Agenda item

Draft Work Programme 2009-11 (Agenda Item 8)

A draft Work Programme is attached for the Committee’s consideration.  The Committee is asked to agree any additions, deletions or amendments to the programme as appropriate.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a draft work programme for the Committee for the forthcoming year.

 

So far as the topic of liaison was concerned, the Chairman sought Members’ views on the preferred approach to be taken, i.e. for the Chairman to meet informally with the Members of the Executive Board or for a more formal joint discussion between the Standards Committee and the Cabinet.

 

Members were of the view that a joint meeting with the Cabinet was the more desirable approach. 

 

It was suggested it would be helpful for that purpose to indicate the topics for discussion, for example items drawn from the work programme (such as furthering a better understanding of the work of the Standards Committee in the Council).

 

It was also suggested it would be useful to be able to explain why it was important that Standards Committee Members should attend various Council meetings, as this was the best way to ensure that they had a good understanding of the working of the Council and its Committees.  Such an understanding was necessary given that the Members of the Committee were on occasion called to judge matters and they therefore needed to understand the processes involved.   In this regard, an idea was put forward to draw up a programme for attendance at other meetings by Standards Members.

 

Various amendments to the work programme were made, including:

 

  • Committee Role: Item 2: Method: Amend to “Standards Members to attend other Council meetings”.

  • Committee Role: Add new item 3: To inform members of the Council on the work of the Standards Committee.  Method: Produce regular standards articles in the Members Information Bulletin.

It was noted that an article for the March edition of Breckland Voice was in preparation.  A copy of the draft article would be provided at the Committee’s next meeting on 2nd February, which would include a photograph of the Members of the Committee with accompanying text to explain what the Committee does.

 

It was agreed to invite a representative from the Norfolk Association of Local Councils to attend a future meeting of the Committee to discuss any opportunities for joint working on raising awareness and engagement on standards at the parish council level.

 

A suggestion was also made to see if there was any scope for a joint approach on raising awareness of standards through the Norfolk network of Monitoring Officers.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)               a joint meeting be sought with the Cabinet at which issues of liaison between Standards Members and Members of the Council can be discussed, with a view to fostering a better understanding of the work of the Committee in the Council along the lines indicated above;

(2)               the work programme, as amended, be included on future agenda as a standing item;

(3)               an invitation be extended to the Norfolk Association of Local Councils for a representative to attend a future meeting of the Committee;

(4)               the Standards Consultant be asked to seek views through the Norfolk Monitoring Officers network on a possible joint approach to raising awareness of standards among local councils.

Supporting documents: