on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act as the Panel was satisfied that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

SHP.9

Allegations about a Town Council Member

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The subject of the decision:

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer presented a report in relation to allegations that a Town Councillor (“the Town Councillor”) had failed to comply with the provisions of the Town Council’s Code of Member Conduct by:

 

1)    conducting himself in a manner which could bring the Town Council or the Town Councillor’s office as a Member of the Town Council into disrepute; 

2)    intimidating or attempting to intimidate another town councillor; and

3)    acting in a way which failed to show respect to other town councillors.

 

The Panel heard from those who had made the allegations and the Councillor against whom the allegations had been made.

 

Alternative options considered:

 

Having concluded that two of the allegations were not upheld and therefore warranted no action to be taken, the Panel did not consider any alternative options in relation to these matters.

 

Having concluded that one of the allegations was upheld, the Panel considered making any of the options outlined in paragraph 3.3 of the Deputy Monitoring Officer’s report.  The Panel was satisfied that its recommendations would sufficiently address the matter and that none of the alternative options were necessary.

 

The reason for the decision:

 

The Panel considered:

·    the Deputy Monitoring Officer’s report;

·    the written and oral submissions of two complainants and their witnesses; and

·    the oral submissions of the Town Councillor, his representative and his witness.

 

The Panel reached the following conclusions:

 

The Panel considered evidence from the first complainant (“Complaint A”) that the Town Councillor had, during two meetings held on 31st October 2016 and 12th December 2016, falsely claimed to be on the Swale and Ure Drainage Board and a member of ACAS.  The Panel heard evidence from Complainant A’s witness (“W”), who told the Panel that he had had been present at meetings held on 31st October and 12th December 2016, during which the Town Councillor had indicated that he was on the Drainage Board and that he was a member of ACAS.  The Panel considered an email addressed to Complainant A from ACAS dated 7th December 2016 which, according to Complainant A, demonstrated that the Town Councillor was not a member of ACAS.  The Panel also considered an email addressed to W from the Swale and Ure Drainage Board dated 6th December 2016 which, according to Complainant A, demonstrated that the Town Councillor was not a representative of the Drainage Board. 

 

The Town Councillor informed the Panel that he was referring to his “current and past connections” with the River Wiske Drainage Board and ACAS during public meetings where he was attending as a town councillor with a view to adding weight to his points and to “persuade others to listen”.  The Town Councillor produced copies of correspondence and notes of meetings of the Drainage Board in 2002-2005 to demonstrate his previous connection.  The Town Councillor also produced a letter dated 10th February 2017 inviting him to a Board liaison meeting.  The Town Councillor told the Panel  ...  view the full minutes text for item SHP.9