Meeting documents

Standards Committee
Thursday, 2nd September, 2010

Place: Cross Room, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland PR25 1DH

 Present: Mr R Atkinson (Independent Chairman) in the chair

Independent Members Mr S Ellison and Mr J Holt
Borough Councillors J E J Breakell, F Heyworth, Otter and K W Palmer
Parish Councillor Mrs M Gelder
 In attendance: Maureen Wood (Director of Corporate Governance), David Whelan (Legal Services Manager) and Andy Houlker (Senior Democratic Services Officer)
 Public attendance: 0
 Other Officers: 0

Item Description/Resolution Status Action
11 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Borough Councillors P Foster and Parish Councillors Mrs E Houghton and R Mitchell
12 Declarations of Interest

Borough Councillor Otter stated that as a County Councillor he was the County Council?s Parish Champion and he declared a personal interest under the Code of Conduct for Elected Members in any parish council matters.
13 Minutes of the Last Meeting
Minutes attached

that the minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on 12 August 2010 be signed by the Chairman.

14 Progess Against Action Plan for Promoting and Achieving High Ethical Standards
Standards Progress Report attached
Standards Progress Report Appendix attached

Further to min. no.47, 4 March 2010, the Legal Services Manager reported the second six monthly progress update on the committee?s three year action plan for promoting and achieving high ethical standards. It was considered overall that good progress was being made against the action plan.

In particular areas identified in the action plan as significant progress/achievement included:
? Training had been provided for Town/Parish Councillors and Clerks from the Lancashire area
? A Town and Parish Council Charter was being finalised
? The borough council?s Constitution had been reviewed and updated
? Members elected at by-elections continued to receive one-to-one awareness raising sessions
? An article had been included in the September issue of Forward dealing with the findings of the Citizen Panel survey on Councillor behaviour
? The Annual Report on Ethical Standards 2009/10 was to be considered by full Council on 8 September 2010
? Preparatory work was underway for Member Induction after the borough & parish elections in May 2011
? Members continued to seek advice from officers on a regular basis as to whether to declare an interest or not

Similarly there were some areas that required action which included:
? More work was needed to assess the feasibility of members using social networking techniques and a councillor sub-group was working with local schools to identify the benefits and the risks. Adequate controls and full training for members would be essential if this is to be considered for implemented after the local elections in 2011.
? The training programme (for members and officers) to cover the whole ambit of standards and ethical issues needed to be finalised
? Further work was required on the council?s approach to ethical issues in partnerships

It was explained that in respect of key actions 26 and 27 relating to timescales for investigations and hearings it had fortunately been a good year to date and quite quiet on standards and ethics issues.

In respect of key action 3 and the introduction of Cllr Connect on the council?s intranet, there was an enquiry if those members of the committee not on the council would be able to access the dedicated page on standard and ethics.

1. that the committee notes with pleasure the overall good progress being made against the committee?s Action Plan for Promoting and Achieving High Ethical Standards; and
2. that the ability of external members of the committee being able to access information on standards and ethics be explored.

  Published on Monday 6 September 2010
(The meeting finished at 4.42pm)