Saturday, 23 November 2013

Standards Committee meeting Thursday 21 November

Members of the Standards Committee last night (Thursday 21 November) voted to return a report which reviewed ‘the culture of the Council’ back to the independent members who drafted it, for further consideration.

Committee Members overwhelmingly felt that elements of the report required evidence before it could be considered.

Following a brief adjournment of the meeting, the four independent members of Standards Committee announced their immediate resignation. This included the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee.

Cllr Richard Nicholson was then elected as Chairman for the remainder of the meeting in order to conclude the remaining items of business.
The Council will now begin the process to recruit new independent members.

Cllr Clive Hart said: “Thanet District Council takes the governance of the authority very seriously and has a Code of Conduct in place which sets out the high ethical conduct expected of its councillors. All councillors agree to comply with this code.

“Many of the issues that have been raised within the report are as a result of potential breaches of the code by a very small minority. These breaches may not have occurred if the Standards Committee had the power to impose appropriate sanctions.

“I have invited the leaders of each of the political groups in Thanet Council to meet to discuss a way forward and to follow up the issues that have been raised.”

When the government abolished the National Code of Conduct for members in July 2012, Thanet Council adopted a Local Code of Conduct and also decided to retain a Standards Committee with independent members who would also hold the office of Chairman and Vice Chairman. The remit of this committee is to review the council’s Code of Conduct and to provide advice and guidance to members on compliance. 

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