Agenda item

Annual Report of the Standards Committee 2021/22


Councillor Nicholson, Chair of the Standards Committee presented the annual report of the Standards Committee for the period 2021/22.


Councillor Nicholson said that the report set out the Membership of the committee, including the two new independent persons Alan Fletcher and Kayleigh Louise Wilkinson who were appointed by Council from 22 September 2022 for a two year term. Both Alan and Kayleigh had completed their induction training and had been supporting the Monitoring Officer with standards issues from the outset.


She went on to advise of the Committee’s Work Programme, which was consistent with the terms of reference set out in the report at paragraph 13, and attached at Appendix 2 to the report. The Committee had continued to monitor standards and governance issues nationally. This had included an update on the Government’s long-awaited response to the Committee in Standards in Public Life’s report on local government ethical standards. The Government had indicated that it would be consulting the sector in relation to some of the recommendations arising out of the CSPL report and the Committee looked forward to responding to such consultations at the appropriate time.


In respect of complaints the position was relatively consistent when compared with the previous year. In 2021/22 there were 49 complaints compared to 48 in 2020/21.  There had been a slight increase in the number of complaints referred to local resolution with 20 being referred in 2021/22 (compared with 16 in the previous year). Local resolution may include training, mediation, provision of guidance and where appropriate a requirement for members to apologise. During the period, there was one Standards Hearing Panel in November 2021 which considered complaints against a Town Councillor. The Panel concluded that there had been a breach of the code of conduct and required the Member to provide a written apology to the Complainants and complete training.


Councillor Nicholson informed Council that with the Committee’s agreement, an online version of the complaint form was launched in April 2022. This would make it make it easier and accessible for people to submit complaints. The form was still available to complete by hand and in large print to ensure it was accessible to all. Looking ahead the Committee had agreed a work programme for 2022/23 which included the standing agenda items as well as a review of the arrangements for the local determination procedure. The work programme would continue to be a living document, which would be updated to reflect any developments within the Committee’s remit throughout the year.


Finally, Councillor Nicholson thanked the Monitoring Officer and her team for their continuing work with the Committee in assisting to ensure that high standards were achieved by all locally elected members, and she asked the Council to note the report.



That the report be noted.

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