Issue - items at meetings - Monitoring Officer's Report

Issue - meetings

Monitoring Officer's Report

Meeting: 28/11/2012 - Standards Committee (this Committee has now been combined wit the Audit, Standrds and Governance Committee and no longer meets) (Item 12)

12 Monitoring Officer's Report pdf icon PDF 84 KB

[To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer on any matters of relevance to the Committee.]



The Deputy Monitoring Officer (DMO) introduced the Monitoring Officer's (MO's) Report and, in doing so, advised Members that all of the Register of Members' Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI) forms received had been published on the District Council's website, in accordance with the requirements laid out in section 29 of the Localism Act.


Regarding the appointments of Mr. Mel Nock and Ms. Debbie Jinks as Independent Persons under the new standards regime, it was noted that the MO had already been working with Mr. Nock on complaint matters.


It was queried whether the Committee would have the opportunity of meeting the IPs.  Officers advised that it had been hoped that Mr. Nock would be present to observe the meeting that evening but that local traffic problems may have prevented this.  Ms. Jinks had still to receive her induction into the role, which had been delayed as a consequence of Officers having been busy and Ms. Jinks currently being on maternity leave. 


In relation to Member training, Officers confirmed that Councillors Dr. Booth and Mallett had, earlier that evening, completed the requisite mandatory training in order to sit on the Committee.  


The issue of Council and committee meetings no longer being tape recorded was raised, particularly in relation to the new criminal element associated with Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and any consequential legal implications for Police and/or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) involvement.  Members queried whether this was a temporary situation and whether the new Council building would have recording equipment installed.


The MO responded that Full Council had made the decision to no longer record meetings, and that a separate decision would need to be made further down the line as to whether recording equipment should be installed at the new Council premises.  The function limitations and unreliability of the previous equipment at the Council House were noted, together with the financial implications of replacing the equipment.  As the previous equipment failed to work on some occasions it could not be relied upon.


Regarding Police/CPS implications, the MO stated that tape recordings were likely to be inadmissible as these could be tampered with.  The MO added that she did not think the absence of tape recorded meetings would affect the position as the minute taking at meetings would become more detailed.



(a)       that the contents of the report be noted; and

(b)       that any required actions arising from the points detailed in the report and the preamble above be acted upon, as appropriate.