Agenda item - Complaints procedure
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- Meeting of Audit & Standards Committee, Tuesday, 25th September, 2012 4.00pm (Item 31.)
- View the background to item 31.
Report of the Monitoring Officer (copy attached).
31.1 The Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer in relation to the new arrangements for dealing with the investigation and hearing of complaints as part of the changes to the regulation of Standards of Conduct for elected Members bought in by the Localism Act 2011. The new arrangements provided a simplified process for dealing with complaints of misconduct and the actions which could be taken against a Member who is found to have failed to comply with the Code of Conduct. By way of introduction the Standards & Complaints Manager, Brian Foley, outlined the new procedure
31.2 In response to queries from Councillor Duncan it was confirmed that the right of appeal would apply to both the complainant, and the Member the allegation had been made against, and sanctions would only take effect after the period to request an appeal had expired.
31.3 Councillors Sykes and Lepper noted some minor typographical errors of the names of political groups, and asked that that some of the wording be amended to reflect the potential future political makeup of the authority; rather than the current political makeup.
31.4 Councillor Ann Norman noted that she and Councillor Lepper had been involved in Standards related work under the previous regime for some years, and she stated that Members should always approach the investigation of complaints of a neutral mind and in a non-political manner. The Chair echoed these comments, and highlighted the non-political regulatory nature of the Committee.
(1) That the arrangements for the investigation and hearing of complaints about Member conduct as set out in Appendix 1 to the report and as illustrated in the flow chart in Appendix 2 to the report be adopted;
(2) That the adopted new arrangements be reported to Council for information;
(3) That the Monitoring Officer be instructed to develop technical procedures for the investigation and hearing of complaints to be used in conjunction with the arrangements; and
(4) That the Monitoring Officer be instructed to publicise the arrangements for the investigation and hearing of complaints by whatever means he considers appropriate.