Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Thursday, 11th July, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: 0.09 Civic Meeting Room - Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. View directions

Contact: Joanne Holmes 

No. Item


Appointment of Substitute Members

To be notified of the appointment of any Substitute Members.


There were no substitute members.


Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.


You are also invited to disclose any dispensations in relation to any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.


Please complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.



To confirm the minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 20 March 2019.


Resolved:  That the minutes of the previous Standards Committee meeting held on 20 March 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.


Standards Committee Action Plan/Work Programme 2019-20

To consider the Action Plan/Work Programme 2019-20 of the Standards Committee for the year up to 31 March 2020.


The Committee considered the action plan/work programme for the year up to 31 March 2020.


It was noted that a review of the constitution is under way and this will include reviewing the code of conduct for Members.  The review will incorporate consideration of the recommendations arising from the review of the Committee for Standards in Public Life’s report on Government Ethical Standards to identify where the Authority is already meeting best practice and where there are areas where arrangements could be improved.  Any changes would be reported to this Committee before being reported to the Constitution Task Group and Full Council for agreement. 


It was also noted that the Monitoring Officer is considering the Authority’s Local Arrangements for dealing with Complaints under the Code of Conduct, with a view to identifying ways to filter out frivolous complaints earlier in the process and reduce the burden on officer time.  This could involve strengthening the powers of the Monitoring Officer as part of the initial assessment process.  Any changes would be developed in consultation with this Committee.


Members noted that a number of complaints are related to social media.  It was suggested that more training should be provided to Members on the use of social media.


Members raised an issue about declarations of interest in relation to their membership of other bodies.  It was noted that there was growing complexity around this issue with many members appointed to regional and national bodies outside of the Council and it can be unclear which code of conduct applies in each circumstance.  It was noted that officers are considering this.  Members were advised to seek advice from officers if they have any queries about declarations of interest in these situations.


Members raised the issue of Member Training.  It was requested that a report be provided to the next meeting on Member Training and whether Members are undertaking the required training in line with the constitution. 




That the Work programme for 2019/20 be agreed;


That a report be submitted to the next meeting on Member Training, including statistical information on the number of Members who have completed training in line with expectations;