Venue: Council Chamber, Bury Town Hall
Contact: Julie Gallagher
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 15th November are attached.
The minutes of the meeting of the 15th November 2021 be approved.
COUNCILLOR COMPLAINTS UPDATE PDF 430 KB
A report from the Council’s Monitoring Officer is attached.
The Council Monitoring Officer presented a report providing details of Elected Member complaints received by the Monitoring Officer for the period April 2021 – February 2022. The reports includes details of the outcome from the Standards Hearing which took place on 11 & 18th February 2021.
The number of complaints received by the Monitoring Officer in this period has been low. Member are asked to note that three complaints have been received within the last few weeks.
The Monitoring Officer reported that she is unable to identify any emerging themes from the complaints received.
Members discussed the sanctions available to the Standards sub committee once a breach is confirmed. Members expressed concerns that the ultimate sanction is for the electorate to decide, however with limited information in the public domain this is not always possible.
It was agreed That:
1. Members note the contents of the report
2. That Members direct the Monitoring Officer submit an annual report to the standards committee, the report will cover all aspects of governance arrangements.
3. Members note the revised Monitoring officer protocol sets out that complaints will be reported to the standards committee on an annual basis with the annual report.
CONSTITUTION REVIEW PDF 778 KB
Following agreement of the revised Constitution on 24th November 2021, Members resolved a timeline for further review.
As part of that review for consideration at the Standards Committee attached are a suggested revised:
· Monitoring Officer Protocol
The proposed amended protocols will be discussed at the Standards Committee in advance of consideration of Annual Council on 24th May 2022.
The Council’s constitution was reviewed and updated during the municipal year 2020/21. In considering the new Constitution, Members agreed that it would be reviewed annually to ensure that the changes proposed as a result of the review were fit for purpose.
Following agreement at Standards Committee and Council in November 2021 Members agreed a work programme for future review see Appendix 1.
The constitution stipulates that oversight of the Council Constitution is a function of the Standards Committee. However, there are particular elements of the Constitution that are pertinent to the work of the Standards Committee that are due for review, namely the Monitoring officer protocol
This protocol has been reviewed considering best practice guidance, current legislative framework and protocols in neighbouring Greater Manchester authorities.
It was agreed:
The Monitoring Officer Protocol would be forwarded to Annual Council with no amendments.
MEMBER TRAINING UPDATE PDF 317 KB
A report from the Head of Democratic Services is attached.
The report sets out all Member Training carried out during the municipal year 2021/22 and provides an overview of the plans for Member Induction following all-out elections in May 2022.
Members discussed the plan.
It was agreed;
The member induction plan would be updated to include a How to be a Councillor update.
MEMBER SAFETY GUIDANCE AND SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY PDF 484 KB
A report from the Councils Montoring Officer, Jacqui Dennis, is attached.
Following the death of the Member of Parliament David Amess, the Chief Executive requested a Member Safety group be established; the membership included – the Labour whip, Conservative whip, Mayor and Councillor Mason. The primary function of the Group was to review current safety guidance supported by the Monitoring Officer and Democratic Services; the group met on
the 9th December 2021.
Following the member safety group meeting, a draft member safety guidance was circulated with the papers for this meeting. Meeting reviewed the guidance in conjunction with the social media policy.
It was agreed;
That the social media policy be updated to include advice as to what Councillors can do when they are being targeted online.