Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Wednesday, 24th March, 2010 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2 - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Bays  (Tel: 020 8753 2628)

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To approve as an accurate record, and the Chairman to sign, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 4 November 2009 





The minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2009 be confirmed and signed as an accurate record of the proceedings.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Botterill, Cowan and Johnson, Steven Moussavi, Grace Moody-Stuart and Michael Cogher.



Declaration of Interests

If a Councillor has any prejudicial or personal interest in a particular report he/she should declare the existence and nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of the item or as soon as it becomes apparent.


At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a prejudicial interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken, unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Standards Committee.


Where members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance, then the Councillor with a prejudicial interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration, unless the disability has been removed by the Standards Committee.




All Members declared a personal interest in that, should they be re-elected in the forthcoming elections, their Induction Programme for May 2010 was set out in item 5.


Standards for England Bulletin 47 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Attached is a copy of the latest SfE Bulletin. Copies of the Decision Notices for the Complaints cases in 2008 and 2010 have been sent to SfE, as requested.


The Committee noted the Standards for England Bulletin 47.




Members' Induction Programme for May 2010 pdf icon PDF 39 KB

This report outlines arrangements for the Member Induction programme which will be held immediately after the election. 




That the report be noted.



All Members declared a personal interest in that, should they be re-elected in the forthcoming elections, their Induction Programme for May 2010 was set out in this item 5.


The Committee noted the outline arrangements for the Member Induction programme, which would be held immediately after the election.


It was highlighted that the officer telephone contact list circulated at the beginning of their term of office became out of date quite quickly.  Therefore, 6-monthly updates should be circulated to Members.  The Head of Councillors’ Services confirmed that the Declaration of Acceptance of Office would be signed on the night of the election, wherever possible, and that the code of conduct would be signed as part of the Declaration. Members noted the increased use of social networking sites as a means of communication.  Written protocols and guidance were required so that Members knew the Do’s and Don’ts.  A preference for information to be supplied in different formats such as CDs and hard copies was expressed.





1.                  Information provided to Councillors be available in different formats.


2.                  Information on contact personnel be regularly updated.


3.                  Guidance on IT issues and the use of social networks be included in the programme.


4         Members receive a six-monhtly update of key officer contacts within the   




Draft Annual Report pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Thie attached report summarises the work of the Committee over the Municipal Year 2009-10. Subject to any changes by the Committee and inclusion of any items from this meeting, the report will be submitted to the Council’s Annual Meeting on 26 May.





That the draft Annual Report (attached) be approved subject to any changes agreed at this meeting, and be submitted to the Council at its Annual Meeting on 26 May 2010.







The Committee received the draft Annual Report, which would be updated to show that two local complaints cases had been considered.  



Outcome of Complaint pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Since the last meeting, the Council has received one complaint against a Councillor. A meeting of the Assessment Sub-Committee was held on 2 February when it was decided to take no action. The complainant was informed and a Summary of the Decision published on the Internet. A copy of the Summary is attached. The complainant had until 12 March to request a review of the Decision. [No letter was received by this date so this case is now closed.]


The Committee noted that, since the last meeting, the Council had received one complaint against a Councillor and that a meeting of the Assessment Sub-Committee, held on 2 February 2010, had decided to take no action.


Feedback from Seminars pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Since the last meeting the Committee has held a joint meeting with Kensington and Chelsea Standards Committee and has been represented at both the Annual North West London Networking Seminar at Brent and at a pan-London meeting of Standards Committee Members at the GLA’s City Hall offices.


Joint Meeting


The joint meeting was held on 3 December and a note of the meeting is attached.


Brent Networking Seminar


This was held on 12 January and was attended by  Christopher Troke; Kayode Adewumi, Head of Councillors’ Services; and David Bays, Committee Co-ordinator.  The main speaker was Peter Keith-Lucas who gave a presentation on the various stages of the complaints process, answering questions in the light of experience to date.  A copy of hs power point presentation slides is available together with two other papers circulated at the event: a Monitoring Officer’s Protocol and a paper outlining  suggested criteria for Assessment Sub-Committees.


GLA Seminar


This was held on  11 February and was attended by Steven Moussavi, the Chairman; and David Bays, Committee Co-ordinator. A report of the seminar to the GLA’s Standards Committee together with a Summary of points raised at the Seminar are attached for information. Members’ attention is drawn to the conclusions and Feedback paragraphs in the Summary paper..






Additional documents:


The Committee considered that the joint meeting with Kensington & Chelsea had been successful.  The success was due to the keynote speaker Bob Chilton, Chairman of Standards for England.  The Committee noted that the feedback report on the issues discussed at the London Standards Committee Network event held at the GLA was quite interesting.  An unresolved question was whether the number of complaints received was a reflection of the level of publicity and transparency of the process or high level of ethical standards.  





Standards Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 20 KB

The appendix attached to this report sets out the future work programme of the Standards Committee and outlines scheduled reporting dates. 




The Committee noted proposed items for the Work Programme for 2010/2011.





Use of Social Networks and Blogging be added to the work programme.