Agenda item

Consideration of Investigators Report SC.2023.10

Report of the Investigating Officer.

Decision:

 

Complaint Reference-

SC.2023.10

Subject Member-

Councillors X&Y

Council-

Sheffield City Council

Complainant-

Mr J

Date of Decision-

8th May 2024

Breach of Code -

No

 

 

I write to inform you of the decision of the Hearing Sub-Committee that considered the Investigators report dated April 2024 into complaint reference SC.2023.10 regarding a potential breach of the Members Code of Conduct by the Councillors X & Y.

 

The meeting followed the Hearing Sub-Committee Procedure that was provided with the agenda and report.

 

Sub-Committee Members

 

Councillors Mohammed Mahroof (Chair), Henry Nottage and Laura McClean and Dr. James Brackley (Non-Voting independent Co-opted Member)

 

Officers in attendance

 

David Hollis, General Counsel and Monitoring Officer.

Sarah Hyde, Democratic Services Team Manager.

 

Others

 

Investigator – VWV Solicitors

Complainant - Mr J

 

 

As per the Hearing Sub-Committee procedure, Councillors X & Y and the complainant Mr J were invited to attend the meeting.  Councillors X & Y did not attend the meeting.

 

The Investigator outlined the findings of the investigation.  Mr J and Sub-Committee Members were given the opportunity to ask questions of the Investigator.

 

Following consideration of the report presented by the Monitoring Officer and the Investigator, the Sub-Committee determined that Councillors X & Y were acting in an official capacity at the time the complaint occurred and therefore the Members’ Code of Conduct does apply.

 

The Sub-Committee could make any of the following recommendations: -

 

·       Recommend to Council or to Committees that he/she be removed from any or all Committees or Sub-Committees of the Council and from any external appointments made by the Council.

·       Instruct the Monitoring Officer to arrange training for the member.

 

·       In a case where the breach relates to use of the Council’s IT systems, that the Member’s access to those systems is withdrawn.

·       That policies/procedures are amended.

·       That a briefing/information note be issued.

·       That an apology be given.

·       That the Member is censured in writing and a copy of the letter is published on the Council’s website.

 

·       Take no action where it is not considered appropriate in the circumstances to impose a sanction.

Decision

 

The Sub-Committee decided to take no further action.

 

Reasons

 

The Sub-Committee gave careful consideration to the Investigators report in taking account of the evidence and law, including but not limited to the need to take into account the scope of the Code of Conduct regime generally, the specific application of the relevant provisions and the effect of Article 10, and concluded that in relation to the Complaint which was investigated that Councillors X & Y did not breach the Members Code of Conduct.

 

Appeal

 

There was no right of appeal to the Council against this decision. However, if the complainant feels that we have not dealt with the complaint properly then they can refer it to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at http://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint/how-to-complainor phone 0300 061 0614.

 

Minutes:

5.1

 

 

 

 

5.2

 

 

5.3

 

 

5.4

 

 

 

 

 

5.5

The Sub-Committee received a report of the Monitoring Officer that requested members consider the findings of the Investigators report regarding complaint reference SC.2023.10 that alleged elected members had failed to comply with the Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

The Subject Members and the Complainant were invited to attend the meeting.  The Subject Members did not attend the meeting.

 

The Investigator was in attendance via remote connection to present the findings to the Sub-Committee.

 

The Sub-Committee concluded that the Subject Members were acting in an official capacity at the time the potential breach occurred and therefore moved into Stage 3 of the Hearing Sub-Committee procedure and consider whether it agreed with the findings of the Investigators report.   

 

Resolved: - that, after consideration of the Investigators report in relation to complaint reference SC.2023.10, the Sub-Committee for the reasons laid out in the report and taking into account the evidence and the law, including but not limited to the need to take into account the scope of the Members’ Code of Conduct regime generally, the specific application of the relevant provisions and the effect of Article 10 decided that the Subject Members did not breach the Members’ Code of Conduct, therefore, no further action would be taken.

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: