Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual Meeting, Special Meeting, Council - Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Shield Room, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, PR25 1DH

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democraticservices@southribble.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Paul Wharton-Hardman.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

 

Councillor Margaret Smith raised concerns that Members of the Investigating and Disciplinary Committee (IDC) were partaking in the meeting. She advised that she raised the issue with the Monitoring Officer prior to the meeting and sought LGA guidance.

3.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph(s) 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Paragraph 1: Information relating to any individual.

Minutes:

RESOLVED (Unanimously):

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item of business as it involved the discussion defined as exempt from publication under paragraph 3 of Part 1, of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, ‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)’ and in which public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing it.

 

4.

Recommendation of the Investigating and Disciplinary Committee

Report of the Monitoring Officer/Receiving Officer attached.

Minutes:

Members were provided with a report of the Monitoring Officer which presented the recommendation of the Investigating and Disciplinary Committee (IDC) following their meeting on 9 June 2020.  The IDC report, Independent Investigators report, and the Independent Panel findings were included in the pack.  Further information from the Chief Executive was provided in a supplementary pack.

The special Council meeting was the concluding part of the disciplinary process relating to the Chief Executive in which Members were required to consider the recommendation of the IDC that the Chief Executive should be dismissed without notice and to have regard to the views, advice and recommendations of the Independent Panel.

The Mayor outlined the procedure that would be adopted for the meeting.

Throughout the process the council had followed the Joint Negotiation Committee Model Disciplinary Procedure.  The JNC Model Disciplinary Procedure states that the Council meeting was not a re-hearing of the case and Members were reminded that the Council were to consider the recommendation for dismissal only.  Other sanctions against the Chief Executive for the findings of misconduct imposed by the IDC were not to be revisited, although its view on those sanctions may influence its decision in relation to the termination of employment.

In order to maintain clarity in voting and given the seriousness of the consequences of the decision, Members were advised that no amendments to the proposal of the IDC would be permitted.  Should the vote be lost, an alternative motion would be sought and voted on.  Similarly, no amendments to the motion would be permitted.  This process would be followed until a motion was passed.  There would be no further appeal stage following the decision of the Council.

The Monitoring Officer advised that bias and predetermination was a matter for each member to consider themselves.  Members were to consider whether they had a closed mind at the point of making the decision; if a member felt they had a closed mind they should not participate or attend the meeting.  Councillors who sat on the IDC were not prevented from participating in the Special Council meeting solely because of their position on that committee.

The Mayor invited Councillor David Howarth, as Chair of the IDC, to propose the recommendations as outlined in the report.  It was moved by Councillor Howarth and seconded by Councillor Titherington that:

  1. Council considers the recommendation of the IDC in relation to the termination of the employment of the Chief Executive without notice.
  2. Council considers the advice and views of the Independent Panel in relation to the IDC recommendation.
  3. Council considers any representations received from the Chief Executive.
  4. Council decides to approve or reject the recommendation of the IDC and should it choose to reject the recommendation whether termination of the contract of employment is appropriate and on what terms or whether any alternative sanction should be applied.

 

The Mayor then invited Peter Bounds to make representations on behalf of the Chief Executive, Heather McManus.

Peter Bounds left the meeting and the Mayor invited  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.