Code of Conduct - Summary of Complaints
Decision Maker: Audit, Risk and Governance Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
A summary of complaints received and action
taken under the Code of Conduct for councillors.
Laura Sales, Director of Corporate Services and Monitoring Officer presented a report detailing a summary of all complaints received in 2019 against county councillors under the Code of Conduct. Terry Whitehead and Keith Leaver, Lancashire County Council appointed 'independent persons', who advise the Conduct Committee when required, were introduced to the committee.
The following points were highlighted from the report:
The emphasis of the process was to resolve complaints informally where possible. The Monitoring Officer had recently met with the appointed independent persons to discuss the best way of managing complaints received under the Code of Conduct moving forward, to ensure transparency. It was agreed that the Audit, Risk and Governance Committee would receive an annual report and where a complaint had been resolved informally, the independent persons would be contacted to ascertain their views on the decision. The number of complaints was low and when deemed necessary, apologies were forthcoming.
In response to a question it was confirmed that the independent persons hadn't been consulted regarding the breaches listed in the 2019 report, as the members involved had accepted the complaint and provided an apology where required. However under the new process, they would be contacted in each legitimate case of a complaint to confirm their agreement with the Monitoring Officer's suggested resolution.
Members commented that working together with the independent persons to resolve complaints was valuable and it would benefit open communication if more work was done regarding standards of behaviour at Full Council meetings.
Resolved: That the Audit, Risk and Governance Committee note the summary as presented.
Report author: Josh Mynott
Date of decision: 27/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 27/01/2020 - Audit, Risk and Governance Committee