(Monitoring Officer) To consider the attached report (STD-004-2017/18).
The Monitoring Officer, C O’Boyle, presented a report on the appointment of a Standards Complaint Sub-Committee.
C O’Boyle advised the Committee that there was a need to appoint to and convene a meeting of a Complaints Sub-Committee to conduct a hearing into an allegation that a Member had breached the Council’s Code of Conduct. Article 9 of the Constitution outlined the appointment of, and terms of reference for, a Complaints Sub-Committee. The complaint in this case concerned a District Council Member so there was not a requirement to appoint a Town or Parish Council representative. In addition, Article 9 also delegated authority to the Sub-Committee to determine the case in this instance without further reference to the main Standards Committee. Training would be organised for the Members of the Sub-Committee prior to the hearing of the case, although it was suggested that all Members of the Standards Committee should attend.
Given the make-up of the Standards Committee, and the pro-rata requirements, S Hill suggested that the Sub-Committee should consist of three Members, two from the Conservative Group and one from the Loughton Residents Association, with one reserve for each Group. The Committee concurred, and agreed to appoint a Sub-Committee of three members with the suggested make-up.
The Chairman made an initial suggestion that the Sub-Committee should comprise himself as Chairman, Cllr Pond from the LRA and Cllr Avey; Cllr Avey informed the Committee that he could not guarantee his attendance during the day and therefore Cllr Rolfe was suggested as a Sub-Committee Member, with Cllr Avey as a substitute for the Conservative Group. Cllr Pond suggested Cllr Roberts as the substitute for the Loughton Residents Association, and this was agreed by the Committee.
S Hill informed the Committee that the training would be scheduled during January 2018, with the meeting of the Sub-Committee taking place as soon as possible afterwards. It was also highlighted that this particular case had taken some time to progress through of all of the preceding steps to get to this point.
(1) That three Members of the Standards Committee be appointed to the Standards Complaints Sub-Committee to hear the current outstanding case;
(2) That the three Members of the Standards Complaints Sub-Committee be comprised of two Members of the Conservative Group and one Member of the Loughton Residents Association, plus a substitute Member for each Group;
(3) That the following Councillors be appointed to the Standards Complaints Sub-Committee:
(a) Cllr Chambers (CON);
(b) Cllr Pond (LRA); and
(c) Cllr Rolfe (CON);
(4) That Cllr Avey (CON) and Cllr Roberts (LRA) be appointed as substitutes for their Groups for the Standards Complaints Sub-Committee;
(5) That Cllr Chambers be appointed as the Chairman of the Standards Complaints Sub-Committee;
(6) That the Terms of Reference for the Standards Complaints Sub-Committee, as set out in Article 9 of the Constitution, be noted; and
(7) That all Members of the Standards Committee be invited to attend the training from the Monitoring Officer for hearing a Standards Complaint, to be scheduled during January 2018.