Agenda and minutes

Venue: QEII Room, Shoreham Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea

Contact: Neil Terry
Senior Democratic Services Officer  01903 221073
neil.terry@worthing.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

Simon Norris Jones, Independent Person, attended the meeting as the co-opted member of the Sub-Committee

JGSC/1/19-20

Election of a Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the duration of the meeting.

Minutes:

Resolved,

 

That the Joint Governance Sub-Committee appointed Councillor Kevin Boram to be Chairman for the meeting. 

 

JGSC/2/19-20

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to any business on the agenda.  Declarations should also be made at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.

 

If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services for this meeting.

Minutes:

Councillors Lionel Harman and Steve Wills declared interests as Ward Councillors for Castle Ward, which was adjacent to Northbrook Ward. Therefore, they worked closely with Councillor Sean McDonald on a number of issues.  

 

JGSC/3/19-20

Procedure for the Meeting pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To agree the procedure for the meeting, a copy of the proposed procedure is attached as item 3. 

Minutes:

The committee were asked to approve the procedure for the meeting, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of the minutes as item 3. 

 

Resolved, 

 

The Sub-Committee agreed the amended procedure for the meeting and confirmed that the hearing would be held in public.

 

 

JGSC/4/19-20

Allegation of a Breach of the Code of Conduct by Cllr Sean McDonald pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To consider a report by the Monitoring Officer, copy attached as item 4.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Cllr Sean McDonald requested that the hearing be dismissed on the basis that it would breach his Human Rights as follows:-

 

·         Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights - Right to a fair trial;

·         Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights - Right to freedom of expression and information.

 

Cllr McDonald argued that the investigators report stated that he was guilty and therefore the Sub-Committee couldn’t consider it with an open mind. In addition, the advance disclosure of information requested by Cllr McDonald had been denied and Cllr McDonald stated that he could not afford legal representation at the hearing.

 

The Legal Adviser to the Sub-Committee (LA) advised that the meeting was not a trial. Members were being asked to determine whether Cllr McDonald had breached the code of conduct, which was more akin to a disciplinary hearing. The Investigating Officer (IO) had not made a determination. Cllr McDonald had seen the information before the Sub-Committee and the information requested by Cllr McDonald was not in the possession of the Council. Members were advised that the issuing of tickets wasn’t the matter for consideration, the Sub-Committee was asked to consider whether Cllr McDonald had breached the Code of Conduct.

 

The Monitoring Officer (MO) advised that Worthing Borough Council had adopted its Constitution and Code of Conduct and Cllr McDonald had agreed to these processes. Cllr McDonald also had the right to Legal Representation. The MO clarified the roles of the LA and the IO. The MO advised that the IO had provided her personal opinion in the investigator’s report ‘I find….’. It was also noted that the MO opposed a request for an adjournment as it was not in the interests of justice or the public interest to defer the hearing.

 

The MO informed the Committee that the information requested by Cllr McDonald had been the names and addresses of the persons issued with tickets and the officer who had issued the tickets. The MO stated that neither were relevant and neither were in the possession of the Council. The NHS Parking Policy was not an issue for consideration either and Cllr McDonald’s request had not been GDPR compliant and was therefore unlawful. The Sub-Committee noted that it was not within the MO’s remit to adjourn the meeting.  

 

The Chairman advised that it was up to the Sub-Committee to make a decision based on the evidence before it and this would be done by following the procedures as set out in the Code of Conduct and both Councils Constitutions.

 

The Chairman requested that the Sub-Committee determine whether the request to dismiss the hearing should be upheld by way of a show of hands. Members of the Sub-Committee voted unanimously against the hearing being dismissed.  

 

Cllr McDonald then requested that the hearing be adjourned for a minimum of 28 days in order that:-

 

·         the following information could be provided to Cllr McDonald:-

o   the Officers names who issued the tickets;

o   CCTV footage from the car park;  ...  view the full minutes text for item JGSC/4/19-20

JGSC/5/19-20

Exclusion of the Press and Public

In the opinion of the Proper Officer the press and public should be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following items.  Therefore the meeting is asked to consider passing the following resolution:

 

‘that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting from the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act indicated against the item.’

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee agreed the amended procedure for the meeting and confirmed that the hearing would be held in public.