Decision status: Recommmend Forward to Council
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
6.1 The Committee received a report by the Director of Law and Assurance (copy appended to the signed minutes) which sought approval from the Committee to a proposed replacement of the Protocol on Relationships between Members and Officers which formed part of the Code of Conduct section of the County Council’s constitution.
6.2 The Director Law and Assurance explained that, as part of the Good Governance work that had been undertaken this year, the council’s policies in the areas of discipline and grievance and those reflecting changes to the culture of the organisation had been reviewed and changes made to the Protocol attached at Appendix 1. The Committee’s approval was sought prior to submission for decision at December County Council. The Committee made comments including those that follow:
· To note that a councillor had asked for a change to be made to add the word ‘specific’ at para 22 to ensure that committee members were able to ask specific officers to attend meetings
· The need to highlight for both members and officers the guidance on keeping members informed and to emphasise how important this is in helping members to do their job
· To propose an addition between paragraphs 12 and 13 to set out guidance for officers that they should not, when dealing with the public, endeavour to pass operational responsibilities to a member.
· To question whether all members would have an opportunity to see the document again before it went before full Council. It was agreed that it would be helpful for members and officers to have the opportunity and any further changes requested would be shared with Committee members for informal endorsement prior to submission to County Council in December
· That it may be helpful to include this document in induction packs for new members.
6.3 Resolved that the Committee supports the proposed revised protocol with the:
a. addition of the word ‘specific’ in paragraph 22
b. addition of a paragraph setting out that officers, when dealing with the public, do not give the impression that members may be responsible for operational matters
c. correction of the spelling of ‘behaviour’ at 2.1 and 2.2
d. further circulation of the protocol to members and officers and that any additional revisions be circulated to the Committee for endorsement.
Publication date: 17/11/2020
Date of decision: 02/11/2020
Decided at meeting: 02/11/2020 - Standards Committee