Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Thursday, 6th July, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE. View directions

Contact: Michael Kay, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager 

No. Item



Please note this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method.  Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting.  Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on.  By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.


The Chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual, or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.


The Chair drew attendees’ attention to the notice on filming at meetings.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Beacham, for whom Councillor Morris was attending as substitute. Councillor Morris gave apologies for lateness.


Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business.




Declarations of Interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:


(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct.




Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meetings of the Standards Committee held on 7 March.


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.


Standards Sub-Committees and Outline Work Programme pdf icon PDF 172 KB


Michael Kay, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager, introduced a report that sought to establish the arrangements for the handling of complaints under the Members’ Code of Conduct, and set out the proposed work programme for the Committee over the coming municipal year. This included further review work of the Council’s procedures, as set out in the Constitution, and a fundamental review of the scheme of Members’ allowances.


In discussion on the proposed work programme, the following points were made:

1.    Members indicated that they would likely want to consult with Members more widely on proposals for a new allowances scheme. The form of this consultation could be discussed at the November meeting, when they would have opportunity to consider proposals for a new scheme.

2.    Members had suggestions of roles currently not in receipt of an allowance that should be, given the level of commitment and responsibility they entailed – for example, the Vice Chair of the Regulatory Committee.

3.    The new allowances scheme ought to provide for potential outcomes of the May 2018 elections, and may need to include flexible provisions, for example on the number or size of political groups.

4.    The next meeting should receive information on levels of allowance elsewhere.




That the Committee:

a.    Agree the membership of the Standards Assessment Sub Committee and the Standards Hearing Sub Committee, as set out at 5.3 of the report

b.    Note the proposals for the Committee’s outline work programme



Proposed Changes to the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Additional documents:


Victoria Barman, Senior Project Lawyer (Corporate), introduced a report that set out proposed changes to the Constitution in four main areas – noting the establishment of the joint sub-committee of the Health and Wellbeing Board with Islington, removing the Council and Employees Joint Consultative Committee from the Constitution, a review of the Statutory, Proper and Specified Officer functions within the Officer Scheme of Delegation, and other minor amendments for clarification purposes. These proposals had been deferred from the March meeting of the Standards Committee without consideration, and had been presented to Members in a briefing session in May.


The following points were made in discussion:

1.    It would be helpful if the Constitution were clear on the implications of being a political group within the Council, including the entitlement to a Political Assistant.

2.    Early circulation of potential changes to the Constitution would be helpful in allowing more Members to have opportunity to consider the changes and potentially attend the Standards Committee meeting where they would be considered. It was also noted that that may be difficult to achieve in practice, but was a good ambition and the Standards Committee ought to consider whether proposed changes should be consulted on further when presented with them.

3.    That, rather than full sections being included in papers, future meetings could be furnished with only extracts showing proposed changes to the Constitution, with a full Constitution available for reference.

4.    That it may be helpful for a glossary to be prepared, helping the reader understand terms used throughout the Constitution. 


In addition to the proposed changes set out in the report, Members agreed that they would recommend Full Council reduce the threshold for the registering of gifts and hospitality to £25 or above, and that that ought to be included in the Members’ Code of Conduct.




That the Committee recommend full Council:


a)         Note the establishment of a joint sub-committee of the Health and Wellbeing Board with Islington Council and consequently, agree the following amendments to the Constitution:


(i)           Part 2, ‘Articles’ at paragraph 4.02 (v) and 10.09 (Appendix 6 of the report);

(ii)          Part 3, Section B ‘Responsibility for functions: Full Council and Non-Executive Bodies’ at Section 1 paragraph 1(v) and Section 2 paragraph 8.1 (Appendix 1 of the report)


b)         Note the removal of the Council and Employees Joint Consultative Committee at Part 3, Section B ‘Responsibility for functions: Full Council and Non-Executive Bodies’ at Section 3 paragraph 1 (Appendix 1 of the report); and associated amendment at Part 4, Section B ‘Committee Procedure Rules’ rule 58 (Appendix 7 of the report), following the decision of the Staffing and remuneration Committee to dissolve this sub-committee;



c)         Approve changes to Statutory, Proper and Specified Officer functions within the Officer Scheme of Delegation together with minor amendments, for clarification purposes, as set out at: 


(i)            Part 3, Section E Officer Scheme of Delegation at Section 3 ‘Delegations to the Chief Executive and Statutory Officers’ (Appendix 2 of the report);

(ii)           Part 3,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


New Items of Urgent Business




Dates of Next Meetings

14 September, 15 November and 8 March.


14 September, 16 November and 8 March.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of Items 11 and 12 as they contain exempt information as defined in Section 100a of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended by Section 12A of the Local Government Act 1985); paras 1 & 2; namely information relating to any individual, and information likely to reveal the identity of an individual.




Minutes of meetings of the Assessment Sub Committee

To confirm the minutes of the meetings of the Standards Assessment Sub Committee held on 21 February and 11 May.


The minutes of the meetings of the Standards Assessment Sub Committee held on 21 February and 11 May were confirmed.


New items of exempt urgent business

To consider any items admitted at 2 above.