Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 16th June 2011
Title of Item/Report
Annual Report of the Standards Committee 2010/11
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report that provided it with the opportunity to consider the Standards Committee's Annual Report for 2010/11 and to recommend it to the Council for approval.

The Report provided an overview of the work of the Committee in the past year. It set out the Committee's main Statutory responsibilities, summarised how they had been discharged and drew attention to some of the main issues that would require attention in the year ahead. In particular the Annual Report had been prepared in the context of significant changes proposed to the national standards regime, and identified in the Localism Bill.

Consultation on the Report had previously taken place with Group Leaders and the relevant Cabinet Member; the Head of Legal Services as Deputy Monitoring Officer; the Head of Democratic Services; the Corporate Governance Group and the Corporate Management Team. The report would also be presented to the Audit Committee on 27 June. Once agreed the Report would also be placed on the intranet and the internet for the attention of all Members/Officers and would be made available to Town/Parish Councils. A hard copy would, in addition be made available to each member of the Standards Committee.

Members noted that when the Localism Bill became law, the current provisions in the Bill would mean that the existing standards regime would cease to operate. The Council would, therefore, need to consider what arrangements should be introduced in place of the existing ones. It was therefore, proposed that a report be submitted to a future Cabinet meeting regarding the options available to the Council for introducing a new standards framework, including the adoption of a voluntary code of conduct, once the Bill had been enacted.

RECOMMENDED to Council that

1. the Standards Committee's Annual Report be approved.

2. in advance of the Localism Bill becoming law, a report be submitted to a future Cabinet meeting regarding the options available to the Council for introducing a new standards framework, including the adoption of a voluntary code of conduct, once the Bill had been enacted.
Reasons for the Decision
To ensure that the duties and responsibilities of the Standards Committee, and its work during the past year in connection with the authority's corporate/ethical governance, was brought to the attention of all Members and to as wide a cross-section of Officers as possible.

To ensure the options available to the Council for introducing a new standards framework, once the Localism Bill had been enacted, were considered.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not applicable
Attachment

Date of Publication: 20 June 2011


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