Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

Contact: Eileen Graham Tele No: 01835 826585  E-mail:

No. Item


Minute pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minute of meeting held on 17 January 2019 for noting.  (Copy attached).


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the meeting held on 17 January 2019.



APPROVED the Minutes.



Annual Report on Councillors' Compliance with the Ethical Standards Framework for 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Consider report by Service Director Regulatory Services.  (Copy attached).


2.1     There had been circulated copies of a report by the Monitoring Officer which provided details on Scottish Borders Council's compliance with the Ethical Standards Framework for 2018–19 and also considered matters relating to Training, Register of Interest and the Hospitality Register.  The report provided some additional information and recommendations on the progress with the review of the National Code of Conduct for Councillors and Community Councillors and the Community Councils Scheme review (which included a review of the Code of Conduct for Community Councillors).


2.2     The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland’s Annual Report was laid before Parliament on 31 October 2019.  During 2018-19 the Commissioner received a total of 173 complaints relating to 117 cases, which represented an increase in both the number of complaints and number of cases over the previous years.  The subject matters which attracted complaints were detailed in the report and the main changes to category definitions, specifically related to how complaints related to disrespect were reported and recorded.  The figures now distinguished between respect towards Councillors and disrespect towards employees and members of the public.  The main changes from 2017-18 included a significant increase in complaints relating to disrespect and failures to declare an interest and lobbying with a significant reduction in relation to alleged breaches of key principles and misconduct on individual planning applications. The majority of complaints (148) were made by members of the public followed by complaints submitted by Councillors (21). 


2.3     During 2018-19, 5 complaints were lodged against 5 Scottish Borders Councillors.  Four were submitted by a fellow Councillor with one complaint from a member of the public.   The complaints received in 2018-19 covered the following areas: (a) Disrespect towards fellow Councillors (4 complaints) and (b) Disrespect towards employee (1 complaint).  Two of the complaints received were resolved internally following discussion with relevant parties and one complainant decided not to pursue the complaint further.  The 2 remaining complaints were referred to the Standards Commissioner.  One of those cases was determined by the Commissioner not to constitute a breach while the other case remained outstanding.  In addition to those cases, a further complaint dating from the 2017-18 reporting year remained with the Standards Commissioner for determination during the year and was finally determined in November 2019 and would be reported in the 2019-20 report.


2.4     The report went on to explain that the Elected Members’ Registers of Interests were published on the Council’s website and were also available to view in paper format from Democratic Services.  The Registers were reviewed every six months and were amended according to the information provided by the Members.  Members were also required to comply with Section 4 of the Code of Conduct whereby the Registers were updated when a Registerable Interest changed.  The Monitoring Officer reminded Members to maintain and regularly update any register of interest.  It was recognised that it was complicated with the Borders being such a small area and if Members were in any doubt they must declare  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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