Decision details

Disciplinary action against statutory officers: The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Mrs Shepherd (Chief Executive) and Mr Ward (Head of Finance and Governance Services) declared an interest in this matter. They moved to the public seating area during consideration of this item and took no part in the discussion.


Mr Finch (Cabinet Member for Support Services), seconded by Mr Dignum, moved the recommendation of the Cabinet. He explained that the Council had a special disciplinary process applicable to the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive), the Chief Financial Officer (Head of Finance and Governance Services) and the Monitoring Officer (Principal Solicitor).


The Government had published regulations requiring the Council to amend its Standing Orders in order to implement a change in the disciplinary procedure. Under previous regulations there had been a requirement that, if disciplinary action was contemplated against a statutory officer, a Designated Independent Person (DIP) was to be appointed by agreement with the protected officer to investigate the matter. The Council could only take action recommended by the DIP. Under the new regulations the DIP would be replaced by a Panel comprising the Council’s existing Independent Persons (IPs), appointed under the Localism Act 2011. The Panel would be called upon to investigate any potential dismissal issues and could recommend to the Council what action to take. However, under the new regulations the Council would not have to follow any recommendations given.


However, the Government had not fully consulted the representative bodies of the staff affected by this change, and the previous disciplinary procedure remained part of the contractual terms and conditions of employment of some of these staff. He understood that national negotiations were currently taking place to resolve this state of affairs, but until those negotiations had been concluded the Council would need to follow both procedures in parallel, should disciplinary action be contemplated.


Mr Finch also explained the proposed streamlining of the committees and panels currently charged with disciplinary matters and the Chairman drew attention to the paper circulated at the meeting listing the party groups’ nominations for appointments to the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee and the Appeals Committee




(1)  That the provisions, extracted from ‘The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015’, as set out in Appendix 1 to the Cabinet report, be substituted for the current Procedural Standing Order 28.

(2)  That consideration of an updated Disciplinary Procedure for the Chief Executive, Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer be deferred pending the outcome of national negotiations.

(3)  That the terms of reference of the Appeals Committee be expanded, as set out in Appendix 3 to the Cabinet report, to incorporate the terms of reference of the Executive Directors and Heads of Service Disciplinary Appeal Panel and the Redundancy Appeal Panel, and that these two Panels be abolished;

(4)  That members be appointed to the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee and the Appeals Committee as listed on the circulated paperon the nominations of the political groups on the basis that one minority group member is appointed as a substantive member of each committee:-


Investigation and Disciplinary Committee


Cabinet Member: Mr Bruce Finch (C)

Mr Paul Jarvis (C)

Mrs Carol Purnell (C)

Mr Josef Ransley (C)

Mr Andrew Shaxson (IND)


Substitutes: MrMark Dunn

Mr Graham Hicks


Appeals Committee


Cabinet Member: Mrs Susan Taylor (C)

Mrs Clare Apel (LD)

Mr Peter Budge (C)

Mrs Pam Dignum (C)

Mrs Janet Duncton (C)


Substitutes: Mr Tony Dignum (C)

Mr Mike Hall (C)


Publication date: 14/07/2015

Date of decision: 14/07/2015

Decided at meeting: 14/07/2015 - Council