Agenda and draft minutes

Standards Committee
Monday 20th September 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Vanisha Mistry 

Items
No. Item

6.

APOLOGY

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor L.Musk.

7.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting on 22 June 2021 (Circulated separately).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2021 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

8.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor T.Kingsbury declared a non-pecuniary interest as appropriate as virtue of being member of Hertfordshire County Council.

9.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SOCIAL CARE OMBUDSMAN - ANNUAL REVIEW LETTER pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Annual Review Letter from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) presented the annual summary of statistics on the complaints made to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) about Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council for year ended 31 March 2021. Members were informed of the total number of complaints made and how many of these were selected for investigation by the Ombudsman.

 

Members were encouraged to see that the system in place works efficiently.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Members unanimously agreed to note the number of complaints and enquiries received, the decisions made and the outcome of the detailed investigations.

10.

SURVEILLANCE UPDATE 2021 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on an update on the Council’s use of surveillance powers.

Minutes:

A report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) that provided members with an update on the Council’s use of surveillance. It is a requirement of the surveillance code of practice that an update is periodically made to Members on surveillance activity. Officers informed Members that the Council had not used any covert surveillance powers since they had last been reported.

 

The report referred to a complaint made to and investigated by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). Members noted that the IPT had investigated the complaint and found that the Council had not acted in an unlawful way.

 

Members asked about training for specific staff. Officers explained that    the training program for Authorising Officers takes place externally and training for other officers is run in house by the Authorising Officers, which has proved successful. Members noted that the training programme is now being revised in light of the new learning and development coordinator being in post.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Members unanimously agreed to note the use of surveillance powers, and the work undertaken in making sure the Council can comply with its surveillance responsibilities.