Agenda and draft minutes

Accounts and Governance Committee - Thursday, 18th November, 2021 6.45 pm

Venue: The Council Chamber, Town Hall, Penrith

Contact: Members Services 

Items
No. Item

AGc/21/11/21

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Wicks, Councillor Lynch, and Councillor McCall; Councillor Baker attended as substitute.

AGc/22/11/21

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of the existence and nature of any private interests, both disclosable pecuniary and any other registrable interests, in any matter to be considered or being considered.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Eyles gave a personal explanation and stated that he was recording the meeting for personal use.

 

AGc/23/11/21

Minutes of Previous Meeting

To sign the minutes AGc/13/08/21 to AGc/20/08/21 of the meeting of this Committee held on 11 August 2021 as a correct record of those proceedings (copies previously circulated).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that public minutes AGc/13/08/21 to AGc/20/08/21 of the meeting of this Committee held on 11 August 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of those proceedings.

AGc/24/11/21

Questions and Representations from Members of the Public

To receive questions and representations from the public under Rules 10 and 11 of the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution.

Minutes:

No questions or representations from members of the public had been received under Rules 10 and 11 of the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution.

AGc/25/11/21

Questions and Representations from Members

To receive questions and representations from Members under Rules 11 and 12 of the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution.

Minutes:

No questions or representations from Members had been received under Rules 11 and 12 of the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution.

AGc/26/11/21

Request for Dispensation for Attendance at Council Meetings pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To consider the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services’ report G38/21 (attached), which advises Members of a request for a dispensation to a Member of the Council who is currently unable to attend any Council meetings due to illness, and to ask them to endorse the request.

 

RECOMMENDED that a dispensation be granted for Councillor Deb Holden from attending meetings of the Council for a six-month period by reason of illness. 

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services, report G38/21, which outlined a request for a six-month dispensation to Councillor Holden, who is currently unable to attend any Council meetings due to illness.  

Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 stated that where a Member failed throughout a period of six consecutive months from the date of their last attendance to attend any meeting of the authority, then subject to certain exceptions, he/she ceased to become a Member of the authority unless the failure was due to some reason approved before the expiry of that period.  The granting of a dispensation would enable Councillor Holden to continue being a member of the Council beyond the six-month period stipulated.

Councillor Greenwood enquired when the dispensation would start.

Ms Tremble clarified that the dispensation would run from the date of its granting by the Committee for a period of six months.

Proposed by Councillor Connell;
Seconded by Councillor Lancaster; and

RESOLVED that a dispensation be granted to Councillor Deb Holden from attending meetings of the Council for a six-month period by reason of illness.

 

AGc/27/11/21

Eden District Council Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services’ report G34/21 (attached), which provides information about the adoption of the Local Government Association Model Code of Conduct for Local Authority Members.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Accounts and Governance Committee recommends to Council that it adopts the Local Government Association Code of Conduct (as amended) for inclusion in the Constitution.

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services, report G34/21. Ms Tremble provided background to the Code of Conduct review.

 

Councillor Connell noted that content referenced in the document was missing. Ms Tremble confirmed that she would make the necessary corrections.

 

The Committee noted the provisions on bullying and harassment. Councillor Nicolson requested that the document be presented in its final form when the document is presented to Full Council for adoption and inclusion in the Constitution.

 

Ms Tremble noted that any comments Members had on the document would be presented as an addendum at the next Council Meeting.

 

Proposed by Councillor Eyles;

Seconded by Councillor Greenwood; and

 

RESOLVED that the Committee recommends to Council that the Local Government Association Model Councillor Code of Conduct (as amended) be adopted and included in the Constitution.

 

AGc/28/11/21

One Eden Workstream - Constitution pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services’ report G35/21 (attached), which proposes changes to the Constitution.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Accounts and Governance Committee considers the proposed changes and recommends the adoption of the revised Constitution to Council.

 

Note: Appendix 1 to this report will be sent ‘to follow’. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services, report G35/21. Ms Tremble noted her appreciation for the work carried out by the Constitution’s working group.

 

Councillor Connell affirmed the importance of the Constitution and the importance of its continuous review process, notably in ensuring that the document was both comprehensible and navigable. Councillor Connell stressed the importance of the contents list in the Constitution in ensuring that information could be found expeditiously.  

 

Proposed by Councillor Eyles;

Seconded by Councillor Greenwood; and

 

RESOLVED that the Committee recommends to Council:

 

1. to consider the proposed changes and adopt the revised Constitution; and

2. authorise the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services to approve and authorise any minor or typographical changes to the text of the Constitution following its adoption by Council. 

 

AGc/29/11/21

Complaints and Compliments - Ombudsman's Annual Report and the Council's own Procedure pdf icon PDF 7 MB

To consider the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services’ report G32/21 (attached), which advises Members of the contents of the annual report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) about complaints relating to the Council for the year ended 31 March 2021, and complaints raised under the Council’s own procedure.

 

RECOMMENDED the comments made by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in the Annual Report, be noted.

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services, report G32/21. Ms Tremble highlighted the Ombudsman’s general concern with the efficient handling of complaints across authorities and noted that a new mechanism for dealing effectively with complaints would be forthcoming to assist authorities in deriving value from the process.  It was further noted that Eden District Council performed comparatively well, in terms of the overall number of complaints, when compared to neighbouring authorities.

 

Proposed by Councillor Eyles;

Seconded by Councillor Greenwood; and

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

AGc/30/11/21

Members' Training Programme 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To consider the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services’ report G40/21 (attached), which requests approval of the Members’ training work programme for 2021/2022.

 

RECOMMENDED the Members’ training programme for the 2021/2022 financial year be approved.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services, report G40/21.

 

Proposed by Councillor Eyles;

Seconded by Councillor Greenwood; and

 

RESOLVED that:

1. electoral conduct training be shifted to February 2022 by officers; and that

2. the Member Training Programme 2021/2022 be approved.

 

AGc/31/11/21

Any Other Items Which the Chairman Decides are Urgent

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business to be considered.

AGc/32/11/21

Date of Next Scheduled Meeting

To note that the next Accounts and Governance Committee will be held on Thursday 9 December 2021 at 6.45 p.m.

Minutes:

The date of the Committees’ next meeting was confirmed as Thursday, 9th December 2021.