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Agenda item

Code of Conduct Update


The Committee considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer which provided Members with an update on activity since the last meeting in respect of complaints received by Durham County Council (for copy see file of Minutes).


Members were informed by the Governance Solicitor that there had been an increase in the number of complaints received compared with the last period, although it should be noted that seventeen of these were in respect of one Town Councillor, one referred to the full membership of a Parish Council and five Councillors had made individual complaints about one Town Councillor. Additionally the period under consideration was four months rather than the usual three, as the meeting date had been changed and delayed by a month. Since the report had been circulated Members were informed that a Decision Notice had been issued in respect of complaint ref: COM 179, the details of which would be included in the update for the next meeting, and three new complaints had been received, two of which were concerning one Councillor.


In response to a question from Councillor Harrison who asked if there was any particular pattern to the complaints, such as age or length of experience of the subject members, the Governance Solicitor advised that although no formal analysis of complaints had been undertaken there were no specific patterns emerging.


Councillor Clarke noted the seriousness of the allegations in respect of the complaints received in respect of one Town Councillor ref: COM 158-165, 169, 171-178 and suggested that it would be useful if additional information could be included in future reports where the outcome of assessment was no further action. The Governance Solicitor advised that the Decision Notices were available for inspection by the Committee but would explore including more detail in the report, such as whether the Code had been found to be engaged at all in the complaints resulting in no further action.




That the report be noted.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714