Agenda and draft minutes

General Purposes Committee - Thursday, 16th June, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 2AE.. View directions

Contact: Charles Casey - Democratic Services Officer  Tel: (01423) 500600 Email:  democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes:

Minutes:

01/22 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTES:   Notification had been received that Councillor Sam Green was to act as substitute for Councillor Nick Brown.

(5.30 pm)

2.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

02/22 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

 

(5.30 pm)

3.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 199 KB

of the meeting of 17 March 2022.

Minutes:

03/22 – MINUTES: The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 March 2022 were approved unanimously as a correct record.

 

(5.31 pm)

4.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

04/22 – EXEMPT INFORMATION: There was no exempt information.

 

(5.31 pm)

5.

Public Arrangements - Questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

05/22 – PUBLIC ARRANGMENTS – QUESTIONS: There were no public questions to consider under Standing Order 27.

 

(5.31 pm)

6.

Standards Complaints and Investigations 2021/22: pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The Head of Legal and Governance to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

MATTER REFERRED TO COUNCIL

 

06/22 – STANDARDS COMPLAINTS AND INVESTIGATIONS 2021/22:

The Head of Legal and Governance (HOLG) submitted a written report which summarised the complaints made to the Monitoring Officer during 2021/22 concerning alleged breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct and the outcomes of any standards investigations. Appendix 1 to the report listed the complaints received and their outcomes up to the date of writing the report. Of the 13 complaints received seven related to Harrogate Borough Councillors with the other six being complaints against Parish Councillors.  The Independent Person was aware of all these cases and her views taken into account by the Monitoring Officer in deciding the appropriate course of action.

 

Case SB 2021-4 against Harrogate Borough Councillor Pat Marsh had been referred for investigation and had resulted in a Standards Panel Hearing and a public decision notice published on the Council’s website.  The HOLG reported that the recommendation that an apology be made had not been complied with.

 

In connection with this, as an amendment, Councillor Richard Cooper moved that

 

(1)         this Committee regrets the fact that Councillor Pat Marsh failed to comply with the sanction of the Standards Panel; and

 

(2)         this Committee recommends to Council that where the Independent Person and Standards Panel have agreed with a course of action on a standards complaint, if the person complained against refuses to comply with the sanction then the full records of the investigation will be placed on the Council’s website and its publication press released. If approved this action will apply to the cases in this report and prior cases.

 

The HOLG advised that as a matter of standard practice the Standards Panel considers at the start and end of a hearing whether information including investigation reports should remain exempt.  The Panel had considered that the report in relation to case SB 2021-4 should remain exempt and not be made available publicly for data protection reasons as it contained a significant amount of third party personal data relating to a member of the public.

 

On a vote being taken on the amendment it was approved unanimously, and therefore became the substantive motion.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1)      the Committee note the complaints made and their outcome;

 

(2)         the Committee regrets the fact that Councillor Pat Marsh failed to comply with the sanction of the Standards Panel; and

 

(3)         the Committee recommends to Council that where the Independent Person and Standards Panel have agreed with a course of action on a standards complaint, if the person complained against refuses to comply with the sanction then the full records of the investigation will be placed on the Council’s website and its publication press released. If approved this action will apply to the cases in this report and prior cases.

 

(5.32 pm – 5.52 pm)

7.

Appointments to Outside Bodies 2022/23: pdf icon PDF 274 KB

The Democratic Services Officer to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

MATTERS DEALT WITH UNDER DELEGATED POWERS

 

07/22 – APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES:  The Democratic Services Officer submitted a written report on the Outside Bodies arrangements for 2022/23. Paragraphs 5.3 to 5.4 provided an update on changes that had occurred during 2021/22 which were reflected in the updated schedule attached at Appendix 1. Group leaders had been invited to put forward any changes to their group’s current representatives.

 

In presenting the report the Democratic Services Manager reported that since the agenda had been circulated notification had been received of two further amendments to the schedule, as detailed below:

 

Ainsty Internal Drainage Board – remove Councillor Ann Myatt (Ouseburn ward) and replace with County Councillor Arnold Warneken (Ouseburn division)

 

Renaissance Knaresborough – remove Councillor Richard Cooper and replace with Councillor Ed Darling

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the Committee note and confirm the amendments to the schedule of outside body appointments at Appendix 1 to the report, including those amendments notified at the meeting.

 (5.53 pm – 5.54 pm)

 

(D)

8.

Temporary Appointment to Nidd Parish Council: pdf icon PDF 114 KB

The Democratic Services Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

08/22 – TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT TO NIDD PARISH COUNCIL:  The Democratic Services Manager (DSM) submitted a written report which informed the committee of the situation of Nidd Parish Council and sought approval to invoke the power to temporarily appoint a member to sit on the Nidd Parish Council.

 

The DSM advised that following the elections nominations period only two nominations had been received and the Parish Council was therefore not quorate. In this situation Section 91(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 provided that the principal authority (Harrogate Borough Council) could make an order to appoint to a town or parish council until such time as the vacancies on the parish council had been filled by either election or co-option. Once the vacant seats had been filled, any appointee could then resign from the Parish Council if they wished to do so.  The local convention was that the relevant district ward Councillor be the appointee, and Councillor Margaret Atkinson, Member for Fountains and Ripley ward, had agreed to assist in this matter.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) Councillor Margaret Atkinson be appointed under Section 91(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 to Nidd Parish Council in order to make it quorate, unless or until either sufficient vacancies on Nidd Parish Council have been filled by way of co-option or election so that the Parish Council is able to act lawfully, or the Order made under Section 91 (1) is revoked; and

 

(2) the Head of Legal and Governance be authorised to make the required order as attached at Appendix A.

 (5.54 pm – 5.55 pm)

 

 (D)