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To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2014.
The minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2014 were signed as a correct record.
Councillors asked the Monitoring Officer to check that actions b) and c) of the agreed actions regarding complaints 2013/N003, 2013/N004 and 2013/N005 had been carried out.
The Monitoring Officer was asked if she could provide an update on Complaint 2013/N009.
a) Monitoring Officer to inform members if actions b) and c) of the agreed actions regarding complaints 2013/N003, 2013/N004 and 2013/N005 had been carried out.
b) Monitoring Officer to update members on complaint 2013/N009
Declaration of interests
Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
To answer questions from members of the public – 2 days notice of which must have been given in writing or by electronic mail.
The Standards Committee considered a complaint concerning the alleged conduct of Councillors M Wood, P Bales and J Lister at meetings of the Development Panel.
Members considered the content of the report and the information presented to them in the complaint. The complainant alleged that the Councillors breached their Code of Conduct when planning application reference 2/2014/0582 was considered at the Council’s Development Panel meetings on 4 and 25 November 2015.
In assessing the complaint, the Standards Committee had regard to the complaint as was submitted, the subject members’ response to the complaint, the Council’s response in relation to the Ombudsman complaints in respect of the planning application and the Council’s response to a Judicial Review pre-action protocol letter in relation to the planning application.
After discussing the complaint, Councillor D Fairbairn moved that a review be carried out on the council’s ethical framework for Members. Councillor C Armstrong seconded the motion. All five Councillors who were present agreed to the motion. Members felt that Councillors should not attend meetings to represent themselves, family or close friends on planning applications and other such matters.
Councillor D Fairbairn moved that with regard to the complaint against Councillor M Wood, local resolution be sought by recommending to Councillor M Wood that he attends code of conduct training. Councillor C Armstrong seconded the motion. All five Councillors who were present agreed to the motion
With regard to the complaint against Councillor P Bales, members determined that there was no evidence to support claims that there had been a breach of the code of conduct and that no further action be taken.
With regard to the complaint against Councillor J Lister, Councillor D Fairbairn moved that he be recommended to attend code of conduct training, as this and the review of the ethical framework would be used to seek local resolution. Councillor N Cockburn seconded the motion. All five Councillors who were present agreed to the motion.
In reaching their decisions, the Standards Committee had full regard to the views of the Independent Person, Mr P Burns.
a) a review be carried out on the council’s ethical framework for Members
b) it be recommended to Councillor M Wood that he attends code of conduct training
c) no further action be taken against Councillor P Bales
d) it be recommended to Councillor J Lister that he attends code of conduct training