Minutes – 20 October 2016

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Adderbury PArish Council Minutes 20 October 2016




PRESENT:     Councillor Diane Bratt (Chairman); Councillors Colin Astley, Penny Clarke, Steven Cox, Tony Gill, David Griffiths, Sue Jelfs, Ann Lyons and Martin Rye.


The Chairman welcomed Members of APC and introduced Mr John Berry, an ex-clerk, to take the minutes of this meeting in the absence of APC’s Clerk.


Mr Berry was thanked for this.



1. No members of the public attended the meeting but the Chairman advised Councillor Gill on the procedure for the recording of meetings, which he then recorded.


2. Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Asbury, Bradley and Shallis


3. Declarations of Interest – There were no Declarations of interest.


Advice on declarations of interest should be sought from the Clerk prior to the meeting, as advice cannot be given to Councillors at Parish Council meetings.


4. Public and Press – No public or press present.


5. Grievance/Staffing Committee – APC considered the report of the Independent Panel which considered the Clerk’s appeal to the decision of the Parish Council’s Grievance Panel and noted the minutes of the Staffing Committee held on 8 August 2016.

The Following Resolutions were agreed:


1.  That APC accepts in full the Determinations and Recommendations of the Independent Appeal Panel’s Report.


Proposer: Councillor Bratt

Seconder: Councillor Astley


Vote: 5 in favour. 2 against.


2. Councillors then considered the Determinations of the Report (1-3 below) and then the Recommended actions from the Report which could be agreed at this meeting (4 below) and those actions which would need further consideration by APC (5 below).


The following Resolutions were agreed:


1.     Resumption of the mediation Process with all council members and the clerk (10ci )

Proposal: To agree to go forward with setting up a mediation process as under item 5 below (working group).


Resolution: It was agreed to go forward with mediation, using professional help. The clerk and working group to arrange.


Voted: Unanimous in favour.


2      Apology from Councillor Gill (10cii)

Proposal: To agree the management of this in two ways (A and B of resolution), based on the recommendation of the Appeal Panel.


Resolution: It was agreed that:


A.    Councillor Gill will make an apology to the Clerk in public at the next APC meeting, and the Clerk will be given some time (days) to consider the apology and discuss with her professional adviser. Her response will be sent to the Chair of the Staffing Committee, Councillor Griffiths.


B.    Should the Clerk find Councillor Gill’s apology unacceptable, APC will impose a sanction against Councillor Gill, excluding him from any APC committees, working parties or working groups, to take immediate effect and last until the end of this council year (May 2017 APC meeting), when all working groups are reviewed.


This resolution is intended to draw a line under the Grievance procedure.


Proposed: Councillor Rye

Seconded: Councillor Lyons

Vote: 5 in favour / 1 against / 3 abstentions


3      Clerk’s return to work. (10g)

To note the Minutes of the Staffing Committee meeting (8.8.16) and agree Clerk’s return to work based on recommendations of Staffing Committee. (Minutes supplied already).


Resolution: The minutes of Staffing Committee meeting on 8.8.16 were noted and the    phased return of the Clerk was accepted, (fully resuming duties at the October meeting).

Vote: Unanimous in favour



4      Recommendations under 10e of Appeal Panel Report.

To agree the following recommendations (numbering from report) as already in place:

(i)              Statement of duties and obligations regarding Declarations of Interest from a respected source. (Please refer to Kevin Lane’s advice on this in Documents on APC website).


Resolution: Agreed that the advice from Kevin Lane serves this purpose (with recommendation to seek further advice which CDC are currently developing for PCs).

Vote: Unanimous in favour



(ii)            Decision by APC as to policy adopted regarding minute-taking.

(See minutes of APC meeting 29.3.16)


Resolution: Agreed to continue with the policy set up at the APC meeting of 29.3.16, and to review at end of council year (May 2017)

Vote: Unanimous in favour


(iii)           Training for all APC members on roles and responsibilities addressing the Chair-Clerk relationship in particular to highlight the general practice of Chairs and Clerks working closely in PCs.

Resolution: It was agreed that all councillors commit to attend training as soon as possible on this).


Vote: Unanimous in favour



(iv)Training on roles and responsibilities for all councillors.


Resolution: It was agreed that all councillors commit to attend training as soon as possible on this ).


Vote : Unanimous in favour



(v)Agreement with CDC as to how best to obtain expert advice for the council as a whole to prevent individual councillors shopping around for advice which undermines the technical expertise of their clerk.


Resolution: The procedure was accepted (as outlined in earlier email from James Doble at CDC giving direction on this, in APC drop box and sent separately to all APC members) and councillors will send questions through the Clerk as directed.

Vote: Unanimous in favour



(viii)   A formal annual appraisal process for the Clerk involving input from all Members and managed by a performance working party derived from the Staffing committee.


Resolution: The Staffing Committee will review the Appraisal process, including input from all APC members, and considering the use of a template.

Vote: Unanimous in favour



(xi) Adopt a policy to undertake a thorough and meaningful review of all policy documents on an annual basis in compliance with the law and best practice.


Resolution: It was agreed that the creation of a working group for this purpose will go ahead at the meeting in early Dec, as agreed previously by APC, but also including a dignity at work policy, as in recommendation (ix) of the Appeal Report.


Vote: Unanimous in favour.



5      Set up a Working Group to consider all other recommendations under 10e of the Appeal Panel Report.




It was agreed to set up a working group to look at all the other recommendations made by the Appeal panel under 10e of their report.

It was agreed that Councillors Shallis and Asbury are asked to lead on this group and that they be asked to report their initial ideas on how this will be achieved at the APC meeting in December.


Vote: Unanimous in favour



The meeting closed at 9pm.