Agenda item


The Director of Legal and Governance (and Monitoring Officer) presented the report to provide an update in respect of the number of alleged Member Code of Conduct complaints received for the period 23June to 30 November, 2018 and to also provide a summary of the complaints that were outstanding. The Monitoring Officer advised that since the last report to the Committee there had been nine new complaints submitted regarding Ashfield District Council Councillors. The report provided details of the current status of each complaint and it was noted that since the last report there had been no new complaints submitted regarding Selston Parish Councillors and that there were currently no complaints outstanding regarding Annesley and Felley Parish Councillors. The Monitoring Officer advised that the majority of complaints submitted regarding Ashfield District Councillors had been dealt with and resolved in consultation with the Council’s Independent Person for Standards Matters. The Monitoring Office noted the substantial use of resources used in the dealing of complaints submitted and advised that the processes for dealing with complaints was being reviewed in order to make the process more streamlined, including the introduction of an online form for submitting complaints which would capture all required information at the start of the process.


In view of recent complaints relating to Selston Parish Council, the Service Manager – Legal Services (and Deputy Monitoring Officer) who had been attending Selston Parish Council meetings to observe and provide general guidance and feedback to the Parish in relation to governance issues, attended the meeting to provide an update in relation to the conduct of the Parish Meetings attended, the Governance Review and the outstanding complaints with regard to Selston Parish Council. The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that with regard to the meetings of the Parish Council there had been a significant improvement in their conduct in recent months with notable improvements in the behaviour of Parish Councillors and in their interaction with each other. The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that from observing meetings there was a clear commitment shown to the local area and agreement on many issues shared by all Parish Councillors, and noted that the Chair of the Council and the Parish Clerk had both been supportive in working with them to bring about positive change at Selston Parish Council.


The Deputy Monitoring Officer noted that changes to how planning considerations were dealt with had been introduced as well amendments being made to the style of minutes and agendas, but advised that a full Governance review was yet to take place, with quotations for such a review currently being sought. Members of the Committee noted that the cost of a full Governance review could be significant, and potentially not change behaviour, and noted that how a Parish Council functioned was significantly impacted by the personalities of the membership of the Council, not just its Governance arrangements. The Monitoring Officer advised that a presence from Ashfield District Council at Selston Parish Council meetings would be maintained for the foreseeable future as this presence had been effective in positively affecting behaviour and supporting change, but noted that this presence would not be maintained indefinitely.


Members of the Committee asked several specific questions on the cases outlined in the officer’s report and received verbal responses.




that the updated position in relation to Members’ Code of Conduct complaints for the period 23June, 2018 to 30 November, 2018, as outlined in the Appendix to the officer’s report, be noted.




To reflect good practice and to enable Members to monitor the volume and progress of complaints.

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