Agenda and minutes

Standards Hearings Panel
Wednesday, 3rd December, 2014 10.00 am

Venue: Main Committee Room, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton

Contact: Democratic Services Officer  01609 767015

Items
No. Item

SHP.13

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

THE DECISION:

 

That Councillor Kirk be elected Chairman for duration of the meeting.

 

(Councillor Kirk in the Chair)

SHP.14

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.14 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.15

Allegations about a Parish Council Member

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The subject of the decision:

 

The Corporate Director presented a report about allegations that a Parish Councillor failed to comply with the provisions of the Parish Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

 

The Panel heard from the Councillor against whom the allegations had been made.  The person who had made the allegations was not present.  The Panel was disappointed that the person who had made the allegations was not present because this made it more difficult to establish all of the facts.

 

Alternative options considered:

 

None.

 

The reason for the decision:

 

Having considered the Monitoring Officer’s report, the accompanying documents and the representations of those present, the Panel’s findings were as follows:-

 

·           The allegation (as amended) was that the Councillor failed to register a disclosable pecuniary interest as required by Paragraph 10.1 of the Parish Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

 

·           The Councillor confirmed that he had had an interest in land in the Parish since at least 1 July 2012 and this was confirmed by his current registration.  This was a disclosable pecuniary interest and should therefore have been registered since 1 July 2012.  In fact it was not registered until 30 May 2014. 

 

·           The Panel accepted that the Councillor had registered his interest prior to 1 July 2012.

 

·           Nevertheless the Councillor had been in breach of the Code of Conduct from 1 July 2012 to 30 May 2014.

 

·           The Councillor had indicated that this was an oversight on his part, but that it was not deliberate.  As soon as he became aware of the oversight he put it right. 

 

·           In the circumstances, the Panel accepted that this was an unintentional omission.

 

THE DECISION:

 

(1)     The Panel recommends to the Parish Council that the allegation be upheld, that the Councillor be censured, but that no further action is required.

 

(2)     The Parish Council be notified of the Panel’s findings.