Agenda and minutes

Venue: Cowdray & Goodwood Room, Parkside, Chartway, Horsham

Contact: Email:  Direct Line: 01403 215465

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To approve as correct the minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2019

(Note: If any Member wishes to propose an amendment to the minutes they should submit this in writing to at least 24 hours before the meeting.  Where applicable, the audio recording of the meeting will be checked to ensure the accuracy of the proposed amendment.)


The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 June were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to an amendment to reflect that Councillor Frances Haigh had given her apologies.


Declarations of Members' Interests

To receive any declarations of interest from Members of the Committee


There were no declarations of interest.



To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee, the Chief Executive or the Monitoring Officer


There were no announcements.


The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman Update 2018 - 19 pdf icon PDF 87 KB


The Feedback Officer and Head of Customer Services presented the report on the Local Government & Social Care Annual Review 2018 / 2019.  The following issues were highlighted:


·      That there had been a 50% reduction in complaints about the authority, which represented a significant improvement.

·      It was the first time ever that no complaints against the authority were upheld.


The Head of Customer Services thanked the Feedback Officer and Customer Services team for their good work.  The Committee acknowledged the high standards maintained by staff and thanked them for ensuring there had been no complaints upheld against the authority.


Committee for Ethical Standards Report 2019

To establish a work programme for the review of the Council’s complaints process and procedure, in the light of the fifteen recommendations from the Committee for Ethical Standards


The Monitoring Officer presented details of the fifteen recommendations made by the Committee on Standards in Public Life in their report on Local Government Ethical Standards.  The recommendations included: a new power allowing greater sanctions for breaches of the Members Code of Conduct and more flexibility for local authorities regarding the suspension councillors; revised rules on declaring interests; strengthened the role for the Independent Person; and greater transparency about the number and nature of Code complaints.  


The Committee on Standards in Public Life were expecting local authorities to adapt their protocol in line with these recommendations, prior to the legislation being passed.  The Council’s legal team, with the involvement of Committee, were revising the advice on the complaints procedure available on the Council website so that it reflected the recommendations.


Members discussed the benefits that additional training for Parish Councillors would bring.  It was noted that training on Conduct issues for both Parish and District Councillors was being planned for October / November.  It was suggested that Horsham District Council attend the Association of Local Councils AGM on 3 October.


The Committee agreed that Councillors Brian Donnelly, Frances Haigh and Jim Sanson would form a working group to draw up a protocol based on the recommendations in the Local Government Ethical Standards Report. 


Urgent Business

Items not on the agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as urgent because of the special circumstances


Members were advised that a new Parish Representative would be elected by HALC at their meeting on 12 September.