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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

59.

Communications and Apologies

(a)            Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the members of this Committee and said no apologies for absence had been submitted.

 

60.

Declarations of Interest (if any)

Members are required to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting. Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned. 

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, other pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows:

 

a. Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

 

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

b. Sponsorship

 

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

c. Contracts

 

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

d. Land

 

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

e. Licences

 

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

f. Corporate tenancies

 

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

g. Securities

 

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where – (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and (b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or (ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

 

Minutes:

None

 

61.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12th May 2016.

 

In accordance with the Constitution no discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 12th May 2016 and 17th May 2017 be confirmed as correct records.

 

62.

Review of Whistleblowing Policy pdf icon PDF 154 KB

This report asks the Committee to consider and approve the latest revision of the Council’s Whistleblowing policy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of legal and democratic Services submitted to the Committee the latest revision of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy. Whistleblowing was the term used when someone who worked with or for a public body wished to raise concerns about perceived malpractice in that body, for example, criminal  conduct including fraud, civil offences, miscarriages of justice or dangers to health and safety or the environment or the cover up of any of these.

 

Parliament had recognised that genuine whistle-blowers perform a valuable public service but may be deterred from alerting their employers to misconduct or malpractice for fear of reprisal. Consequently, the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1998 (‘PIDA’) operates to enable employees to raise concerns in good faith without fear of reprisal.

 

Although the Council was not under a legal requirement to have a Whistleblowing Policy, a policy was nevertheless required to ensure that the necessary processes and procedures were in place to enable genuine concerns to be raised in confidence by Council employees without fear of detriment. Consequently, the Council had had a Whistleblowing Policy in place for many years as an essential part of its Governance Framework.

 

In 2013 Public Concern at Work developed a Code of Practice to support effective whistleblowing arrangements. Consequently, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services reviewed the Whistleblowing Policy to ensure that it met the key requirements of the Code of Practice. This resulted in a small number of minor revisions to the current Policy which were referred to the Audit Committee for comment on 31 May 2017 prior to consideration by the Standards Committee.

 

The Audit Committee considered and recommended approval of the draft revised Whistleblowing Policy.

 

RESOLVED that   

 

(1)       the draft revised Whistleblowing Policy, as set out in Appendix 2 to report ST/17/01, be approved.

 

(2)       the adopted Whistleblowing Policy be published on the Council’s website.

 

 

63.

Statement of Arrangements - Complaining about an elected or co-opted member of Hertsmere Borough Council. pdf icon PDF 101 KB

This report suggests a process for making a complaint about a Hertsmere Councillor.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services reported to the Committee with a suggested formal Statement of Arrangements proposing the procedures to be adopted by the Council when dealing with a complaint alleging a failure by an elected or co-opted member of Hertsmere Borough Council to comply with the requirements of the Members’ Code of Conduct

 

The Committee was reminded that a model Members Code of Conduct was introduced as a result of the Local Government Act 2000 and updated in 2007. However, when the Localism Bill was introduced to Parliament in December 2010, the Secretary of State proposed the removal of the obligation for Councils to adopt a Members Code of Conduct. Following widespread criticism of this proposal, a cross party alliance of peers made a number of revision to the Bill in the House of Lords,  the most  significant of which were the obligations now found at Sections 27 and 28 of the Localism Act 2011 which required a relevant authority to adopt a Members Code of Conduct which:

 

           when viewed as a whole, must be consistent with the six ‘Nolan’ principles governing ethical conduct in public life; and

 

           must include provisions that the authority consider appropriate in respect of the registration and disclosure of pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests;

 

In addition, a relevant authority (other than a Town or Parish Council) must have place arrangements that:

 

           enable a complaint alleging a failure to comply with the requirements of the Members Code of Conduct to be investigated; and

 

           that include the appointment of an independent person whose views must be sought and taken into account by the authority before it makes a decision on an allegation that it has decided to investigate .

 

Arrangements for dealing with complaints, made under section 28 of the Localism Act 2011, were detailed in an appendix to report ST/17/02 before the Committee. They set out the process that Hertsmere Borough Council was recommended to adopt for dealing with complaints that an elected or co-opted member of Hertsmere Borough Council or a Town or Parish Council established in Hertsmere had failed to comply with the requirements of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by their Council.

 

RESOLVED that the Council be recommended to approve the draft Statement of Arrangements for dealing with complaints alleging a failure by an elected or co-opted member to comply with the requirements of the adopted Code of Conduct for Elected and Co-opted Members of Hertsmere Borough Council.

 

 

64.

Monitoring Officer Update

The Monitoring Officer will advise the Committee of matters relevant to their terms of reference.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised the Committee that he had received 4 complaints, which would be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s procedure. He then provided the meeting with some general information on each of the complaints and the process that would be followed to deal with each of them.

 

Noted.

 

 

65.

Any other business

Minutes:

None.