Agenda and minutes

Standards Hearings Panel
Monday, 15th May, 2017 9.30 am

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

Contact: Democratic Services Officer  01609 767015

Items
No. Item

SHP.15

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.16

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.17 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.17

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)         acting in a way which failed to show respect to other town councillors and employees of the Town Council;

2)         intimidating or attempting to intimidate other town councillors and employees of the Town Council; and

3)         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. 

 

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

 

Alternative options considered:

 

The Panel considered all of the options outlined in paragraph 3.3 of the Deputy Monitoring Officer’s report.  Having concluded that the allegations were not upheld and therefore warranted no action to be taken, the Panel did not consider any alternative options to be appropriate in relation to these matters.

 

The reason for the decision:

 

The Panel considered:

·                the Deputy Monitoring Officer’s report;

·                the written and oral submissions of the Town Councillor;

·                the written and oral submissions of two complainants;

·                the written and oral submissions of six witnesses; and

·                the Town Council’s Code of Conduct.

 

The Panel reached the following conclusions:

 

The Panel considered evidence from the first complainant (“Complainant A”) alleging that the Town Councillor had acted in a way which failed to show respect to other town councillors and employees of the Town Council during meetings held on 12th September 2016, 24th October 2016, 14th November 2016 and 3rd January 2017. 

 

Complainant A told the Panel that, during all four of those meetings, the Town Councillor had been disruptive, obstructed the business of the meeting and, at times, had disregarded instructions from the chair.  However, Complainant A did not provide any specific examples of the alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. 

 

The Panel heard evidence from a witness (“W”) who told the Panel that she had been in attendance at the meeting on 3rd January 2017, during which the Town Councillor had been disruptive, asked lots of questions and challenged the accuracy of paperwork. W told the Panel she thought that the Town Councillor’s manner had been quite aggressive and that his conduct made her feel nervous. 

 

The Panel heard evidence from another witness (“X”) who told the Panel that, during the meeting on 12th September 2016, the Town Councillor had interrupted business and presented his views in a challenging and intimidating manner, following which two other town councillors left the meeting leading to two items being deferred.  X told the Panel that, during the meeting of 24th October 2016, the Town Councillor had objected to considering a late report. 

 

X also referred the Panel to incidents occurring during meetings on 19th September 2016 and 16th January 2017.  However, these meetings were not referred  ...  view the full minutes text for item SHP.17