Venue: Remote Meeting via Zoom
Contact: Neil terry
Democratic Services Lead 01903 221073
Election of a Chairman
To elect a Chairman for the duration of the meeting.
That the Joint Governance Sub-Committee appointed Councillor Roy Barraclough to be Chairman for the meeting.
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 representative for this meeting.
It was noted that Kevin Jenkins was attending the meeting, not in the capacity as a Councillor, but in the capacity of the Subject Member’s Representative.
Procedure for the Meeting PDF 131 KB
To agree the procedure for the meeting, a copy of the proposed procedure is attached as item 3.
Following introductions from all those present, the Sub-Committee was asked to approve the procedure for the meeting, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of the minutes as item 3.
That the Joint Governance Sub-Committee agreed to follow the Procedure for the Meeting as detailed in agenda item 3 of the papers.
Exclusion of Press and Public
In the opinion of the Proper Officer the press and public should be excluded from the meeting for consideration of item 5. 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'
It was proposed by Councillor Roy Barraclough, seconded by Councillor Kevin Boram that the hearing be conducted in Part A, open to the Press and Public.
The Subject Member’s Representative (SMR) advised that the Subject Member (SM) welcomed the meeting being held in the public arena.
That the Joint Governance Sub-Committee unanimously agreed to hold the meeting in Part A, open to the Press and Public.
Alleged Breach of the Adur District Council Code of Conduct - Cllr Neil Parkin
To consider an exempt report by the Monitoring Officer, item 5.
The Legal Advisor (LA) advised that the Sub-Committee had been convened to determine an allegation that Cllr Parkin (SM) had breached Adur District Council’s Code of Conduct for elected members. The Sub-Committee’s role was to establish the facts, which were not in dispute and to establish whether there had been a breach of the Code of Conduct.
The alleged words used by the SM had resulted in 7 complaints from Councillors, alleging that various areas of the code had been breached, and 2 complaints from members of the public.
The LA also advised the Sub-Committee of an additional paper which provided details of questions from 1 of the complainants to the Independent Investigator (II). Copies of the questions and corresponding answers had been shared in advance of the meeting.
The Independent Investigator outlined his report to the Sub-Committee.
In accordance with stages 6 (ii) and (iii) of the procedure for the hearing, the SMR and Members of the Sub-Committee asked the II a number of questions in relation to the contents of his report, to which the II replied.
In accordance with stage 8 of the procedure for the hearing, the SMR asked the Monitoring Officer (MO) whether consideration had been given to the complaint being politically motivated. The MO and Independent Person (IP) advised that consideration had been given to whether there was a potential breach of the Code of Conduct and if the complaint should be determined by the MO or a Sub-Committee. It was noted that the IP’s comments were also set out in the MO’s report.
In accordance with stage 9 of the procedure for the hearing the Sub-Committee sought clarification from the MO as to whether the SM had been given an opportunity to retract his statement. The SMR suggested that no informal resolution had been offered in this case.
In accordance with stage 10 of the procedure for the hearing, the SMR outlined the SM’s defence to the allegation that they had breached the code of conduct. It was noted that the SM did not dispute the words spoken, but did dispute the context in which they were spoken. There had been no intent to cause offence or use language of a racist nature, it had been an off the cuff comment and in hindsight, the SM acknowledged that the words could have been said differently contextually.
In accordance with stage 13 of the procedure for the hearing, the MO asked whether the SM had been offered an opportunity for informal resolution. The SMR replied not to his knowledge. It was noted that as the Leader of the Council had said these words; it had been deemed important for the complaint to go before a Sub-Committee for determination rather than determination by the MO.
The MO was provided with an opportunity for final comment in accordance with stage 15 of the procedure for the hearing.
The SMR was provided with an opportunity for final comment in accordance with stage 16 of the procedure for ... view the full minutes text for item JGCSC/10/20-21