Venue: Council Chamber, Fenland Hall, County Road, March, Cambs, PE15 8NQ
Contact: Izzi Hurst Member Services and Governance Officer
To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of 4 April 2018.
The minutes of the meeting of 4 April 2018 were confirmed and signed.
To consider a complaint under the Member Code of Conduct against Councillor Simon King of Fenland District Council.
Members considered a complaint under the Member Code of Conduct against Councillor Simon King.
Councillor Hoy introduced the Panel and external representatives. She clarified the Hearing Procedure contained within the Agenda Pack and asked if there were any preliminary procedural issues anybody wished to raise.
Councillor Hoy confirmed that Jonathan Goolden would not be calling any witnesses.
Mike Magee confirmed that Councillor King had asked Councillor Boden to attend as a witness, in his capacity as Chairman of Overview & Scrutiny Panel however Councillor Boden has a prior engagement today which means he will not be able to attend the Hearing until this afternoon. He explained that Councillor Boden will discuss his experience of the Members Allowance Scheme, lack of clarity surrounding expenses and other member’s views of the Scheme. He informed the Panel that an adjournment may be sought in order to allow Councillor Boden’s attendance.
Councillor Hoy asked Jonathan Goolden for his view on this. Jonathan Goolden said whilst he would not wish to deprive the Panel of all necessary material, he is unsure of the relevance or value of Councillor Boden’s contribution. He said that whilst he and Mike Magee are in agreement that aspects of the Members Allowance Scheme are not as clear as they could be, if the Panel recommend a review of this, it would be the responsibility of the Independent Remuneration Panel and not of the Overview & Scrutiny Panel.
Councillor Humphrey asked Mike Magee for confirmation of the date that Councillor Boden was asked to attend as a witness. Mike Magee said following conference with Councillor King on Monday 29 October, he had discussed inviting Councillor Boden as a witness. As a result of this, Councillor Boden was contacted and wishes to attend however indicated he had a pre-existing commitment.
Councillor Hoy asked Mike Magee for confirmation of the date that the Council were notified of Councillor Boden attending as a witness. Mike Magee said he believed it was Monday 29 October. Izzi Hurst confirmed that Member Services had been asked to invite Councillor Boden on Friday 26 October. Mike Magee said he may have been mistaken as Councillor Boden was discussed at an earlier date but is willing to attend as a witness.
Councillor Humphrey suggested that the Hearing should begin and the Panel should re-evaluate Councillor Boden’s attendance once the Hearing is underway. Members agreed to this.
Councillor Hoy said she was aware that Supplementary Documentation had been submitted by Tony Cheetham to the Council on Monday 29 October and asked for further information on this. Mike Magee said following his conference with Councillor King, it was decided that there were documents that may be of assistance to the Panel. The bundle includes email correspondence between Carol Pilson (Monitoring Officer and Complainant) and Councillor King, information relating to other Local Authorities Members Allowance Schemes and information on the tax treatment of Councillor’s travel expenses. He confirmed that Jonathan Goolden had been sent the Supplementary Documentation and advised that the Panel have access ... view the full minutes text for item CND2/18