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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Declarations of Interest in respect of Items on the Agenda

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Public Minutes of Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider the public minutes of the last meeting of the Appeal Sub (Standards) Committee held on 25th July 2018.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the public minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2018 be confirmed and signed as a correct record. 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Code of Conduct and Guidance pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Code of Conduct and Guidance in force January 2018.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Code of Conduct and guidance to members in force at the time of the alleged breach of the Code were noted.

 

RECEIVED.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Localism Act 2011 and DCLG Guidance pdf icon PDF 345 KB

Extract from Localism Act 2011 and DCLG Guidance to councillors on openness and transparency on personal interests

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Minutes:

The extract from the Localism Act 2011 and the DCLG guidance were noted.

 

RECEIVED.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Questions Relating to the Work of the Sub-Committee

Minutes:

There were no questions relating to the work of the Sub Committee.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Any Other Public Business that the Chairman Considers Urgent

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Exclusion of the Public

MOTION – That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining items on the ground that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A (paragraphs 1 and 2) of the Local Government Act. 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Minutes:

Following discussion, and after considering comments from Mr Harrower, the appellant’s representative, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the appeal be conducted in public session, with the Sub Committee moving into non-public session only to consider the previous non-public minutes and associated matters and to deliberate on its final decision.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Standards Appeal pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Report by the Town Clerk.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Minutes:

Ms Pearson entered the Committee Room at 10.45am.

 

The Sub Committee had before them the covering report of the Town Clerk relating to the appeal against the decision and sanction of the Hearing Sub (Standards) Committee, that Ms Pearson had breached paragraph 13 of the Members’ Code of Conduct in speaking and voting on a matter in which she had a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) at the Planning and Transportation Committee in January 2018 without a dispensation to do so, and that a sanction of censure be imposed.

 

RECEIVED.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Appeal Procedure pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

The Sub Committee noted the previously agreed procedure for conducting the appeal.

 

RECEIVED.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Written Grounds for Appeal pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Grounds of appeal and supporting documentation.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman then invited Mr Harrower, on behalf of Ms Pearson, to set out the grounds for the appeal.

 

Mr Harrower firstly made reference to the failure of the Corporation (as represented by the Comptroller and City Solicitor) to make written representations in response to the appeal, or to attend the appeal, and put forward the view that as no written representations had been made in response to the written appeal, and in the absence of the Corporation attending the appeal hearing, there was no opposition to the appeal on breach and sanction and that the appeal should therefore be allowed for this reason alone.

 

Mr Harrower then went on to outline the 6 grounds for the appeal set out in the circulated documentation, in summary:-

 

(1) Ms Pearson had no DPI in the item considered at the Planning and Transportation Committee on 29 January as the item (whether or not to delegate determination of a planning application to London Borough of Islington) was an inter-authority jurisdictional matter rather than determination of the planning application itself.

 

(2) There was no breach of paragraph 13 of the Code because the decision on 29 January could not and/or did not have an impact on the value of the DPI, i.e. the lease of the flat in Hatfield House.

 

(3) There was no breach of paragraph 13 because Ms Pearson was unaware that she had a DPI in the matter being considered on 29 January.

 

(4) There was no breach of paragraph 13 because there was a reasonable excuse for Ms Pearson’s participation in the meeting on 29 January in that the item was added at a very late stage to the agenda for that meeting and with the resulting impact on the opportunity to obtain a dispensation.

 

(5) In deciding that there

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Written Representations - Comptroller and City Solicitor's Department (City of London Corporation) pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Minutes:

The Comptroller and City Solicitor’s written confirmation of no further representations from the Corporation in relation to the submitted grounds of appeal was noted, along with the Comptroller’s confirmation that the Sub Committee should refer to the previous material provided to the Hearing Sub Committee for its 21 May meeting and the resulting decision and sanction letters that were issued by that body.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Exclusion of the Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that they may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Non-Public Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider the non-public minutes of the last meeting of the Appeal Sub (Standards) Committee held on 25th July 2018.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the non public minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2018 be confirmed and signed as a correct record. 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Written Grounds for Appeal (cont'd)

Minutes:

The Sub Committee then proceeded to discuss the grounds of appeal in detail and with advice from Mr Oldham, QC.

 

Arising from its deliberations, the Sub Committee was of the view that on the point raised about the Corporation submitting no further written comments in relation to the grounds of the appeal, it understood that the appeal was not being conceded and the Sub Committee was being asked to take account of the written material that had been before the Hearing Sub Committee and its decision and sanction letters in deciding how to resolve the appeal. Members were advised by Mr Oldham, and accepted, that a lack of further written response from the Corporation and/or the Corporation’s non-attendance at the hearing were not grounds, under the adopted appeal procedure, for allowing the appeal.

 

Accordingly, Members proceeded to consider the written grounds of appeal.

 

(1) There was no DPI in the “matter” being considered on 29th January

The Sub Committee agreed that the delegation decision being considered on 29 January should not be conflated with any later determination of the planning application. Mr Oldham advised that whether Ms Pearson had a DPI in the delegation decision depended on if, in the Sub Committee’s view, and on the particular facts of the case, there was a sufficient material connection between the delegation decision and the substantive determination of the planning application which might follow.

 

The Sub Committee were in agreement there was sufficient material connection, noting that the matter of whether the Corporation or Islington was to determine the planning application was contentious.  The Sub Committee considered that members must have regarded the issue as having at least the potential to affect the outcome of the planning application and noted that, had the delegation been agreed at the 29 January meeting, that

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Questions on the Work of the Sub-Committee (exempt information)

Minutes:

There were no other non public questions on the work of the Sub Committee.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Any Other Non-Public Business that the Chairman Considers Urgent

Minutes:

There were no other urgent non public matters.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Written Grounds for Appeal (cont'd)

Minutes:

The Sub Committee returned to public session at 5.08pm and Ms Pearson, Mr Harrower and the member of the public returned to the committee room.

 

The Chairman then advised all present that the Sub Committee had considered and taken account of all relevant matters in determining the appeal, and that its decision was that Ms Pearson had breached paragraph 13 of the Code of Conduct for Members by participating and voting on a matter in which she had a disclosable pecuniary interest at the Planning and Transportation Committee on 29 January 2018 without a dispensation to do so, but that no sanction should be imposed for that breach. The Chairman confirmed that Ms Pearson’s appeal from the decision of the Hearing Sub (Standards) Committee set out in its letter of 29 May 2018, in which it decided that the Code had been breached, was therefore not allowed, but the appeal from its decision on sanction set out in its letter of 26 June 2018, in which it imposed the sanction of censure, was allowed.

 

The Chairman explained that written reasons for the Sub Committee’s decision would follow in due course.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

 


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