Cllr. Bentley attended this meeting. The first item dealt with was interviews for 2 Independent Person positions. There were 6 very strong candidates and it was difficult to pick just 2 from the list. The chosen candidates will now go forward to the next Council meeting for appointment. The Committee is losing 2 Parish Council Representatives as only one has asked to be considered for reappointment. Cllr. Jackson was re-appointed subject to re-election to his Parish Council and the other 2 positions will be re-advertised once the elections have taken place.
The main items on the agenda were the Standards Complaints Procedure Review and a Review of the Social Media Protocol for Councillors. With a few minor amendments the changes were accepted. There was a discussion between Cllr. Bentley and the Monitoring Officer about the need for the 2nd and 3rd reasons for not referring a complaint for an investigation. Cllr. Bentley thought that there was a degree of subjective judgement involved when considering what the complainant's motivation was and this must not nullify the complaint, which should be looked at purely on whether the councillor was acting as a member and whether there has been a breach. The Monitoring Officer felt it was useful to keep them in place just in case, but they were very rarely used in Chelmsford.
The Minutes of the meeting can be seen at: Governance Committee Minutes.