Background
Background

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. CA28 7SJ

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 01946 598328

Items
No. Item

SEC 19/16

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ged McGrath and Doug Wilson.

SEC 19/17

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Dave Banks declared a non-pecuniary Interest in Agenda Item 5 due to being a witness to the complaint and withdrew from the committee during discussion of that item.

 

Councillor Dave Banks also declared a non-pecuniary Interest in Agenda Items 6 and 7 due to knowing the complainant and subject Members.

 

Councillor Graham Calvin declared a non-pecuniary Interest in Agenda Item 7 due to knowing the complainant.

 

SEC 19/18

Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 August 2019 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:- that the minutes of the meeting held on 20 August 2019 be signed by the Chair as a correct record.

 

SEC 19/19

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Chair to move:

That under Section 100 (a) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item on the grounds that, if they were present, there could be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the press and public be excluded for the remaining items of business in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

 

Councillor Dave Banks vacated the Chair at this point.

SEC 19/20

Appointment of Chair

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Steven Morgan duly seconded and

 

RESOLVED – That Councillor Graham Calvin be appointed Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee for Agenda Item 5 of this meeting.

 

 

Councillor Graham Calvin took the Chair.

SEC 19/21

To consider Complaint 1 under the Council's Code of Conduct procedure

Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of the consideration of this complaint Members were introduced to the complainant and named Member.  Mr John Graham confirmed that he was an independent member who was attending to observe, challenge and advise.

 

The Chair advised the Complainant and named Members that the meeting was in private and recording was strictly prohibited.  The named Member and supporter, Complainant, Members of the Committee, Independent Person and officers all confirmed that they were not recording the proceedings.

 

Consideration was then given to an allegation that the named Member had made a threat of physical violence to another Councillor following an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council on 21st August 2019.

 

The committee received representations from the Council’s Solicitor and the Chair invited comments from the Complainant and subject Member.

 

The Subject Member was given the last word in summing up.

 

The Complainant, subject Member and Supporter left the room whilst the committee deliberated and considered their decision.

 

At the conclusion of the deliberation it was

 

RESOLVED – that the committee unanimously agreed that there was not a breach of the Code of Conduct, as the meeting had closed, subject Member was deemed to have left the meeting and was not acting in the capacity of a Councillor.

 

SEC 19/22

To consider Complaint 2 under the Council's Code of Conduct procedure

Minutes:

Councillor Dave Banks resumed the Chair.

 

 

Prior to the commencement of the consideration of this complaint Members were introduced to the complainant, named Members and their supporters.  Mr John Graham confirmed that he was an independent member who was attending to observe, challenge and advise.

 

The Chair advised the Complainant and named Members that the meeting was in private and recording was strictly prohibited.  The Complainant, named Members and their supporters, Members of the Committee, Independent Person and officers all confirmed that they were not recording the proceedings.

 

Consideration was then given to an allegation that was deferred from the last meeting on 20 August 2019. The allegation was that the named Members had ‘led a campaign of constant harassment and bullying’ towards the complainant and that they ‘actively seek out opportunities to belittle or challenge the actions or advice provided’.

 

The committee received representations from the Council’s Solicitor and the Chair invited comments from the Complainant and subject Members.

 

The Complainant read a chronological summary of the complaint after which the Subject Members requested a short adjournment to consider their response.

 

The Complainant and subject Members left the room during the adjournment.

 

The Subject Members responded to the allegations, after which Members were invited to ask questions of both parties.

 

The Subject Members were given the last word in summing up.

 

The Complainant and subject Members left the room whilst the committee deliberated and considered their decision.

 

 

During consideration of this Item, it was noted that business would not be concluded within the specified 4 hours. It was therefore moved by Councillor Dave Banks duly seconded and

 

RESOLVED:– that in accordance with Rule 22.7 Chapter 4 of the Council’s Constitution, the meeting continue until the business on the Agenda be completed.

 

 

 

At the conclusion of the deliberation it was

 

RESOLVED – that the committee unanimously agreed that there was not a breach of the Code of Conduct.

SEC 19/23

To consider Complaint 3 under the Council's Code of Conduct procedure

Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of the consideration of this complaint Members were advised that as the complaint duplicated the previous agenda item, there was no merit in taking this complaint forward. It was recommended that this complaint be withdrawn. 

 

RESOLVED – that the committee unanimously agreed that this complaint be withdrawn. 

 

 

Original text