Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

To improve accessibility individual documents published after 1 May 2020 are available as HTML pages where their original format supports this

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: St Aldate's Room - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Alec Dubberley, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

The Constitution does not permit substitutions



Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brundin, Gotch, Sanders and Wolff (Local Authority Representatives); Chris Ballinger and Martin Gardner (Independent Members) and Fred Mogridge (Parish Council Representative).


Declarations of Interest

Members serving on the Committee are asked to declare any personal or personal prejudicial interests they may have in any of the following agenda items.


None made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To approve the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 June 2011 and the special meeting held on 11 August 2011.

Additional documents:


Resolved that the minutes (previously circulated) of the meeting held on 10 June 2011 be confirmed as a correct record.


Review of Whistle Blowing Policy pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To review the Council’s Whistle Blowing Policy.


The existing Whistle Blowing Policy (previously circulated, now appended) was examined by the Committee.


The Head of Law and Governance advised that he was not aware that the policy had been used in the time since the Committee last reviewed it. He added that he hoped this was a reflection of the open culture in the authority.


Resolved to not make any amendments to the policy.


Review of Planning Code Conduct pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To review the Planning Code of Conduct.


The current Planning Code of Conduct (previously circulated, now appended) was examined by the Committee.


The Head of Law and Governance said that he was satisfied that members were aware of the Code’s importance because he had routinely been asked to advise members on declaring interests at planning meetings.


The Committee proposed the following changes to the code:-


1)     To amend paragraph 24.2 to make it clear that only those Councillors who were members of a planning committees were expected to attend planning training


2)     To re word paragraphs 24.6 and 24.3 (c) in order to make clear the definition of bias and pre-determination.


Resolved to authorise the Head of Law and Governance to RECOMMEND that Council updates the Planning Code of Conduct as set out above.


Localism Bill and Future of the Standards Committee/Meeting with Group Leaders

The Head of Law and Governance will report orally.


The Head of Law and Governance provided the following information to update the Committee on the progress of the Localism Bill and other recent developments:-


  • The Bill was currently at the report stage in the House of Lords with a third reading due to get underway shortly.


  • Amendments to the Bill proposed by opposition members were due for debate in October. These amendments called for the reversal of the decision to eliminate statutory standards committees and the code of conduct. Further amendments also proposed the preservation of independent members as part of retained standards committees.


  • If it was still the authority’s wish to have a voluntary code of conduct this would likely be in place early in the new year.


The Committee discussed its relationship with Parish Councils and it was felt that it would be worthwhile to maintain some sort of support going forward. It was decided to include an item on the next Parish Council liaison meeting to seek the views of Parish Councils.


As the Localism Bill had not progressed to the point of royal assent, it was decided to postpone the six-monthly meeting between Group Leaders, the Chief Executive and Chair and Vice-Chair until the end of November.


Members' Mandatory Training Plan 2011/12

The Head of Law and Governance will report orally.


The Head of Law and Governance reported that the all members had attended the required annual Code of Conduct training for this year. A small number of Councillors were still to attend planning training and this was due for completion shortly.


For this year a further programme of optional training for members had been put together. This included training on housing policies, chairing skills, accounts training and performance data training.  The training had so far received positive feedback from members and was being delivered largely in-house.


Resolved to note the position.


Assessment and Review Panel Decision Notices pdf icon PDF 39 KB

To note the outcome of Assessment and Review Panels held since the last ordinary meeting.

Additional documents:


The Committee was presented with the decision notices (previously circulated, now appended) of Panels held since the last meeting.


Resolved to note the Decision notices.


Corporate Complaints

The Head of Law and Governance will report orally.


The Head of Law and Governance advised that continuing problems with the customer relationship management software had led no complaints data being available for the meeting. He apologised for the absence of a report and assured the Committee that information would be forthcoming to the December meeting. The report submitted to the December meeting would give extensive analysis of complaints received for the full year ending March 2011 as well as the current year to date.


Resolved to note the position.


Dates and Times of Future Meetings

15 September - Hearing

2 December

9 March 2012



2 December 2011 at 9.30 am

9 March 2012 at 3 pm