Agenda and draft minutes

Standards Committee - Wednesday 27th March 2024 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions

Contact: Helen Burt 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Purser and Independent Persons Mr John Cooke and Mrs Sandra Prail.


Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declarations of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the item or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.


Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:


a)            the item that they the interest in

b)            whether it is a pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interest

c)            the nature of the interest



There were no Declarations of Interest made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Standards Committee held on 18 January 2024.



The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2024 were approved by the Committee and signed by the Chair.


Items not on the Agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances


There were no urgent matters for this meeting.


Public Question Time

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)



No public questions had been submitted for this meeting.


Monitoring Officer Report - March 2024 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

This is a regular report to the Committee by the Monitoring Officer to give the Committee an overview of the work of the Monitoring Officer that falls within the scope of the functions for which the Committee is responsible.

[15 minutes]



Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Monitoring Officer introduced the report to Committee. He highlighted paragraph 4.2 ‘Maintaining the Constitution’, explaining that the Constitution Working Party had met and considered changes to the Constitution. Changes to the Constitution had subsequently been approved by Full Council on 13 March 2024. The Constitution would be updated in the week following the Committee meeting. Paragraph 4.8 was also highlighted. The changes to the Local Assessment Procedure, as considered at the meeting of Standards Committee on 18 January 2024, were approved at Full Council on 13 March 2024. The amended version of the Procedure had now been published and was now in use. The recruitment of Independent Persons was ongoing.


          The Monitoring Officer updated Committee that there had been an incident in the Chamber at Planning Committee the previous week. He assured Members that this was being taken very seriously and had been reported to the police. The Council had issued a press statement regarding this. The Monitoring Officer stated that anyone being made to feel unsafe in the Chamber would not be tolerated. This matter was an ongoing police investigation, and was also being reviewed internally by the Corporate Management Team, who were looking at arrangements in the Chamber in terms of safety. Any improvements would be quickly implemented, and Members would be communicated with regarding any changes. He had appreciated feedback that had been received from Members, and was grateful to those Members that had come forward in terms of observing the incident.


One Member thanked the Monitoring Officer for the coordination of information and response, and also for the update to Committee.


There were no questions from Members.


The Committee noted the report.


Member Learning & Development pdf icon PDF 120 KB

This report updates the Standards Committee on the current position of Member learning and development following the completion of the Member Induction Programme.

[10 minutes]


Additional documents:


Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Monitoring Officer introduced the report, explaining that the training matrix had been updated to reflect that additional training for Planning Committee and Planning Policy had taken place and been well attended. He had received feedback from some Members that this session had felt like a repeat of previous Planning training sessions. He explained that it had been intended to be a repeat session, as some Members had not been able to attend the original training sessions. He had also received positive feedback that some Members had been pleased to attend the refresher training.


The Monitoring Officer explained that he had not yet been able to finalise the data protection training for Members, as he was in the process of ensuring there were enough licences to get all 54 Members trained. This was something that would be provided to Members as soon as possible.


The Chair then invited questions from Members. It was asked why there was an asterisk for 2 Members in the training matrix, which it was confirmed was a typing error of some sort, and there was no meaning behind this.


The Committee noted the report.


Register of Assessments of Complaints Against Councillors pdf icon PDF 136 KB

This report updates the Committee on the complaints against Councillors received since the Monitoring Officer’s last report on 18 January 2024.  The Committee is responsible for promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Members of the District and Town & Parish Councils, for monitoring the operation of the Code of Conduct, and for considering the outcome of investigations in the event of breaches of the Code of Conduct.

[15 minutes]


Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Monitoring Officer introduced the report, drawing Members attention to the table in paragraph 4.2. He had made a change to column ‘Alleged breach of code ref’ to ensure this could not be traced to an individual town or parish council.


The Monitoring Officer explained that when looking at trends and patterns he was pleased that there were fewer complaints about Arun District Council Members. Complaints between Arun Members had also reduced.


There were no questions from Members regarding the register of complaints.


The Committee noted the report.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 68 KB

The Committee is required to note the Work Programme for 2023/24.

[5 Minutes]



The Committee noted the Work Programme.