Agenda item


The Chair will announce any items of urgent business accepted since the agenda was prepared under the Access to Information provisions.


The Chair informed the meeting that he has agreed to bring the list of best practice recommendations for Local Government produced by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (attached as Appendix 1) for consideration at this point, as urgent business.


The Monitoring Officer confirmed that Standards Committee Members have received the list of best practice recommendations for Local Government paper.  The reason why this item had been asked for urgent consideration by the Committee was that the Cabinet Office had contacted the Monitoring Officer to request feedback on the progress from the Council against the recommendations made in the paper.  The Monitoring Officer reminded the Committee that this report and the list has been considered previously at the Standards Committee meetings on 21st March and 4th July 2019.


The Monitoring Officer took the meeting through the list by highlighting the current Council’s position in terms of all 15 best practice recommendations.  These were: 


  • Best practice 1 – these were agreed on 4th July 2019 and recommended to the Council;
  • Best practice 2 – provisions were in the Code of Conduct requiring Councillors to comply with any formal Standards investigation.
  • Best practice 3 – this was in the workplan for Standards Committee, and it was last reviewed on 4th July 2019.
  • Best practice 4 - the Code of Conduct is now on Council’s website and in Council’s premises. The Monitoring Officer confirmed that she was yet to re-do the Parish Council Audit (as some of Parish Councils did not have their Code of Conduct on their websites).
  • Bets practice 5 – gifts and hospitality were in accessible formats.  The register is on the Council website and councillors reminded to update annually.
  • Best practice 6 – these arrangements were already in the Code of Conduct.
  • Best practice 7 – the Council has already had one independent person, and access to another independent person from neighbouring authorities.
  • Best practice 8 – these practices were already in the Arrangements for dealing with Complaints.
  • Best practice 9 – these were already published and available on Council’s website.
  • Best practice 10 – these were already in place, and recently improved by adding an online form for the submission of complaint.
  • Best practice 11 – all Parish Councils have been reminded of this practice.
  • Best practice 12 – all Parish Clerks were aware that they could get in touch with the Monitoring Officer for help, as well as with ALCA.
  • Best practice 13 – the Council has agreed with neighbouring authorities to undertake investigations in case of a conflict of interest by the Monitoring Officer.
  • Best practice 14 – the Council has two separate Council owned companies which were governed by the separate Governance Protocol including the Code of Conduct.
  • Best practice 15 – the Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that she has regularly attended Group Leaders meeting and raised standards issue in May and June 2020.


The Chair thanked Monitoring Officer for taking the meeting through this paper and added that the Committee has considered these issues at past meetings, and this could be reported back to the Committee on Standards in Public Life.


The following points were highlighted:


  • The Annual review of the Code of Conduct would be postponed until after the LGA Model Code of Conduct consultation had been concluded.
  • Parish/Town Councils had, or could have, different Code of Conducts. This was why the Model Code of Conduct had been proposed, for consistency.


It was RESOLVED that the Committee agreed to instruct the Monitoring Officer to make the response on the best practice recommendations for Local Government to the Committee on Standards in Public Life as discussed.