Agenda and minutes

Ethical Governance and Personnel Committee - Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10.30 am

Venue: De Montfort Suite, Hinckley Hub. View directions

Contact: Helen Rishworth, Communications & Democratic Accountability Officer, tel 01455 255745 

No. Item


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 19 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.


It was noted that there was a superfluous ‘and’ in the first paragraph of minute 322 – line 5. It was agreed that this should be removed then moved by Councillor Mrs Hall, seconded by Councillor Witherford and


RESOLVED – the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December be confirmed subject to the above amendment and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest

To receive verbally from members any disclosures which they are required to make in accordance with the Council’s code of conduct or in pursuance of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This is in addition to the need for such disclosure to be also given when the relevant matter is reached on the agenda.


No interests were declared at this stage.


Corporate Anti Fraud Policy pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was presented with the updated Corporate Anti-Fraud Policy (“The Policy”), which had been refreshed following the Audit Commission’s report “Protecting the Public Purse” in November 2013 and a fraud awareness workshop with officers conducted by the Council’s external auditors.


Members expressed concern that not all groups were represented on the Committee and that the policy should go to the Finance, Audit & Performance Committee for information so all members were aware of the policy. Further general concern was expressed that the unrepresented group was missing the opportunity to comment on important staff and corporate policies. The Chairman agreed to write to the relevant group leader to ask his members to reconsider appointing to the Committee.


On the motion of Councillor Witherford, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hall, it was




(i)         the revised policy be adopted;


(ii)        an invitation be sent to the relevant group leader to re-appoint to the Ethical Governance and Personnel Committee.


Exclusion of the public and press

To consider the passing of a resolution under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the public from the undermentioned item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 10 of Schedule 12A of the 1972 Act.


On the motion of Councillor Inman seconded by Councillor Mrs Hall, it was


RESOLVED – in accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 10 of Part I of Schedule 12A of that Act.


Investigation report 2013 -10

Please find attached a covering report, the Investigation report, and an appendix which contains all background information and evidence.


The Committee received a final investigation report into a complaint about a parish councillor allegedly undermining, bullying and harassing an employee of the parish council. Whilst members noted some minor discrepancies in some of the information provided by the subject member and complainant, it was acknowledged that there had been an ongoing dispute between the two individuals and a history of complaints.


It was felt that, on the balance of probabilities, the subject member had not breached the parish council’s code of conduct and no further action should be taken.


Members thanked the investigating officer for a very thorough report.


On the motion of Councillor Moore, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hall, it was


RESOLVED – no action be taken as no breach had occurred.


Fact Finding report 2013-13

A fact finding report is attached, along with an appendix.


Members were informed of a complaint received about a parish and borough councillor with regard to allegedly inappropriate comments made in a meeting which included external attendees and thereby constituting misconduct in public office. It was reported that during the fact finding exercise, the subject member openly admitted making the comments but claimed that it was a statement of fact and was in response to speculation of other members of the meeting. Members were informed that the officer about whom the comments had been made was not aware of the comments made or the complaint received and the decision whether or not to inform them was an employment matter for the authority to consider.


Members expressed the view that, should an employee of the council make similar comments, they would be disciplined. They felt it unfair if a councillor could be allowed to make such comments. It was felt that the comments breached the Nolan principles and potentially brought the authority into disrepute and a full investigation should be undertaken by an external investigator with no knowledge of the subject member, complainant, or officer about whom the comments were made.


It was moved by Councillor Witherford, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hall and unanimously


RESOLVED – the complaint be referred for investigation.


Fact Finding report 2013-14

Fact finding report with chronology attached.


A fact finding report was presented to the committee which considered a complaint about two parish councillors allegedly failing to follow adopted corporate operational policies of the council when dealing with an employment matter. Members considered the information presented to them and felt that there was no evidence to suggest that the relevant procedures had not been followed and they were in fact impressed that the parish council dealt with employment matters in such a thorough manner. It was moved by Councillor Mrs Hall, seconded by Councillor Moore and unanimously


RESOLVED – no further action be taken.