MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
DEMOCRACY AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE
Minutes of the SPECIAL meeting held on Wednesday 31 March 2021
Councillors Chappell-Tay, Garten, Mrs Gooch (Chair), Hastie, Joy, Lewins, Perry, Purle and Webb
Apologies were received from Councillor Mrs Blackmore.
Councillor Garten was present as a Substitute Member for Councillor Mrs Blackmore.
There were no urgent items.
Councillors Mrs Gooch and Joy stated that one of the candidates was known to them, although not in a personal capacity.
Councillor Purle stated that the referee of one of the candidates was known to him.
There were no disclosures of lobbying.
RESOLVED: That Item 8, Exempt Appendices 3-6 – Application and Interview Assessment Forms and the interviews be considered in private due to the likely disclosure of exempt information.
The Monitoring Officer introduced the report, explaining that the Localism Act 2011 required the Council to appoint at least one Independent Person. The term of the current Independent Person was due to expire on 31 July 2021, however the Independent Person had resigned from the role in March 2021.
Following advertisement of the role, the Committee was convened to interview the candidates and make a recommendation to Council at the Annual Meeting on 22 May 2021 as to the appointment of an Independent Person and a Reserve Independent Person.
The term of the Independent Person would commence from May 2021, following Council’s approval and expire in May 2025. It was recommended that delegation be granted to the Monitoring Officer to carry out the referencing requirements for the successful candidates and prepare a report for full Council.
The Committee entered into closed session in line with the procedure outlined in 190.
Three candidates were interviewed. Eight questions were asked of each candidate by the Monitoring Officer and the Corporate Governance Team Leader, and Members of the Committee were provided with interview assessment forms. Attendance was taken prior to each interview, with the candidate present, to ensure the interview panel was the same throughout.
Following the interviews, Members discussed the suitability of each candidate for the role of Independent Person, with some guidance from the Monitoring Officer.
Members expressed their thanks to the Legal Team for their assistance and support throughout the process of recruitment.
1. A recommendation be made to full Council for the preferred candidate to be appointed as the Independent Person for the Council, and for the second candidate to be appointed as the Reserve Independent Person, both subject to satisfactory references;
2. A recommendation be made to full Council to approve the allowances paid per annum to the Independent Person and Reserve Independent Person, being £749 and £250 respectively; and
3. Delegation be given to the Monitoring Officer to obtain the required references and refer an appropriate report to facilitate the appointment of the Independent Person and the Reserve Independent Person by Full Council.
RESOLVED: That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business because of the likely disclosure of exempt information for the reason specified, having applied the Public Interest Test:
Head of Schedule 12A
and Brief Description
Appointment of the Independent 1 – Information relating to
Person in relation to Appendices an Individual
3-6 – Application and Interview
3.30 p.m. to 7.05 p.m.