Agenda and minutes

Ethics and Engagement Committee - Monday, 12th September 2016 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Charlie Mason, Democratic Services Officer  (01522 873533)

No. Item


Confirmation of Minutes - 20 June 2016 pdf icon PDF 129 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2016 be confirmed.


Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.


No declarations of interest were received.


Code of Conduct: Cases Review pdf icon PDF 85 KB


The Democratic Services Officer:


a)    presented a report containing information on recent cases relating to other local authorities' codes of conduct.


b)    summarised the cases within the report, noting the particular areas which members might wish to consider.


c)    invited members’ questions and comments.




·         discussed the extent to which it was possible to re-educate people with outmoded views, noting that a failure to react to offensive comments could be seen to condone those comments.

·         considered the case in which councillors had been using a council’s headed paper to support licensed drivers accused of criminal offences.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Engagement with Lincoln's Communities pdf icon PDF 171 KB


The Legal and Democratic Services Manager:


a)    outlined a report which had been created to guide a discussion regarding the quality and extent of the Council’s current levels of engagement with the public.


b)    highlighted that the Council was proposing to establish a dedicated group to allow the Council to consult with disabled people more easily.


c)    drew members’ attention to the current consultation strategy.


d)    emphasised the role of elected members in acting as a link between the Council and local communities.


e)    noted the increasing role which could be played by ‘big data’ in guiding the interaction between public services and users.


f)     requested that members offer guidance with regard to any areas of the Council’s current forms of engagement which could be improved.


g)    invited members’ questions and comments.




·         discussed the role of protected characteristics in ensuring the Council properly discharged its public sector equality duty.

·         welcomed the report and its intention to improve corporate consultation and engagement.

·         requested that future work focus on the Council’s efforts to reach under-represented groups, noting that current consultative bodies were not always perfectly representative of the city.

·         considered the opportunities available to make greater use of online services to target under-represented groups.

·         emphasised the utility of effective consultation prior to taking decisions, which could often guide the development of sensible policy.

·         noted that the responses made to consultations were not binding and were intended to guide policy. It was important to ensure that consultation was with the affected parties and drew in a representative portion of the relevant population.

·         discussed the extent to which sampling bias could distort the outcome of consultations and the need to ensure that difficult-to-reach young people were targeted through suitable channels


RESOLVED that officers be requested to provide a report to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee addressing the following areas in greater detail:


·         Engaging with under-represented groups.

·         The extent to which councillors and the Council acted as effective intermediaries for public opinion, and whether existing consultative bodies could be made more representative.

·         Using online facilities to improve the quality of engagement.


Member Development Update pdf icon PDF 80 KB


The Democratic Services Officer:


a)    summarised the member development events held in the past six months.


b)    invited members to provide feedback regarding the member development programme, including suggestions for future member training topics and events.


c)    invited members’ questions and comments.




·         welcomed the training options which had been provided by the Council, including the convenient timing of events and the opportunities for new councillors to gain an understanding of ongoing projects.

·         discussed the challenges of ensuring that councillors were trained to a suitable standard to take part in licensing hearings.

·         noted the significant expense of training and travelling to external events

·         requested that officers seek to ensure that anticipated finish times for training events were provided in advance to members.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Additional documents:


The Democratic Services Officer:


a)    presented the current Ethics and Engagement Committee work programme for consideration by members.

b)    invited members' questions and comments.


RESOLVED that the work programme be approved.