Venue: De Montfort Suite, Hinckley Hub. View directions
Contact: Rebecca Owen, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies and substitutions
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Boothby, Cartwright, Nickerson and O’Shea, with the following substitutions authorised in accordance with council procedure rule 10:
Councillor Wallace for Councillor Boothby
Councillor Hollick for Councillor Cartwright
Councillor Sutton for Councillor Nickerson
Councillor Cook for Councillor O’Shea.
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.
Matters from which the public may be excluded
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 3 and 10 of Schedule 12A of the 1972 Act.
On the motion of Councillor Allen seconded by Councillor Witherford, it was
RESOLVED – in accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 10 of Part I of Schedule 12A of that Act.
Determination hearing in relation to complaint 2017-06.
Members gave consideration to the report of the independent investigator in relation to a complaint about Councillor Chris Boothby which had been referred for a hearing by the Ethical Governance & Personnel Committee on 29 November 2017.
The committee was informed that the subject member had indicated he would not be in attendance at the meeting and they agreed to continue in his absence as it was highly unlikely, given comments he had made, that he would attend at a later date should they decide to adjourn.
The investigator, Mr Maxey, was in attendance and presented his findings. He outlined the allegations that, on 6 June 2017, there was an exchange between Councillor Boothby and the complainant concerning where the complainant had parked their car. Mr Maxey referred to the three allegations within the complaint:
(i) That, in challenging the complainant’s parking, Councillor Boothby breached the requirement in Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council’s code of conduct for Members in that he failed to ‘strive to create respectful and courteous relationships with everyone you come into contact with as a Member’ (paragraph 1(b)) and the Nolan Principles (paragraph 1(a) and appendix 1 of the code);
(ii) That Councillor Boothby challenged the complainant’s entitlement to a blue badge, in breach of the same provisions of the code;
(iii) That the manner in which Councillor Boothby spoke to the complainant breached the same provisions of the code.
The investigator had found that, on the balance of probabilities, there had been a breach of (i) and (ii) above but that, due to it being a case of the complainant’s word against the subject member’s, on the balance of probabilities there had not been a breach of the code of conduct in relation to point (iii) above.
The investigator explained that Councillor Boothby had felt that he had a role to challenge the complainant as part of his role as Executive member for Housing & Community Safety, whereas he had no more responsibility to do so than any other member of the public. He also explained that the issue for discussion was not whether the complainant had parked in an inconvenient or obstructive manner, but about how Councillor Boothby had treated the complainant and how he had challenged the complainant’s use of and entitlement to a blue badge.
Members then asked questions of Mr Maxey in relation to the details of the case to ascertain the relevant facts. This part of the hearing concluded at 10:45am and Mr Maxey left the meeting.
Members then considered the information they had received and the options available to them.
In reaching a decision, members referred to the following:
· Agreement with the investigator’s report that Councillor Boothby had breached the code of conduct in relation to two elements
· Agreement with the investigator’s report that Councillor Boothby had not, on the balance of probability, breached the code of conduct in relation to the third element of the allegation
· The disappointing fact that Councillor Boothby had not attended the meeting to make ... view the full minutes text for item 283.