Agenda item

Minutes:

Questions had been submitted by Councillor Bright, Councillor Ford and two from Councillor Hawkins under Procedural Rule A9.

 

In accordance with the Constitution a written answer to Councillor Bright and to one of Councillor Hawkins questions had been circulated to Members.

 

The second question from Councillor Hawkins had been rejected as it does not meet the requirements of Torridge District Council’s Constitution to be heard.   As Councillor Hawkins had given his apologies for the meeting the Head of Legal & Governance will convey the reasons for rejecting the question directly to him.

 

Councillor Ford’s question had also been rejected as he had been advised on numerous occasions that the Councill had concluded all matters relating to the Standards Hearing and the 101 form and will, therefore, not respond further on this subject.  If Councillor Ford wishes to pursue it will be a matter to be discussed and take legal advice, not for Full Council.

 

 

Question from Councillor Bright

 

Can members be given a verbal update on progress with transferring Jubilee Wood from TDC to Great Torrington Town Council. And can you clarify the position with regards to the proposed path?

 

Answer

 

The legal documents required to complete the transfer have been sent to Great Torrington Town Council and we await their response and or comments.

 

The footpath had been shown as a linkage from an adjacent housing development toward the town.  However, the developer has advised that this is no longer required.

 

Steve Hearse – Chief Executive

 

 

Question from Councillor Hawkins

 

Under current legislation would it be possible for a neighbouring Authority to oversee a Standards Hearing of another Authority.

 

Answer

 

The Localism Act 2011 states

Councils have a Duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct

Section 27 places a duty on a relevant authority to ensure that its members and co-opted members maintain high standards of conduct and requires such authorities to adopt a code of conduct for their members.

Section 28 requires a relevant authority to adopt a code whose contents must be consistent with the seven ‘Nolan’ principles of standards in public life (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership), and must set out the rules that the authority wants to put in place with regard to requiring members to register and disclose pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests. It requires an authority to put in place arrangements under which it can investigate an allegation of a breach of a code made in writing and, if it is considered that an investigation is warranted, requires the authority to appoint at least one independent person whose views must be sought after it has made an investigation and before it takes a decision. It allows members who have had an allegation made against them to seek the views of the independent person if they wish.

 

Full Council delegates these arrangements to our own Standards Committee who have the following roles and functions:-

 

  1. Promote and maintain high standards of conduct by the Members and co-opted Members of the Council;
  2. Assist Members and Co-Opted Members of the Council to observe the Members’ Code of Conduct;
  3. Advise Full Council on the adoption or revision of the Members’ Code of Conduct;
  4. Monitor the Members Code of Conduct;
  5. Advise, train or arrange training for Members and Co-Opted Members on matters relating to the Members’ Code of Conduct;
  6. Grant dispensations to District Council Members and Co-Opted Members from the requirements relating to interests set out I the Members Code of Conduct;
  7. Deal with any reports relating to Member complaints received by The Head of Legal and Governance and Monitoring Officer;
  8. Provide the same functions in relation to Parish Councils as in relation to Torridge District Council and Members of Torridge District Council

 

Therefore, the arrangements that TDC have in place adequately cover the requirements of the Localism Act 2011